Rheas came into our lives shortly after we bought the
property. We had seen a few in small fairs and petting zoos and thought
they'd not only be a nice addition to the place, but we might stand to
make a little money raising and selling them. Well, we apparently
weren't the ONLY ones in the U.S. that thought that they'd be the next
"big seller" and we lost our shirts on 'em. They surely ARE an interesting
addition to any small ranchette. They'll stay in a pen made of any
48 inch wire if they're introduced to at an early age. Our SIX birds
only eat about 5lbs of feed a day..(plus the grass that they eat).
(Adult Male) (Adult Female)
Adult males grow to about 5 feet tall and weigh approximately
75lbs in a little more than a year.
Hens grow just as quick and as tall, but will weigh closer to 60lbs. Both males and females tend
to run a little on the skiddish side, (easily frightened), until their breeding season..at which point
the male becomes very aggessive! After you've been dealing with them for a while, this
aggressiveness becomes something you can work around for a few months with very little trouble.
We blow out the contents of ALL of our Rhea eggs every year and sell the shells for art's and crafts projects. Below is a link to several pages that show (at a crude level) some of the things I've come up with to do with them over the years. You can either go there or back to the farm if "egg-art" doesn't appeal to you, but who knows? .. It just might be EGGS-ACTLY what you didn't expect to find...
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