|My Other Critters|
|These interesting flightless birds are
|These birds are originally from the Andes Mountain area. They are totally flightless and can run speeds up to 40 mph. They have somewhat different ideas as to whom and what will go on in the fields.
The males will fight over the females until death sometimes, and they are quite agressive if bothered during the mating and hatching season. They are nearly impossible to get along with when they have young ones in the field.
The photo above is of my original pair of rheas and are 7 years old. They weigh about
70 pounds each, and stand about 5 feet tall when they stretch their necks up.
The females of course lay the eggs. The males make the nests and the females put the eggs around the nest and the male rolls the eggs into the nest. The males then have the
chore of sitting in the hot sun during the months of July and part of August. The incubation period is 45-50 days, and the little ones hatch weighing about a half pound each. It is the sole responsibility of the male to do the hatching, nest cleanup, and the raising of the chicks, if left to their own method of reproduction. I did not incubate the eggs preferring to let the birds live as naturally as possible. The females as a rule are pretty laid back and quite friendly.
|The photo to the left is TONY, the male rhea sitting on his nest of about 18 eggs.
He hatched 10 babies in this particular season. You can see that he really prefers that I would take a hike and let him tend to his business in private.
|The photo on the right are some week old chicks that I removed from the field and placed in a smaller pen where I could control their diet and give them the start they need as far as nutrition. Also it is better to do this for another reason. A lot of times the females will kill the chicks if they feel there is not an ample food supply or sometimes just don't want them around. I had one female that killed four of five chicks in the nest.|
|I no longer have these guys, since I was scheduled for two surgeries last summer and it would have been too much to have someone else take care of their needs, for more than a few days, so I sent them to a new home. I miss them also, but have to be practical sometimes.|
|Cleo browsing the field while Tony was sitting on the nest.|
|This is LASHES---the first chick that Tony and Cleo raised.
He was named this, because of his extremely long eyelashes.
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