The ostrich, Struthio camelus, is native to Africa and is the largest birds in the world. Ostriches live in portions of 25 African countries.
The first commercial ostrich farm was established in South Africa around the year 1860 to farm ostrich feathers, meat and hides.
The ostrich is an omnivore native to Africa and the largest birds in the world. Ostriches live in portions of 25 African countries. The chicks, a few days after being hatched, are covered with a thick and silky down, of a light-fawn color, with black stripes. The neck and head are similarly covered.
The ostrich is native to Africa and is the largest birds in the world. When fully-grown stand Ostriches stand about 7 to 9 feet tall and can weigh 200 to 400 pounds. Female ostriches are brown and gray; males are black with white wings and tail feathers.
As the world's largest bird, the ostrich lays the largest egg of any living bird, however; the ostrich egg is one of the smallest in relation to the size of the bird. The eggs vary from white to yellowish white in color and their hard shiny surface is pitted with superficial pores of various sizes and shapes.
The ostrich is a bird made for running and not flying. The ostrich can sprint in short bursts up to 43 miles per hour; Cheetahs can accelerate 65 miles per hour on average. Just as cheetahs use their tails to help them change direction while running, ostriches use their wings to maneuver themselves while running.
Ostriches rarely seek shade, have a long neck, long bare legs, and two toes. Neck and thigh muscles are well developed and not feathered. The ostrich feather was adopted in ancient Egypt as a symbol of justice and truth.
Ostriches were of major interest in Egypt. Apart from being hunted for their flesh and plumes, ostriches were kept in captivity, tamed and semi-domesticated by the early Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Egyptians and Roman women of noble birth rode ostriches on ceremonial occasions.
There are descriptions in Tutankhamen's tomb of the king hunting the birds with a bow and arrow; a privilege that apparently was kept for the Pharaohs. Ostriches were hunted for their meat, while their skin was used to make protective clothing.
Ostrich is lean and tastes like beef, but contains much less fat. In fact, Ostrich meat is even lower in calories than chicken and turkey. Ostrich meat is sold as steaks, fillet, medallions, roasts and ground meat.
The tenderest meat comes from the thigh or fan. Adult ostriches yield about 80 pounds of red meat, which comes primarily from the upper leg, back and thigh muscles.
The ostrich hide is considered to be an exotic shin leather and one of the most expensive leathers well known for its distinctive decorative bumps caused by feather growth. Ostrich leather is thick, durable and extremely soft and can be manufactured into a variety of products, such as shoes, boots, wallets, purses and jackets.
Where Do Ostriches Live In Africa?
Ostriches Live In East, Central, West and East Africa
Ostriches may be found in a variety of open habitats. They normally avoid areas of a thick bush or heavy tree cover and inhabit wooded grasslands and other open countries. Semi-arid, open and short-grass plains are usually associated with the highest ostrich densities.
Ostriches do not live in any North African countries in great numbers, in East Africa ostriches, live in the African countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
In Central Africa ostriches live in two countries, Cameroon and Chad, West Africa, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Mauritania and Southern African countries of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, and Botswana.
The ostrich is very adaptable and thrives under extreme conditions. Among the many ways of regulating its body temperature, it controls heat loss during cold weather by covering its thighs with its wings.
During hot weather ostriches cool off by lifting and moving its wings creating a fan-like effect. The feathers of an ostrich are excellent insulators, minimizing heat gain from the sun, as well as reducing heat loss.