Can You Ride an Ostrich?

Ostriches are amazing animals and have unique traits that set them apart from all other creatures. They are considered to be one of the fastest runners and are pretty large in size. Because of their abilities and characteristics, many people wonder, can you ride an ostrich? 

In this article, we will talk about ostriches and their habits, and will answer the question – can you ride an ostrich? 

Biology of Ostriches

Before answering the question- can you ride an ostrich? Let’s first briefly walk through their biological features and abilities. 

These giant birds, which are frequently taller than a person, are found in Africa’s savannas and deserts. They are among the most unusual birds and the tallest, biggest, and heaviest ones currently existing. Their lengthy black lashes shield their enormous eyes, which have the biggest diameter of any terrestrial mammal (5 cm). 

Females have typically brownish-colored feathers. Whereas males have striking black and white patterns that are utilized to entice females. Ostriches have two-toed legs, giving them a fairly primitive appearance. The inner toe is built for running and is thick and strong. Ostriches’ 10 cm long, powerful claws can be utilized for defense.

Ostriches are one of the heaviest birds in the world and can weigh up to 156kg.  Females are less in weight and can be around 110 kg. The lifespan of those birds is 40 years. 

Ostrich Behavior

Ostriches typically coexist with other grazing species like antelope and zebras in flocks of 5 to 50. The mating season lasts for around five months, and flocks will occupy areas between 2 and 15 square kilometers.

Ostriches live a nomadic, primarily diurnal lifestyle, being active both early in the morning and late at night. Males are highly territorial and defend their domain. These birds enjoy the water, regularly bathe if given the chance, and have strong swimming abilities.

They occasionally lay down and put their heads forward. They do it to avoid being seen, which is likely where the urban legend that ostriches bury their heads in the sand got its start. 

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They hiss loudly and puff up the feathers on their wings in an attempt to intimidate a rival or predator. These birds can outrun their predators with ease because of their quick feet. The sounds that ostriches make include whistling, booming, snorting, and hissing.

Threats to Ostriches

Ostrich populations and range have shrunk in recent years, despite the fact that they are still generally common and not regarded as globally threatened. Long-term human usage of their eggs and feathers nearly led to the extinction of these animals on the territory of the northern and southern parts of Africa. Overgrazing is presently the primary issue since it has significantly decreased their range and destroyed their habitat.

The Animal-Corner resource estimates that there are about 2 million ostriches in existence globally. The IUCN Red List now rates this species as Least Concern (LC). However, its population is currently declining.

Is It Possible to Ride an OStrich? 

Before actually moving on to the topic of “Can you ride an ostrich?” Let’s first discuss whether it is biologically possible or not. Can ostriches carry humans? Or what kind of behavior does it expose? 

Well, it turns out that it is possible to ride an ostrich. Yet, the ethical side of this behavior is still under question. Actually, ostrich riding is considered one of the tourist attractions in the countries where they reside. Such a place is Oudtshoorn

So, let’s look closely and explore the Ostrich capital of the world.

Oudtshoorn – Ostrich Capital Of The World

In Oudtshoorn, many ostrich farms give tours. Residents of this place have been keeping ostriches on their farms since the 1800s. At first, they were typically farmed for their feathers and meat. Yet, today, this practice has decreased. One of the main reasons for having the ostriches on the farms is that it has become a tourist attraction

Are you wondering if you can ride an ostrich in Oudshoorn? The majority of farms provide tractor rides or escorted walks around the fields where guests may hand-feed ostriches, observe the egg hatching process, and even stand on ostrich eggs. Tours vary from farm to farm but often include these activities. When in season, it’s common to see a few adorable and cuddly ostrich chicks. The popular attraction that the majority of farms offer is ostrich riding. 

Can You Ride an Ostrich? 

Ostrich riding raises concerns about the safety of both the rider and the bird itself. Since an ostrich is the biggest bird currently alive, you might think that it could support a person’s weight.

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Ostriches, on the other hand, have neither been tamed like horses nor have they developed to carry weights. Naturally, those birds do not carry much weight when they are living in the wild. 

This implies that, unlike certain mammals, the limbs of the ostrich are not sufficiently powerful.

The majority of ostrich farms teach them and train them so that they can carry people. Maintain weight limitations to determine who is allowed to ride. However, there are risks associated, which we shall cover in more detail below.

Ostrich riding and racing are both done for amusement, but both may be quite risky. The rider may also get hurt, so the action is not just bad for the bird. Even though the answer to the question of whether can you ride an ostrich is positive, it is not recommended. 

Danger Of Riding Ostrich To The Birds

Ostriches cannot bear people because of their improper bodily shape. Their legs may suffer if they carry hefty weights. Ostriches that are raised for human amusement frequently experience weak bones, damaged ligaments and tendons, strained muscles, and excruciating joint discomfort.

Many countries deem ostrich riding to be an inappropriate activity because of its extreme danger.

Danger Of Riding Ostrich To Humans

Can you ride an ostrich without any danger? Well, the answer to this question is no. If you’re an animal lover, you probably don’t want to watch an animal in any agony. 

One of the reasons you shouldn’t ride an ostrich is that you may not want to witness an animal suffering for human amusement. Animals and people both experience the disagreeable effects of pain. An ostrich is prone to becoming aggressive and savage if you put it through stress and physical suffering. 

Ostriches do not react well to pain or stress, like any other animal. When they become aggressive, they may knock the rider off, and even kick you. An abdominal injury can happen from an ostrich kick

When they are afraid, the ostriches can run up to 45 miles an hour. Ostrich riding may be risky because of the high speeds involved, in addition to the assault risk. While riding an ostrich, there is always a possibility that you may fall off and get hurt. Therefore, when thinking, “Can you ride an ostrich?” Also, consider the threats and consequences that can come with it. 

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Physical Abilities of Ostriches

Ostriches can often lift between 160 and 200 pounds. However, typically, the farms that offer ostrich rides have a 150-pound weight restriction to prevent undue stress on those birds.

Many ostrich farms take steps not to let riders who weigh more than 200 pounds. Weight restrictions often depend on the ostrich’s size and strength.

Additionally, you may be wondering, can you ride an ostrich for several minutes? Riding the ostriches for a longer period of time is not possible. In most cases, it takes less than a minute. 

How To Ride An Ostrich Safely

Ostrich riding is still practiced throughout the globe today, despite the risks we outlined. Above, we answered the question, “Can you ride an ostrich?” and discussed its risks. So, can you ride an ostrich safely? If you still want to ride the ostrich, make sure to consider the instructions on how to ride an ostrich safely.

Although it may seem strange, you must get to know the ostrich before you ride it. Although ostriches are not particularly sociable animals, you may win their slight trust. Offering them some snacks is the most effective method to do this. The ostriches love twigs and pellets of alfalfa. Therefore, they will happily accept this gift. 

The farm workers will place a sack over the ostrich’s head before you may ride on its back. The ostrich may now settle down as a result. It also makes it simpler for them to steer the bird in a specific direction so you can be on its back.

Be careful not to place all of your weight on the ostrich’s back when getting aboard it. Slowly sit down while following the farm owners’ instructions. It would be ideal to sit on an ostrich’s back with the proper posture. Lean back so that the ostrich’s neck isn’t being compressed by your weight.

Let your legs fall to either side and hold on to the wings. Make sure not to tug on any feathers, and under no circumstances should you hold the bird’s neck. They will be hurt by this, and they could respond violently.

Bottom Line – Can You Ride an Ostrich?

In this article, we discussed the ability of ostriches and answered the main question: can you ride an ostrich? It turns out that riding an ostrich is possible, though not recommended. These actions can cause harm to this bird and also put the rider at risk of injury. Therefore, think twice before making the decision to ride an ostrich.

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