Emu Farming – A Beginners Guide:
The following guide is for ” Emu Farming”. You can also learn emu birds rearing methods.
Some Facts and Highlights of EMU birds :
- “Dromaius Novaehollandiae” is the species name of the EMU.
- EMU birds are from the group of ratite family of flightless birds along with Ostrich, Kiwi Etc.
- EMU’s have adapted to a variety of conditions ranging from excessive cold to the extreme heat. Therefore, EMU birds can be raised anywhere in the whole world.
- Usually, Emu’s lives up to the age of 30 years.
- The EMU is considered as a friendly bird and can easily live in the grassy plains and dry open farms.
- EMU grow from 5 to 6 feet in height and weigh between 45 to 60 Kgs.
- Female EMUs are capable of reproduction for at least 25 years of age.
EMU is a bird that survives in all climates – whether it is farmed in Australia, USA, China and/or India. Unlike China, where breeding is well organized and the EMU is everywhere.
- As meat on the table;
- As oil with medicinal properties;
- As for Shoes and bags in high demand.
“Emu farming generating huge income for farmers in agriculture”
Emu farming seems to have a lot of untapped potential in terms of commercial value and gross yearly profit. These look-alikes of ostrich birds have been helping their farmers to generate a huge income and no wonder that this is considered as a worthy alternative to agriculture by many.
It is because the profit generated out of this business is neither dependent on the vagaries of monsoon nor it is hindered by uncertain market trends. The loans for setting up this business (enlisted under the poultry sector by the Indian Government) are also easily available under venture capital funds. In the markets, the price for birds of good quality is high but it is quite worthy of it.
Read: Snakehead Fish Farming.
“Emu farming commercial value is increased by emu oil, emu boots, emu meat”
The colossal commercial value of this business is a consequence of the range of byproducts obtained from it like emu boots, emu oil, and emu meat. Especially, emu oil, which is obtained from the fat of the emu birds, can be marketed as a good skin care product. It has anti-aging effects and is a good remedy for dry skin problems. It is also known for its wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been effective in lessening the visual impact of stretch marks and scars on the skin.
EMU bird eggs are dark green in color. Emu eggs are 10-12 times bigger than the egg of a hen. Female EMU may lay eggs after every 3 to 5 days.
The symptoms of ailments like alopecia and skin burns of first and second degree can be treated by applying this on a regular basis. The other by products like the emu meat has equal benefits too. Emu birds’ red meat being 98% fat-free, rich in proteins and iron has been considered as a worthy substitute for beef by many health-conscious meat lovers from around the world. Since emu birds are generally reared and farmed under natural conditions, these are free from chemical additives. Emu eggs have also been growing popular and the emu eggs and the eggs laid by chicken differ only slightly in taste.
EMU Farming in India is still in its early years, with NABARD giving loans, EMU farmers should have it better.
A year-old EMU is five to six feet in height, and weigh 30-40 Kg’s and upon completing 18-10 months EMU weighs in the range of 50-60 kg. During its growth, it changes its color thrice.
On newborn EMU chicks of age up to 3 months, there are light color stripes on their body, after 4 months the color of bird starts looking chocolate brown. After the period of one year, Emu chicks again change its color, its feather on the neck goes away and neck looks greenish blue and feathers exhibit a variety of colors but mostly in brown and black shades.
There is no visible distinction between male and female Emu birds. Usually 18-month-old female is capable of reproduction; however, in some EMU’s this period may extend up to 20 to 24 months too. Female EMU lays up to 25-35 eggs. The breeding period of productive female bird is about 6 months, from October to March.
Starting Emu Farming in India:
If you have land for setting up farm then you can easily setup commercial emu farming business. I have described the step by step process below for setting up commercial emu farming in India.
Emu Farming Suitable Location:
Select a suitable land/location for setting up commercial emu farming in India. It would be better if you have a plot of land of your own. While selecting land for emu farming in India, consider some important factors. Considerable factors for starting emu farming business includes the availability of fresh and clean water, good and nutritious food source, availability of cheap labor, medication facilities, transportation system, a suitable market near the place, etc. Be very careful about these factors during selecting the land.
Emu Housing/Shelter details:
A. Area requirement of the Farm:
- Minimum area for 10 Pairs required: 100’x50′, out of which emu shed area is 100’x10′ which is generally open from all sides.
- So for each pair of emu, the shed area with a roof covered with galvanized iron (G.I) sheets based on iron angles requirement is 10’x10’.
- The floor area of the shed should be at least made of kharanja or morum.
B. Breeding Pens
- In front of the shed, there should be a breeding pen for each pair with an area of 10’x20′ (10 pens).
- During the breeding season, each pen side area (10’x20′) should be covered by a cheap cloth (shed net) so that the other bird can’t see them.
- Each breeding pen of 10’x20′ for a pair with side chain link of 8′ height (2″x2″) and inner chain link mesh between two pens of 6′ height (2″x2″).
- Each pen should have one M.S. steel gate of 3’x6′ size. Thus, there should be a total of gates.
C. Run-off area:
- Common run-off area should be 100’x20′ for 10 pairs with one main gate 3’x6′ size of M.S. steel.
- Open run-off area should also be fenced with chain link (2″x2″) and iron angles of 9′ height.
D. Material Required for Housing:
- G.I. chain link mesh required for the whole area of 100’x50′ i.e. 300 R.FT x 8′ height. And for Inner area (breeding pens): 220 RFT X 6′ height.
- Total angles required: 9′ height X 52 Nos. and 6′ height X 12 Nos.
- M.S. steel gate (3′ X 6′) size: 11 required.
- Shed net for breeding pens during breeding season only: 220 RFT X 6′ height.
Emu Farming Chick Management:
A newly born emu chick weights around 370 to 450 grams which are about 67% of total egg weight. Although the exact weight of chicks depends on the size of eggs. Keep the chick inside the incubator for their first 2 to 3 days. This will help to proper drying and for quick absorption of the yolk. After that keep them in deep litter floor house. You can make the litter with paddy husk and cover new gunny bags or burlap over the litter. You can also set brooder of around 25 to 40 chicks and 4 square feet space is required per chick for their first 3 weeks. Keep the brooding temperature of 900F for the first 10 days and reduce to 850F till their 3-4 weeks of age. Proper temperature management plays a very important role in rearing emu chicks. Under the brooder, keep the sufficient number of feeder and water pots. To avoid straying and jumping of chicks make a chick guard of at least 2.5 feet height. Keep a bulb inside the brooder shed burning all time. A 40-watt bulb is sufficient for covering 100 square feet area. Extend the brooder area of chicks after their 3 weeks of age by widening the chick guard circle. Feed the chick starter mash for about 14 weeks or until they reach about 10 kg body weight. Emu chick requires sufficient run space for proper growth and healthy life. So, ensure sufficient floor space and run space for the birds for better production. Generally, 30*40 square feet floor space is suitable for raising about 40 chicks. The floor must have to be free from dampness and easily drained. Always be very careful and never overcrowd the pen.
Emu Farming Grower Management:
Emus are a big sized bird. They need big sized waterers, feeders and large floor space. Keeping male and female birds is a good idea. So, identify sexes and keep them separate from each other. Make a good litter inside the house to manage a fresh and dry condition. You can use paddy husk for making a litter. Feed the birds’ grower mash for their 34 weeks of age or until they reach 25 kg body weight. Along with grower mash add about 10% of greens. Provide them a sufficient amount of food and fresh water according to their demand. In the grower stage, providing 40*100 squire feet space for 40 birds will be enough. The floor must have to be free from dampness with easy drainage facility. Never keep the chicks or grower with adult emus.
Emu Farming Breeder Management:
Generally, emu birds become mature at their 18 to 24 months of age. For proper breeding, purpose keeps the male and female ratio as 1:1. 2500 square feet floor space is required for every pair during mating. For inducing mating and privacy purpose you can provide trees and shrubs. Add more vitamins and minerals in their food and feed them before 3-4 weeks of the breeding campaign. This will ensure better fertility and hatchability in birds. Generally, an adult bird eats about 1 kg of food daily. But during mating period food taking rate get reduced drastically. A female emu lays about 15 eggs during the first year and this number gradually increase from the next year. They lay eggs for the first time at their one and half years of age. An egg weights around 475 grams to 650 grams. The eggs are like tough marble and are of greenish colored. Normally an emu egg takes about 52 days incubation period for producing a chick. Proper temperature and moisture control management are very important for hatching emu eggs. However, proper care and management ensure good and healthy emu chicks. So, be very careful during the total emu breeding process.
Emu birds Feeding:
Like any other birds and animals emus also need a nutritious and balanced diet for their proper growth and reproduction. Good and high-quality foods also keep the bird healthy and diseases free. So, for profitable emu farming in India, you must have to feed your birds high quality and nutritious food according to their demand. Along with good and nutritious food provide them sufficient amount of clean and fresh water regularly.
Emu Farming Care and Management:
Emus are very strong and live for a long time. Mortality rate and other health problems are less in emus. Chicks and juveniles sometimes suffer from some health problems. They may suffer from E-coli infections, clostridial infections, intestinal obstruction, leg abnormalities, malnutrition, and starvation. The main causes of these types of health problems are genetic disorders, improper handling, improper brooding or nutrition, and stress. Emus also get infected by some other health problems and diseases like aspergillosis, ascarid infestations, candidiasis, coccidiosis, lice, rhinitis, and salmonella. You can apply ivermectin for preventing internal and external worms. Vaccinate the birds timely for R.D at the age of 1 (lasota), 4 (lasota booster) weeks; 8, 15 and 40 weeks by mukteswar strain gave better immunity. And always try to take good care of your birds.
Emu birds Marketing:
Sell your emu products when they reach marketing age. Along with emu meat, skin, oil, feather, you can also sell eggs, day-old chicks, growing birds. Normally you can sell every chick at the rate of 4000 to 5000 INR and 15 months aged growing emu at 20000 to 25000 INR. First of all, try your local market. You can also sell emu products in the international market.
Emu farming is absolutely a very profitable business. Indian weather and climate are also very suitable for commercial emu farming business. Visit some emu farm practically and finally start emu farming in India.