How to Train Ostriches: Techniques for Handling, Taming, and Training Ostriches

How to Train Ostriches: Techniques for Handling, Taming, and Training Ostriches

As a professional animal trainer with years of experience, I have worked with a wide variety of animals including elephants, lions, and even ostriches. Ostriches are fascinating creatures that can be trained and tamed with the right techniques and approach. In this article, I will share my personal experience and knowledge on how to train ostriches effectively.

Why Train Ostriches?

Ostriches are not only fascinating creatures, but they are also very useful for their meat, eggs, and feathers. However, they can be quite difficult to handle and manage, especially if they are not trained properly. Training ostriches can help make them more manageable and easier to handle, which is important for their safety and the safety of their handlers.

Techniques for Handling Ostriches

Handling ostriches requires a different approach than handling other animals. These birds are large, powerful, and can be quite aggressive if they feel threatened. Therefore, it is important to approach them with caution and respect. One effective technique for handling ostriches is to use positive reinforcement. This involves rewarding the bird for good behavior, such as following commands or allowing handlers to approach them without aggression.

  • Use positive reinforcement techniques to reward good behavior
  • Approach ostriches with caution and respect
  • Use protective gear such as gloves and helmets when necessary

Taming and Training Ostriches

Taming and training ostriches can take time and patience, but it is worth it in the end. One effective technique is to use food rewards to encourage the bird to learn new behaviors. For example, you can reward the bird for allowing you to approach it or for following simple commands such as “stop” or “go”. It is also important to establish trust with the bird by spending time with it and building a bond.

  1. Use food rewards to encourage learning
  2. Establish trust with the bird by spending time with it
  3. Be patient and consistent in your training approach


Training ostriches can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By using positive reinforcement techniques, approaching them with caution and respect, and establishing trust through patience and consistency, you can successfully train and tame these fascinating birds.


Understanding Ostriches

Ostriches are fascinating birds that belong to the ratite family. They are the largest living bird species, and they are known for their unique characteristics and behavior. Understanding ostriches’ behavior, communication, and socialization is essential when training them.

Behavior and Characteristics

Ostriches are known for their flightless nature and their powerful legs, which they use for defense and running. They have a unique skeletal structure that enables them to run at speeds of up to 43 miles per hour. Ostriches are also known for their long necks, which they use to see over tall grass and to communicate with other birds.

When ostriches feel threatened, they may use their legs to kick and defend themselves. They also have sharp beaks that they use to peck and defend themselves. Ostriches are social birds and live in groups called flocks. They are also known for their unique mating rituals, where the male will dance and make a booming sound to attract a mate.


Ostriches communicate using a variety of methods. They use vocalizations, such as hissing, grunting, and booming, to communicate with other birds. They also use body language, such as puffing up their feathers or lowering their heads, to communicate their mood and intentions.

When training ostriches, it is essential to understand their communication signals and respond appropriately. For example, if an ostrich is puffing up its feathers, it may be feeling threatened or agitated, and the trainer should approach with caution.


Ostriches are social birds and live in flocks. They are known for their hierarchical social structure, where dominant birds have priority access to food and mates. When training ostriches, it is important to understand their social dynamics and work within their established hierarchy.

Training ostriches requires patience, consistency, and a deep understanding of their behavior and communication. By understanding ostriches’ unique characteristics and socialization, trainers can establish a strong bond with their birds and achieve successful training outcomes.


Preparation for Training Ostriches

Housing and Environment

Before starting ostrich training, it is essential to ensure that the housing and environment are suitable for ostriches. Ostriches require a large, open space to roam around and exercise. Therefore, their housing must be spacious enough to accommodate their size and allow them to move freely.

Their environment should be clean, well-ventilated, and free from any potential hazards that may cause injury or disease. It is recommended to keep the temperature between 18-25°C to ensure the ostriches are comfortable.

Equipment and Supplies

Training ostriches require specific equipment and supplies to ensure their safety and facilitate the training process. The following are some essential items needed:

  • Training Stick: A training stick is an essential tool used to guide and direct ostriches during training. It should be long enough to keep the trainer at a safe distance from the ostrich.
  • Training Halter: A training halter is a device used to control the ostrich’s head movement during training. It should be well-fitted and comfortable for the ostrich.
  • Feed and Water: Ostriches require a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their health and energy levels during training. Clean water should always be available to them.
  • First Aid Kit: A first aid kit is essential in case of any injuries or accidents during training. It should contain all necessary medical supplies and equipment.

Having the proper equipment and supplies ensures that the ostriches are safe and comfortable during training, making the process more effective and efficient.


By ensuring that the housing and environment are suitable for ostriches and having the proper equipment and supplies, trainers can create a safe and conducive environment for training ostriches.


Basic Training Techniques

Training ostriches can be a challenging task, but with patience, persistence, and the right techniques, it is possible to establish a strong bond with these magnificent birds. Here are some basic training techniques that you can use to handle, tame, and train ostriches:

Establishing Trust

Before you start training an ostrich, it is important to establish trust and build a relationship with the bird. You can do this by spending time with the bird, talking to it, and offering it treats. Be patient and gentle, and avoid sudden movements or loud noises that may startle the bird.

Target Training

Target training is a useful technique for teaching ostriches to follow commands and perform specific behaviors. To target train an ostrich, you need a target stick, which can be a simple stick or a specialized tool. Hold the target stick in front of the ostrich and reward the bird with a treat when it touches the stick with its beak. Repeat this process until the bird learns to touch the stick on command.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful training technique that involves rewarding the ostrich for good behavior. This can be done with treats, verbal praise, or other rewards that the bird finds appealing. Use positive reinforcement to encourage the bird to perform desired behaviors and to discourage unwanted behaviors.

By using these basic training techniques, you can establish a strong bond with your ostrich and train it to perform a variety of behaviors. Remember to be patient, persistent, and gentle, and to always use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior.


Advanced Training Techniques

Teaching Commands

Teaching commands is an essential part of ostrich training. Commands such as “stop,” “go,” “turn,” and “back up” are crucial for controlling and directing the bird’s movement. To teach a command, start with a simple action and a verbal cue. For example, to teach the “stop” command, stop the ostrich and say “stop” firmly. Repeat this process until the ostrich associates the word with the action. Gradually increase the difficulty of the command and reward the bird for following through.

Desensitization Training

Desensitization training involves getting the ostrich used to different stimuli such as loud noises, strange objects, and people. This type of training helps to reduce the bird’s fear and anxiety, making it more docile and easier to handle. Start by introducing the ostrich to new objects or sounds gradually. Reward the bird for being calm and relaxed around the new stimuli. Over time, increase the intensity of the stimuli until the ostrich is desensitized to them.

Trick Training

Trick training is a fun way to keep the ostrich engaged and mentally stimulated. It also helps to build a stronger bond between the bird and its handler. Start with simple tricks such as “shake” or “spin” and gradually increase the difficulty level. Use positive reinforcement such as treats and praise to encourage the ostrich to perform the trick. However, be careful not to overdo it as ostriches can get easily bored and lose interest.

Examples of Trick Training
Trick Description
Jump through a hoop Train the ostrich to jump through a hoop held by the handler.
Fetch Teach the ostrich to pick up and bring back objects such as balls or toys.
Bow Train the ostrich to bow its head on command.


Safety Tips and Considerations

Handling and Restraint

When handling ostriches, it is important to keep in mind that they are large and powerful animals that can cause serious harm if not handled properly. Here are some safety tips to consider:

  • Always approach an ostrich calmly and quietly to avoid startling them.
  • Avoid making sudden movements or loud noises around ostriches as this can agitate them.
  • When handling ostriches, wear protective clothing such as gloves and sturdy boots to avoid injury.
  • Use a halter or lead rope to control the ostrich’s head and neck during handling.
  • When restraining an ostrich, avoid putting pressure on their chest as this can restrict their breathing and cause distress.
  • Never try to lift or carry an ostrich alone as their weight can be too much to handle.

Health and Wellness

Ensuring the health and wellness of your ostriches is crucial to their overall well-being and successful training. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Provide a clean and spacious living environment for your ostriches to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Feed your ostriches a balanced diet that includes a mixture of grains, vegetables, and protein.
  • Ensure that your ostriches have access to fresh water at all times.
  • Regularly monitor your ostriches for signs of illness or injury and seek veterinary care when necessary.
  • Practice good hygiene when handling your ostriches to prevent the spread of disease.
Handling and restraining ostriches requires caution and protective clothing. It is important to approach them calmly and quietly to avoid agitation. When it comes to the health and wellness of ostriches, providing a clean living environment, a balanced diet, and access to fresh water is crucial. Regular monitoring and veterinary care are also important for their well-being.



Training ostriches can be a challenging but rewarding experience. It requires patience, consistency, and a deep understanding of these majestic birds. By following the techniques outlined in this article, you can successfully handle, tame, and train ostriches to perform various tasks.

Remember to Start Slow

When starting to train an ostrich, it is essential to take things slow. Begin by building trust with the bird and gaining its confidence before moving on to more complex tasks. Always use positive reinforcement and avoid punishment-based training methods.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when training ostriches. Stick to a regular training schedule and keep the training sessions short to avoid overwhelming the bird. Be patient and persistent, and eventually, your ostrich will start to respond positively to your commands.

Use Proper Equipment

Using the right equipment is crucial when training ostriches. Make sure to use high-quality gear that fits properly to ensure the safety of both you and the bird. Additionally, always wear protective clothing and gear to avoid injury.

Seek Professional Help

If you are new to ostrich training or are struggling to make progress, consider seeking professional help. There are many experienced trainers who can provide guidance and support to help you achieve your training goals.

With dedication, patience, and the right techniques, anyone can successfully train ostriches. Remember to start slow, stay consistent, use proper equipment, and seek professional help if needed. Happy training!

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