Re: [gardeners] Re: compost,Emus

Allen and Judy Merten (
Sun, 25 Apr 1999 00:49:07 -0500

Hi Penny,
    We were given 18 Emus by a person that thought they were going to get
rich raising and selling Emus. The market never developed. However pairs of
Emus went for as much as $35,000, more commonly a pair went for $15,000. Emu
eggs were sold for as much as several hundred dollars each.
    We have been raising them like livestock and we now have 8 left.
Actually there are 11 left but 3 escaped. It is very difficult to recapture
an escaped Emu in a large pasture. It can run 30 mph and turn on a dime,
leaving 9 cents change. Emus are quite formidable (125 lbs.) at close
quarters and can do severe damage by kicking, breaking bones or inflicting
severe lacerations. Just about the only way to recover the 3 that escaped is
to shoot them when the meat is needed. The smallest pasture in which one of
the Emus is now residing is 30 acres. We attempted to recapture it using 4
people on foot and one one a dirt bike. The Emu evaded all attempts to
recapture it.
    Roping Emus is pretty damaging to them. If you rope one around the neck
it fights the rope until nearly suffocated and passes out. Usually they
recover. Roping one around the legs, a hard scaly area like a chickens leg,
doesn't work because the rope slides right off the legs.
    They are easily handled in a smaller area like a pen or corral because
you can grab their wings and then walk them to their destination. This
requires two, calm, levelheaded people. Their wings are about the size of a
chickens wing. They do not like to enter a trailer with a roof on it.
    We are going to keep a pair. They will have free movement on our four
acres and hopefully nest and raise young birds. Their eggs are such a bright
green that they do not look like a "natural" bird egg, more like an Easter
egg. A friend of ours was given 6 Emus and has 4 left. The one hen laid eggs
in three nests and the 3 males incubate the eggs and protect the young. The
hen is through with the whole deal after she lays the eggs. This is one bird
species that is female dominated. The female Emus have to be keep separate
from other females when they reach maturity or the "alpha" female will kill
the other females. My friends hen laid 15 eggs and the 3 males hatched 14
eggs. They take good care of the chicks.
    The Emu manure we come by in the course of feeding the birds. The meat
of the Emu is a good substitute for beef. It is red meat, like sirloin, not
at all like poultry. It has a wonderful taste and texture. You can use it in
the place of beef and not wish you were eating something else instead. The
Emu liver is better than beef liver, milder tasting, and more tender.
    Bastrop Co.
    SE Central Tx.
penny x stamm wrote:

> Allen, I thought you were kidding us when you said you had
> emu (steaks?) for dinner a few days ago...  Now you have emu
> manure..  I must have missed something along the way.....
> How come?
> Penny, NY
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