Ostrich Racing

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Monday, April 18, 2011

This next entry is one of the most bizarre but funniest things we have ever witnessed and was also the main reason we had visited Outdshoorn….. Ostrich riding!!

We arrived to the, one of many, Ostrich farms after we had been to the caves. We were shown to a room and the tour around the farm began. A lady explained to us all about Ostriches, how old the farm was and how the ostrich trade has changed in the past 100 years. Initially, in the 1920's there had been a huge demand for Ostrich feathers which was the main reason so many farms were set up. They also sold the ostrich meat too and made various products from the leather. The ratio was 80% feather sales and 20% meat and leather products. Today the ratios are reversed and they make most of their money from selling the meat….

A few interesting things I did not know about Ostrich’s were they have a small hump on their back similar to a camel which means they can go without water for a long time… they eat small stones and other objects in order to help digest there food as they do not have teeth to chew up their food! The largest thing found inside an ostrich on the farm was a 1l coca cola bottle!!

After the talk we were showed to an incubation room where they keep the eggs. She showed us how they test if an egg is fertile and has a chick inside by placing the egg on a tube with a special light underneath and if it shoes the right shape inside that determines whether it is for breakfast or a chick… Ostrich eggs are extremely strong and can take the weight of up to 200kg when stood on!! They are also equivalent to 30 chicken eggs and if you leave an ostrich egg in a bowl in your fridge it will keep for 3 months!! Unfortunately as Africa was in Autumn the Ostrich’s don’t lay eggs so we were unable to sample one….

After the strange ostrich facts and standing on eggs we were faced with the real thing… For those who know me well you may know I have a weird phobia of peacocks!! Ostrich’s and emus and even worse!! We met the 'friendly’ ostrich first and if you wanted you could go in with the ostrich and hug her… the guide said females were grey in colour and males were black and white and a lot bigger…. Ash was brave enough to get in the ostrich pad and hug her but there was no way I was getting in there!! After several people had hugged the ostrich the guide picked one poor guy to kiss the ostrich? She then placed some ostrich feed (a small pellet) into his mouth and we all watched in horror as the ostrich pecked the food from his mouth… I don’t think this qualifies as a kiss but I am sure the bloke has had worse!!

We then followed the woman to an area where she explained if you weighed less than 75kg you could ride an ostrich!! If you are an animal lover don’t read on and for those who want a good laugh make sure you watched the video upload at the end! If you have been reading my blogs you might recall my weight being wrote on my hand during the bungee jump which was 83kg.. so I had an excuse not to ride one, but there was no way I would have anyways…. Tom keeps saying he is sick of me making fun of him on the blogs and on facebook so I wont say anything else apart from he was also unable to ride an ostrich!! Haha

Each Ostrich had a name of a formula 1 driver apart from Ash’s ostrich that was called KILLER!! It fair to say she was bricking it but managed to climb onto the ostrich with help of two guides and then ride the ostrich for an amazing four seconds!! Well done Ash.. and thank you for probably allowing us to witness the funniest thing in mine and toms life.
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