Sunday 12th January 2020
Just you just love simple ideas that work? It may look as though we have trained our rhea to eat hay but actually we are using a currently-spare hay feeder for their pellets. We had been using an open feeder inside their field shelter so the feed kept dry but the problem with that was the muddy entrance.. rhea, we have discovered, are quite heavy on the land and whereas spent straw covering the wet has always worked quite well for our sheep and alpacas, the rhea just squidged it straight back into the mud. The issue was compounded by the fact that they don't need the field shelter to actually shelter in because they just don't use it - toughies that they are just hunker down in bad weather and don't move.
So, we needed a way of feeding them where the feed would stay dry, all eight could feed at once but we could move the feeder around and so avoid poaching. Enter the goats hay rack (not used at the mo cos the goats aren't really going out just now - wimps). We have only put the pellets in one side and we make sure it is the side that faces away from the weather and so far, so good.
We have terrible weather coming up this week so time will tell how successful it is.
They look quite comfortable feeding and hopefully the wastage will be minimal too...