Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Santa Ynez Valley Home To Solvang, Chumash Casino, Wineries...And An Ostrich Ranch?

(KCLU photo)
One of the more than 100 ostriches and emus at Solvang's "Ostrichland"

Orange County has Disneyland. San Diego County has Legoland. And, Solvang has "Ostrichland."

The Central Coast has a lesser known "land" that’s home to some of the largest, and fastest birds on the plant. You kind find nine foot tall ostriches eating feed out of trays held by a visitors to a ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley called “Ostrichland.”

The 35 acre ranch just off of Highway 246, on the outskirts of Solvang is home to around 100 ostriches and emus. It was started four decades ago as a ranch to raise ostritches like cattle, for meat. You could get ostrichburgers.

(KCLU photo)
Visitors can feed ostriches and emus at "Ostrichland"

But, two decades ago Trudy Brown bought the ranch, turning it into a safe haven for the huge birds. The focus turned to tourism.

Because “Ostrichland” is on one of the main highways in the Santa Ynez Valley, many visitors find it by accident. They’re headed to Solvang, or doing wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Some people are timid about feeding the birds, because they are so large. Even though there’s a fence, the ostritches and emus can be aggressive when the see a tray of food. But, they're just after the food, and most visitors say it's fun to feed them, while getting a closeup view of the huge birds at the same time.

“Ostrichland” is open from 9-5 seven days a week. Admission is $5 for adults, and $2 for kids $12 and other. For a buck, you can get a tray of food to feed the huge birds.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.