How to Breed Emus
The emu is a flightless bird, native to Australia. Emus grow up to 6 feet tall and weigh up to 120 lbs. Farmers favour emus because they can withstand extremes in temperature and aren't prone to any illnesses. They are farmed for their eggs, oil, skin and feathers. Breeding emus is the least expensive way to expand a flock. Emu hens lay 20 to 50 eggs per breeding season, and can lay eggs for up to 35 years.
Place the breeding pair in a large pen during the summer months. This allows the emus ample time to interact and develop a bond.
Watch for signs of breeding behavior starting in the late fall. Missing tail feathers in the female, the emus walking together closely, the male leaning on the female, and the emus pecking each other lightly are common indicators that breeding season has begun.
Check for eggs daily starting six weeks after the first signs of breeding have occurred. Emus frequently hide their eggs under grass, leaves and sticks.
Collect the eggs twice a day, once at dawn and once again before sundown.
Clean the eggs with a commercial egg-washing powder.
Store the eggs at a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit for one week, in a quiet room where they will not be disturbed.
Take the eggs out of the storage area and allow them to warm to room temperature for 12 hours.
Place the eggs in the emu incubator. Set the dry bulb to 95.6 degrees Fahrenheit and the wet bulb to 79.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rotate the eggs three times a day. Turn the eggs once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. Leave the lid open for three to five minutes after rotation, to oxygenate the incubator.
Transfer the eggs to the hatcher on day 50. Set the dry bulb in the hatcher to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the wet bulb to 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check the hatcher twice a day for chicks. Move any hatchlings to the brooder box.