Diet Preferences of Sub-Species of Ostrich (Struthio Camelus Camelus and Struthio Camelus Molybdophanes) at Langano Ostrich Farm, Abijata Shalla Lakes National Park, Ethiopia


  • Girma Mengesha Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Afework Bekele Department of Zoological Sciences
  • Yosef Mamo Hawassa University


Diet preferences, Food items, Ostriches, Plant species


This study investigated diet preferences of two sub-species of ostriches (Struthio camelus camelus and S. c. molybdophanes) at Langano Ostrich Farm during the dry and wet seasons of 2009. Observations on the food items consumed and food leftovers were recorded. Observations were made five hours a day for 40 days for the natural food items consumed by the ostriches during morning (06:00 h-10:00 h) and in the afternoon (16:00 h-18:00 h). Twenty observations at an interval of five minutes were made to determine the frequency of natural diet consumed by the ostriches. Prepared food and wheat bran were given to the ostriches for five days and the frequency of consumption was recorded for 100 minutes. Ostriches consumed various parts of eight major plant species of eight families. On an average, the leaves of succulent grass, Cenchrus ciliaris was consumed most (41%) during both seasons. The leaves of Acacia tortilis, Balanites aegyptiaca and pods of A. tortilis were the most frequently consumed plant materials. Though both sub-species preferred the succulent grass during both seasons, the frequency of consumption was higher for the blue-necked ostrich (43-49%). Wheat bran was the most preferred (93.7%) by both sub-species among the prepared food items. The ostriches also consumed mineral salt and faeces of other animals and their own