Ostrich & Emu

Revised October, 2018.


The ostrich, a flightless bird that belongs to the ratite (RAT tight) family and originates from Africa, is the world’s largest living bird. When fully grown, the ostrich (Struthio camelus) weighs approximately 450 pounds and stands eight feet tall. Emus are also ratites but native to Australia. They weight 125 to 140 pounds and stand about six feet tall.  

According to the American Ostrich Association, there is no single, reliable, comprehensive source of information on production, prices and markets for ostrich products.

The 2012 Census of Agriculture notes that 258 farms raised 6,540 ostriches and marketed about 3,141. This is a dramatic decrease from 2007, when 714 farmers raised 11,188 ostriches and marketed about 5,697. This continues declines from 2002. Texas, followed by California and Kansas, are the top three states in ostrich production. Texas is also number one in the production of emus, followed by California and Florida. More on Ostrich and Emu...

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