Something unusual happened at an emu farm in Keith, South Australia this week – Phil Rogers was out in the paddock going about one of his chores, collecting emu eggs to incubate, when he stumbled upon an unusual sight. Phil found a double yoke Emu Egg that one of his female breeding emus had laid. The emu egg weighs 850 grams and is 190mm long and 285mm in diameter. A normal emu egg weighs about 500grams and is about 130mm long. Talyala Emu Farm have been using EBay as a successful marketing tool for over a year now and intend to put this emu egg up for auction later on down the track. There is sure to be much interest in this unusual emu egg.
Phil & Chris Rogers have been in the Emu Farming Industry for over 15 years and have collected over 20,000 emu eggs during this time – and this is only the second time they have seen an Emu Egg like this! Emus lay their eggs in Australia from about May through to October and a female generally lays one egg about every three days. When laid emu eggs are green in colour varying from lighter green to very dark green. The shell of an emu egg has 7 different layers of colour ranging from the dark green outside layer through to the last layer which is white. The layers in between are shades of lighter green. This is what enables the egg to be carved. They are also used by thousands of egg decorators throughout the world, where the crafts people make jewellery boxes, clocks and all manner of art pieces with the shell. Some clever people also like to paint the emu eggs, particularly with Australian scenes or animals on them.
The Emu is the second largest flightless bird in the world and is related to the ostrich, rhea, cassowary and kiwis. The emu is native to Australia and is a protected species but it is allowed to be farmed under strict licence laws. Emus are also farmed in other parts of the world, mainly USA but Australia has a bit of an advantage because they started out with a much wider genetic pool of emus than would ever have been available overseas. This is because it is illegal to export either live emus or full emu eggs (which could be fertile) out of Australia. Most of the emus that the overseas farms have as breeding stock were probably from zoos or wildlife parks. Years ago they were able to export to these places after meeting rigorous guidelines.
Emu farming is a very lucrative business for those who have taken the time to market their product. Phil and Chris have been doing this through the larger tourist markets around Australia and over the years they have attended many shows, field days and trade fairs. Emus are processed at between 12-18 months of age and the farmer gets many products from one bird – about 15kg of meat, 5-7 litres of Emu Oil, emu feathers, emu eggs, body leather and leg leather. The meat is a dark red meat with a slight gamey taste and is used mainly by restaurants. Emu Oil is mainly known for its anti-inflammatory properties and helping people with arthritis, muscle aches and joint pain, eczema, psoriasis and many other health complaints. The emu feathers are used mainly for decoration and by the clothing & hat making industries. Another by-product of the emu is the body leather and leg leather – these items are used to make a range of items including wallets, purses, belts, leather jackets, handbags, shoes and boots.
Unfortunately like any new industry, the Emu industry here in Australia and overseas, has had its ups and downs. In the early days there would have been approximately 1500 licenced emu farms in Australia, now there would be lucky to be 50. This is creating a bit of a supply and demand problem, especially as more and more people are getting to know the benefits of emu oil. The Rogers’ can sell all they produce and believe it will be a couple of years before there will be more plentiful stocks of some of the products.
For more information please feel free to visit the Talyala Emu Farm website http:/www.emu-
+618 8532 3185 from overseas