Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Tell me all about Rheas :)  (Read 3435 times)


  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Powys
Tell me all about Rheas :)
« on: September 15, 2014, 10:48:24 am »
A friend has a couple of Rhea to protect his poultry and when we said we had to wait to get our ducks until we could secure our area because of foxes and badgers he seriously suggested we think about getting a couple of Rheas to serve as livestock guardians.
Do they really protect as he says they do?
They look quite big, intimidating animals but apparently they are friendly??

How easy are they to keep?
We have the fields that join onto our Orchard and then our garden, would they roam or generally stay in the same sort of area? (Would be hoping to keep them in the fields with the sheep and future ducks.

I must admit Im quite intrigued in them, especially if they can be used to keep our animals safe from mr foxy & badger.
Living the 'Good Life' in our little Chapel in the rural welsh countryside.
Proud owner of 3 Border Collies, Giant Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chickens, Runner Ducks, 3 'pet sheep' &  Jacob Sheep.
Loving life :)


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Tell me all about Rheas :)
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2014, 11:37:21 am »
The only thing I know about them is that they have a nasty kick. I hope someone else has more information for you as it does sound interesting.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits


  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: Tell me all about Rheas :)
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2014, 09:47:03 pm »
Hi im sorry i just seen this rheas do not scare foxs away we have 3 rheas with ducks hens & geese if you get them young and handle them they are fine they are very easy to keep mind they might pinch your apples.


  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Tell me all about Rheas :)
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2014, 11:11:15 pm »
Foxes are not dumb.

Badger Nadgers

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Derbyshire/North Staffs
  • Teeswater & Hebridean
Re: Tell me all about Rheas :)
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 08:55:54 pm »
Only second hand from a friend who incubated some eggs, so this might be "embellished".  Destroyed incubator, escaped and he spent a silly amount of time chasing them around a wide area.  They run like the clappers, kick hard in defence.  You'd need very high fences IMHO.  But like I say this is second hand information.

If you're after fox protection, alapcas are supposed to work.  Another friend who helps out if I get ill etc and who had some of the land I'm on before me had a couple.  Have to shear them apparently, and they spit at your face in defence (and presumably kick/chase), but he felt they were effective.

Is there a public footpath across these fields?


  • Joined Jul 2013
Re: Tell me all about Rheas :)
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2015, 10:56:47 pm »
You need to get them young and spend time with them, then they will be quiet and very simple to care for. They are not fox guards although the male especially will chase foxes, dogs, cats etc in the breeding season.

I kept mine behind 4 foot stock fencing with no problems at all. Great characters, who love to be involved in what you are doing. I would whistle to the chicks and so when they grew up they would come to a whistle (the reward was a biscuit or fruit). Highly recommend them! Don't let them get wet as youngsters, but once they are adults they are super hardy!


  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Wales
Re: Tell me all about Rheas :)
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2015, 03:52:39 pm »
@roddycm -

Did you eat them? Do they taste like ostrich?

Did you eat the eggs? How often will they lay?

Is there any profit to be made in breeding them?

Have been thinking about either these or emus in the future for meat - I think ostriches have the worst reputation for being stroppy git faces so don't fancy those!
Little bugs have lesser bugs upon their backs to bite 'em. And lesser bugs have lesser bugs and so ad infinitum!


  • Joined Jul 2013
Re: Tell me all about Rheas :)
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2015, 03:06:55 am »
to be really honest I just had them for fun, I got given them for next to nothing and i really enjoyed having them around as pets. They laid but didnt hatch (probably too young) I had to move them on to a new home when I moved homes myself, but apparently they went on to breed successfully the year after that. You can eat the eggs if you are really hungry or have enough mouths to feed haha! I didn't eat mine but I have tried the meat before and I think it lends itself best to burgers and sausages cos its quite tough otherwise but it tastes really good! I think you can make stuff from the egg shells, like beads for jewellery etc and the feathers for feather dusters! The only fowl I have ever made any real money from are call duck and west of england geese at specialist auctions... 


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