Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch has been voted one of the best roadside attractions in America. I have to admit, we had more fun than I thought we’d have! We’ve driven by it so many times on the way to Phoenix but never stopped. Now we will be stopping regularly when we make the long drive up north.
The ranch is a family owned and operated working ostrich ranch located between Phoenix and Tucson at the base of Picacho Peak Mountain. You can interact with ostriches, donkeys, goats, deer, prairie dogs, ducks, lorikeets and a tortoise.
Summer hours are Friday – Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The ranch is open daily November – April.
The ranch is the largest privately owned ostrich ranch in the United States. You can read more about the ranch here.
Admission is $7.00 for ages 6 – 106 years old and includes a cup with feed for the donkeys, goats, deer and ostriches and a second cup with peanuts for the prairie dogs, a gold token for self-serve duck food and a small cup of nectar for the lorikeets. Kids under 5 are free and you can purchase feed or nectar refills for $2.00 each or any 3 feed refills for $5.00 if you don’t want to share.
Our first stop was Little Donkeytown, USA to visit with the Miniature Sicilian Donkeys. There are less than 10,000 of them left in the world.
Next we made our way to the Fallow Deer, a European breed that is easily domesticated and disease resistant. They were a bit overwhelming so J decided to toss the feed instead of letting them eat from her hand.
At the Goat Penthouse you can put some feed in a ball and crank it up to the goats. According to the sign the goats are up in the air because they love to be up high. They do have soft flooring, water and of course they get plenty of feed. They also come down every evening to rejoin their buddies on the ground.
The next stop was definitely J’s favorite – the Hole in the Wall Gang. These Boer Goats stick their heads out and eat. They are kind of creepy and cute all at the same time.
When I finally tore J away from The Hole in the Wall Gang, we made our way over to the ostriches. For safety, you can put their food in a chute and watch them eat on the other side of the fence. If you want to get up close and personal there is an area with a platform where you can feed them from your hand.
The peanuts can be tossed down to the prairie dogs over in Praire Dog Town, USA.
The Cabbage Patch Kids were a lot of fun. I wanted to take one home.
You will get wet if you stand too close to the ducks at Quackville, USA. Here you can trade in the gold token for some duck food.
Be prepared for a friendly bird attack when you enter the aviary. The lorikeets want their nectar. The second you walk in you will be bombarded. If the lid is still on your nectar the lorikeets will tear it off and try to take off with the cup. I suggest walking in with an open nectar container and your arm held out in front of you. Hold on to the cup because they will try to take it from you. If you do lose your cup and lid to the lorikeets don’t feel bad. There were cups and lids all over the place so it must happen to a lot of people. If you mange to hold onto them there are garbage cans as you walk out the door.
A tortoise also hangs out in the aviary.
Before you leave you can purchase a giant, hollow ostrich egg, feather duster or other ostrich related item if you so desire. We haven’t gotten an egg yet but I think we need one for our nature corner.
I’ll leave you with a few fun ostrich facts. You can read more here.
- Ostriches can live to be 75 years old.
- The ostrich is the largest living bird in the world.
- An ostrich egg is the largest of all eggs, however, it is the smallest egg in relation to the size of the bird.
- The ostrich is native to Africa but thrives all over the world. They are desert animals and can withstand droughts and high temperatures.