What Are Ostriches Good For? (Explained)

Ostriches are flightless birds predominantly found in Africa and good for the beauty of their feathers, the quality of their leather, and their use in racing.

There is so much that most people do not know about Ostriches. And as is usual of things unknown, rumor’s, doubts and misconceptions abound about the Ostrich.

Due to several factors, including man’s activities, as it stands, of living members of bird species, the Ostrich is presently the largest.

This flightless bird is easily distinguishable from others for its long legs and necks and big bulging eyes. Stay with us as we take you on a ride (no pun intended) of what exactly Ostriches are good for. 

What Are Ostriches Good For?

What Are Ostriches Good For

Ostriches are good for a lot of activities and reasons. We shall first itemize these before explaining them succinctly:

  1. Food
  2. Ornamental Use
  3. Clothing
  4. Sport
  5. Transport
  6. Water Reservoirs

We shall now explain the above presently:

1. Food:

Since one of the most basic and natural needs of man is food, it is reasonable that when we study any creature, our first thought is usually whether or not we can consume it.

The Ostrich is no exception. For centuries, we have hunted these flightless birds for food.

In fact, we have even hunted some of its species- like the Arabian Ostrich- to extinction.

The meat of Ostriches is famed for its low fat and cholesterol content, as well as for being high in iron, calcium and protein.

In Southern Africa, ostrich meat is the prici[an ingredient in one of the continent’s cuisines known as “Ostrich stew”.

Ostrich meat is said to be very similar to lean beef and a little darker than beef in its uncooked state.

In present-day South Africa, due to the increasing demands for ostrich meat, there abounds a number of ostrich farms with the main aim of producing these birds for the culinary delights of its adherents.

Apart from its meat, Ostrich eggs are also a source of nutrition, especially for hunter-gather communities. The Ostrich’s eggs are the biggest of all birds and would comfortably suit a grown man’s hunger.

Here is an article I wrote on why do ostriches have feather

2. Ornamental Use

The use of Ostrich feathers for ornamental purposes dates back to medieval times when European knights used them to beautify their helmets.

Eventually, women in the 19th century would become enthralled by the beauty of ostrich feathers and have them adorn their finery.

Its ornamental use became so rampant that at the time, ostrich farms were established in Australia, the United States and South Africa.

Also, the Ostrich’s eggs have been used by Eastern Christians to ornament oil lamps.

The reason for this differs as some have claimed that the eggs being used on chains holding the oil lamps is a symbolism of how Christians ought to remain focused on the Divine just as female ostriches fixate on their eggs.

Others claim that the practice is to prevent the oil from being infested by rodents.

3. Clothing:

Ostrich hide has also been used for clothing.

In fact, it is claimed that ostriches hide is the best commercial leather.

Their hides have been used in the fabrication of bags, belts, wallets and shoes. Additionally, their feathers have also been used in the production of hats.

4. Sport:

Ostriches have been domesticated and farmed for a long time for the sport of racing.

It is very common practice in some countries for people to ride ostriches the same way that they do horses but with specialized saddles and contest against each other in a race.

This practice is a part of the culture of South Africans and represents a tourist attraction in the United States of America, particularly in the State of Florida where since 1892, Ostrich racing has been a thing of interest.

Besides Florida which seems to be the starting point of the Ostrich racing practice in America, California, Nevada, and a host of other States race Ostriches.

5. Transport

While ideally, Ostriches are not the best means of transportation because, unlike horses, they tire easily, historical antecedents reveal that in the regions of Mesopotamia and Egypt, these flightless birds were used as a means of transport.

6. Water reservoirs

Ostrich eggshells have been used by those who come in contact with them the most – the hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari desert as water reservoirs.

They achieve this by creating a hole in the eggshell and using it as a receptacle for water storage.

Also check out this article I wrote on why do ostriches have big eyes

What Is The Point Of An Ostrich Farm?

Ostrich farms are established for the following reasons:

  •  Easy access to Ostrich Meat

As mentioned earlier, Ostrich meat is a delicacy. Ostrich farms allow this meat to be in constant supply for consumers

  • Easy access to Ostrich Feather

Ostrich feathers have been use for several millennia both for ornamental and clothing purposes.

As such ostrich farms ensure a plentiful supply of the ostrich plumes needed to adorn clothe articles as well as make clothing.

  • Easy access to Ostrich Hide

As mentioned before, according to certain sources, Ostrich hide is of the very top quality in the hide and textile industry.

As such, Ostrich farms make this qualitative material which can be used in making belts, shoes and other leatherworks easily available.

  • Protection of Wild Ostriches 

Without Ostrich farms, it is possible that there would exist no wild ostrich population and as such, we may have hunted the largest flightless birds into extinction.

The establishment of ostrich farms means that to make use of any of the characteristics such as feathers or meat that we need from an Ostrich, we can acquire them from a domesticated one instead of going to hunt one down and in the process depleting the number of ostriches in the wild.

How Do Ostriches Help Humans?

Ostriches help humans in several ways.

We have already outlined the fact that they make for a good source of food through their meat.

They also help us beautify ourselves with their plumes. Riding on the back of these majestic flightless birds is also a form of recreation.

Besides, the aforementioned, an obvious way we often neglect in which ostriches help humans is the mere fact of their existence.

Ostriches are a true marvel of nature- whether or not you believe in creation or evolution. Their qualities and special features are awe-inspiring and make for a good study.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Raising Ostriches?

The pros of raising ostriches are that in so doing, you are:

  • Making a lot of money by
  • Creating easy access to Ostrich Meat
  • Creating easy access to Ostrich Feather
  • Creating easy access to Ostrich Hide
  • Protecting Wild Ostriches 

Is Ostrich Meat Good For Consumption?

Yes, Ostrich meat is good for consumption.

It is famed for its low fat and cholesterol content, as well as for being high in iron, calcium and protein.

In Southern Africa, ostrich meat is the principal ingredient in one of the continent’s cuisines known as “Ostrich stew”.

Ostrich meat is said to be very similar to lean beef and a little darker than beef in its uncooked state.

In present-day South Africa, due to the increasing demands for ostrich meat, there abounds a number of ostrich farms with the main aim of producing these birds for the culinary delights of its adherents.

Conclusion

This article has espoused the subject of what Ostriches are good for. Ostriches, the largest living member of the bird species who roam most parts of Southern Africa are treasured for their meat, their hide, and their beautiful plumes which have been used for ornamental purposes for time immemorial.

Written by Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books

Why Do Ostriches Have Feathers? (Explained)

Why Do Ostriches Lay in The Rain? (Explained)