Getting Bit By An Ostrich Bird. Not on the Bucket List.

When I lived in Arizona I had driven by Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Bird Ranch a dozen times vowing to return one day to feed the kind, sweet and gentle ostrich (do you sense the sarcasm). Today was that day.

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Bird Ranch is a working ranch just between Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona. You can not miss the huge FEED OSTRICH sign from the freeway.

The price of admission is $5.00 which includes a cup of food for the animals. Basically you pay money to the ranch for the food so that you can feed their animals. Brilliant business plan.

There weren’t just Ostriches that were hungry at this Ostrich farm; donkeys, goat, deer, ducks and lorikeets called it home too.

I was instructed to start with the donkeys and work my way clockwise, ending with the lorikeet birds.  I did as told.
Donkeys at Ostrich Farm

After feeding a couple of asses I headed towards the European Fallow Deer.

I was confused me for a minute. I come from a town where deer roam wild and if you are not careful they will eat your homes landscape or if they are not careful, you find them on the freeway. Seeing them penned up was out of character.
Deer at Ostrich Farm Deer at Ostrich Farm

The goats were next up in the rotation and I immediately thought I had left the zoo and entered the circus as they popped there head out of a decorative cutout hole. Too peculiar. I moved on.
Goats at Ostrich Farm

As I made my way to the ostriches they appeared to be kindly minding their own business.

Then I arrived…with my cup of food and mouths started to gape.

I hesitantly tossed a pellet towards them to see if they could catch. Nope.
Ostrich Picture
Ostrich Picture

As I stepped closer to nourish them, I saw the warning sign. Ostrich Bite. This was not enough for me to heed the notice.

Look, this little living dinosaur is behind a fence. What harm could he possibly do?
Ostrich Bite Picture

There was still no cause for fear when he peeked his eyeballs ever so slightly over the fence.

I got closer to the security barrier with a pellet in one hand and my camera in the other. 

My intention was to feed the ostrich through the protective grates. I raised my camera hand in the air and, in a second, this hungry sucker popped his head over and bit my finger. Wrong hand dumbass. I was talking to myself.

I am now finished feeding the ostriches.
Ostrich Peeking over fence

I stomped away bitter about being bit by an ostrich, but then this donkey smiled at me and made it all better. True story.
Smiling Donkey at Ostrich Farm

Lastly, I went to the bird cage to see what a Lorikeet actually is.

Lorikeets are rainbow colored birds that are a member of the parrot family. They primarily eat nectar and pollen from fruit and flowers.

Luckily, I just so happen to have some nectar handy. Included in the five buck fee.
Lorikeets at Ostrich Farm Lorikeets at Ostrich Farm

The Lorikeets immediately flocked when I opened my nectar. I thought about putting the container on my head, but didn’t want to get crap on my hat. Wise choice.
Annette White with Lorikeet

That wrapped up my afternoon feeding the animals at Rooster Cogburn. I may never feed an ostrich again.

But, I would go back…for the smiling donkey.

Have you ever been bitten by an animal? Would you go to this Ostrich Ranch?

2018-12-21T17:54:36+00:00May 29th, 2012|Categories: Arizona, North America, TRAVEL|


  1. CeCe May 29, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

    That donkey looks like he is saying "That's what you get for trying to feed the ostrich!"

  2. Laura May 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Very interesting story…the goats through the wall are very weird. The deers are so cute though!

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      Agreed. goats + hole in wall = odd!

  3. John May 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    I'm not sure I'd try to feed an ostrich after that story – but the donkey picture is awesome!

  4. Jeff B May 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    I have driven by this place hundreds of times on my way from Phoenix to Tucson and have never stopped.  One of these day I might but I will stay away from the Ostrich.  Did you get to ride the big lifted bus that they have?

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      No, the “monster truck” only gives tours on the weekend & I went during the week 🙁

  5. ava apollo May 30, 2012 at 9:53 am - Reply

    I cracked up at your observation of the pay-us-so-you-can-feed-our-animals scheme.  Sounds like all profit to me.  I better start collecting goats and smiling donkeys.  

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 30, 2012 at 11:49 am - Reply

      LOL! I would only collect smiling donkeys 🙂

  6. sienna May 30, 2012 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    wow what a cool story, ostriches seem kinda scary!! but the birds are beautiful

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      I am sure they are nicer under different circumstances 🙂

  7. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures May 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Hahahaha I love that donkey pic! I'm so sorry you got bit ouch!!!!!

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks! That photo still makes me smile 🙂

  8. My Muses For the Month of May - Be My Travel Muse | Be My Travel Muse June 1, 2012 at 11:13 am - Reply

    […] that same vein, Getting Bit By An Ostrich. Not on the Bucket List on Bucket List Journey made me laugh several times as well, mostly  because of the witty dialogue […]

  9. Cassie June 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Yes, that donkey photo kills me! What a charmer! He knows you wouldn't buy his head in a Peruvian market 🙂

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey June 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm - Reply


  10. Jonathan Look, Jr. June 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Now that looks totally schlocky and overly commercial AND at the same time I don't think I could have resisted either. What a fun experience!

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey June 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      Definitely more commercial than true farm-like, but a fun day trip.

  11. Fidel June 3, 2012 at 5:55 am - Reply

    Ha ha, sorry you got bitten, but you have a hilarious writing style. I love this post, especially the images. Like Cece said, that donkey does look like it is giving you a laugh. Follow the warnings next time, eh.

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey June 3, 2012 at 7:01 am - Reply

      Yep, the ass is laughing at me, I’m surprised he didn’t bite me too 😉

  12. Michelle June 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Haha that donkey photo is priceless! 🙂

  13. Juliann June 6, 2012 at 5:46 am - Reply

    I have to hand it to you — I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to attempt feeding the ostrich after I saw that sign. I did once go to a Chimp Farm and saw a sign that said "We all spit."
    I learned my lesson there…

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey June 6, 2012 at 6:28 am - Reply

      LOL! I probably would have been spit on too 😉

  14. Sara July 11, 2012 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Oh, man, I can't believe you went there! LOL, I'm from Tucson and we always pass that place on the way to Phoenix and I've never gone in. Now I may have to check it out when I'm back there. I'll be sure to be careful with the ostriches. 

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey July 11, 2012 at 9:33 am - Reply

      I used to live in Chandler and occasionaly worked in Tucson, but never went. Finally, on my last visit to Arizona I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

  15. 5 Colors. 5 Photos. 5 Travel Memories. - Bucket List Journey January 26, 2013 at 11:40 am - Reply

    […] After being bit by an ostrich at the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch in Arizona, this donkey smiled at me and made it all better. […]

  16. Creamy Goat Cheese Truffles at Maui's Surfing Goat Dairy February 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    […] We arrived at the dairy and were immediately struck by the six newborn goats, all under five days old. Though the sign above their pen instructed us not to let them suck on our fingers, there was nothing said about refraining from petting the babies. That's good because I can't resist touching things. Unless it is an ostrich. Ostrich bite. […]

  17. Kerry July 8, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    So the donkey was not so much smiling as leering at you for your fearlessness. I have never heard of those birds. I am glad they didn’t bite you too. My cousin was scratched by a tiger on the arm once.

  18. Nicole August 23, 2015 at 9:38 am - Reply

    I planned a trip for my family here as we were driving to Tucson. I have a fear of ostriches (they are mean!) so I stuck to the birds and donkeys mostly. the goats took one of my kids’ entire bucket of food (including the bucket) and turned his head just right to pull it back behind the wall. It was crazy and hilarious. We had fun and it was worth the hour and the cash. I was glad I found this place. 🙂

    • Annette White August 24, 2015 at 8:36 am - Reply

      Ostriches are kind of mean! I had no idea before I arrived. The donkeys were sweet and cute though 🙂

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