Ostrich Land - Ostrich Farm in Buellton California


For years, guests have drooled with delight when they contemplate a Buellton stop on Highway 101. After youu've driven from Santa Barbara through the Gaviota Pass on Highway 101 going north, there are only one or two restaurants and no gas or hotel services until you arrive in Buellton.  From Santa Maria, there are many restaurants you may have stopped at before arriving in Solvang. But when a craving for split pea soup will not go away, save yourself for a road stop in Buellton.  Andersen's Split Pea Soup restaurant is visible from the highway and is the hub of activity.  A visitors center, restaurant and hotel are most always buzzing with guests seeking the famous green soup which is served up by the gallons, in a small city near Solvang along the Central California Coast. 


From San Francisco: Hwy 101 S to Hwy 246, turn right 1 block. Be sure to bring a camera and take a picture in one of the funny, wooden painted sets in which you place your head in the slot and become part of the scene.  Area Attractions include:  Winery tours, Wine tasting - 5 to 6 miles, Horse Ranches, Golf, Antiques - 5 to 6 miles, Art Galleries - 5 to 6 miles in Los Olivos and  Solvang - 3 miles.

Located near two missions, La Purisima Concepcion and Solvang Mission, the green rolling hills in Buellton and the surrounding area are breathtaking.  Also quite colorful and fragrant are the flowers planted for seed in nearby Lompoc, known as Valley of the Flowers.  Flower viewing occurs during the summer months of  June and July, usually. The drive to Lompoc takes approximately 20 to 25  minutes. 

 

Ostrich Land 


610 E. Highway 246, Buellton  Information:  (805) 686-9696

In existence for several years, Buellton's Ostrich Land is a great side trip to your Central California Coast visit.  Across Highway 101 is the famous Andersen's Spit Pea Soup restaurant with a Visitor's Center where you can find brochures and maps. If you don't get your "fill", stop by Ostrich Land, a farm which raises up to 300 ostriches.

Ostrich Land produces ostrich chicks through breeders, feathers, eggs, ostrich meat and unique leather used for briefcases and boots.  Children and adults delight in a visit to the farm where you can place a quarter (25 cents) in a dispenser and purchase a pan full of food. Adult ostriches stick their heads through the fencing and eat right out of your pan with the food disappearing quickly. The chicks are shy and generally avoid contact with humans so don't expect them to come up and eat. 

 

What's all the fuss over birds that never take flight? Their meat tastes similar to beef but is leaner and has less fat, according to ostrich farmers. It's taken 150 years for the idea to catch on in California but the coast offers a temperate climate much to the birds' liking. And though ostrich burgers are seldom found in restaurants locally, South Africans have grown and ranched the birds successfully since 1857.
 

Ostrich Facts:
Runs up to 45 miles per hour 
Only bird with 2 toes
Grows 1.5 pounds feathers / season
Hen lays 40 to 60 eggs per season
Eggs weighs 3 to 4 pounds each
It takes 42 days for an egg to hatch 

Chicks grow one foot per month till they reach full height but are not considered mature adults until the age of two to three years old. An adult consumes about 3.5 pounds of food per day, used to support the tall frame of 8 to 9 feet and weight of 250 to 350 pounds. 

Ostriches' native land is Africa. They do not feed on other animals but are vegetarians. They spend a large portion of their day eating.  A popular myth which is propagated in poems and songs is that ostriches stick their heads in the sand. Contrary to popular belief, they do not.  They are simply looking to the ground for food. 

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