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  • The Exotic Animals of Fowler Farms

    Fowler Farms, a supplier of exotic animals to zoos and parks, is now supplying ostrich, emu, and rhea meat to restaurants and grocery stores. Fowler notes that 98 percent of the bird is useable including its meat, feathers, and hide. Suzanne Shingler, Fowler’s partner, is in charge of incubating and hatching eggs. This is a new industry in Georgia, but Shingler thinks it will grow especially since the meat is low in fat and cholesterol and people are more concerned with their diets these days.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. What are the advantages of emus, ostriches, and rheas being raised instead of cows/cattle? From what country did these animals originate?

    2. Going back to the horses brought to America by the 16th-century Spanish conquistadors, what other animals have contributed to the growth of the Georgia economy?

    Expansion

    1. Speculate why raising large birds would suddenly become popular in Georgia. List the advantages and disadvantages of such a venture. Can you recall any other farm animals that were introduced recently in Georgia?

    Vocabulary

    ostrich: two-toed flightless bird with a long neck; largest of all living birds
    emu: flightless bird native to Australia, resembling, but smaller than, an ostrich
    rhea: flightless bird from South America, resembling, but and smaller than an ostrich; brownish plumage
    aborigines: earliest known inhabitants of an area, specifically used in reference to Australia

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. What are the advantages of emus, ostriches, and rheas being raised instead of cows/cattle? From what country did these animals originate?
    They are easy to handle and hatch. On an acre of land a farmer can raise one cow. Twenty of these large birds can be raised on one acre of land. They were brought here from Australia having been used by the Aborigines for centuries.

    2. Going back to the horses brought to America by the 16th-century Spanish conquistadors, what other animals have contributed to the growth of the Georgia economy?
    The Spanish also brought pigs, which was a source of meat for them. These remained and became part of the diet of the native Americans and consequently the settlers of Georgia. Chickens/hens, turkeys, and other wild birds have become industries within themselves in Georgia. We are one of the largest egg-producing and chicken-processing states in the nation. The shrimp that have been prolific in the waters off our Atlantic coast have contributed greatly to our economy, as well.

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