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About emu

Emu is the national bird of Australia. It belongs to a group of birds collectively known as Ratites and shares its designation with Ostrich, Rhea, Cassowary and Kiwi. It is also the second largest extant bird in the world by height after its relative, the Ostrich

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The soft-feathered, blackish-brown, flightless bird reaches up to 2 metres (6 ft) in height. Emu has a long neck, long legs with three toes on each foot and small wings. Emus can travel great distances at a fast economical trot and if necessary can sprint at 50 km/h (31 mph) for some distance at a time. They are opportunistically nomadic and may travel long distances to find food but have been known to go weeks without food. Emus eat seeds, insects such as grasshoppers and caterpillars, leaves, fruits and native plants. They also eat stones, glass shards and bits of metal that help them squash the food in their digestive system. Emus drink a lot of water. Emus do not sleep continuously at night but in several short stints sitting down. Emus weigh between 30 to 50 kilos at maturity. Males and females look similar but females can be a little larger than the male. Emu legs are among the strongest of any animals which they use to kick away the predators. The feathers allow the Emu to prevent heat from flowing into the skin permitting it to be active during the midday heat. Emus can easily survive in temperature varying between 0 to 55 degrees Celsius.


Emu is immune to all the diseases. Emu lives for 35 to 40 years and an Emu hen can be productive for 25 years or more and may lay upto 30 to 35 eggs in a season. A hen may lay as early as 18 months but normally laying begins at 2 to 3 years of age. Pairs normally breed from October to March and usually produce one egg every 3 to 4 days. Incubation time is 48 to 52 days and the percentage of eggs hatched is approximately 70%. Chick survival rate on Emu is excellent.


Scientific Name

Dromaius Novaehollandaiae

Country of Origin

Australia

Height

Can grow up to 5' 5"

Weight

Can weigh up to 50 kg

Age

Can remain fertile for 20 Years and can live for 40 years

No. of Eggs Laid

8-12(Breeding Year 1), 15-22(Breeding Year 2) and 25-35 (Year 3)

Incubation Time

Up to 56 Days

Feathers

Grey/Brown with whitish patch around the neck

Face and Neck

Some parts of the neck and the face does not have any feathers. The skin color is normally very dark.

Feet and Legs

Emu Bird has large feet with three toes. Their feet and legs are dark in colour.

Feed

Emu bird eats wild fruits, seeds, leaves, herbs and shrubs. They normally eat during the day.

Mating

In India emu birds mate between October to March. Most emu produce eggs during the age of 2 years while some can take upto 3 years to breed. During the first year of mating an emu hen lays about 8-15 eggs. The number of eggs increases in the subsequent years to 20-35. The eggs can weigh around 600 to 800gms. After the emu hen lays the eggs the male emu builds a nest and incubates the eggs. During the incubation period the male emu does not eat or drink. It is only after incubation that the male emu eats the eggs shells to gain digestive strength.

Incubation

Emu eggs are incubated for 56 days after which the chicks are hatched. It should be made sure that during incubation correct temperature, humidity and rotation is maintained. There should be adequate supply of oxygen and the incubation area should be disinfected properly.

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