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Raising emus

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Give them room

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Linda Wilson, owner, Wilson's Feathered Friends

One of my daughter Caroline's favorite books as a child was about Edwin the Emu. He meets Edwina the Emu at the end of the book. Caroline thought they were cute, but to me, these ancient, flightless birds have a face only their mother could love, with big beaks and piercing eyes. But some people see raising emus as a real marketing opportunity.

Linda Wilson raises emus on about two acres, and says they grow up to 6 feet tall and average 150 pounds. This means emus need sturdy housing. They're generally fenced in, but need room to roam.

"The biggest thing is they are fence walkers," Wilson says. "At the very least you need a long pen so if you don't have room for width to a pen, at least get the length in. A lot of our pens are 12 feet wide by about 100 to 150 feet long. That gives them room to stretch out."

With their nine-foot stride, they reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. To raise them strong and healthy, use a special feed designed for emus. It's possible to mix your own, but first talk with your veterinarian.

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