Ratite Diets

Many different diets have been utilized in commercial ostrich production, varying from single ingredients such as alfalfa, to compound diets with several ingredients including vitamin/mineral mixtures, since the domestication of the ostrich as a farm animal around 1865 in South Africa.[2] The first book on ostrich feeds and feeding was already published in 1913 by Dowsley and Gardner.[3] Reliance on compound, commercial, manufactured diets, mostly in a pelleted form, has become the norm since the spread of ostrich farming to countries outside South Africa around 1990 and the recognition of emu farming as being technically feasible in Australia in 1987.[4] At the few pilot operations for the domestication of the rhea as a commercial farm animal in South America, a variety of compound pelleted diets, consisting mainly of alfalfa and corn meal, are fed.[5]

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