Ostriches are classified as Desert Birds and can survive in hot and dry climates.
They can go without water for more than two weeks. Their ability to endure such arid climates has resulted in many people in the past referring to ostriches as “Camel Birds”; the ostrich’s survival ability in the desert being similar to Camels. During the time of the Egyptian Faro’s 10,000 years ago ostriches were roaming around in the Sahara Desert and the Middle East.
Oudtshoorn is considered the Ostrich Capital of the world for here are more ostriches and ostrich farms than anywhere else. One of the reasons why Oudtshoorn became “Ostrich Country” from a farming point of view is because our climate is great for ostriches. We have a semi-desert arid climate and ostriches like the heat of Oudtshoorn; in high summer (January and February) the temperature goes beyond 40 degrees Celsius easily.
Due to the fact that they are not used to having a lot of vegetation in their natural environment ostriches will eat almost anything they can find including funny items like bullet-cartridges, golf balls, sticks and even shoes if they had to come across it.
Here at Safari Ostrich Show Farm we feed them alfalfa(Lucerne) and maize and they love it. We also allow our visitors to feed them as part of the guided tour; a great photo opportunity!