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Feb 17, 2023

First Ostrich Egg On Record Laid in Belize

She’s known as the leader of the Belize People’s Front and as a businesswoman and farmer. Now Nancy Marin is celebrating the first ostrich egg that was laid on her fledgling ostrich farm – the first that is also on record in Belize. It’s possible that other farmers who have had ostriches in their possession have also celebrated this occurrence. Still, Marin’s case is different in that she has tenaciously sought and gotten permits from at least one regulatory body, BAHA, to keep her ostriches after she paid for tests to be done to show they are disease-free. She is the first Belizean to have undergone the rigorous application process to seek to legitimize her ostrich project. Today she shared with us her plan to develop her ostrich ranch into a diversified business. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.


Marion Ali, Reporting

It was less than a year ago that Belize People’s Front Leader and ostrich farmer Nancy Marin established her ostrich ranch off the George Price Highway in the Cayo District. She purchased three ostriches from a fellow farmer in Orange Walk and then, to her surprise, noticed that they were mating. It was a surprise since ostriches, who are strangers to Belize, are not known to enter the mating season until several months later in the year. This week, Marin was again pleasantly surprised when she arrived at her farm on Thursday morning and discovered there was an ostrich egg that had been laid.


Nancy Marin, Leader, B.P.P./ Ostrich Farmer

Nancy Marin

“We were not expecting (this) because making season had just started and they’re just going into their second year, um, our, our ostriches. And so it was very exciting news because that gives us hope.”


The hope that Marin speaks of is that she and her family can one day develop their ostrich farm into a diversified business where the ostriches can be used to supply meat to a restaurant they want to open and the skin for the family’s leather boots company. That might be further on the horizon since the family has not yet received the green light to import ostriches as yet.


Nancy Marin

“Although we have not been able to iron out the kinks in importing the chicks, we now have eggs and, um, when ostriches start laying, they will take a couple days and then they will lay more.”

Marin says that the egg is smaller than average and that perhaps that and its early arrival are due to Belize’s climate. The early arrival of the egg has now prompted the family to make accommodations.


Nancy Marin

“The challenge now is the fast track incubation. I have almost acquired a huge incubator that we will, um, that I have a, a friend who’s helping me, um, to make it appropriate. So we are kind of refurbishing one, because we were not prepared. We thought, you know, maybe sometime in May, June we might get an egg. And so this is really early for us.”


Belize’s climate may also have a bearing not only on the size but also on the appearance of the egg.


Nancy Marin

“The egg is different. If we compare the ones that I have seen in the States, in Mexico, in South Africa, uh, they’re more waxy. They have like a waxy film on top, and the pores are a lot larger, which was our concern because with large pores, the egg is very susceptible to disease. The one that we have is very chalky-looking, and it’s very difficult to see the pores. So the pores are not as big. So it, it looks kind of harder, but the, the, the pores look like a chicken egg. That, that it is, that con concealed. I am hoping that this is good news, because it means that the incubation will be easier, and not as difficult as we had anticipated. So it’s all around excellent, exciting news. We’re watching it.”


Marin says accommodations will have to be made quickly because there should be more eggs arriving soon.


Nancy Marin

“When ostriches start laying, they will take a couple days and then they will lay more but for the season it should be around fifty. We expect a little less for their first season, but that is the expectation.”

Before the other eggs are laid, however, Marin will consult with ostrich experts to find out why the egg looks different from others in other countries.


Nancy Marin

“When BAHA came to, um, inspect the ostrich, none of their people knew much about the Ostrich’s. Um, so I didn’t think about asking them. I’m depending on my mentor in Australia. I am gonna have as close as we can him to, to check it for us online, and maybe he has some idea of, um, why the chalky texture.  As far as I know myself and this other Russian friend that is in Belize are the only two that have some experience with ostriches. So I’m also gonna have him personally look at it because he raised Ostrich’s in Germany and other countries before. So we’re trying to put a team together to look at it and see, try to see what we can expect.”


In terms of the investment that Marin made on her ostrich ranch, she said that Belize Bank was the only lending institution that was willing to help.


Nancy Marin

“After I lost a lot of money in the first years of trying, when I went to the Belize Bank, they were very, very excited. And it was a small amount I needed, I needed twenty thousand dollars to continue this, this, this struggle in developing this industry. And Belize Bank actually got as excited as me and they gave me, without asking for any collateral, they didn’t, they gave me as a character loan. That’s what they called it. And they also said that they’re very willing to assist other farmers that may want to purchase ostriches.”


If this first egg proves to be a sign of good things to come, as Marin posted on her Facebook page, she is looking to promote ostrich meat as a healthier alternative to beef. Marion Ali reporting for News 5.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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