Do Ostriches Eat Meat? Are They Safe To Eat?

Ostriches are very adaptable eaters, and natural and farmed ostriches may have quite different diets. Their long necks make it easy to reach their favorite foods, including plants, stems, and acorns. 

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Like other long plant-eaters like giraffes and elephants, Ostriches are forager, yet it spends its days bending down rather than reaching up. 

Ostriches are omnivores who eat a wide variety of vegetation and animals. Even though small animals, insects, and hunting make up a minor amount of an ostrich’s diet, it is nevertheless an essential element of the diet of wild ostriches.

Ostriches will scavenge and consume the remnants of animals left by carnivorous hunters, even though they are not predators who seek out or go after tiny animals.

Is Ostrich an Omnivorous?

Yes! Ostriches are omnivores who consume everything they may find in their environment.

Technically, Ostriches are not carnivores or herbivores since they do not consume just meat, nor are they technically herbivores since they don’t strictly consume plants. 

Ostriches are omnivorous animals that consume almost anything they come upon, even foods that many other animals are unable to process.

They mainly eat plants, especially roots, stems, and seeds, although they will also eat insects, reptiles, lizards, and mice if they approach close enough.

They, like many other species, may ingest sand and tiny stones to assist digestion. In the gizzards of the birds, this forms an efficient grinding mechanism. 

Related Read: Do Ostriches Eat Stones, Pebbles, And Rocks?

What Type of Meat do Ostriches Eat?

As we know,  Ostriches are omnivores and eat both plants and animals. There is no specific type of meat that they like to consume.  

The meat included in their diet comes from eating locusts, snakes,  lizards, frogs,  grasshoppers,  rats,  bugs, moths,  crickets, and rodents. 

Wild Ostriches living in plains and woodlands also consume the meat coming from small tortoises,  wildebeest, and zebras if they are available along the way.

Related Read: Do Ostriches Live In Zoos?

Do Ostrich Hunt or Scavenge for Meat?

No,  ostriches are not hunters, they do not seek out to prey on other animals.  The fact that they are omnivores means they can eat small animals and insects. They consume whatever they can acquire in their environment since they are omnivores.

They like to eat the leftovers of the animals hunted by other predators in the surrounding area and thus they are counted as a scavenger who likes to eat dead bodies or decaying animals.  In particular,  only wild ostriches are scavengers, and feeding on dead animals is a small portion of their diet.  

Related Read: Can You Ride An Ostrich? (Ostrich Riding And Everything About It )

Can an Ostrich Kill a Lion?

One can probably wonder who would win in a fight between an Ostrich and a lion. Lions are strong but surprisingly an Ostrich can easily fight and kill a lion. 

Not only Lions, but they can also kill any predators and potentially a human because they have strong legs. Deaths from kicks are rare but are true. 

Ostriches with their advantage of height and long legs have dangerous kicks which can result in the death of any predator and a human too.  

While an Ostrich is the only bird with two toes, it makes us wonder how their claws and kicks are fatal but guess what they have tricks. 

Using a slash from the right angle an Ostrich can fight the predators making it their worst day to hunt.  

Is meat safe to Eat for Ostriches?

The meat consumed by Ostriches only includes eating small animals like lizards, rats, and snakes or feeding on dead animals left over. Eating small animals and their meat is safe in all ways for Ostriches. 

Usually, wild Ostriches have access to eating meat and thus they have a diet with different nutrients and minerals coming from a variety of animals. The meat does not harm Ostriches, instead, it helps them to avoid deficiencies. 

They get a diet rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc, Manganese, Iodine, and Selenium. 

The diet helps them to avoid deficiencies like early mortality, low hatchability, low egg production, twisted hocks, shortened bones, embryonic abnormalities, and many more. 

Related Read: Do Birds Eat Meat? | Is Meat Bad for Birds? | What kind of birds eat meat?


Ostriches can adjust their internal body temperature since they are warm-blooded. The habitat of these magnificent birds has gotten severely depleted as a result of overhunting. 

They can execute a strong kick with their enormous leg muscles that may badly hurt or even kill an assailant, even though being able to only kick straight. 

Ostriches are omnivores who consume nearly anything they can get their hands on. They consume a wide range of foods, including seeds, plant debris, lizards, and frogs.

Ostriches, despite their pleasant appearance, may get quite deadly. So approach with caution if you plan on seeing them at a national park!