Did You Know These Emu Facts?
Emus are members of the Ratite family of
flightless birds, which have small or underdeveloped wings. Emu, the
world's second largest living bird have survived 80 million years in their
native Australia where they are found in the deserts, forests and on the
Emu were originally imported to the United
States from 1930 to 1950 as exotic zoo stock. In 1960, the Emu was
designated Australia's national bird, and an Australian government ban on
exporting the Emu has been in effect for over 30 years.
Emu are curious and docile. They are about
10-inches tall at birth, with black and white stripes. As 3-month-old
chicks, they turn nearly solid black and change into a tan, brown and black
mixture as adults, some having a bluish neck. The feathers are downy, with
no stiff vein running through the center. Emu, when mature, stand 5 to 6
feet tall, weigh up to 150 lbs. and are long-lived (up to 30 yrs. recorded
by zoos). Emu are strong runners reaching 60 km/hr. in short bursts taking
9 ft. strides.
Emu adapt well from temperature extremes in
excess of 100 degrees to below zero. No diseases have yet been diagnosed as
common to the species. They can exist on a simple diet and require a lot of
water, drinking 2 to 4 gallons daily. They also will play in water or mud.
Emu are quite prolific, each mature breeding
pair producing 20 to 50 eggs per year. The eggs are dark avocado green,
about 5 in. long and weigh on average 600 grams. The hen lays an egg every
third day during the laying season ( Nov. - May). In the wild, the male
incubates the eggs and raises the chicks. The eggs hatch in 52 days,
producing a chick which will walk within hours and run within days. The
chicks achieve rapid growth, gaining their height by one year of age. After
six months, the birds have shed most of their chick feathers for the
fluffy, elegant feathers of the adult. For most climate conditions, the
birds need shelter during the first few months. The birds are a very hardy
and adaptable bird.
low-fat (97% fat free), high protein red meat similar in taste and texture
to beef. Its higher in vitamin C and iron than beef, and lower in
cholesterol than chicken.
rendered from the fat layer on the emu's back; it is a deep-penetrating oil
used to enhance cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
a soft, supple, quill patterned leather used for clothing and fashion
FEATHERS / EGGSHELLS; used for unique and creative jewelry accents and for
- native to Australia
- the second largest living
bird in the world
- a member of the ratite
family of flightless birds (ostrich, emu, rhea, cassowary, and kiwi)
- average life span is 20 -
- average size of an adult is
5 - 6 feet tall and 120 - 150 pounds
- generally docile with a
- adapts to most climate
- does not require a great
deal of land or feed
- when mature (age 2 - 3), females
can lay one egg every 3 days with an average of 20 - 40 eggs during
the October to April laying season - the eggs are a dark green opaque
color, about 5 inches long - the eggs are gathered to be artificially
incubated for an average of 50 days. ( In the wild the male emu tends
the nest and sits on the eggs.
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