The renowned Ostrich Farm located in Barka, Oman is one of the Sultanate’s more unusual attractions. Devoted to this magnificent avian species this unique farm also features horses, camels and crocodiles which always enthral the visitor. Naturally the ostriches are the principal attraction, and a visitor will never forget the sight of a captivating ostrich chick which by the age of one month is about as large as a goose.
The ostrich is recognized as the largest avian species in the world, and as may be expected lays the largest egg of any bird variety. The flightless ostrich may be unable to take to the air, but it is capable of amazing running speed, reaching speeds of 70 kmh.
Adult male ostriches have predominantly black plumage with white touches in the tail and wing edges. Young males as well as females are grayish-brown and white. The neck and head of all ostriches are almost bare.
Interestingly both male and female ostriches take turns incubating and protecting their eggs. In fact the male bird takes the responsibility of sitting atop the eggs in the night time, while the female takes over in the daytime.
It is said that ostriches conserve and make the most of the moisture found in the plants they consume, permitting them to survive in inhospitable environments. Their wings may not permit these giant birds to fly, but they assist in balance while running and the males use them in courtship displays. Thick eyelashes protect the ostriches’ eyes from dirt and sandstorms.
Crocodiles are another highlight at the farm, which provides an opportunity to observe these ferocious predators conveniently and safely. In the wild crocodiles hunt by ambush, waiting for fish or land animals to come within reach. As cold-blooded animals they are able to go without food for extended periods of time. Interestingly crocodiles do not have sweat glands and therefore frequently sleep with their mouths open in order to release heat.