Emu Farming – a brief outline of farming emus, and the health-enriching oil they’re farmed for. IMPORTANT: This is the website of a Writer. We do not sell emus, emu eggs, or know where to get them from.
Emu Oil Uses
Emu oil is gaining popularity, with research confirming that it provides odourless relief for inflamed joints, arthritis, radiation burns, and a variety of other topical uses. It is also processed into capsules and taken internally though research into the efficacy of this treatment is sketchy. The fat is rendered and filtered, and in some cases, sterilised, and sold through health outlets.
Each bird produces about 15 kgs of meat and in New Zealand, the feathers are also used for the making of korowai, Maori cloaks.
Male and Female Emus
The males, virtually indistinguishable from females to look at, except that they are slightly smaller, produce a raucous grunt, while female emus boom. Booming is a round sound, reminiscent of a tightly strung drum with a deep tone.The average life span in the wild for an emu is approximately 20 years.
Native to Australia, the flightless emu is not an aggressive bird, but when pushed too far, can deliver a savage three-toed kick. Unlike ostriches which can only kick forwards, emus can kick through 360 degrees.
Females can become quite jealous and will literally henpeck the males. By comparison with females which have rich bustles, males can be skinny.
The emu breeding season is from late March to early September. The hen lays up to 20 rich, dark green, 550gm eggs. One of these beauties is the equivalent of approximately eight average chicken eggs. Emu eggs have a pale yolk and make delicious omelets.
The male sits on the nest, which can be over a metre wide, incubating the eggs for eight weeks. He doesn’t leave the nest and and can lose up to a third of his body weight through lack of nourishment. He looks after the chicks too until the next breeding season when the current hatchlings are about nine months old. Chicks weigh about a kilo when they hatch but by the time they’re a month old, they are already 10kgs.
Emu Environmental and Nutrition Needs
Emus are capable of running at up to 50kms per hour. They are not a flocking bird and need to run so are best kept in long narrow paddocks at an approximate maximum of 20 per acre. They are grass eaters, but because they can get their sharp beaks into the ground, they are also able to catch and eat a variety of insects and caterpillars. They will consume small stones and grit to aid their digestion. In their natural sparse habitats, food is often hard won so emus convert food to body weight very efficiently. Approximately one kilo of every two eaten becomes body weight.
The growing popularity of emu oil makes farming these large birds more and more viable.
Please Note: I am a writer. I have no feathers, eggs, oil, or bones and I apologise, but I do not know where to get such items from. This article was published in 2011.