Stand back I know how big I get….

Between Pretoria and Kathu there is an ultra-city stop at Coligny.. (well I suppose it’s the nearest you’re gonna get to one on this back road).. This is a stopping spot for us so that Linda can off load and recharge the coffee levels.

I strolled around at the stop to stretch my legs, after 225 km driving the knees tend to feel it. to my surprise I saw this……….


A male ostrich with a single chick….. out with the camera and lets get closer. Having raised hundreds of these birds within the auspices of a contract I had with one of the mines in Lydenburg, I felt safe as the male was behind a fence…. The female was also near at hand behind the same fence….


“Surprise Surprise Surprise…” (as Gomer Pyle would have said) this side of the fence were more chicks… from experience I know these youngsters are quietly stupid and would need help to get back through the fence to their parents…. it’s one thing coming one way, but another going back in the pea size brain of an ostrich chick….


with a little encouragement… and a chase or two I got them all back to the safety of Dad, who, if given a chance, would have kicked the hell out of me. (I cover my escapades of raising ostriches within my book)… there are definite comical instances when dealing with these over sized birds…. here’s a few more photos of the young….





It is hard to believe that such a small chick becomes such a large bird…. Thank you Lord they don’t fly… dodging a bird dropping of its size would be a major effort and a definite sh..y memory….


51 thoughts on “Stand back I know how big I get….

  1. Se ti cade in testa uno struzzo sarebbe una vera tragedia, eh si, per fortuna non volano 🙂
    Molto belle le foto, specialmente quelle dei pulcini, sono dolcissime!!
    Ciao, Patrizia

    • In the wild and on some breeding stations a male will mate with three, or more, females… they all lay on one nest and the most senior sits with the male… she will reject any eggs that are sterile so has a fairly good chance of all breeding out… this can be up to 24 odd chicks… a few problems arise, if they hatch over too long a period, say three days, then she walks away leaving the late comers to fend for themselves or not to hatch…. in the wild they say approx 85 % hatch and walk off with the parents, the other 15 % are stolen before they hatch or never make it all the way… of those in the wild that walk off only about 10% make it to adulthood… in captivity the chicks are removed from the parents at approx 3 days and then hand reared, causing the parents to go back into a breeding cycle quicker… of those taken 90 % make it to adulthood… sorry a long explanation to a simple question, but I wanted to answer it in full… Thanks Brian…

  2. These little ones are adorable!! Cannot wait to show my little ones!! Thanks, BD!! I love that you helped them back home….such a kind soul you are. And how about that book?????

    • Thanks Skye… I have finished my book and it has been edited .. I am on the final edit from my side before it returns to the editor for the final edit and set up for the eBook… the final hard copy will be printed in China with all the photos as this has proven the cheapest method than printing it here… it is also on a paper that is not from trees and that gladdens my environmental issues… I think when we get to that stage I’m going to need your address to send your children a copy, signed, for them to read what life was, and is, like in a place you call Africa and we call home…

      • That just made me cry… a good way!!! You have no idea what that would mean to them. You hold a special place in their heart, I know. When you were gone, they asked after you quite a few times. Especially my son….we were on a trip in an elevator, and he asked if I had heard from you. Quite the impression you have made….I am so thankful for that. I will be praying for the rest of the process for you, Sweet Friend!!

    • They are such stupid birds with such a small brain, they would never think of lowering their head when they run into a single strand of wire. You have to show them with a male the other side of the fence ready to kill you… been pinned down by two males when I was breeding them … and been kicked on the thigh by one, not something I’m keen to repeat… I recount these in my book with, what I think, hilarious results…

  3. These are so cute, I love their little stripey heads! I have a horrendous amount of blogging catch up to do having spent three days with my daughter in hospital and before that I was already behind so I haven’t been able to get over here as much as usual but your post came up just as my emails pinged in (and before I screamed “how many?”) so just had to read this first and comment. Love these little guys.

      • Exactly…I”m still panicking! See you soon Bulldog 🙂 And just so’s you know, I ‘m still writing my first draft of my memoir, one day at a time… 😉

        • Keep at it Sherri… I went through quite a few dry patches and slow patches… but am now nearing the final for printing… on the last final edit from my side before returning it to my Editor for her final edit and set up for the eBook… the hard copy with photos is to be printed in China where it is done on non trees paper (good for the environment) and cheaper than I can have it done in my own country…

          • Thanks Bulldog, I will and that’s wonderful, I’m so pleased for you especially as I’ve followed your book writing journey all this time. I can’t wait to hear that its ready and very interesting what you say about China too. I can learn a lot from you 🙂

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