BUSINESS BIRD EMU REARING AND ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

Dr. D. Rambabu, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Poultry Science
Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, College of Veterinary Science
Korutla, Karimnagar.Dist-505326

Introduction

            Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) birds belong to ratite group have high economic value for their meat, eggs, oil, skin and feathers. These birds are adoptable to varied climatic conditions. Although emu were introduced in India, emu farming has gained much importance.

Economic importance for human

 Chick cost           

    It is reported that the price of Rs.18, 000/- a pair of 3 months old Birds and the price of Rs.40, 000/- a pair of 15 months old Birds having live body weight each 40  to 50 kg. and the birds are used for table purpose.

Meat

    Meat of Emu bird is reddish in color, soft and with less of cholesterol 98% fat free. Emu meat is lower in fat than Chicken. Turkey, Pork & Beef It is the “Super Food of the New Millennium”. The price commands higher price than that of meat from Other birds/animal and is reported at Rs. 300-450 per Kg. The American Heart Association has included Emu meat in its listing of heart healthy meats.

Composition of emu meat

Nutrient Composition
Fats (g) 2.4
Protein (%) 20.9
Energy (ki) 446.5
Calories 106.2
Iron(mg) 3.0
Cholesterol (mg) 51.7

 Feathers           

    Feathers are soft non allergic / anti static, beautiful double quilled and are used  In hats, dresses, computer and car cleaning brushes and household decorative items. About 400 to 600 Gms of feathers would be available from a bird and each bird would fetch about Rs. 200/- at present.

 Skin

    The skin is very thin, soft and strong. Price of good quality skin is reported Rs.700/- to Rs.1000/- per Sq ft. and 8-12 sq.ft of skin is available from a well matured bird. The skin is used in the preparations of shoes, bags, belts, purses, jerkins and seat covers for expensive cars. At present raw skin of a matured bird would fetch about Rs. 1000 to 1200/-

 Egg shells and nails

    The egg shells are used for painting and as decorative items due to deep Blue Colour. Nails are strong and decor able used in artificial ornaments and craft goods.

 Oil

    About 4-6 a litter of oil is available from a bird which is devoid of any colour taste and odor. At present market prices, the price of one litter refined Emu oil is Rs. 3000/- to Rs. 4000/- The oil is penetrating and is having moisturizing. Analgesic allergic and antiseptic properties. The oil is used in analgesic ointments, beauty creams and lotions, soaps, hair oils, shampoos, perfumes and massage oils. The raw fat/crude oil of Emu fetches Rs.1000 per Kg.

    A number of studies have been conducted and are currently being conducted throughout the world on facts of the Emu oil, including its composition, benefits, applications in different industries and the resulting properties of compounds formulated with the oil.

Additional advantages of emu oil 

  • Cholesterol Reducer
  • Bacteriostatic
  • Significant epidermal proliferative activity
  • Non – Cosmetogenic
  • Significant wound healing agent
  • Appears to promote faster healing of burns with less pain and scarring
  • Anti – Arthritic Activity
  • Excellent Emulsifier

 Eyes

    The bird is able to see up to a distance of 10 meters and its eyes are being used to replace damages corneas in human beings.

Biological data of Emu

Place of origin Australia
Scientific Name Dromaius novaehollandiae
Life span 25-30 years
Egg production (per year) 30 eggs in winter season
Egg weight 600 gm (Avg)
Incubation period 52 days
Adult bird body weight
Male 40-50 kg
Female 35-40 kg
Sexual maturity 18-24 Months
Feed Chicken feed, green leaves, vegetables and fruits etc.
Housing Link chain mesh of 6 feet height
Floor space
Chicks 30-100 sft
Growers and Adults 2500 sft
Hatchability More than 80%
Mortality during chick ctage More than 10%
Adult bird feed intake 1 kg / day
Emu valuable products
Meat Low cholesterol, fat free (80%), red meat and more nutricious than beef.
Oil 4 kg oil per bird, oil is usueful for arthritis and anti-inflammatory.
Skin Smooth texture, very costly used for making jerkins, shoes, purse and hand bags etc.
Feathers Used for making hats, computer cleaning, painting brush etc.
Prevention vaccination against diseases. No vaccination required.

Conclusion
            Emu farming offers great scope and potential economic source, because of its supplementary income, additional employment and simplicity in management. A key to successful emu farming and management can be achieved by institutional support, availability of superior quality emu chicks, marketing of live birds and by-products and organizing training programs for farmers pertaining to emu management.

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