For those who wish to add elegant beauty and gracefulness to a pond landscape, Meyer Hatchery offers a selection of exotic crane species for sale. All exotic cranes are sold as a male/female pair only.
The Demoiselle Crane is the smallest of the exotic cranes that we offer. Males weigh on average 6.5 pounds and females about 4.5 pounds. Each stands about 30 inches tall and has an impressive 70-inch wingspan. They share the chick-raising responsibility but only set an average of 2 eggs in the nest. The incubation period is 27-29 days. Adult Demoiselle cranes are difficult to identify gender by feathering or color; both appear slate gray with darker charcoal feathering on their heads and necks with white “eyeliner” feathering on the head.
The East African Crowned Cranes are slightly taller than the Demoiselle, standing about 42 inches tall overall. Males and females weigh about 8 pounds. The genders appear identical in their feathering. The most notable feature is the golden “crown” of rigid feathers around their head. Their body starts with a light gray color on the neck and shoulders that gradually flows into a dark gray over the body. The clutch size is 2-5 eggs with an incubation period of 28-31 days.
The Stanley Crane is the next larger crane that Meyer Hatchery offers, standing 42-48 inches tall and weighing 8 to 13 pounds, Blue-gray feathers cover the entire body and gradually get darker in color up the neck and head and ultimately turning near white on the crown. The tail and wing plumage is darker gray or black-tipped. Clutch size is only 2 eggs on average with an incubation period of 30 days.
Care For Exotic Cranes
Any of the exotic crane breeds that are available through Meyer Hatchery will require quite a large aviary if you prefer to keep them enclosed for their safety. A 30 by 30 pen that is completely enclosed and predator-proof is the minimum requirement. For locations that have a true winter season, an insulated house is recommended. Since these cranes originate from northern Africa to southern Eurasia, they are not accustomed to US northern winters. For southern US winters, a windbreak from prevailing winds is helpful.
If you have a pond location that you want your cranes to live by, be aware that cranes do not tend to roost into a coop at dusk as chickens do. To protect them at night, you may want to have their secure housing close to their pond and make it a nightly ritual to round them up and secure them into their housing.
Exotic cranes are generally omnivores; eating grass seeds, small invertebrates such as worms, snails, slugs, and also frogs, mice, lizards, and insects. A diet in captivity should include a wide variety of vegetables, berries, fruit, seeds, nuts, and dried insects.