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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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what harm can an ostrich farm cause if its 200 feet from my

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what harm can an ostrich farm cause if its within 200 feet from my house where I home school my children? I am particularily interested in noise and just being a nuisance and what they do to the environment. What disease do they carry and if harmful to children.

Hi there,

I understand your concern if there is a potential for a new farm very near your home. I do not think that noise will be an issue for you. Ostriches make very few natural noises. They hiss if threatened, and during mating males will "boom"-- a very low frequency sound that can carry over long distances. They do not, however, screech or scream.

I would not recommend letting your children near the birds. Some ostriches are aggressive, while others are quite docile, but they can bite, and they have a powerful defensive kick. They are very fast runners, and usually run away from threats, but if challenged, may come after you.

Some people who live near ostrich farms complain of an ammonia-like odor. In well-managed farms, this is not a constant smell, but if the wind turns your way or the weather is right, you may smell it. If you are downwind, dust and feather particles may blow onto your property. Most complaints are in regards XXXXX XXXXX to clean swimming pools more frequently.

Ostriches do not generally carry diseases that can be spread through the air from the farm to your home. If your children are asthmatic or suffer from allergies, the feather particles may aggravate those symptoms if your home is downwind.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand that the ostrich has a roar louder than a lion.. We are over a fresh water aquafir and what do you think the urine will do to the ground water? What about bird flu and can humans get it?

If the farm is built appropriately and providing the birds with adequate space, the urates (birds produce a solid form of urine) should not contaminate your ground water. An increase in nitrates is theoretically possible and could damage fish populations in surface water, but reaching levels dangerous for human consumption would be rare (especially in new facilities).

The booming sound the males make can be quite loud, but in noise complaints that have reached the media, complaints are usually about ammonia odor or feather/dust debris. Noise doesn't seem to be the thing that bothers people nearby the most.

The highly pathogenic H5N1 'bird flu' has been reported in poultry that are kept in overcrowded, confined conditions, but it has not been reported in rattites (birds like ostriches and emus). Bird flu is not very good at infecting people. It can, but it doesn't do it well in the most pathogenic of circumstances, and everyone who got it in the US got it from person to person contact, not contact with birds. Ultimately, you are much more likely to get 'bird flu' on an airplane or in a crowded public place than you are to get it from a nearby farm. Additionally, you would have to inhale the moist droplets from an infected bird right after it sneezed to be infected-- flu viruses can't survive the 200 yard trip through the air from the farm to your home.

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