Date of this Version
This NebGuide acquaints the ratite grower with management techniques that can help reduce the likelihood of disease introduction and spread on the farm.
Infectious diseases always concern people who raise animals, including ratite and poultry producers. In general, the larger the number of animals concentrated in a given area, the more potential there is for diseases to occur. This potential is greatly increased if new animals are frequently introduced. Other ways diseases are spread include allowing visitors near the animals, raising multiple ages close to each other or allowing contact with other species.
As the ratite industry matures, farms will inevitably become larger and more specialized. This change requires more sophisticated disease prevention techniques to protect the valuable investment each grower has in the operation. The biosecurity measures discussed below are those implemented by the poultry industry which, with some modifications, can be geared toward the unique characteristics of ratite husbandry. In the long run, diseases are far easier and more economical to prevent than to treat.