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New World Training Center
- Bethany's horse training site.

Animals On the Ranch:   ~  South America, Africa   ~  North America   ~   Australia    ~    Asia  ~

South America

 Camels ~ Coati ~ Chinchilla ~ Degus ~ Hedgehogs ~ Llama  ~  Ostrich   ~Watusi Cattle

(pronounced Ree-Uh)   The largest flightless birds in South America. Third in line for size after the emu and ostrich, with 3 toes. They are slightly smaller than the emu and tend to be more aggressive. During the breeding season the male can be dangerous. He will defend his pen. If he happens to pinch you he will twist and shake his head giving you quite a bruise! They come in 2 different colors - white and gray. (Color has nothing to do with the sex.) Both male and female can be of either color.  Rheas reach four to five feet in height and weigh 50 to 80 pounds.  Breeding season is from April to August. Rheas, like other birds, can lay 12 - 15 eggs in a nest. Farmers that take the eggs to incubate, can expect 50 or more eggs from 1 rhea in a season!! The eggs are a pale yellow in color, and are quite large. Like the emu, the male will raise the young. Incubation takes about 6 weeks. For more information: Ontario

Llamas are used as pack animals in South America and also in the U.S. There are no true wild llamas left. The feet have two toes and can easily climb mountain. The hills here in West Virginia are no problem for our llamas! They eat browse, like the goats. The wool is shorn in the Spring like the sheep, and the wool can be cleaned, carded and spun.  Our llamas, Llolly and Cappuccino make a "humming" sound when they try to locate each other in the woods. They are very gentle and passive animals, however can send quite a kick. (top)

(pronounced "koh-ah-tee) A small South American raccoon. They have long snouts, and a long banded tail. The coati will hold their tail high and nearly erect, except for the curled tip. If the temperature gets below 40 degrees, the tip can actually fall off! The coats are black to reddish brown. The coat is long, but is coarse. The under jaw, chin, throat, neck and chest are off-white. The nose is elongated and extremely flexible. They are excellent climbers, and uses the long tail for balance.  When startled they will climb a tree, but will then turn around and attack and injure the aggressor. They love to groom themselves, combing their hair with their teeth or their long claws using both the front and hind feet. They  will rub new scents into their tail like a girl putting on perfume!

This is Bob our male "coatimundi"

 They are extremely intelligent and inquisitive and very skillful with their hands. They are active during the day, and curl up at night. They eat invertebrates and lizards and adore fruit. In captivity they can weigh as much as 27 pounds. They are also very vocal, issuing grunts, screams, whines, chatters and squeaks. Coati males are called "coatimundi" which means "single male".

Brandon and Bob

Except for breeding season, coatimundis stay separated from the females.


Northern, or white-nosed, coati - NASUA NASUA
Class: Animals with Milk Glands (Mammalia)
Subclass: True Mammals (Eutheria)
Order: Meat-eating Mammals (Carnivora)
Family: Procyonidae.

The Name "Coati": "Coati" comes from the South American Tupi word "coatim," which means "belt-nosed."
Location: From southwestern United States as far south as Argentina.
Habitat: Terrestrial. Tropical forest -
 mountains, forests, rocky wooded canyons, desert canyons and open forests.

Habits: Coati's are active day and night, perhaps most active during the day. They spend their nights in trees; they ascend at dusk. Several coatis may share a nest. While the male prefers to travel alone, the females and their young tend to travel in bands of 4 to 50. The coati is a social animal, so it is very vocal, with a repertoire of snorts, grunts, screams, whines, and chatters. Grooming sessions frequently interrupt feeding; a coati combs its fur with its teeth and claws. Most of it's day is spent foraging, but during the hottest part of the day, they tend to nap in ground shelters, trees or shady spots. Coatis swim well and climb excellently. The tail is used for balancing on branches and for slowing down the descent from a tree.

Description: This coati is reddish to gray in color, with white lips and a pale stripe that runs along the nose from the eyes. The nose is long, tapered, and mobile. The coat, which is short on the head and the legs, becomes longer and bristly on the body itself. The tail usually has rings which are more marked in some individuals than in others, and is held upright at a right angle to the body. The head and body are about two feet long with the tail about the same. The weight is six to thirteen pounds.
Behavior: The coati is omnivorous and active by day. Older males are usually solitary, but the females and young sometimes form large wandering groups. During the mating season, the strongest males keep weaker rivals at a respectful distance.
Reproduction: Mating takes place in March, and after a gestation period of about 75 days, three to seven young are born. The young stay with their mother until they are two years old.

Originally from Chile, chinchillas make wonderful pets, although not as friendly as a guinea pig, and considerably more expensive.  Originally they were hunted for their soft pelt, Their luxurious fur is so soft and pleasant to the touch that at one time, they were unrivaled in the fur industry for fashionable fur coats. That demand meant that the chinchillas were nearly exterminated in the wild by trappers and attempts at raising them in captivity for the fur-trade did not become successful until the 1920's-40's.  The chinchilla is from 10 to 14 inches long, with a tail 6-8 inches. They weigh about one pound or a little more. Their hind limbs are longer than their front limbs which give them great jumping power.

The basic colors are standard gray, black and beige. Plus, you can also find beautiful chinchillas in:  white, ebony, brown velvet & tan, and sapphire.

Chinchillas should be housed in a wire mesh cage, with openings not more than 1/2" x 1". A cage for a single chinchilla should be 3-4 cubic feet. The floor and shelves provided for resting and can be made of 1/2 inch mesh wire. Larger openings in mesh can promote broken legs that get caught when jumping. If Breeder cages can be made in rows, with openings in the back connecting to a wire tunnel which is used by a male to enter the cage of any female in that strip. Each female wears a flat metal collar, bigger than the opening to prevent her from entering the tunnel. Chinchillas are voracious gnawers, so there must be no wood as part of the cage construction. A metal pan underneath can catch the droppings and urine. Shavings in the pan will help to absorb wet material.

They love to chew, and providing them with a stick of wood to chew that is not toxic, is a treat. In captivity, their diet consists of chinchilla pellets and hay. Rabbit pellets are not the same as chinchilla pellets and can cause health problems in chinchillas if fed as a steady diet. Chinchillas need about 20% protein, 3% fat and 15% fiber. Vitamins may be added to the pellets or water. Small amounts of apples, nuts and raisins and even dried rose hips are good treats but must be fed in very small quantities. Chinchillas are primarily herbivores (plant-eaters); they eat tree bark, grasses, seed, fruit, grain, and herbs. Occasionally, they will eat insects. Like all rodents, their two front teeth continue to grow throughout their lives, and the chinchilla must gnaw and chew to wear these teeth down. In a sitting position, chinchillas gnaw on their food while holding the food in their hands. They do not drink much water. (TOP)

  a Degu is a little brown rodent. They look and behave like squirrels. If you have ever seen a Gerbil, just imagine him a little bigger, and you will have a picture of a Degu.
Degus originate from the lowland areas of Chile where they live in large groups making their homes in rocks or hedges. They are considered an agricultural pest. Nests and storage for food are usually dug under the rocks. Degus in the wild can live up to 15 years, but in captivity they rarely become 10 years old. If a Degu has cataracts, he will not grow older than 6-7 years.

Degus are very social animals and need a lot of attention and someone to 'weep' at, so it is recommended to keep at least two Degus. It is possible to keep just one Degu, but a single Degu will get diseases more easily and may get depressed. If you still want to keep just one Degu, or if you only can get one Degu, be sure you give this single Degu a lot of attention.

Degus have a rather good memory. They will, for example, remember teasing persons, so always behave politely to Degus. Be sure you never grab a Degu by its tail, because the Degu's defense mechanism will shed their tail from their body. A shed tail will never grow back.

Feed your Degus a 50-50 mixture of chinchilla pellets and guinea pig pellets, sweet potatoes, carrots, dandelion greens, timothy hay and always a large supply of fresh green alfalfa. Give your Degus sometimes (once in three-four days) a few sunflower seeds or a half peanut, a few kernels of dried corn and sometimes some green beans. DO NOT feed your Degu any sugar-holding food, like fruit or raisins. Degus can't metabolize sugar.

A Degu can survive in the wild without any water, but be sure to give your Degus some fresh hyper-chlorinated water every day, because the Degus can't get enough water out of the given food. You must hyper-chlorinate the water because Degus are prone to mouth diseases. You can make chlorinated water by dropping one or two drops of household bleach in a quart (a concentration of approximate 1:125000) Copyright 1995 Hein Leliveld. (TOP)


: Called "The Cattle of Kings", and ancient sacred cattle of Kenya, Africa. Watusi cattle are one of the rarest breeds of cattle in the world today. It's dramatic horns have been known to have horn bases measuring 30 inches and larger in circumference, and 8 feet from tip to tip! When they bed down at night they tend to circle with the long horned adults on the outside and calves in the middle. They are resistant to drought, and can utilize poor quality and limited quantity of food and water. They can flourish in Africa where the day temperatures are up to 120 degrees and the nights are in the 20's. They do need a heat source during the night if you live in a part of the country that has severe winters.

For more information on watusi cattle go to: www.watusicattle.com


May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the
crotch of the person who screws up your day
and may their arms be too short to scratch...

Brandon and Ali

The dromedary camel is a  one-humped camel and is from the Arabian desert area. The Bactrian, from China is a two-humped camel. That is where he stores his fat, not water! The camel can go
many months  without water because of this hump. Although camels can withstand severe dehydration, a large animal can  drink as much as 20 gallons in ten minutes! Such an amount would kill another
 mammal, but the camel's unique metabolism enables the animal to store the water in its bloodstream.  It is in fact a mound of fatty tissue from which the animal draws energy when food is hard to find. When a camel uses its hump fat for sustenance, the mound becomes flabby and shrinks. If a camel draws too much fat, the small remaining  lump will flop from it's upright position and hang down the camel's side. Food and a few days' rest will return the hump to its normal firm condition. A camel can go 5-7 days with little or no food and water, and can lose a quarter of its body weight without impairing its normal functions. These days, camels rely on man for their
 preferred food of dates, grass and grains such as wheat and oats, but a working camel traveling across an area where food is scarce can easily survive on thorny scrub or whatever it can find - bones, seeds, dried leaves, or even its owner's tent! Camels are known to spit an especially disgusting substance when provoked.
They have excellent memories and will remember if you are the one that provoked them! Watch out! They  are known for being unpredictable, but in reality are quite patient and loving. The noise they make is a
low moaning up to a loud bawling. They "complain" when they are made to do anything. In the dark of  night this moaning can bring the hair up on your neck.

A camel's ears are small but their hearing is acute. Although selective deafness is a trait! The ear is lined with fur to filter out the sand and dust of the desert. A camel's eyes are large, with a soft, doe-like expression. They are protected by a double row of long curly eyelashes that also help keep out sand and dust, while thick bushy eyebrows shield the eyes from the desert sun. A camel's nasal passages are protected by large muscular nostrils that can be opened and closed at will. When a camel twitches its nose, it is cooling the incoming air and condensing moisture
from its outgoing breath.

The camel sheds a lot of fur in the Spring. Spinners card and clean the wool and then spin it. This makes a very soft, delicate wool.

 Camel's milk is much more nutritious than that from a cow. It is lower in fat and lactose, and higher  in potassium, iron and Vitamin C. It is normally drunk fresh, and the warm frothy liquid, heavy and sweet,  is usually an acquired taste for the Western palate. Most Saudi Arabian camels are females reared for  their milk in dairy herds. (TOP)


The ostrich, Struthio camelus, is the world's largest bird living today. Ostrich fossils have been found in  North Africa, Europe and Asia, but today the bird is indigenous to Africa, where it has been raised  commercially for more than 100 years. The ostrich is the only bird that has two toes; the other ratites  have three or four. Ostriches can live up to 75 years,
 with 50 years being the average. Adult males can reach eight feet in height and weigh as much as 400 pounds.
The male is black, with white wing tips and tail plumes.
The female is somewhat smaller than the male and duller in color, with light-brown and gray plumage. Young birds are mottled brown, and molt several times before attaining adult plumage.

It is an environmentally friendly animal, requiring less acreage than other livestock and relatively modest amounts of food and water. Ostriches were first raised for their feathers. Now they are
 more valued for the low-fat red meat and world-renowned leather the birds provide.

 The ostrich is a flightless bird, but it can run up to speeds of 40 mph.  It can sustained this speed up to 30 minutes.   The ostrich is the only  bird that has two toes on each foot.  An ostrich reaches its breeding
maturity at about three years of age. An ostrich can live to be about 70 years old. A hen can lay from 10 to 70 eggs each year. Each egg weighs about three to four pounds and is about 6 inches in diameter.
  The gestation period is 42 days.  A female ostrich shows remarkable  ability to recognize her own eggs even when mixed in with those of  other females in their communal nest.

The ostrich will start breeding at about two to three years of age  and may continue for up to 20 years. Ostriches will set up breeding  “attachments,” usually pairs or one male and two females. Ostriches
will start laying eggs around the first of April and continue laying as late as the end of August.One ostrich egg equals up to 24 chicken eggs. It takes approximately 2 hours to boil.

An ostrich will yield 70 to 100 pounds of meat, two to four pounds of feathers, and 12-15 square
feet of leather. 

Ostriches are not an endangered species; there are at least 2 million worldwide. 

With their acute eyesight and hearing, they can sense predators such as lions from far away.

Ostriches are an extremely resourceful species and are recognized as one of the only environmentally friendly animals in the world. Ostriches can stay in a fence about 5 feet high and for safety sake about 2 feet above the ground. If you are caught in a fence with a
breeding pair and the male decides to come after you, having that opening to dive under could  save yourself.

Ostriches were first commercially in South Africa in the  mid-19th century. Ostrich feathers were used in fashion  and costuming  as well as in feather dusters. The feather market crashed in 1914, a victim of World War I.  After World War II, ostrich leather and meat became viable  commodities and feathers were once again in demand.

  Ostrich breeding began in the United States in the early 1980s. The American Ostrich Association, formed in 1987 to support the new U.S. industry, is a trade association with goals of educating producers and promoting ostrich products.  Ostriches are raised on small farms and on large ranches. Eggs are incubated and hatched. During the grow-out phase the birds may be kept in large paddocks. Breeders are  kept in pairs, trios or colonies.

Our ostriches are a joy to watch. As they run, they whip around trees and zig then zag. When  showing off, the males will sit on the ground and fluff his beautiful wing feathers at you.

Ostriches are so powerful that a single kick at a predator, such as a lion, could be fatal.   Ostriches are classified as dangerous animals in Australia, the US and the UK. There are a number of recorded incidents of people being attacked and killed. Big males can be very
 territorial and aggressive and can attack and kick very powerfully with their legs. An ostrich
 will easily outrun any human athlete. Their legs are powerful enough to eviscerate large animals.

World Ostrich Association
An Ostrich IntroductionHit Counter


The Ostrich is a member of the Ratite family of birds which also includes Emus, Rheas, Cassowaries
and Kiwis.
Extinct species of Ratites include the Elephant bird of Madagascar and the Moas birds of New Zealand.
Like all Ratites, Ostrich cannot fly.
There are 3 main species of Ostrich of which only one, the African Black (Struthio Camelus Domesticus),
 is not found in the wild.
Ostrich skeletons and fossils have been found which date back over 60 million years; Ostrich are a
true dinosaur.
Ostrich produce the strongest commercially available leather in the world and some of the
most beautiful feathers.
Ostrich meat is a healthy red meat. It is low in cholesterol, calories and is almost fat-free.
 Their meat resembles Beef in its appearance and is cooked almost the same way.
Ostrich meat tastes just like... well, it tastes just like Ostrich meat.Ostrich have the best feed-to-weight-gain ratio of any land
animal in the world.
They are successfully farmed in at least 70 countries - from the coldest climates of
Alaska to the equatorial areas of central Africa.
When fully grown, an Ostrich has one of the most advanced immune systems known to mankind.
Ostrich are the second fastest animal in the world and can run at up to 40 miles per hour (64 km. per hour).
Ostrich farming is one of the most open, free-range farming alternatives available anywhere in the
world today; on average, a trio of Ostrich require about two thirds of an acre (0.25 hectares) in
which to breed and run around.
Ostrich are an extremely resourceful species and are recognized as one of the few "environmentally
friendly" animals in the world.
The feathers of the Ostrich have been prized by humanity for thousands of years. In ancient
Egyptian mythology, Ostrich feathers formed the crown worn by Osiris, the god of the dead,
 a symbol of divinity and justice.
In more recent times, Ostrich feathers have been prized by fashion designers and costumers
for their robust beauty. The demand for Ostrich feathers grew so high in the 18th century
 that the species was nearly hunted to extinction. Thankfully, by the mid-19th century, the
practice of Ostrich farming started to become more common, enabling Ostrich to be domesticated
 and plucked, rather than hunted.
Ostrich hides provide a soft, flexible, and durable leather that is distinguished by its tell-tale pattern
of quill sockets and its suppleness. It is an ideal material for the manufacture of most leather goods,
 particularly boots, shoes, and clothing, as well as wallets, briefcases, and other leather accessories.
Fashion designers the world over prize Ostrich leather for its distinctive look and the elegance it
 lends to any ensemble.

American Ostrich Association  World Ostrich Association  More Links

 Hedgehogs are not rodents but are insectivores. They are one of the most primitive placental mammals alive today. There have been fossil
 remains of their ancestors that go back to the age of dinosaurs. Their brain compared to other mammals their size, is small and primitive. Instead of a fissured brain, it is more smooth.
Their keenest senses are that of smell and taste and the area of the brain that controls those  senses is well developed. They also have a heat sensory organ.

He looks like a little pin cushion.  Hedgehogs have quills that cover their body.  They use the quills to protect themselves, whenever they feel they are in harms way. 
 When threatened, they will stiffen their quills and roll into a ball.    Once they calm down, they will relax and unroll. 
They don't shoot their quills, nor are they barbed.  They can lose a few quills now and then.  Hedgehogs are non allergenic and are odorless. When he eats a new food he will "self-anoint". This is a  frothing action which he then spreads on his quills.  There are many theories as to
why this is done, but no one is exactly sure the reason...
The hedgie  will grow to about 6 to 9 inches in length, and will weigh about one pound when full grown. 

 They are nocturnal, so they will sleep during the day, and will be up at night.  A good wheel to run on is always a good idea. Check out the Whisper Wheel designed for hedgehogs

Some links to different hedgehog sites can be found on my Favorite Animal Links

Color Definitions

  • Normal: Can be either Salt and Pepper or Chocolate - these are pure or close to pure  native species. This is actually not a color, but a description of two distinct species.
  • Salt and Pepper: Original color of PURE species albiventrix - black and white quills -  have black mask and black legs.
  • Chocolate: Original color of PURE species algerian- dark brown and cream quills - do not have mask.
  • Snowflake: A 90 % white hedgehog - but not albino. Has normal pigment on nose, eyes. No mask
  • Panda: A 100% white hedgehog - not albino, with dark mask.
  • Half 'n Half: In between a normal and Snowflake. The white portion of each quill will be greater to varying degrees.
  • Cinnamon: Light slightly reddish-brown with light slightly reddish-brown with cream quills, with light face.
  • Rust: Dark reddish brown with dark reddish-brown with cream quills, with dark face.
  • Fawn: Light brown with light brown and cream quills with dark mask and sometimes dark legs.
  • Cream: Off white with off white and white quills, no face mask.
  • Champagne: Off white with off white and white quills, with darker face mask.
  • Mocha: Chocolate with dark mask. Dark brown and cream quills- Infrequent result of cross  with pure algerian and pure albiventrix.
  • Polka Dot: Majority of quills of a light color (white or cream) with scattered darker quills. Animals can be a Cream Polka Dot, A Champagne Polka Dot, etc.
  • Platinum: Light grayish quills that may have small portions of each a lighter color. From a
    distance the animal appears light bluish gray. Face is light.
  • Smoke: Medium grayish quills that may have small portions of each a lighter color. From a
    distance the animal appears medium bluish-gray. Face may be light or dark.
  • Silver: Dark grayish quills that usually have no portions of a lighter color. From a distance
     this animal appears dark bluish gray. Face is dark.
  • True Albino: White hedgehog with pink eyes, liver/pink nose. No pigment anywhere.
  • Combinations: They can also be combinations of these colors.

  • Feeding: A high quality dry cat food is a must as part of the diet to help prevent PERIODONTAL disease (dental problems). Bil-Jac frozen dog food on all pregnant and lactating moms as well as newly weaned babies. Kal Kan Pedigree Dog Food mixed
     with Cottage cheese when Bil Jac is not available, however, some breeders are successful in raising hedgehogs on high quality cat food alone. I do not recommend
    live food for females. Meal worms can be fed if desired.
  •    Life Span:  Three to ten years in captivity Housing is simple.  NO wire bottoms. A 20 gallon aquarium is a good housing unit for Hedgehogs.  A 10 gallon is fine as a baby, but they  will need more room when full size.  Aquariums are preferred  over a cage unit.  This keeps the Hedgehogs from getting drafts and colds.  Natural litters, such as , or newspaper is the preferred litter.  Do not use cedar  chips as this has been found to cause respiratory problems.  The cage should be cleaned daily,  by scooping out the droppings and dirty litter, and adding new litter.  A complete change of
     litter should be done three times a week.  Hedgehogs are easily litter boxed trained, by placing a litter box in the corned of the housing unit, with a dust free litter or pine chips. 
     Place some of their droppings in the litter box, so that they get the idea. Huge rubber tubs make great cages, are easy to wash and very reasonably priced. Fresh water from either a bottle or dish, free feed cat food. Hedgehogs like to run, so if a cage is the only option,
    a tubing system will be loved by your pet. They also like large Rodent balls to run around in. (TOP)

    Job 12:7 ..."Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee..."
    Favorite Animal Links

      PET SHOPS ON-LINE First they Came for the Cows: In 2006 a USDA mandate called National Animal Identification System (NAIS) came to the attention of a middle-aged homesteader in NW Vermont and she finds herself thrown into the role of a reluctant activist. First They Came for the Cows is a fictionalized account of her experience. Some churches are using First They Came for the Cows for their book clubs. Good Christian fiction can be hard to come by, you know

    PLEASE HELP PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF WV ANIMAL OWNERS   It is our duty as  citizens  (local, WV and U.S.) to know the laws. It's time to spread the word to the WV animal owning population that there are people out there trying to create laws that have
     the potential to affect every aspect of all animal ownership. Please join our group, and help preserve your right to keep animals!

     If you are interested in owning any exotic baby, please remember that the Animal Rights
    activists are not your  friend. You should join groups in your state - or go to Exotic Law for more info on where to go
    for information