Why isn't an ostrich kosher?

David Baron (Davidb@accentsoft.com)
Sun, 17 Nov 1996 10:34:12 +0200

The Torah gives specific simanim (signs) for which animals we are permitted
to eat and forbidden, but for birds, it list specific species. Our sages
debated various combinations of simanim for birds (see mesechet [tractate]
Chulin). In fact, there are some folks who will not eat Turkey because
there was no masoret (tradition) that this was among the kosher birds.

Re, the simanim of chulin: Ostriches are not raptors (birds of prey). But
do they have the "extra finger" and the lined gullet that are also marks of
kosher birds? There is also debate in the gemorah [Talmud] whether the
birds needs ALL the signs or just one of them.