Meat is a popular food choice for many human beings, animals, and birds. Not many species can resist the taste of meat and want to eat more. It is surprising for many that several birds are avid meat-eaters. When talking about meat-eating birds, everyone wants to know whether ostriches can eat it or not.
This largest bird is known for its odd eating habits which have made their owners wonder whether it is safe for ostriches to eat meat, do they like it?
Meat seems like an unusual food option for birds as most of the time, we have seen them feeding on grains and vegetation.
If you are planning on raising ostriches, it is important to know the safe food items to maintain the health of the bird.
Ostriches are not picky eaters, they are often busy searching for food underground or reaching up to get their favorite foods like stems, leaves, and plants.
Besides their favorite foods, it is important to figure out if they enjoy eating meat? Is it safe for them to eat meat?
Do Ostriches Eat Meat?
Yes, ostriches do eat meat as they are omnivorous. They are not very picky eaters, rather more adaptable, farmed, and wild ostriches follow different diets.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to food options for ostriches. As they are omnivores, they can eat a wide variety of animals and vegetation.
Even though the proportion of meat makes up a minor amount of the ostrich’s diet, nevertheless, meat is an essential part of their sustenance.
They may not go out of their way to hunt small animals, but they will not leave the remnants of the animals hunted by the carnivores.
Mostly, they rely on plants, stems, roots, seeds, and acorns for their regular diet.
Like other long plant-eaters, they are excellent foragers who spend most of their day bending down searching for food. Ostriches are neither herbivores nor carnivores, in simple terms, they do not just eat meat or their diet is strictly restricted to plants and vegetation only.
Ostriches Are Open to Eating Almost Anything
Being omnivores, ostriches are open to eating whatever is available. They are not overly fussy about their meals, eating almost anything.
Being omnivorous birds, they can easily consume anything that many birds and animals are unable to process.
They primarily eat plants, seeds, stems, and roots but ostriches also eat insects, reptiles, lizards, and mice when they approach close enough or are already dead. Ostrich can easily ingest meat along with small stones and pebbles that help with digestion.
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Types of Meat Ostriches Eat
Horses eat plants and animals but they are not very particular about the type of meat, preferably any type that is readily available.
Their meaty diet includes meat from locusts, snakes, lizards, frogs, grasshoppers, rats, bugs, moths, crickets, and rodents.
Wild ostriches also feast on small tortoises, wildebeest, and zebras if there are any leftovers available. As long as there is meat available in close proximity, ostriches will eat it regardless of the type.
Is it Safe For Ostriches to Eat Meat?
Since they can process and digest meat, it is safe in all ways for them to eat as much as they want.
Generally, the meat ostriches consume comes from lizards, rats, snakes, or remnants of dead animals. Captivated ostriches have a particular diet with specific meat proportions.
Wild ostriches get to eat more meat as on plains and woodlands they often encounter meat leftovers along the way.
The diet of a wild ostrich is different with several nutrients and minerals coming from a variety of animals.
Meat does not harm ostriches at all, in any way. Instead, it provides them with different nutrients to avoid deficiencies.
A diet with a significant amount of meat delivers Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc, Manganese, Iodine, and Selenium.
A meat-rich diet gives the bird power to combat early mortality, low hatchability, low egg production, twisted hocks, shortened bones, embryonic abnormalities, and many more.
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Do Ostriches Hunt For Meat?
Unlike carnivores, ostriches do not search or hunt for meat. Ostriches are not hunters or predators that actively seek out or prey on tiny animals. Being omnivores means ostrich eat small animals, insects, or anything available in their environment.
They like to eat dead or decaying animals and leftovers of the animals hunted by other predators.
They can be called scavengers but not hunters, as they only feed on dead animals, available in the surroundings.
Ostriches can consume pretty much anything available including meat. Meat makes up for a small portion of the ostrich’s diet providing all the essential nutrients to avoid deficiencies. Their diet includes a wide range of food items including seeds, plant debris, lizards, and frogs.