Farmers of Orissa’s Gajapati District have discovered a new way to make money through Emu farming, or ‘golden farming’ as it is popularly known.

“Emu is an Australian bird and now it is being farmed in different countries and also in India. They are very much resistant to diseases, which is the biggest plus point in farming a bird. In other farmings the chances of disease resistance is less,” said Niranjan Patnaik, a farm owner.

“Emu is a totally medicated bird. The oil, which is produced by them, is also medicated. It has zero percent cholesterol. It is prescribed by the American doctors,” said Lambodhar Mohapatra, veterinary doctor.

Emu meat is very healthy and contains low amounts of fat and cholesterol. Emu oil is also estimated to be highly medicinal and is gaining popularity in the pharmaceutical industry priced at around Rupees 4,500 per litre.

Emu farming is not labour-intensive and it is compatible with rearing other livestock. The birds are also said to be highly disease-resistant.

In winter, female emus lay eggs after a gap of every three days. Using an incubator/hatchery, eggs hatch in 49 to 52 days. Areas with water availability in abundance are appropriate to practice this unique farming.

Emus need space to roam freely and if cornered, they can get aggressive by kicking their feet at the target. An area of 3,000 square feet is considered optimum for raising five pairs of Emus.

From a 14 to18-month-old bird, 20 kilogram of flesh and at least four litres of oil can be derived.

According to the American Cardiac Association, emu meat is very healthy and contains very low amounts of fat and cholesterol. Moreover, emu oil estimated to be highly medicinal is gaining its popularity in the pharmaceutical industry and is priced around Rs 4,500 per litre.

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), a flightless bird, is also the largest bird in Australia and the second largest in the world after its distant cousin, the ostrich. It can reach up to six ft (2m) in height and 66—100 pounds (30—45 kilograms) in weight.

Keywords: Emu breedingpoultry