What do ostriches eat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What do ostriches eat?” We will also discuss the different foods ostriches eat on the farm, the amount of food they eat, and whether they eat stones. Moreover, we will also talk about the animals that eat ostrich.

What do ostriches eat?

Ostriches eat a variety of plants and animals including grasses, legumes, succulents, fruits and vegetables, grains, insects, and small animals. Although ostriches are omnivores, their diet is primarily made up of plant matter.  Ostrich diet in the wild consist of around 60% plant material, 15% fruits or legumes, 5% insects or small-sized animals, and 20% grains, salts, and stones.

Although most of the ostrich’s diet consists of plants, small animals, bugs, and scavenging also make up a small portion of an ostrich diet. Ostriches are known to scavenge and consume the carcasses of animals left by carnivorous predators. Other than the plant matters, their diet consists of mice, snakes, lizards, rats, frogs, grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, and moths.

What do the ostriches eat on the farm?

Commercially produced ostriches at the farm are fed a variety of commercial diets, which vary greatly depending on where the ostriches are raised. Many different types of commercial diets can be appropriate for the ostrich because of their adaptable eating habits. These rations contain all of the vitamins and minerals their bodies require to flourish at different stages of life. 

Since ostriches are large birds, they require a lot of proteins and minerals to keep healthy and fit, particularly those that are in the growing or breeding stage. So the commercial ostrich is fed a lot of nutritious diets.

The rations for ostrich are divided into three categories based on their stage of development. The starter, grower, and mature formulae provide the ostriches with the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals at each stage of life. Each formula consists of a different amount of vitamins and minerals needed by the ostrich at that particular stage in their life.

How much does the ostrich eat?

Ostriches on the farm are routinely fed 3 to 4lbs (1.3kg to 1.8kg) of food each day, including any grit or stones needed to aid digestion in their gizzards. However, their diets are not the same in the wild. Ostriches will eat anything they find to survive.

Their exceptional ability to run long distances ensures that they can almost always move between different areas to find food. They will roam across the habitat in search of food availability. 

This ensures that they are very unlikely to starve due to the lack of food. Moreover, ostriches are tough birds with incredible stamina and can go without food for up to three days at a time if necessary. Ostriches will find themselves food before they reach the point of starving.

Do ostriches eat stones?

Yes, ostriches eat small stones or pebbles. Ostriches are classified as gastroliths, which means “stomach stones.” It is most common in birds who lack teeth, and the ostrich is no exception. Ostriches have difficulty in digestion due to the lack of teeth. This is why they ingest pebbles, boulders, and other “scratch” or “grit” and store it in the gizzard, which is a muscular section of their stomach. 

The purpose of the rock is not to digest it, but to use them to grind down the various meals they consume. These rocks in the gizzard function as a grinder, grinding the food that enters the stomach and making it easier to digest. Over time, the rocks will deteriorate until they are completely worn away. To keep their digestion going, the ostrich will instantly replace the eroded rock with new rock.

What animals eat ostrich?

Only a few animals including large carnivores like cheetahs, lions, leopards, hunting dogs, and spotted hyenas will prey on an adult ostrich. Since ostriches can run at speeds reaching 50 miles per hour, their strong and muscular legs may deliver a potentially lethal kick if they are ever cornered and need to defend themselves. 

Sadly, the only predator the ostrich should feel threatened by is humans. Learn more about the physical strengths of ostrich here.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “What do ostriches eat?” We have also discussed the different foods ostriches eat on the farm, the amount of food they eat, and whether they eat stones. Moreover, we have also talked about the animals that eat ostrich.

Citations 

https://www.americanostrichfarms.com/blogs/news/what-do-ostriches-eat-ostrich-diet-nutrition#:~:text=Ostriches%20have%20a%20diet%20made,grains%2C%20salts%2C%20and%20stones.

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