Are ostriches dangerous?

Ostriches have a goofy look: big eyes, long neck. Because of that goofy look you might think that they are friendly too. Is that indeed the case?

Are Ostriches dangerous? Ostriches can be dangerous to humans and can become aggressive when they defend their territory and eggs or if they feel threatened. They attack using their long muscular legs with long sharp claws on their feet, kicking forward and downward and also by knocking down the intruder with their bony breast plate.

Do they attack only animals or humans as well? Can the attack be deadly? Do they get irritated easily and attack easily? Is it possible to domesticate one? We will find out all of that and even more in this post!

Ostriches are big flightless birds. In fact they are the biggest birds. A mature male can weigh 400 lbs (c. 200 kg) and reach 8 feet (2.5 m) height. They can run fast reaching 40 mph (70 km/h). They have really big eyes capable of seeing objects as far as 7.5 miles away (12 km).

Learn how to raise your own quail and have an unlimited supply of eggs and meat.

Ostriches are dangerous not only because they are big, strong and fast but also because they are dumb. They feel threatened very easily and this is when they get aggressive. It is best not to provoke them at all.

It is very hard to train them and teach them anything. They learn very slowly and forget fast. Raising and teaching them some simple things can take months.

If they feel threatened they attack. When they attack they run toward the victim and try to knock him down with their bony breast plate. 

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The most dangerous weapon they have is their long muscular legs with 4 inch (10 cm) long talons on the two fingers on each foot. They can kill a lion with that kick

Can they do the same with humans? It has happened in the past but it unusual that an ostrich attack ends up being deadly. When ostriches attack humans they rather fracture ribs and bones. That’s not to say that they aren’t dangerous. 

They are territorial birds, meaning that they defend their territory aggressively. If they perceive an animal or a human as an intruder they will attack and do anything to defend their territory.

The nest being the center of the territory where the eggs are ostriches get aggressive if they feel that the nest is in and eggs are in danger. They will attack whoever tries to take away the eggs.

An Ostrich eye is bigger than an ostrich brain


Not only are they aggressive and fast runners but also slow in understanding. All that makes them a pretty dangerous animal.

What type of injuries do ostriches cause?

Ostriches avoid humans in the wild as they assess them as potential risk and so they run away. Nonetheless if they feel their chicks and nest is being attacked or they feel they are concerned they might turn aggressive attack.

Ostriches primarily attack kicking downward and forward using their strong leg and claws causing slashes and lacerations to the abdomen and/or limbs.

When they knock the victim down to the ground with their bony breast plate they fracture ribs and bones using their body weight.

There are quite a few instances when ostriches caused injuries to the head.

Having said that the question you might be asking is it possible to keep an ostrich at all? Can it be kept as pet? Can it be domesticated?

Can you keep an ostrich as a pet?

You cannot keep an ostrich as pet as they grow big (400 lbs) they become easily aggressive and they are difficult to train. 

Someone seeing an ostrich chick just after hatching might think how cute it is and how wonderful it would be to have one at home as a pet. Well, they’re indeed cute just after hatching, but they forget about how fast they grow and how big they grow.

Ostriches grow incredibly fast. Ostriches hatch with 3.5 lbs. By 1 year of age they weigh around 220 lbs (100 kgs). An Ostrich reaches its maturity by the age of 2.5 when a female weigh 300 lbs (150 kgs) and a male weighs 400 lbs (c. 200 kgs)

They grow 6-8 foot (2-2.5 m) tall and they need plenty of space to keep them. 

As already stated ostriches are slow to learn and quick to forget. They are particularly hard to train. You find much joy in training them as it will take him forever to learn.

Can ostriches be domesticated? If you mean by domesticating that they can be kept as livestock then the answer is yes. If you think of it as the domestication of a dog then no.

Ostriches are heard to train. Nonetheless they can be a valuable livestock to keep. If you want to know more about that in detail read this article.


Ostrich are indeed very dangerous animals to keep although not impossible. There are quite a few in the US and elsewhere in the world that manage to make a living of ostrich farming. But you need to know how to handle these birds. I hope I was able to help you bit.


Sam is an outdoor enthusiast, who loves spending time in the garden and learning about animals. His motivating forces are his wife and 5 beautiful children. When he doesn't get it right, he will go and try again!

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