When it comes to sustainability, ostriches compare favorably with cattle because they require less feed and less land, and they reproduce quickly. Ostriches also produce less methane gas than cattle. According to the World Ostrich Association, based in the United Kingdom, ostriches have the potential to produce 40 to 65 birds per hen if reared commercially. The type of feed and digestive systems of ostriches also make them environmentally friendly. Ostrich feed is usually alfalfa based, as opposed to the grain or protein-based feed given to most pigs and chicken. In crop rotations, alfalfa fixes nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for artificial fertilizers. Compared with grains, alfalfa also produces more harvestable material on less water.
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