01 November 2007

12 Amazing Ostrich facts

There were so many questions on the my Wednesday ABC post on Ostriches that I decided to respond to the comments with a separate post, with 12 amazing facts about Ostriches. Please note that some of these facts will not be found in any definitive works on Ostriches and are being published for the first time.
One of the remaining feathers from our old decor shop
1. There was a lot of speculation about the taste of Ostrich meat. In my opinion the taste is….…..fowl. Tried it once and did not enjoy it. Suzi-k on the other hand likes Ostrich steak. But then in our family we do draw a distinction between “boy’s food” and “girl’s food”. So, if it is a toss up between lean, cholesterol free Ostrich meat and a fatty lamb chop there is no contest – I’ll take my chances with cholesterol.

2. Let’s not forget the eggs. One Ostrich egg is equivalent to about 24 chicken eggs. I have never tried one, but believe that they are very rich. So here’s the deal, I have no intention of trying out ostrich eggs, a boiled chicken’s egg is more than enough for me.

K riding an Ostrich when she was still little 3. Oh yes, another use for Ostrich eggs is for décor purposes. The yolk is removed and the eggs are sold for display purposes; or they have kitsch and I mean kitsch pictures painted on them and sold to people with an unusual taste in décor; I have seen them carved with intricate patterns and so it goes…….

4. We once bought bottled water in a container shaped like an Ostrich egg. I do not know what it was, but Suzi-k and I could not bring ourselves to drink the water. It was all psychosomatic…. as soon as we lifted the bottle to our lips, something triggered the egg smell in our brains and down went the bottle. Coupled with that was the image of how the eggs come into the world. Yes, I know the bottle was plastic, but we do have vivid imaginations.

Ostrich foot

5. If you want real gross, it is an Ostrich foot converted into an ashtray. By the way you do not want to get on the wrong side of these feet - they can do some nasty damage.

6. Someone remarked on how unhappy Ostriches looked. You would too it you knew that someone was about to pull your tail feathers out to make a feather duster.

7. For those of you still think there is some truth about Ostriches sticking their heads in the sand, let me dispel the myth. You would need a jack hammer to dig a hole in the ground, in some of the areas where Ostriches live. It is something like the saying that a guinea pig’s eyes will drop out, if you pick it up by its tail. What probably lead to the myth is that when they are feeding and their heads are down, it can look like the head is in the sand from a distance.

8. Ostrich leather is really classy and is used to make high quality shoes, purses, brief cases, upholstery and so on..…. all of which are sold at extortionate prices. And you can get it in a stunning variety of colours.

9. Did you know that you can ride an Ostrich? This picture is of an Ostrich race taken at Oudtshoorn many years ago. Not a very comfortable ride, but a ride nevertheless

One of Suzi-k's designs, the Jester Chair with an Ostrich feather tassle on the right

10. The feathers are still very popular in décor and fashion circles. They are used to trim cushions, a personal favourite with any self respecting cat. The feathers also make nice boa’s and fashion accessories.

11. Several years ago the local Ostrich industry took quite a knock with avian influenza. Many farmers opted out of the business, but others just picked up the pieces and soldiered on. That’s why we are still able to buy feather dusters ………. and all the other things I have spoken of.

Herding Ostriches
12. And that is not all, once they have been domesticated you can herd Ostriches like sheep. These were photographed outside Oudtshoorn, headed for the abattoir. No wonder they look so unhappy.


dot said...

Now that was interesting! And funny too. I don't think I could eat the meat and an egg that big would definately make me barf!

Max-e said...

Hi Dot, I hope I haven't killed the ostrich industry........naaaa not possible, I don't have Oprah's clout. I think the eggs usually end up in an omlette or scrambled.

photowannabe said...

Great post. I like your humorous take on the facts. I have eaten ostrich before. It really wasn't too bad and it is good for you.
Its mind over matter I guess.

Max-e said...

Hi Photwannabe
Glad you enjoyed it. Maybe it was the cut I tried. Someone told me Ostrich neck made a nice stew - well say no more. I ended up having a sandwich for dinner.
Maybe I will be daring one day and sample some other cuts

Jenty said...

Maybe it was the way it was cooked Max. I use ostrich meat often to replace beef, and not many people can tell the difference.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Fantastic post, funny, informative, great pictures and facts.. I really liked this and thank you for going that extry mile on this topic...

Max-e said...

Hi Jenty
I think it's my taste buds - they are not too keen on Ostrich biltong or dry wors. Maybe one day.......

Max-e said...

Hi Tom, Glad you enjoyed it. I really enjoyed doing this post.
I was at the supermarket this morning and spent a few minutes looking at the ostrich deli - not today thankyou - will stick to the mutton