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UI Extension Publications and Multimedia

Raising Ratites: Ostriches, Emu, and Rheas

Product Details
PNW 494
Pub. Date: 1996

Online Only

View it now (PDF) >

Ratites are mostly large, flightless birds that exist in the wild in Australia, Africa, or South America. But US growers have been raising them as alternative and likely healthier meat sources for decades. Currently, about 100,000 ostriches, nearly one million emus, and 15,000 rheas (the largest population of farmed rheas worldwide) gambol on US farms. As a result, since 2002, the United States Department of Agriculture has conducted mandatory inspections. This classic 1996 publication provides an early and much-needed overview of the bird group’s care and raising for market, including egg incubation, chick management (brooding), fencing tips, reproduction (breeding pens), and dietary maintenance. Also, it lightly touches on the importance of figuring out zoning, farm plans, and price ranges.

Author: J.C. Hermes

7 pages


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University of Idaho Extension


Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 10
606 S Rayburn St

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2332
Moscow, ID 83844-2332

Phone: 208-885-7982

Fax: 208-885-9046



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