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Our farm, The American Ostrich Research Farm is the sole provider for the meat for the product. The products are processed in human food and supplement facilities under governement inspection. We post interesting videos and items on four facebook page linked in the footer.
We have been involved with rheas since 1992 when we first met them. The birds were verychallenging to raise.
Teaching myself biochemistry and medicine as I tried to unlock the key to the worldwide epidemic killing the South American and African Ostrich chicks, rhea extract was discovered.
Using principles of Darwinian medicine, where symptoms are actually attempts by the body to heal itself, I developed a method of treating the chicks that mimicked the symptoms. When they ran out of body fat, I treated them by injecting fat taken from healthy birds. The patent for Injection of Rhea and Ostrich Oils was issued by the US Patent Office in November, 1998.
However, this did not define the cause of the problem: the chicks were dying of accelerated autoimmune disorders in weeks instead of the decades it takes humans to succumb to one of the 82 autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia, allergies, lupus, MD, arthritis, etc. The fatal worldwide epidemic killing the chicks was finally diagnosed as environmental toxins inducing autoimmune disorders and death. These ancient animals are like canaries in a mine, incapable of surviving the artificial chemicals that pervade our environment. It would take 20 more years to define everything that was toxic to the rhea chicks.
I next addressed the chicks’ muscle wasting disorder the same way. Yearlings were dying of muscle wasting, hatching chicks were born deformed or dead and low levels of herbicide were found in the well water, which may or may not have been a factor.
At the same time, rhea meat marketing produced an excess of rhea necks. Daily, the family ate soup made from these necks. I noticed our skin tone improved; our backaches and allergies disappeared. My husband, who had been on allergy shot injections, noticed the same thing. Finally, he grew tired of soup and told me to put the soup into a pill. For two months our house reeked of my attempts. Finally, I fed the original extract to the poisoned chicks and, for the first time, was able to stop the degenerative process in the baby rheas. This became the idea for the next patent, Ratite Extracts as Therapeutic Agents.
In an attempt to find out if the extract really did this for other people, I handed out home-prepared samples of the extract to friends and asked for feedback. Expecting to hear about allergies, I was stunned at the range of positive effects people were reporting. Filing a provisional patent in August of 1996, I began commercial preparation and selling Rhea Extract as a dietary supplement.
Over the course of the following months several things emerged:
Dose was important; people taking low dosages saw no difference. People with autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s, fibromyalgia, lupus, myasthenia gravis, arthritis, and asthma began sending cards and letters thanking our for giving their lives back.
Quite bewildered over the response, I returned to my notes to try to understand how the extract could have such a profound effect on so many conditions. These people were from all over the country and most had tried everything, so they had no reason to give unearned praises to a simple dietary food supplement.
I found the answer on a complicated, hand-scrawled flow chart I drew as a learning aid. There is a chemical in the body that is the body’s energy source, ATP, adenosine triphosphate. In my attempt to understand the complex nature of ATP in the body, I had drawn a flow chart showing how ATP is made, used, degraded, and affected by hormones, fats, other proteins, and enzymes. I had never seen the flow chart in any books before and did not recognize its significance until pressed to explain the impact of rhea extract on such a wide range of disorders.
However, on the bottom right hand corner of the messy diagram was a group of body building blocks that depended on a steady and adequate supply of ATP. These building blocks were critical in repairing very specific parts of joints, skin, intestinal tract, eyes, kidneys, and connective tissue. Sequestered and unnoticed until this very moment, I saw that this was the basis of all autoimmune disorders: an ATP deficiency brought on when there isn’t enough ATP to detoxify and rebuild. Autoimmune disorders in humans were not the body attacking itself but rather the body needing those parts to use in detoxification. The body was choosing pain over poison. After the initial "Aha!" faded, self-doubt and skepticism crept in. Wondering why someone else hadn’t seen this, I began to verify my initial hunch. The more I looked at the medical literature, the more I saw the similarity of these diseases and how ATP was a significant and unrecognized nutrient under assault by man-made chemicals. Autoimmune disorders looked very similar to scurvy - just a nutritional deficiency disease.
In August of 1997, when I filed the final patent application for "Ratite Extracts as Therapeutic Agents" I was convinced that autoimmune disorders were simply a function of toxin exposure.
In laboratory tests, environmental toxins are used to deplete ATP in the test tube. For example, a popular herbicide is the chemical of choice in assays when ATP must be destroyed for proper results. It is also known that detoxification competes with the body building blocks for ATP via PAPS, phosphoadenosine phosphosulfate. In other words, our chemically laden society is destroying the very vital energy we depend on to live, grow, and heal. This energy deficiency does not kill in weeks or months, but produces a crippling deficiency over several years.
Over the next 20 years I looked for the secrets to raising the chicks successfully. Rhea Extract was licensed and sold by vitamin companies until we ran out of supply in the early 2000’s. Since then we have been refining the husbandry parameters for rheas and ostriches, filing a patent for “A Method of Raising Neonate Ratites” in March 2015. The patent is still pending,
These remarkable animals are threatened in the wild, but can now be raised successfully if housed in a toxin-free environment and fed food that meets their natural dietary habits.