Monday, June 2, 2008

the ostrich farm @ sungei rengit

the ostrich farm, located about 2km outside sungei rengit, has about 300 ostriches ranging from one-day old chick, still encased in its shell, to 30-year old adults. the original ostriches were bought from africa at the cost of rm$20k each. an ostrich can live up to 75 years although 50 years is the norm.

most of the ostriches are kept in enclosures but there are a few free-roaming ones. they are so used to having people around them that they will gamely pose for pictures. they will also allow visitors to touch them and stroke their leathery neck.

the diet of the ostriches consists mainly of seeds and plant matter. they are fed three meals a day. the adult male is easily distinguishable from the female by its red beak, black feathers and bigger size.

the female ostrich lays egg on alternate days and after laying twelve eggs, it takes a break. each ostrich egg weighs about 1.5kg and its content is equivalent to 25 ordinary eggs. there are many more female ostriches (hens) than male ostriches (cocks) on the farm. each male will mate with about five females.

on the farm, apart from ostriches, there are a few cassowaries and a cage of polish chicken. the crested polish chicken has long, sharp spurs meant for fighting. but those kept on this farm do not fight. they are good at playing 'dead'.

admission charge is rm$10 for an adult and rm$5 for a child. they have part-time guides to show you around and give a commentary on what you see on the farm.

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