Saturday 20 June 2015

I petted an ostrich - and I liked it

One of the great things about living with a hobby breeder is that they know a lot of other hobby breeders. And some are more adventurous than others. Take Jim, for example: Not only does he have the usual ducks, geese and swans like the rest of them, but also more exotic birds. Worth mentioning are three breeds in particular: his crown crane Phyllis, his emus, and the ostriches. 

I didn't get a good picture of Phyllis, but if you want to see what they look like just click here. What's special about her is that she adopted the babies of a pair of black swans, despite the parents being there as well. She is basically the nanny that never leaves, and follows them around everywhere. Not a bad deal for the parents, right?
This pretty bird is Eddie the Emu. I have known Eddie ever since he was a chick, which happened to be at the same time when Jim's Great Pyrenees dog was a puppy. Those two were thick as thieves, and played constantly together. I can pretty much guarantee that you have never seen anything cuter than a baby emu and a puppy playing together! Sadly I don't have any pictures, which is a shame. I'm sure Jim does though. 

They are still the best of friends now, four years later. Eddie and Karma are about the same size, 140 pounds, even though Eddie is a lot taller, about 5'5". 
Oh, and as it turned out, Eddie is actually a girl - Caitlyn got company ;-)
Jim used to have ostriches a few years ago, but sold them. After several ostrich-free years he bought new ones last week! First a couple, who were supposed to be boy and girl. As it turns out they are both girls, so he bought another one that he is fairly sure is a boy. He will have to do genetic testing to confirm it. Sexing birds is not easy, let me tell ya. 
These three are still teenagers, only a year old. They are not fully grown yet, and their feathers will change colour to mostly black. 
That's me meeting them for the first time.
 Bribing them with treats. 
I'm petting an ostrich!!
"Yes, you can stop now."
Look at those legs. 
They are fascinating birds, and I'm a little less scared of them now than I was before. They are very curious, and like to poke at shiny or brightly coloured objects. Jim's glasses in his front shirt pocket were of great interest to them, they kept trying to grab them. 

Happy weekend my friends!



  1. Ostriches are such funny birds! I can never forget the scene in "Swiss Family Robinson" where they're riding one haha

  2. There are videos on YouTube of ostrich races where people ride them, it's so crazy! Their legs are incredibly strong, and with their long necks and tiny heads they are bizarre looking.

  3. those legs! i'd be so scared if i stood so close. they always look as if they're about to attack ^^

  4. Yes, you definitely don't want to make any hasty movements around them, they don't like that. But they are essentially flight animals and would rather run away instead of attacking. They remind me of dinosaurs, they appear like something out of this world :-)

  5. Wow! You look like such a natural with them. I would've been scared to death. And I can only imagine how cute a baby emu and puppy would look together!!

  6. I loooove the legs! Totally remind me of Jurassic Park or Land Before Time dinosaurs :)

  7. That's so cool! I need to get to know some farmers!

  8. They are so tall!! I am a little surprised by that. I also think it is so sweet that she's a nanny to the black swan babies. :)

  9. I know, right? They are otherworldly creatures.

  10. Totally amazing, I had never seen anything like it!
    We are toying with the idea of getting our own emu. Ostriches are way too big and scary (and eat a TON), but an emu is doable ... If we do get one, you will never hear the end of it, there will be emu pictures galore haha :-)

  11. It's such an interesting lifestyle. Talking to these men about their animals is heartwarming, because their eyes light up and they get all emotional talking about their critters <3

  12. So cute! It happens more often in the animal world than you might think, it's so adorable. Rich used to have a dog who adopted kittens whose mom had bee run over, and the dog actually started to produce milk and nursed the kittens! Nature is amazing.


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