Ostrich Wrangling (Yes You Read That Right)

One thing I know now that I would have never given a second thought about a year ago is this – Ostriches freak me out.  Their small brains combined with such large and powerful bodies come together in an animal that works mostly off instinct but could kill you.  I dig all animals mostly with out fear.  I respect the ones that could actually hurt me but I don’t fear them.  Maybe it’s being raised around horses that I just don’t think most animals would bite or charge me. Ostriches aren’t most animals.


How did I come to learn such a thing?  Well, my friends Tom & Mette from Ranch Of The Oaks  have ostriches (among the other various critters living on the ranch).  My first real encounter with an ostrich was with the big male, he ran to the gate, dropped to the ground and proceeded to “court” me which involved him splaying his wings and hitting his head against his back in a loud unsettling “THUMP”.   From that day forward I stood away from the fence, something about that “THUMP” really bugged me.

Well, yesterday Tom & Mette sold four of their six birds.  I went up to photograph the craziness that followed.  I do not recommend getting in the pen with an ostrich.  An animal that can kick your head clean off your shoulders is best left to the experts.

I like this series because it shows the 4 stages of “Ostrich OMG”

Hooked and startled.

Pull the head down so they can’t kick your fool head off!  (I’d like to applaud Tom for his crazy ninja move with the rake in the back of the picture.)

And walk the bird to the trailer.

There was running…

In the end four birds were loaded into a specialized trailer and shipped off.

After that was done I spent a few hours as a mill slave processing fiber with Tom & Mette.  I don’t know that I was actually that helpful because they could probably run all the machines alone at once but it was super fun to chat.

One thing I’m super curious about is this – When did this become my life?  I really like it and it’s super fun, but when did ostriches, sheep, fiber, and other such craziness become my life?

Last thing of note is that I let a copy of Mildred out of my hands to be read by my dear friend Becky.  Right now I’m sure she is frowning in confusion and grimacing in pain at my writing.  I’m almost embarrassed enough to avoid her lol.  So far no one but family has started reading Mildred in depth and it kind of scares me to put myself out there like this.  Hopefully it’s not to painful for her!

Edit to add: Comments have been restricted due to spamming issues. I’ll be back to normal soon!


12 thoughts on “Ostrich Wrangling (Yes You Read That Right)

  1. How interesting! What do people do with ostriches? I know there are eggs, and some get eaten. Still.
    You are brave to give Midred to a friend. I hope she really wanted to read it. I once did the same thing with something I wrote (in my teenage years) and my friend never read it. :o)
    You life sounds prettey exciting to me!

    • Wow that is so amazing! What are Ostriches used for primarily…? I agree with Monika, and would love some insight.

      w w w . poorbefore . blogspot . com

  2. Great photos… It was an amazing thing to watch. So to anwer Monikas “what do people do with ostrich’s?” we ask our selves that often. But they are great entertainment. Have really cool feathers and the eggs taste great… And then there is the whole neighbor hood stopping by to see what craziness is happening at the ranch.. Life here is never dull..
    Ok so are Tom and I to blame for all the fiber,sheep ostrich madness?? Welcome to our world!!! LMFAO!!!!!

  3. This reminds me of the episode of dirty jobs where Mike Rowe was wrangling ostriches. He seems a bit disturbed and indeed fearful when they charged. Beautiful photography by the way. Keep up the good work.

  4. Ostriches are dangerous birds, indeed. Having to fend for themselves and unable to fly away from predatory mammals has made them fearsome competitors. they are, after all, direct dependents of the dinosaurs who probably got their wings burned off trying to hover and navigate through the searing heat of the great comet impact dust cloud. They probably lived their lives in the higher mountains,, until it was save to descend to lower altitudes many generations later. So, from that aspect, you have to hand it to them for their unique survival skills.

  5. Wow — I wouldn’t want to be too close to them but they’re interesting creatures! One tried to attack my brother-in-law when he was a kid and my husband swears it was the funniest thing ever.

  6. My father raised ostrich for years. In answer to the question about what to do with them. Eat them. Their meat is red (not like chicken at all), lean and very tasty. Very healthy for you too. I read an article just last week about foods of the future and ostrich was on the list of healthy foods that need to be utilized more.
    Also beware of that huge big toe. It can gut a horse with one quick swoop and it’s not pretty.

  7. you have to admit, it’s a pretty good life. And your work is amazing, no one who reads mildred cringes at the writing. It’s creative, inspired, well paced, intriguing, great character development, amazing imagery and a plot that ensnares you to boot!

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