Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch...
Mar 19, 2014
|Today's post covers our visit with John & Joyce to the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Farm. Located off Exit #219 on Interstate 10, nestled at the base of historic Picacho Peak Mountain, it's the largest ostrich ranch in the country. Over a thousand black South African ostrich hens live at the ranch, laying eggs and roaming its 600 acres.
For $7 each, our cashier supplied us with a variety of animal food - pellets for the donkeys, deer, goats and ostriches; peanuts for the prairie dogs; tokens for the duck feed and nectar for the lorikeets.
We were told to enter the property and stay left. And to read the signs! First up were the donkeys. As I wandered up to their fence they all lined up in a row, waiting as patiently as donkeys can. I had the "now what" look, but thankfully they had a sign. It read: Put one piece of food in your hand and hold your palm flat. Ok, that worked! A nice lady next to me (also a visitor) told me that two of them would "smile for the camera," and they did! Too cute...
But that was just the beginning. I did the same thing with the deer, who were even more fun than the donkeys. They didn't just line up in a row, but once you finished giving them their treat, they ran to the end of the line to get seconds! And they were fairly gentle.
Next up, the Boer goats. These goats make 'kissy' lips at you in an effort for you to give them treats. So Larry & John did the honorable thing and did the 'goat kiss' with them! Joyce & I chose to pass on that option, lol The fun part about this attraction was the 'Hole In the Wall Gang' display. Cute idea :)
Next up, the Ostriches, huge birds topping out 350 to 400 pounds. You think you realize that, but it's a whole other thing to stand beneath a herd (“flock” doesn’t cut it) of giant, panting birds. These modern-day dinosaurs have presence. They towered over us at seven or eight feet, their enormous clawed, two-toed feet kicking up dust, and they breathed heavily, beaks wide open, waiting for food. They get impatient and launch their heads over the fence in search of stray food. I was scared so didn't feed them by hand. Fortunately, you can put feed in trays for them and stay at a safe distance! Still, they are pretty cool!
We continued our day with stops at the Cabbage Patch Kids, Prairie dog town, the duck pond and finally to the Lorikeet Forest to feed the gorgeous, rainbow colored birds nectar right out of our hand. The friendly little things fly right to your shoulder or hand and if you don't open the cup of nectar fast enough, they pry the lid up with their beaks. Then, they put their entire little heads in and their little tongues slurp up the liquid. At one point I had four little guys on my arm and one on my head. After finishing their cup of nectar, several began investigating my jewelry and the ornamentation on my shirt. They were especially enthralled with my buddy Joyce's necklace. We spent a good half hour enjoying these beautiful birds. So, for me, the lorikeet's were the highlight of the day.
The guys on the other hand liked the monster truck. The ranch runs 40-minute monster truck tours through the ranch and desert on weekends, for an extra behind-the-scenes look. They were just pulling in when we arrived so we missed that run unfortunately. The reviews on that ride are great, so we'll have to give that a try next time. The guys settled for pics of it today.
As we exited we checked out the small gift shop area where ostrich eggs (fresh, hollow, or painted), ostrich jerky, ostrich feather dusters and several other products were available to purchase. We understand one ostrich egg is equivalent to 24 chicken eggs and takes from 1 1/2 to 2 hours to boil! Joyce gifted me with a pretty angel standing on a pretty stone & I bought two postcards. As beautiful as the painted ostrich eggs are I don't think they would travel very well!
Well, that's it for now. Tomorrow we head out for the Yuma area. But more on that later. Thanks for stopping by & have a great day!
PS You can check out some Ostrich Fun Facts here if you like: