I found these eggs on Thursday, watched them all day to see the babies when they hatched. Wouldn't you know they hatched during the night and were gone by the next morning.
Turtle eggs perhaps?? How big were they? Did you find the shells or did a predator get them????
Land Tortoise The mom lays the eggs and covers them up and then when they are ready to hatch, she uncovers them to hatch in the sun. They usually hatch within 24 hours. Yes there were shells laying around. I was afraid something would get them if they lay around too long. But there were shells around some parts of them about 3 or 4 feet away under a cedar tree. They are usually about the size of a half dollar. In Florida they are called "Gophers". That's because most Florida Country people have never been anywhere to see "furry" gophers.
Cool! Thanks for sharing!
Awww, those would have been neat to see! That would be so cool to have turtles nesting in your yard. :)
WOW! Way cool Glenda! To bad you didnt get to see the little ones be "born" and crawl off to their new world. Thanks for sharing. I also looked up the frogs on the website you listed and there are several possibilities other than the "gator" mom thinks we have. Could definitely be a Bullfrog, Crawfish toad, Gopher frog/toad, or Pickerel frog. They all have that deep vibrating rumble sound. I love the wildlife a pond brings to our lives. I hope you get to see the babies soon.
Cool! I found Box Turtle eggs once - they had hatched already. Glad to hear they made it and sceedaddled out of there.
Bonnie, We used to raise ostrich. My MIL who lived behind us was having a woman stay with her because of her health. She kept hearing a bull gator at night. She finally asked MIL where is that Gator? MIL told her it was the male ostrich. They would make the exact sound of a bull gator all the time especially at night when anything would startle them or get their attention. They were interesting to see when they made the sound. Their very long necks would fill up with air like a balloon. Never had to worry about anyone coming on the property at night, because they would have probably had a heart attack, not knowing what the sound was. Their noises carried a very long way, maybe about 1/2 mile. Glenda
If you were a bluebirder, you would've had them in a cage with a baffle and egg cam sensor and a raccoon guard and would've stayed up all night with a shotgun!!
I am so bad, please excuse me while I go sit in the corner!
Jean, now I wish I had sat up all night to see them. Hubby kept telling me to get away from them and leave them alone. He said the momma might come back to take care of them and she might not if I was hovering around. I don't have an egg cam sensor. I do have a shotgun but wouldn't use it on the bobcats, foxes, skunks, raccoons and whatever else wanders around here at night. I guess, or at least hope they made it out and about ok.We do have quite a few of the mommas and poppas around so guess they do all right to be on the endangered or protected list. And in the past have seen the half-dollar size ones around. Glenda
Very cool to have those little guys hatching! Please tell us more about life on an ostrich farm, Glenda. Sounds fascinating ... and maybe dangerous?
You forgot to remove the sticks from the dummy nest, hang the spookers and fishing lines, Jean!
Oh heck, Move over. I'll keep you company in the corner. :\-)
That's so neat Glenda!
We have a big creek going through the middle of our property (Indiana), and occasionally I see a big turtle swimming along. Awhile back, I would find them in the yard, digging a hole, but never found any eggs.
Saturday, when my husband was grilling out, he found a little wee turtle in the drive! Like the ones people put in their aquariums. I have no idea where it came from. We live in the woods. Can little ones walk far from the water? Maybe a heron dropped it??
Anyhow........back to your eggs. How cool!! Sometimes I feel left out when I can't have animals that people in different zones have. I have to admit though, I don't feel left out with poisonous snakes or alligators!! Too bad you couldn't have put a video camera on those eggs!
We had 6 trios 1 male to 2 hens. We had blue ones, Red ones and White ones. Always thought Daddy Red was the meanest, biggest and baddest bird standing 9 ft tall. But Then we met Rocky. He put his daddy to shame. Blue Boy was semi-mean and Ole Blue was sweet as can be. Daddy Red and Rocky were mean all the time. The others were only mean during breeding season. They started breeding in Feb and went through September.
The eggs differ in sizes. But most of them equal 2 dozen large hen eggs. A 200 lb man can stand on an ostrich egg without breaking it, but if you drop it on the floor it will break and make a big mess.
We collected the eggs with a small fish net fashioned onto a telescoping pole and could reach the eggs under the fence. They would usually lay in nest the daddy would dig in the ground close to the fence edges or in the corners. Sometimes they would lay in the middle of the pen and we would have to drive the tractor in and position it between the bird and the egg and get down quickly and grab it and get back up before they could go around the tractor. They usually layed their eggs around 4-5 o'clock in the afternoon. It takes an egg 48 hours to develope. So they can lay every other day.
We would put them into the incubators daily and after 14 days would candle them to see if they were fertile. If they weren't, I would take them and blow out the insides of the eggs and wash them and clean them out with bleach. I kept them and painted a lot of them.
1 white female layed a football shaped egg and I painted them to look like a football and put team logos on them. Especially the University of Fl. They allowed me to use their logo upon approval. Fla State Univ. would not allow me to paint theirs, unless I got an insurance policy for 1 million dollars and had them as the rider. Needless to say, I only did a few and they were not legal. But don't tell anyone.
Well, back to the birds. The eggs were candled every week until you could see their head pipped through the inner membrane. It's been a few years and I can't honestly say the length of time it took. I think it was 42 days. When the head was pipped through, we would take the eggs and put them in the hatcher. Usually within 12 to 24 hours they would hatch. The cutest little things ever. They make a very funny trilling sound. Then we put them in a little pen with a light to keep them warm. And tried to get them eating and drinking asap. We would put a baby goat in with them and they would follow the goat and when the goat ate and drank they would do the same. The babys grow a foot a month for the first 6 months and usually top out at 8-9 ft for males and 7 ft for the hens.
We named some of them and some we didn't. We raised them about 5 years, and couldn't make a profit, so got out of the business before we went broke trying to keep them fed. Glenda
Glenda, can you eat those eggs? I think I remember seeing Tarzan and Jane eating them. haha
I've seen ostrich eggs for sale in Florida - they are huge and feel like they are made out of ceramic.
I have a vision of Glenda running from an ostrich while passing a football egg! Can you get an egg to spiral????
Catherine, I think young turtles do strike out on their own and can go quite a ways from water. I had snapping turtles show up in my pond and the closest pond is half-a-mile away. I've heard they are most likely to move around when it's raining. And that's about the extent of my turtle knowledge!
WOW! What exciting and unique experiences you have had, Glenda. Thanks soooooooooooo much for telling us some about it! Could you post some pictures if you have the time? Can the babies be tamed or do they always remain wild-ish?
How interesting that they need a goat to learn the ropes of ostrich-hood.
That is all so cool! WOW! :-)
I'll have to hunt up some pictures. I can scan them into the computer, because I didn't have a digital camera back then. The babies were semi-tame. At first they were really tame, but as they grew the became less so.
Yes the eggs are just like hen eggs only much bigger. It takes 45 minutes to hard boil one. I used to open them up, take the egg out and beat it and put it into 1/2 cup size containers and keep in the freezer to use in baking.
Never had to run from one. From the first step an ostrich can run 45 miles an hour, I don't think I could run that fast. LOL We only had one little incident. Daughter got her finger broken. If we ever had to catch one, we just grabbed hold of the beak and held on. We would slip a sock with the toe cut out over our arm and when we grabbed the beak, would pull the sock over their head. Then you could control them, if you were very careful. They would continue to stomp, but would not walk. It took a couple of people to grab their wing on each side and an arm around their butt to make them go where you wanted them to go. Or we had an ostrich crook that we could grab them by the neck. Had to be very careful when grabbing them to let the hook be flexable, otherwise they could break their neck. Son did break ones neck when loading him to go to the butchers. I know I'm going to get and AWEEEEE here, but that is why they were raised; to be eaten. Glenda
That was some cool information, Glenda! I love learning about stuff like that!
The only first-hand experience I've had with an ostrich was at a ranch about 1 1/2 hours west of here. We were on our way back from a hunting trip when I saw one standing within a large fenced area along the road. DH and I were too scared to get very close (I've seen the videos - no head pecking for ME, thank you!), but he (she?) walked up and listened to us talk for a while. He looked at us like, "What the crikey are you goin' on about, mates?" LOL He seemed rather lonely....:(
We did have an emu (I called her Cracklin' Rosie...LOL) as a neighbor, temporarily, a few years back. She was a sweetie, but it didn't work out, and they gave her to a place who knew how to take care of her.
Oh, and LOL!!! @ Jean's football comment!!
They don't really hurt if you are expecting them to peck. Maybe a little pinch, but not much. They like to peck at things though especially shiny objects. Had one grab a diamond earring out of my ear. I grabbed it by the neck so it wouldn't swallow it and it dropped it on the ground. Daughter had them grab scrunchies out of her hair and hubby had them grab sweat rags out of his back pocket. Had a friend one time that paid $52,000 for a pair. She had a brush to clean out their water pans with and the female swallowed the brush. Had to do surgery, so therefore didn't produce any offspring that year. No, I never paid that much for any of mine. I got into it after the people that had paid that much started going broke and were selling them cheap. Should have realized it wouldn't be a big money making proposition. I paid about $1000 each for proven breeders. Then when I got out of the business, got about $200 each and was lucky to get that. A lot of people were just turning them loose to fend for themselves. It did pay off for us to have them as a Tax right-off. That's why we only had them for 5 years. Glenda
I *love* your stories about your ostriches! I can safely say we have never had one here in our aviaries. LOL!
The only hands on experience I had with one was when a dead female was brought in for me to examine. I worked at the emergency clinic and some people brought in this huge dead ostrich and wanted me to have a look and see if she had been shot to death. I didn't see any wounds on her and did a series of radiographs but found no projectiles in her. We didn't do a full necropsy/autopsy on her so we wouldn't contaminate her body and she could still be used. We didn't figure out why she died.
Don't the ostriches kick? Do they eat Purina Ostrich Chow or what (other than scrunchies and brushes)? Sorry for all the questions but I am fascinated and want to know everything! :-)
We bought the first 9 ostrich from an Ostrich Ranch in Texas. There were 2 ladies there Pat and Marilyn developed a feed just for ratites. In my opinion the best food ever. When we brought the birds home, I continued to buy P&M Food for awhile. But I had to have it shipped and the closest they would deliver it was in Tallahassee Fl. A good 3 hr drive one way. So after a few of those trips, I started feeding them Purina. Had to special order it also but didn't have to go get it. Then eventually a little feed store 2 miles down the road started getting it in and they would deliver. They require a very high protein diet. Alfalfa is very high protein. Can't grow and store it in Fl because of the high humidity. It would mold. Therefore it cost a lot more than we could ever sell the Ostrich Meat for. People liked the meat, but wouldn't pay the $18.00 a pound it would cost to make it profitable. Now steak cost almost that much. LOL
And yes the Ostrich Males do kick every chance they get. But they can only kick straight out to the front. And they can't stand on one leg while doing it very well. You just learn to stay out of the way. One day hubby was mowing down beside their pen with a self-propelled walk behind mower. Blue Boy kicked him through the chain-link fence. He was far enough away from the fence that he barely felt it.
They are pretty and fascinating when they do their mating dance. They get down with their body on the ground and fluff out their wings and sway back and forth while balancing with their wings, and their head is swaying back and forth. Our son used to go out and antagonize Blue Boy until he would do the mating dance. He was the only one that could get him to do it, except when he was actually doing it for the females. Everyone got a good laugh from it. They were so funny to watch. The mating is done in the sitting position, not the standing position. After the mating was accomplished every time, the male would get up and go strutting across the pen stepping very high as though to say, "Look at me. I'm Mr. Ostrich".
I love remembering and talking about them so I'll be glad to answer any and all questions. Glenda
LOL @ Mr. Ostrich strutting his stuff!
Does ostrich taste like other poultry ... but they aren't your average barnyard bird. Do they ~sing~ or make any sounds? There really is a Purina Ostrich Chow? I was just making that up! They must need a lot of calcium too for the egg formation alone.
Thanks sooooooo much for putting up with my questions!
Ostrich meat does not taste at all like poultry. Can you imagine eating one of those drumsticks? Their meat is very red, almost no fat, cholesterol or calories.It taste like Buffalo or sorta like wild game. The thighs are cut into steaks or cutlets or roasts. When you cook it you have to be very careful not to overcook or it will be tough, dry and tasteless. When it is done, it still looks like rare steak. So some people have a problem eating it because it does look rare. My favorite way to do it was to cut the steak into thin strips, squered(sp.) it on sticks marinate in Italian Dressing overnight and then the next morning, I would drain it on paper towel and then marinate it several hours in Terryakie (sp??) and then grill it over hot coals for about 5-6 min each side. The grandkids loved it. And anyone that didn't have a hang-up over it or didn't know what they were eating. Of course the adults in the family liked it also. The ground meat I used the same as hamburger. The feed I got from Purina was actually not called Ostrich Chow. It was Ratite Chow. Ratite being "flightless bird". That included Emu and several others, I can't remember right now.
No they didn't make any sounds as adults, but the BOOM BOOM BOOM the males made by filling their long necks up with air and then somehow make the sound. The babies make a shrill trilling sound. Sorta like a bedeepbedeepbedeep while fluttering your tongue. The lady I worked with on the Ranch in Texas was really good at it. I wasn't. I brought one baby home with me from Texas with the adult birds. Her name became BeDeep-BeDeep or DeepBe-Deep by the grandkids. Actually she was strange when she grew up, she tried to take the male role with the other females. So we put her in the pen with Rocky, The meanest baddest Male and he taught her what her role was. And she did have children. LOL
I'm going to type up a very funny story of an incident we had with them as soon as I have time. It wasn't too funny at the time, but looking back it was hilarious.
Somehow this morning my speller seems to be broken. Glenda
I remember seeing the ratite chow in the Purina food list. They feed just about everyone don't they? Too bad they don't have a Grackle Chow.
LOL! Tough love for Miss BeDeep-BeDeep. :-)
Look forward to your stories!
Ok, Chicka, this is for you. About a year before we decided to get out of the Ostrich business, we decided to add to our herd with some new stock. Another bird farmer was selling some of his. We took a trailer over and bought and loaded up 2 birds. We brought them home and when hubby was unloading them into the pen, he let them escape.
Usually when an ostrich gets out of a pen they won't leave the other birds, so you don't have to worry about chasing them down. Well these birds were in a strange place and around strange birds so they took off.
One went one way and the other one went the other way. We chased one through a jungle of briars and bamboo thorns and then lost her in the brush. So we decided to go after the other one before she got on the highway. Well, we didn't make it.
By the time we got there she was on the highway and it was at it's busiest everybody going home time. I was in the pick-up trying to head her off and keep her in the ditch so she wouldn't cause someone to get killed.
People started stopping trying to help and it was getting quite a bit conjested, no one was really wanting to get anywhere near her because after all she is about 7 feet tall and fast and there's those long legs with that big ole toe nail on that big ole toe. And most of these people had only seen ostrich in zoos, pictures or on television before. But they were enjoying the show.
So the highway patrol arrives. With lights a flashing. A couple of local men stop and one has a rope. He offers to lasso her if it is ok with me. I tell him to go ahead and try not to break her neck. But it that is what it takes, go ahead because we can't have her killing someone.
One man gets in the back of their pickup while the other one is driving. Well here they go, he throws a couple times and misses. On the 3rd try he gets her, well the man driving stops the truck but the bird keeps going. The man on the other end of the lasso goes flying and gliding through the grass. The bird finally stops, and the guy stands up and say's "now what"??
When I said I needed something to blindfold her with so I could lead her to the house, the highway patrol officer takes off his sock for me to use. One of the bystanders asks the officer, "you are going to give her a ticket aren't you??" He said, "I would if I could figure out how to write it." Said he had been on the force for twenty years and had never seen anything like this before..
This was in Florida in July or August and the temperature was in the triple digits. The highway bird survived the exhaustion and dehydration. The one that went through the briars and stickers got her neck torn open. After we finally found her and got her back to the pen, she was too far gone. I sewed her neck up but she never got up before she died from the heat and exhaustion and we all thought we were to going to also. Glenda
OMG! What an encounter! Did you give the sock back? LOL! :-)
Thanks for the great story. I needed it!
Yeh, Was the least I could do, but he wouldn't put it back on until he could wash the ostrich slobber out of it. Glenda
"One man gets in the back of their pickup while the other one is driving."
Hey, that sounds like Christmas at our house! :D
GREAT story, Glenda!! Except for the poor lost one. I'm so glad the other one made it, though. Would have loved to see all of that on video. LOL
I wish I did have it on video. Probably could have made a great documentary or could have sold it to Animal Kindgdom or at least tried for Funniest Home video winner. Glenda
It has been two days since your last story. Any more?!?!? Hint! Hint!
Not a lot more. Unfortunately there were more tragic stories than funny ones in the ostrich business. There was the day I uthanized an ostrich after being told not to do it.
When I went out to Texas to work on the ostrich ranch that we bought our birds from, there was an adult bird that had gotten down and couldn't get up. Remember this was on the downhill side of ostrich for big bucks. At the height of ostrich for big profits, people would go to great lengths to save a bird. But by this time the money just wasn't there. It wasn't unusual for a bird to just sit down and never get up for whatever reason.
I watched this bird for several weeks, just sitting there never moving any part of her body but her head. Just watching people go by. She had fireants all over her and I had read up on how to most humanly put an ostrich down. It sounds horrible, but you just grab them by the beak and jerk the head back toward the body and it snaps their neck and they die instantly. I asked them if I could do this, not really knowing if I could do it or not. They told me NO, the bird belonged to someone else and they didn't have the authority to do this.
Well, I just couldn't bear watching this bird in agony, the least I could do was give her some water. I took a pan out and filled it with water within her reach. That poor bird drank and drank and drank, on and on and on. I left her drinking. Came back a couple of hours later and she was stone dead... And can you believe that it still took several days before they would dispose of the body. That's when I actively started pushing to get my birds out of there. By the time I had got there they had stopped feeding the birds and were letting them survive on the grass and weeds growing in their pens. Said they had the grass and weeds analyzed and there was plenty of nutrients to sustain them. Well I started buying feed for mine and taking care of them right away. I was never so glad and relieved to get out of anywhere like I was when we loaded up our birds and left that place. Glenda