February 4, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 19°F


Cango Ostrich Farm

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard that IES was bringing us to an ostrich farm. My only frame of reference was that it would be like visiting a dairy farm outside of Ithaca, which would be quite boring. I was proven wrong.

We were dropped off at Cango Ostrich Farm, which is not far from Oudshroon, South Africa (a huge touristy area) and started our tour with the egg room. Each ostrich can lay more than one hundred eggs. About half of which are taken from the ostrich and sold in stores or have the shell used for decorative purposes. The remaining eggs will stay with their parents until they hatch and then until they become adults.

Ostriches are raised for many purposes such as for their feathers and for racing but the most common use is for food. And no, it does not taste like chicken.

We met “Betsy” a retired ostrich whose job was to greet guests and give “kisses” (see photo). If you have never seen an ostrich in person, they are huge birds, as tall and faster than the average human. So imagine being pecked on the lips by one of those creatures!

Later at the hostel, we were served a delicious dinner of ostrich. Some say it was Betsy. We will never know. It was delicious.


Learn Xhosa (a South African Language)!

Igama iam nguMichelle = My name is Michelle

Eee-gahm-a yaaam goo-(your name)


Molo ujani? = hello, how are you?

Mo-low oo-jahn-ee


Betsy was the first ostrich to greet us at the farm.


Our tour guide demonstrates how to determine if an egg is fertilized. The yolk shows up as a shadow when placed on the lightbox and if there is a dark spot on it, the egg is fertilized.


Betsy the ostrich gives tourists kisses. You can receive an ostrich kiss by putting a food pellet in between your lips and standing still until the ostrich takes it from you.


Case Western Reserve University junior Christine Yeh rides an ostrich at the farm.


IES Cape Town Student Affairs and Programme Coordinator Maxine Jacobs and Indiana University junior Tessa Rabinowitz stand on top of ostrich eggs.