PENTICTON - People aren’t the only ones who can have issues accepting the newcomers on the block.
A Kaleden neighbourhood’s horse population is getting used to a number of new animal residents on the street, after Claudia Busch recently began raising six breeding ostriches on her Linden Avenue acreage.
Busch’s acreage is located approximately half a kilometre from an equestrian facility, also on Linden Avenue. The street forms part of a loop system for horseback riders, who pass by the ostrich pasture when they ride the loop circuit.
During a regional district committee meeting discussing revamping of a dog or animal control bylaw in the region, that took place Feb.11, Penticton director Judy Sentes spoke to the board about an issue involving ostriches being raised on a Linden Avenue acreage in Kaleden.
Sentes enjoys riding horses and frequents the equestrian stables at Laidlaw Equestrian. She said escaping ostriches were scaring kids in the neighbourhood and terrifying horses riding past the acreage.
The ostriches had escaped more than once, she said, and tended to be “very aggressive” in their contact with humans and other animals.
“It’s my understanding the neighbourhood is not upset about the ostriches, but containment appears to be an issue,” she said.
Claudia Busch says there have been no escapes from the ostrich pens since she recently had the fences reinforced.
Busch says her farm training is being supported by Universal Ostrich Farms, processors of ostrich products, such as eggs, feathers, meat and hide.
Megan Wright who co-operates Laidlaw Equestrian along her father on their Linden Avenue approximately north of the ostrich farm, says if the birds were to escape and run onto her property, the result would probably be injured horses, as they would try to run the fences.
“But my understanding is when they’ve escaped, they’ve stayed close to their compound,” she says.
“Horses are by nature, skittish,” she says, “But they will get used to the ostriches, eventually.”
“Horses will react to pigs and other animals like emus and lamas,” she adds.
Megan says she is not interested in complaining about the birds, saying she respects others’ right to have animals of their choosing.
She also notes the same thing could happen to her. Horses could break out of their pastures and damage other’s property, even though she keeps a close eye on the security of her pastures.
“I understand the problem is a dominance issue between two male ostriches. The more aggressive one chases the other out,” she says,
“But I have heard they’ve gotten out a few times. I won’t complain unless that keeps happening. Perhaps more secure fencing is all that’s needed,” she says.
Wright says her horses can be upset by many other things and animals in the neighbourhood. She adds, as horse riders, they are willing to take the time to let their horses become familiar with the birds, advising their patrons to take extra care when riding by the ostrich property until the horses are comfortable.
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