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Ratite farming

Ratites are a group of birds that includes ostriches, emu, rheas, cassowaries, and kiwis. Lacking the large keel on the breast bone where flight muscles attach, these birds are unable to fly. The most economically important species of ratites are the ostrich and the emu, with the rhea a distant third. The cassowary is rare and is not considered to have any economic importance, while the kiwi is an oddity and is virtually absent from most countries. Ratite management is similar to both livestock and poultry management. Commercial ratite production for meat and leather (ostrich, emu, rhea), feathers (ostrich) and oil (emu) occurs worldwide. The management and diseases of the large ratites are similar. Ratite meat is evaluated similarly for other red meat species through the determination of carcass traits, physical and chemical properties and palatability traits. Meat production for ratites is primarily under controlled farming and management schemes.
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