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 Frequently Asked Questions

What is an emu?
An emu is a "ratite" - a flightless bird. The ratite group also includes ostrich and kiwi. The mature emu is five to six feet tall, weighing between 40 and 60 kilos. The curious birds are born with black and white striped feathers but are tan, brown, and black as adults. 

When do emus begin reproduction? 
Emus begin laying eggs as early as 16-18 months of age, but laying normally begins at two to three years. Emus lay large green eggs often between April and August (Winter). Emus can be productive for more than 20 years and can lay 20-30 eggs in a season. 

Where does emu oil come from?
Emu oil comes from a thick pad of fat on the back of the bird that was initially provided by nature to protect the animal from the extreme temperatures of its Australian homeland. 

What does emu meat taste like? 
With more protein and less calories and sodium than most other red meat, emu meat is similar in taste and texture to lean beef.

What is the best way to cook emu meat? 
Since emu meat is low fat and loses moisture quickly, it is best when cooked to rare or medium rare doneness (145º to 160º F internal temperature as measured by a meat thermometer). For those who prefer meat that is well done, a moist heat cooking method is recommended.

What is emu oil used for? 
Emu oil has been reported to help in the promotion of skin moisture, epidermal healing, pain relief of arthritis and skin cell growth. Emu oil is also reported to lower cholesterol when taken internally. Emu oil, from some suppliers has been approved as a dietary supplement. From these suppliers it is safe for human ingestion.

When would I use emu oil? 
Emu oil may help with muscles sore from exercise, arthritis and/or rheumatic pain, or other minor aches, pains and dry skin. 
Apply emu oil to the affected area and then massage the oil into the painful area until all of the oil is absorbed. Apply as often as needed and remember - a little goes a long way.

Do emus make good pets?

Emu chicks, even hand reared, do not necessarily make good pets. Maybe one in one thousand will choose to be very friendly. Two emu chicks
that grow up together may not be compatible when they reach adulthood and continually fight each other!

How do I raise emu chicks?

Emu eggs take 56 days to hatch. After they hatch they need daily specialist care for about
four to six weeks. This includes a poultry heater on them 24/7 for about two
weeks then only at night for another two to four weeks. They need to be kept in
an enclosure (a shed) away from the weather and any predators like cats and
foxes. They need to be able to access sunlight from about day four but again be
in a totally enclosed chicken mesh yard with a mesh roof so that hawks and
crows will not attack them.

Emu chicks will start eating from about day four so they
need to be fed a diet of chicken crumble with access to plenty of water. After
about two weeks they need to be put on a diet that is about 12-14% protein
otherwise they will grow too fast for their legs. Emu chicks need to be able to
run great distances from about a week old so their yard needs to be no less
than twenty metres long. They also need green grass from the time they can run
outside which is about day five or six. Their shed floor needs to be kept clean so swept everyday to
stop any bacteria build up.

After a month old they are quite hardy and need a measured
amount of grain/poultry mix but always plenty of greens.

They are not fox proof until about six months old.

You cannot mix young emus with adults or any other animals
until they are about 12 months old. Other emus will kill them.

Emus will start breeding the year they turn two. There is no
way of telling if they are male or female until they start breeding and making
different noises. They can be sexed the day they hatch or you can DNA test them
at any time.