For as long as we’ve been coming here I’ve wanted to visit the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. It’s right on I-10 and we pass it every time we return to Arizona City and every time I say to Bob, “I wanna go there this year and see that” and he replies, “Uh-huh” but we never get there. Well, this was the year! This year I was finally going to get there, I’ll take Dianne!
So after church we got in the car and off we went.
This ostrich is the largest one in the United States. It was originally in Oklahoma but moved here in 1993 for the climate. When this ranch was started in 1986 it was with 3 month old Redneck and Blueneck ostrich chicks. No one here had ever heard of the South African Black strain.
After traveling to South Africa to learn all they could the Cogburn’s realized that ostrich could indeed raise ostriches for commercial purposes.
The Cogburns have been very involved with several ostrich organizations and now have the largest flock of South African Blacks in world, outside of Outshone, South Africa.
Though they aren’t raising the birds for commercial use as yet, meaning for meat, it seems that is the goal eventually.
In the meantime they have a zoo of sorts and you are encouraged to feed the animals.
We paid our $7.00 admission fee and in return we received a large cup with different kinds of feed for the different animals and a smaller cup with nectar in it.
Here’s Dianne feeding some Fallow deer.
These small deer come in three colors, brown,
white and tan with white spots. The ones with spots keep them their whole lives.
Next visit was to the burros or donkeys. I don’t know what they are, I’m a city girl remember?
Now I was pretty taken with these animals …..until. Until one bit me! There was one little donkey that wasn’t tall enough to put his thread through the opening and therefore wasn’t getting any feed. Well, I felt sorry for it and got close enough to hold a handful over the fence to drop on the ground in front of him. Well I guess the donkey didn’t like the idea of me feeding the little one and reached out and bit me on the stomach. It hurt like hell! The skin was broken but it was more like bad scratch than a punture. I moved away from those pens quickly after that!
We passed one section with goats as we just weren’t interested. Too much work was involved to get he feed UP to the goats.
Yes, the goats were UP at the top of this thing!
Closer to the ground, these goats were easier to feed but again we weren’t interested.
Next stop was the ostriches!
Their brains may only be as big as their eyeballs but these flightless birds are pretty cool!
Next stop was the Prairie Dog pen. They must have been well fed today because they weren’t doing much more than just laying around.
There were some goats and ducks to be fed and we did.
The real treat was next. We entered into this large building and were immediately fascinated with beautiful, colorful, birds.
I had never seen a lorikeet up close and personal like this.
Lorikeets are a very colorful and noisy member of the parrot family.
The nectar they are fed is specially formulated to meet the high caloric needs of these very active birds. The dietary requirement for the Monkeys with Feathers is approximately equivalent to a 150 pound person eating 250,000 calories or about 476 cheeseburgers in one day. Think twice before saying, “That person eats like a bird.”
On the way out I stopped to report that I had been bitten by a donkey and to inquire if I had anything to worry about since the skin had been broken. Mrs. Cogburn assured me that I had nothing to worry about that all the animals were current on their shots.
As a small gift because this happened I was given an ostrich feather.
A nice lady offered to take a picture of Dianne and I together and we certainly appreciated that.
So I finally made to the ostrich ranch and I’m glad I got to share it with Dianne.