16 Year Old Roselawn llinois 4-H Member Owns An Emu"I go to a lot of animal auctions and swap meets. I talked to a guy who had an incubator that he hatched emus in. So, I started researching emus about four or five years ago. I currently have two emus, a male and a female. It's the breeding season now (Jan 2016), so Harriet should start layin' any time. I'm gonna hatch out some eggs." "What people mainly use emus for is the oil. You render down the fat from their backs. Have you ever heard of Blue Emu? It's like a salve with emu oil in it. But to answer your question, emu meat is supposed to be better for you than beef. It's higher in protein. It takes two years for an emu to be big enough to slaughter." For more about Michael's emu farming ambitions read The Chicago Tribune
6 and 9 month old juveniles sold for pets on the Lower Mainland BC with future breeding possibilities
"The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings."
-Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
18 month old female sold to a farmer in Duncan BC for breeding stock
Emu farming started in North America in the 1980's. The industry has experienced a couple of boom-bust adjustments as it clarifies its niche and matures into a viable agricultural opportunity. Youth is one of the necessary ingredients to carry this industry forward. Check the article below from the Chicago Tribune to witness the enthusiasm of this young entrepreneur.
Emus are considered livestock for purposes of processing even though they have the anatomy of poultry. Their meat has the texture of beef and is recognized by the American Heart Association as one of the most healthy red meats. Their fat is rendered into emu oil which has among other attributes, anti-inflammatory properties. Both byproducts are very much in demand by customers seeking alternatives to processed food and artificial health and beauty products. Emus live in a protected environment for 25+ years and start laying eggs at 2 years. In general they are very friendly and curious and easy to handle for young (see the article below) and old farmers. An emu is ready for slaughter at 14-18 months and requires a specific slaughter process to ensure the integrity of the fat by avoiding contamination with protein and water. Minimal shelter from severe weather conditions, pens that provide 80-100' foot long distances for running and 6 ft. fencing are all that is required to keep an emu contained and safe. A nutritional feed formula can be obtained with membership from the American Emu Association to ensure healthy development. After the age of 4-6 months emus are usually resistant to disease and vet bills can be kept to a minimum. Farming emus starts by purchasing fertile eggs, 3 day old chicks, 1-3 months old chicks, 3-12 month old juveniles or full grown birds or proven breeder pairs. Contact Mt. Sicker Family Farm with your questions as we are very willing to share our emu farming experience.
Emu farming is better positioned in 2016 than ever before.
Consumers are eager to manage their own health by eating properly and using natural health products. What could be a better fit than emu meat and oil? Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to make a go of this agricultural opportunity? Read more about what it takes at Entrepreneurship: A Kiss of Life For The UK Farming Sector.
John and Lois Hellemond © 2019
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