About Rheas


About Rheas

The rhea is a close cousin of the ostrich; it is about a fifth of its weight, but still a big bird at about 25kg at slaughter age (12--15 months), and standing over five feet high. Their homeland is in the plains (Pampas) of Argentina.

Both ostriches and rheas belong to the group of birds known as ratites. These birds are mostly large; all are flightless. Ratites occupy all the continents of the Southern hemisphere apart from Antarctica. Other ratites are/were:--

The Ostrich, living in southern Africa, standing up to 8 feet tall.

The Moas, alas now extinct, formerly inhabiting New Zealand. At their peak there were 27 Moa species, before Man killed them off. Some species stood over 9 feet.

The hen-sized Kiwis, the runts of the group. Three kiwi species inhabit New Zealand.

The Emus and Cassowaries of Australia and New Guinea.

There are 2 species of Rhea native to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Bolivia: Rhea Americana (also known as the Greater Rhea) and Rhea Pennata (Darwin's Rhea, or the Lesser Rhea). It is Rhea Americana that we have been farming at Pampas Poultry.

Meat production remains the central purpose in the longer term. For my part, I have recently retired from producing these birds and the meat from them.  However, I am still involved with promoting this potential agricultural commodity, and am always ready to give help and advice, including where to source your stock.

I produce a 21-page booklet on rhea rearing and management which I shall send for your cheque for £10.00; alternatively, if you have a PayPal account you can ask me to bill you.