Ostrich Farm, California

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
How would you like to live on this farm? It is very different from farms on which cattle, horses, sheep, and hogs are raised. Instead of four-footed animals this farmer raises the biggest of the world's bird-ostriches. Two of the chicks have just come out of their shells. Even when they are hatched they are as large as a good-sized chicken. They are active little birds from the time they step from their shells. Observe the size of the egg. Beyond the fence are the old birds looking on with much interest. Ostriches are very queer birds. They have only two toes. The hind toe and the second toe are absent. Their legs are long and very strong. They cannot fly, but they can run faster than a horse. Their necks are long and without feathers. Their heads are flat, their bodies are stubby, and their wings are short. The birds have great mouths, and can eat almost anything from mice, lizards, and snakes to grains, leaves, and fruits. They often swallow goodly sized stones. They can go for a long time without water; but when they come to water they drink and drink every few minutes. Formerly, ostriches ranged over parts of Russia, Arabia, and India as well as Africa. Now they are only found wild in the last continent. They live in the open, where there are but few trees. They have been hunted till the wild ones are coming to be scarce. Hunters on horseback kill them with guns, or catch them with ropes. Their value is in their plumes. The fine wing feathers can be plucked every 8 months, and the birds live for 70 or 80 years. They are easy to raise. Ostrich farming is therefore profitable. Most of the farmers are in south Africa, but California and Arizona are centers of the industry. There are about 10,000 birds on the farms of these two states. Keystone ID: 13528 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.