Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another Memorable Weekend - Jelita Ostrich Farm

Yesterday will be remembered for a long time. Perhaps it will develop into a regular event of family outings. I guess the idea came from the fact that both our grandchildren are growing up and need more exposure away from the safe and familiar home environments. Grace is 5+ and Andrew 2+ and quite aware of a different world out there. As the school holiday has just started we thought it will be good to bring them out. First on our mind was Forest Research Institute of Malaysia or FRIM, in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, which provides opportunities for families to have nature walks. We abandoned the idea due to unpredictable weather. Next we considered driving south to Yong Peng in Johor or Melaka to savor the local cuisines but gave that up too as it is more adult centred. Then we thought, how about the beach in Port Dickson? and threw it out too as the public beaches are not clean, plus the weather is not a plus factor now. Then it dawn on me that we do have a nice place nearby which the kids will love, the ostrich farm! The consensus was reached but only if it didn't rain.

Well, it did drizzled soon after we finished our late breakfast around 10am but we decide to drive to the farm because the rain doesn't appear widespread. So off we drove to the Jelita Ostrich Farm situated in Pantai, off Jalan Jelebu, some 15 km away from our home. It is our first visit and some will ask, since it is just a stone throw away, why didn't you visit earlier? Perhaps the excuse is time, or busyness. Yesterday was a good day as we were all free and the kids were excited.

Rather than write about the trip to the farm I'll let the pictures tell the story, with additional notes where needed. After the farm visit we decided to drive beyond to Seri Menanti, the royal town of Negeri Sembilan to see the old palace built without any metal nails. After that we went to Kuala Pilah for lunch before returning to Seremban via Rembau. All along the way my Garmin Nuvi 1460 GPS navigator guided us accurately to our various points of interest.

This post only cover the ostrich farm visit.

Jelita Ostrich Farm

Entrance signboard

Grace and Andrew at entrance gate

Grace and Andrew wait impatiently for the adults to come from the car

This male ostrich is only 2 years old. Its feathers are black whereas the female has grey feathers. Ostriches can live till 70-80 years, with the lifespan like humans. It recognizes 5 colors - black, red, green, yellow and golden yellow and love anything that is round shaped. Ostriches are native to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and United States. The Jelita Farm has imported South African breed.

Observe the powerful claw which has a striking power of 1 ton that can kill the victim. Wild ostriches are dangerous especially to creatures lower in height but trained ostriches are safe to go near. Ostriches are aggressive if they are attacked, otherwise they are docile. They love to peck but the beak strength is not strong enough to hurt.

Close up view of the ostrich head. It is unable to see the camera clearly as its eyes are long-sighted. They eat as much as 5 kg food a day.

Young children can only saddle up on an ostrich (blind folded so it won't suddenly bolt off). Here Grace sat gingerly on the young male ostrich back held by a trainer.

Andrew needed to be held by his mother. Notice the blue blindfold.

This is my first time on any animal. Maybe it is preparing me for a horse ride later?

My dear wife appeared very confident when she climbed up the ostrich with little help.

Christine made it with the help of the railing next to the ostrich.

My wife: It is really easy, just grab the wings and lean back, like this. Notice she was carrying a stack of blank certificates of achievement for us to self-fill our names and dates.

After the ostrich rides we proceeded to watch the ostrich race. It is a tie between the Malaysian and the Indian jockeys.

Andrew outwalk the mother. Come on, mommy, daddy is waiting ahead.

We spotted a durian tree in season. Here are 2 lovely durians ready for harvest.

Unfortunately we can't stand on real eggs to test their resistance to break. The guide apologized that the 2 eggs used for demonstration eventually broke under the weight of an adult the day before. Here Grace held up an empty ostrich egg shell. She doesn't appear too pleased not to be holding a real egg.

Abraham the proprietor said he started the farm 14 years ago. When asked why ostrich he replied because it stands for Our Success To Riches Is Certainly Here. I guess he has found his fortune in this business from his happy smile.

The rain finally came but not before we have seen everything. We paid RM8 per adult and RM6 per child to enter the farm. There were also goats, turkeys and a horse but they were not the real attractions.

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