Reed City Farm Collects Exotic Beasts - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Reed City Farm Collects Exotic Beasts

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Farming in Northern Michigan usually means raising animals like cows, horses, or chickens; but a Reed City farm is putting a twist on the profession, raising animals from Africa.

The Deline farm has been raising exotic animals for years, but it was just in these past three months that they acquired a new unique animal to add to their collection.

During Michigan winter's you see a lot of white, however on one Reed City farm you'll see stripes of black as well.

Owner of the animals, Summer Deline says,  “It's kind of a challenge, I guess I've always been up for a challenge and the African animals are that definitely in Michigan. They do great in the winter, they do great in the snow, you have to have them acclimated, someone wouldn't want to purchase a zebra from the southern climate and then bring them to Michigan they would struggle to get that acclimation.”

That's right they're raising zebras; and that's not it, there's Emu and Watusi Cattle as well!

“You have to make sure that you have the proper nutrition for them,” says Deline.

“So you wanna give them nutritional supplements.”

Housing for the exotic animals is equally important.

“You gotta makes sure that you have something that's gonna keep them safe as well as the public I mean if one of my zebras got loose and got into the road somebody could get hurt so it's not only keeping the animal safe, but keeping your family and the public safe as well,” remarks Deline.

And just as no one zebras stripes are the same, animal whisperer Olivia Woods says, neither are their personalities; “All of our animals have different personalities. With the zebras all three of them have different personalities cause mine is really mean and just the boss of everything, mom's Willow, she's really laid back and nice, and then Timber is just, he just goes with the flow.”

But not just anyone can tame these majestic beasts, it takes a unique personality and a whole lot of love.

“It takes a special kind of person to do this, you have to be really into it and really passionate about your animals because it takes a lot of your time,” says Woods.

“That's my best friend right there.”

The Delines say they plan to continue collecting these beautiful animals.

Next on their list?

The rare, marmoset monkey, small enough to wrap around your finger!