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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Ostriches and monster truck tours make the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch worth a trip

    Justice Amarillas
    A deer on display at the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Farm on Feb 6. The Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Farm has a variety of activities including animal feedings and a monster truck tour.

    Located at historic Picacho Peak, the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch showcases desert nature and wildlife fun for people of all ages. The farm’s friendly and knowledgable staff team teaches visitors more about the Sonoran Desert and (of course) the ever-so-unique ostriches.

    Pricing at the ranch runs is fair with a combo special that includes feeding the animals and a monster truck ride for $20. Upon arrival and payment, guests receive two blue cups that hold green chalk-like crumbs, a stick of seeds, a few carrot slices and a cup of nectar to feed the animals with.

    The ranch’s layout divides into different sections and the staff encourages guests to follow a circular pattern to fully enjoy the experience.

    The left side contains various fenced-off acres that house miniature donkeys, deer and full-grown goats. While the fencing is formidable, visitors are welcome to hand-feed the donkeys, deer and goats. Guest can simply take out some feed, hold out their hands and let the animals slurp up the food.

    The middle section houses the female ostriches. While the hens seem peaceful and curious, the ranch has outlawed hand-feeding them due to their reputation for biting. However, funnel cups allow guests to pour feed into the ostriches’ lair. Watching a group of massive birds fight over a funnel can be quite entertaining.

    The final section of the ranch contains baby goats, ducks, bunnies and the ranch’s Rainbow Lorikeet Forest. Visitors can enter a cage filled with flying lorikeets within the aforementioned forest.

    Despite the mantle of “ostrich ranch” in the name, the highlight of the farm turns out to be the Monster Truck Tour. Initially, riders sit calmly in the monster truck and enjoy a closer look at the life of an ostrich. Guests can see a real-life nest occupied by two ostrich mates, plus larger, more intimidating flocks of the male ostriches known as roosters. Ostrich eggs, hides and feathers are passed around inside the truck, allowing guests further hands-on interaction with the giant birds.

    After the ostrich-filled portion of the monster truck tour, the guide takes guests on a dust-kicking, fast-paced ride. With steep hills and a ton of sharp turns, the ride provides some intense desert thrills. Tour guide Robert Eicher, who has been driving for the past year and a half, expressed the fun he has as a monster truck tour guide.

    “I like to entertain,” Eicher said. “ I love being the center of attention when explaining the life of the ostriches. It’s always nice to hear the children’s laughter and the audience’s feedback. I love the ostriches. A lot of folks are afraid of them, but I’m not. “

    The ranch invites the guests to go “ostrich fishing,” an event that brings people and the animals closer together. From a high platform with a rod, a string and a few oranges, guests “fish” for ostriches that love to yank oranges right off the poles. It’s not everyday you get to feed a herd of ostriches some oranges—much less off a pole.

    Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Farm owner Lucille Cogburn reaffirmed the beauty of the farm, and her love for entertainment.

    “We’ve been entertaining since 1993,” Cogburn said. “We started out in Oklahoma, and decided to bring it over here to Arizona. This is the biggest ostrich farm in the U.S.”

    Whether you’re looking for a new and unique thrill, or want to get close with the wildlife of the Sonoran Desert, check out the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch.

    Follow Sammy Cherukuri on Twitter

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