Floeck's Country Ostrich Ranch History, New Mexico USA--We have NO FOREIGN AFFILIATES.
1980 was the year a hobby of incubating, hatching and raising birds literally grew. From raising small birds, (guinea, chicken, duck, quail and pheasant) Lesa Floeck advanced to raising the big flightless birds known as ratites.
Since that day in 1980 when she received her first Rhea, she was intrigued. Lesa had also been fascinated with eggs and their development, but the large ratite eggs presented a challenge. From the Rhea to Ostrich to Emu, the ranch grew to become New Mexico's largest leader in the Ratite industry.
Floeck's has been there from the re-birth of the industry in the 1980's to the peak in the late 80's and early 90's, and through the time the industry bottomed out in the late 90's.
Today, Lesa Floeck is one of only a few ratite breeders to remain in the business. She still believes in the Ratite industry and has worked hard to keep the industry alive.
2006 brought a renewed interest in the birds. Lesa was getting calls for fertile eggs, baby chicks, slaughter birds and breeder birds. Leather prices were on the rise and there was a renewed interest. Meat sales were exceeding the number available for slaughter birds. Supply was not keeping up with the demand.
2007 was a busy year with good production of eggs from the ostrich breeder hens. I had lots of egg orders and was custom hatching ostrich chicks for customers. The demand has increased for ostrich meat and has remained strong. Most of the ostrich hatching eggs and ostrich chicks were picked up here at the ranch by customers or specially delivered by couriers.
2008 has also been a busy year with the ostrich breeder birds in full production. I did not hatch any ostrich chicks this year but only sold ostrich hatching eggs to customers. These eggs were delivered by special arrangements as ostrich hatching eggs must be handled carefully and delivered promptly. The demand for ostrich meat still exceeds the supply available here in the United States so producers have good markets for the birds. I generally have ostrich hatching eggs available except for during the colder winter months. Spring production usually starts in February and continues through September here in New Mexico as we have a nice climate with few extreme temperatures.
2009 was a fantastic year of change with all of the breeder birds producing well. I decided to only do limited custom hatch orders for minimum 20 ostrich chicks. The hatching kept me extremely busy as I had several orders for export to overseas destinations. I am mostly retired from hatching now and just sell ostrich hatching eggs to my customers. Some of the ostrich hens have continued to lay eggs during the winter months and these eggs have been sold for fresh ostrich eating eggs. The rhea egg production season started in May 2009 with a strong demand for the rhea hatching eggs. And of course the emus started their egg production season in November 2009 with good production during the winter months. There has been lots of interest in the emus and the market for the eggs has remained strong. This entire past 2009 has been a challenge just to keep up with the renewed interest in the ostrich, emus, and rheas and there has been a market for all of the products. We are beginning the new year in 2010 with a very positive outlook with increased demand for the birds and eggs.
2010 has been a great year with more renewed interest in the Ostrich, Emu and Rhea birds. These birds are becoming more popular with the advantage of requiring smaller acreage to farm and produce. They need enough space to exercise and live free but do not require the many acres that support other livestock.
I did not hatch any chicks this year as I am trying to retire from the very demanding job of incubating and hatching eggs. I have been shipping the hatching eggs to my customers and they are having good success with hatches of 50 % or more. I continue to manage my breeder flocks of the ostrich, emus and rheas and they live happily in large free-range areas. So I am mostly just involved in the marketing of the hatching eggs, fresh eggs for eating and supplying the empty eggshells for decorating and arts and crafts. I also have the raw ostrich hides, some tanned ostrich hides and assorted feathers in stock. I do not market the meat products but can refer customers to reputable suppliers.
It is important to begin any new venture with quality breeding stock and our ranch was established in 1980. I have continually worked during the past 30 years to select the best breeding stock possible. My ostrich are typically very large beautiful birds that produce quality feathers, large bodies for maximum hide and meat yield, and awesome hens for efficient egg production. My emus are also large quality birds with large bodies and good egg production. The emu egg production season begins in November and usually continues through the winter months into April. Both the ostrich and rheas produce eggs beginning in the spring months and continue laying until about August or September. My farm has egg production year-round so please do contact me for more information and any questions you might have. We love our birds and strive to provide them with quality nutrition and the best possible care and facilities.
2011 was a year of progressive change on our beautiful ostrich farm. We moved all of the ostrich breeder birds into one large group paddock where they can roam free and live in a natural environment. They have quality alfalfa hay and grain supplement available free choice in their large protective ostrich barns. This was a very positive move and the ostrich breeder hens had a fantastic year of good egg production. I sold many ostrich hatching eggs and did several custom orders for ostrich chicks. The demand has remained strong for all of the ostrich hatching eggs, fresh edible ostrich eggs, and the empty ostrich eggshells for decorating and crafts.
We moved the rheas this year to a more suitable new location with a larger area to roam free and produce eggs naturally. My rhea hens adjusted well and produced eggs throughout the Summer months. I decided to enlarge our rhea breeder flock and acquired some beautiful new rhea yearlings from a wonderful friend. These new rheas were delivered in August and they immediately settled into their new home. They loved the large area where they can roam free and build nests anywhere they choose. They also have quality alfalfa hay and grain supplement free choice with protective barns so they were happy and content. I had several new rhea hens start laying eggs in September and October so that was a very pleasant surprise. Normal rhea egg production season here in New Mexico is typically about March through August so that is very unusual to have rhea hens laying eggs in the Fall. The demand for the rheas is very strong as not many rheas are raised in the USA. I have sold rhea hatching eggs, fresh edible rhea eggs and the empty rhea eggshells for painting and crafts. Rhea feathers are becoming very popular for fly tying so I have shipped many orders to the fly fishermen.
The emus also had a fantastic year starting their egg laying season in October and continuing through the Winter months into May 2012. We had a very strong demand for all of the emu eggs and sold the emu hatching eggs, fresh edible emu eggs and the empty emu eggs for painting and craft decorations. The emus are more docile and suitable for the smaller breeder farms. They are more adaptable to living with other backyard critters if they are raised with them from small chicks.
Our beautiful llamas have become a major part of our farm with keeping the premises free of weeds and helping to protect the many ostrich, emus and rheas from predators. I have a steady demand for the young llamas as they are growing more popular with their many uses and purpose. We have all colors from solid black to white and spotted. They have wonderful personalities and can make great pets.
So we had a great year with the demand for all of the birds increasing with continuing renewed interest for all aspects of Ratite farming. We look forward to continued progress and success.
2012 has been a great year. Reorganizing our farm so all of the ostrich, emus and rheas can exist free range in respective paddocks has been very successful. The ostrich have produced eggs since February and I have had a demand for all of the ostrich eggs. We shipped many ostrich hatching eggs, fresh edible ostrich eggs and empty ostrich eggshells for decorating and crafts. I am retired from hatching so did not custom hatch any orders for live ostrich chicks.
The rheas live in a large free range paddock and have had a very good egg production year. They started laying eggs in March and are still laying eggs in September. Their egg production season should be ending soon for their much needed rest over the winter months. The rheas are very hard to find here in the USA so the demand for their eggs and products remains very strong.
The emus had a very good egg production year beginning in October 2011 through the Winter months and continuing into May 2012. They have had a much needed rest here over the Summer months and are preparing for their next egg laying season beginning in October 2012. The emus remain to be the most popular Ratite for small farms and can adapt to existing with other birds and animals if raised from a very young age. They have wonderful personalities and make great pets when hand-raised. The dark emerald green eggs are simply beautiful and delicious to eat.
We also have the beautiful llamas and they continue to keep our farm clean of weeds. Llamas are great for controlling overgrowth and cluttered areas as they browse on brush and eat grass and weeds. They also help control predators and protect our birds. They make great pets when hand-raised. Our miniature donkeys have had a good year with the addition of an adorable baby girl born in April 2012. We also welcome a very special miniature palomino horse named Studley. He came to live here on New Year's Eve and is simply adorable. He certainly is a very sweet golden boy.
So our year 2012 has simply been fantastic with interest and demand increasing for all of the birds and products. Again we look forward to continued progress and success.
2013 has been incredibly busy as the Ostrich, Emus, and Rheas have had a fantastic year of production. The ostrich started laying eggs in late January. The rheas started laying eggs in March. And the emus started laying eggs in October and will continue until Springtime 2014.
I am trying to retire from incubating and hatching. But due to increased interest and demand for quality ostrich chicks--I decided to hatch ostrich chicks this year using some of my mid-size incubators and set up a new incubation and hatching facility. This went extremely well with my ostrich hens producing quality hatching eggs and good success hatching the ostrich chicks. I did custom hatch orders for my customers with day old ostrich chicks picked up here at my farm in New Mexico USA or delivered to my customers by special delivery arrangements. I hatched ostrich chicks from April to October so I was very busy but the production year was phenomenal. I was also able to restock our supply of the empty ostrich eggshells as the ostrich hens simply produced a very large number of eggs during the season.
The rheas were very productive with the addition of several young hens laying eggs in my established breeding program. I shipped many rhea hatching eggs as well as fresh rhea eggs for eating. We also have a good supply of the empty rhea eggshells for decorating and crafts.
The emus were laying eggs until about April 2013. They rested during the Summer months and now have started laying eggs in October. We are having a super year with very high emu egg production. The emu eggs are superior this season and very large quality eggs. As usual I have strong interest in the emus and ship the emu hatching eggs and the emu eggs for eating regularly. Of course we also have a good supply of the empty emu eggshells for decorating and crafts.
The interest in all of the ostrich, emus and rheas remains strong and I am receiving inquiries daily concerning the production for the 2014 season. I am planning to custom hatch ostrich chicks beginning in Spring 2014. I will update my website as the ostrich breeder birds begin their regular egg production season. Please contact me for any custom hatch orders as I am expecting a busy upcoming season for 2014.
I am thankful 2013 has been such a good year and we look forward to another fantastic year in 2014.
Images from our early days: Under Construction--More to Come!