Hubbard Life

Ratite Facts

  • Egg incubation time:
    • Ostrich - 42 days
    • Emu - 49 days
    • Rhea - 38 days
  • Good sanitation is an absolute must for successful rearing of young birds. Use a disinfectant in incubators, feeders, waterers and pens to reduce problems.
  • Exercise is vital to ratites. Birds in large pens tend to be healthier than birds kept in small pens.
  • Pens should be predator free. Wires should be strung over the tops of pens housing young birds. Adult birds require a 6 to 8 feet tall fence. Barbed wire should never be used.
  • While collecting eggs, use extreme caution, as males can be very aggressive during breeding season.
  • To prevent suffocation while resting, young chicks should be grouped to size. The heat source should be placed away from corners and walls.
  • Birds will consume 2 to 6 pounds of feed daily, depending on size and age. Young birds eat more in relation to body size that do mature birds. Birds normally average three times their feed intake in water consumption with more water consumed in warm weather. Fresh water should always be provided free choice.
  • Feeding of granite grit at various grinds, depending on size of birds, will assist in digestion.
  • Place waterers and feeders convenient to one another. Water must not be allowed to freeze in winter months.
  • Supply nesting materials (hay or straw) to breeding birds.
  • Supplying vegetables, such as lettuce or other feed products, is not necessary with the pellets and may even jeopardize the birds’ nutritional balance.