A trio, one male and two female, is the normal grouping for ostriches, but you may equally consider pairs (one male and one female), quads (one male and three females) or colonies (two or more males to two or more hens).
A pair gives you the ability to track the individual performance of each of your breeders. A trio gives you the ability to track the male and maybe the females, as sometimes the eggs from two females are noticeably different. However, if you want productivity, experienced farmers tell us that colonies work best.
The advantage of a colony is that the birds have more birds to choose from, in seeking a partner. The space that you need for a breeding trio is approximately 30 metres (32 yards) by 50 metres (55 yards) – a total of 1500 square metres. Over the years I have seen this size reduced to almost half, without any serious consequences. Personally, I prefer larger parks with plenty of running space – hence the tendency to make the park oblong rather than square.
For chicks, they really need little space during their first four weeks of age. Let us say 2 metres (2 yards) by 10 metres (11 yards) for a group of 20 chicks, however they grow remarkably quickly.
Chicks will need increasingly large areas as they grow. At 12 months they are adult ostriches, and 50 x 12 month old ostriches will need say an area of 1000 sq. metres - 20 metres (22 yards) x 50 metres (55 yards).
In the USA, the growing space is much larger. Typically 100 chicks are grown out on 6000 to 9000 square metres. All the bird areas should have shade in some form or other. It may only be shadecloth or use the natural resource of trees within the pens, but some form of shade is essential.
Birds need to get out of the sun if they wish to. When it rains however, you will find that they sit down on the spot and don’t seek shelter.