Although he studied to become an engineer, Nicolas Charbonneau has always loved animals. At a young age, he loved to go to the farm of his grandfather to care for dairy cows. He also always had the vision of one day owning an animal farm. It was during a visit to the Agricultural Exhibition in Saint-Hyacinthe in the 90s, he falls in love with the ostrich. Therefore, he decided to start breeding ostriches, but to prepare for it, he worked for two months in an ostrich farm in Winnipeg to learn all the secrets.
At his return, in 1997, he bought 17 ostriches from Winnipeg and moved to St-Eustache. He officially began his breeding farm in the company of his associates and relatives, Jovette and Fernand Charbonneau. Having grown over the past years on the farm, even children of Nicolas and Annie (Noémie, Eloan and Zaélie) are involved with animals.
In 1999 they make it a tourist attraction by opening their doors to the public, Annie Bugueiro, who graduated in communications, began to take care of marketing development and corporate communications.
The location is ideal; it includes several nearby orchards, sugar shacks, the Exotarium, the interpretation center of the squash and Intermiel. These are all neighbors with whom there is a fair exchange.
Since 1999, the owners are wonderful hosts that welcome visitors every year, from May to October. Guided tours for the public, for school groups, day care centers and day camps today are the second source of income Nid’Otruche after meat. The ostrich interpretation center receives over 50,000 visitors per year, which allows people to discover this endearing and wild animal.[/two-third][one-third]
Very innovative in the soul, Nicolas and Annie have a deep love for animals. Everything has been designed and fitted so that ostriches have the healthiest environment possible. Moreover, even the daily food to ostriches has been carefully chosen. Their diet is monitored and balanced. Alfalfa, wheat, oats, corn and barley are the main cereals consumed. In addition, they are raised without animal meal, without growth hormones, and without drugs.
The Interpretation Centre of the ostrich, which begins its sixteenth year, is a home to more than 200 ostriches. Among the biggest of the volatile world, you will find red ostriches, a species native to Tanzania, especially of Mount Kilimanjaro. The others are blue or black ostriches. Moreover, a visit at Nid’Otruche allows becoming familiar with other animals such as emus and rheas, close cousins of the ostrich at the genetic level. You will also find more traditional farm animals (ponies, rabbits, chickens, etc.).
Nid’Otruche, which employs ten people in high season, has won several honors over the years. The company is placed second at the Great Desjardins Laurentides Tourism Awards 2008 for the attractions of less than 50 000 visitors. Also in 2005, the company was awarded a regional gold winner of the National Bank for Agricultural SME of the year.
The ostrich interpretation center also sells the by-products of the ostrich, including feathers, oil, claws and egg shells. Thanks to the talents of Jovette Charbonneau, egg shells are made into jewelry boxes, oil lamps, as bookends, trinkets, etc. The feathers become feather dusters, the claws are turned into key chains or jewelry and ostrich oil is used to make soap. All these products are sold at the store.
Established in 2006, the country meals (Adventure meals) present a special opportunity to discover the ostrich in all its aspects. Family or corporate groups, visitors can now visit the interpretive center for a couple of hours while enjoying ostrich based dishes.
for ostriches where they can frolic with more freedom and a site for the organization of ostrich racing.
Your hosts are waiting for an unforgettable visit!!