Ostrich Farm, South Africa (by Oliver)

D’you say somethin’? ‘Cuz I thought I heard something’ just now.

We got to feed the ostriches and you would expect that their beaks and their strong necks would hurt.  But they don’t hurt at all; except for when they nip your fingers.  It happened to Audrey and Dad.  And, they said it hurt.  But, it happened to me on the thumb and it didn’t hurt at all.

We also got to ride the ostriches and the ostriches have a belief that if they can’t see you, you can’t see them.  And so, what the guides would do, is put a fabric bag over their head and walk them to the mounting block.  And then, we got on the ostrich with the bag still on its head.  Next, our guide pulled the bag off the ostrich’s head.  The ostrich would run because it would be scared.  Audrey thought it was horrifying, but awesome.  I thought it was awesome and fun.  At one point in my ride, the ostrich stopped and then took off again.  So, it was a little jerky, but still really fun.  How you got off the ostrich was by sliding off the back of it.  The wings were on top of my legs.  When I was sliding off the back of mine, my ankle got caught on the wing.  And the jockey was pulling me to get off; but, the wing was caught on my ankle.  And so, it sort of pulled me.

Beforehand, the guide kept on saying that we were going to have neck massages.  But, our family didn’t know if we were going to give the ostriches neck massages or if the ostriches were going to give us neck massages.  We finally got to that stage and it ended up that the ostriches gave us neck massages.  How they did that is that there are a few ostriches in each enclosure and there was a bucket of feed.  My Mom, Audrey, and Dad, held the bucket in front of them with their backs up to the fence.  And then all the ostriches would come up to them and reach their necks around the person’s head to peck at the food.

A little deeper on the left, please, oh, right there.
A little deeper on the left, please, oh, right there.

Their necks would bang on the person’s neck, giving them a neck massage.  I was too short to have the neck massage.  So, I had a head massage.  I put the bucket on top of my head holding onto it with both of my hands.  And then, the ostriches would peck on it and their force would bang the bucket against my head.

Next time your 8 year old says that he’s bored, just get three ostriches and a bucket …

Ostrich eggs are really big and strong.  We all got to stand on eggs and they didn’t break.  One ostrich egg equals the same as 24 chicken eggs.

I got a couple of ostrich feathers while we were there.  It was one of my favorite tours I have ever done in my life.


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