Rheas And People

Rheas are hunted in the wild by humans for their meat, skin, and feathers. They are raised commercially on farms in the United States and Canada for their meat. They are considered agricultural pests by farmers because they will eat almost any crop.


Rheas are raised commercially in the United States for their meat. However, although rheas are poultry, their meat is classified as red rather than white. Raw rhea meat is a dark cherry red. After it's cooked, it looks and tastes similar to beef, except it is a little sweeter. Rhea meat is sold as steaks, fillets, medallions (small coin-shaped pieces of meat), roasts, and ground meat. Rhea meat is lower in cholesterol and fat than beef and lower in calories than beef, chicken, and turkey, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 2002, the USDA instituted mandatory inspection of rhea meat in places where the birds are slaughtered.

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