Emu is a tall and majestic bird from Australia that belongs to a group of flightless running birds known as ratites. The ratite family covers the kiwi, ostrich, cassowary, and rhea, all birds found only in the Southern Hemisphere. Emus are omnivores, and they hunt for food during the day, and they eat a variety of plants, depending on the season. They are a sole living member of the Dromaiidae family of the order Casuariiformes, which also includes the cassowaries.
- They are the second-largest bird in the world, second to the ostrich.
- They have two sets of eyelids, one for blinking and the other for keeping the dust-out!
- Emus have excellent eyesight and hearing, which allows them to detect threats at some distance.
- They can live between ten and twenty years in the wild.
- Female Emus are usually slightly larger than males and are substantially wider across the rump.
- Emu can travel long distances at a fast trot and can sprint at 48 kilometers per hour for quite a distance.
- They are also excellent swimmers.
- They swallow small stones that stay in the gizzard and help grind up food.
- To protect themselves from predators, the Emu’s primary defense is a swift kick or two using their sturdy legs.
Ratites: The most primitive of modern bird families.
Habitat: The physical surroundings in which an organism lives.
Omnivore: Organisms that eat both plants and animals.
Cassowaries: A family of large, flightless ratites inhabiting New Guinea and Australia.
Gizzard: The lower part of the bird’s two-part stomach
Predators: An animal that naturally preys on others.
Emu Buying Guide
The meat of Emu can be bought, either vacuum packed or fresh. You can order it via mail from individual producers, or you can buy it at retail in specialty food stores, health food stores, and retail establishments around the country. Always remember that the meat of Emu should have a deep red color with no marbling. Look for a cut that is very lean so that there will be little or no shrinkage when you cook it.
Emu Production & Farming in Texas
Emu is known to be docile, quiet, easy to raise, and could produce several marketable end products. They are being farmed for the production of leather, meat, and oil. After processing the bird, the layer of fat is removed and refined into a safe oil that is used in cosmetic and health products. The low-fat, mildly flavored red meat is sold to health-conscious consumers, and emu leather is crafted into beautiful goods.
They have a long life, and they can live up to 40 years. If the Emu is grown up with great care, they are capable of reproduction for at least 25 years. They can give the farmers healthy financial returns in forms of eggs and meat for 25-27 years of age.
Emus are raised on pasture formulated to optimize the growth and with enough room to grow. If you have land for setting up a farm, you can easily raise Emu. Important factors include the availability of fresh and clean water, healthful and nutritious food sources, availability of cheap labor, medication facilities, transport system, and a suitable market near your land.
The farming industry of Emu in the United States has been growing. The American emu farmers are committed to sound farming practices and continue to work hard each day, bringing the consumer public quality products to enhance their well-being and their quality of life.
Emus are Pre-historic birds that originated about 80 million years ago in Australia. They live throughout most of the continent, ranging from coastal regions to high in the Snowy Mountains. Emus were once found in Tasmania but were exterminated soon after Europeans arrived. Two dwarf species of emus that lived on Kangaroo Island and King Island also became extinct. Emu was also imported in the United States from the 1930s through the late 1950s as exotic zoo stocks.
In 1988, they were raised and sold to private collectors for novelty value. Over the years, it had gained momentum, and most of the farms evolved into integrated farming operations, including keeping breeder pairs, incubating eggs, hatching and rearing chicks, marketing live birds, and in some cases, home processing meat, oil, feathers, and rawhides. As the industry expanded, the need became apparent to support emu farming as an industry and to improve communication between the farmers. The American Emu Association was founded with 50 charter members in May 1989 to meet these objectives. By 1994, membership had topped 6000. By 1995, there were 35 state affiliates.
The Association represents an alternative agriculture industry, dominated by the small farmers who are devoted to humane and environmentally positive methods that produce useful products for the community.
For a good reason, The meat of Emu has been enjoying wide popularity over the last few years. It is widely known to be just as tender as beef and is very lean meat, also similar in taste to beef. Its flesh is dense and possibly one of the healthiest red meats. It has been dubbed by many as the “athletes choice of meat,” while for others, it just represents good sense. The meat is also rich in good fatty acids, such as linolenic, oleic, and many more.
The meat of Emu is chilled for 24–48 h post-mortem, cut, and immediately packed before marketing. After buying the meat, it should be kept in the refrigerator. To freeze, slip the packaging into a resealable freezer bag. If you’re freezing for several months, it’s best to wrap pieces individually in plastic before bagging to make them less vulnerable to freezer burn.
The meat of Emu goes well to many recipes. Because of its subtle flavor, the meat accepts most seasonings. It responds exceptionally well to sweet marinades made with honey, soy sauce, ginger, lemon juice, and garlic.
Emu is best prepared lightly grilled or pan-fried, but due to its tenderness and texture, it can also be cooked in a variety of ways. As the meat is low in fat, it doesn’t need to be prepared as long or with as high a temperature as most other meats. As a general rule, the meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of between 150 and 160 degrees F (66 – 71 C).
Ground Emu will cook faster than beef. Since it contains very little fat, it should be cooked at a low temperature. Shrinkage should be minimal due to the low-fat content and slow cooking. Overcooking will cause it to become dry.
For Grilling or Broiling, you must turn the steak quicker than you would set a beefsteak. Emu is best when cooked rare to medium-rare.
Emu has lower fat content than beef, and it is also lower in calories and cholesterol. Its meat also has full of vitamins and vital minerals. It provides you with a good Vitamin C source, higher in protein and iron, making it a choice for the fitness-fanatics. Based on its nutritional profile, Emu is ounce-for-ounce the best meat source for athletes, and modern research shows that its meat is an excellent diet for people suffering from the heart–ailments.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin A: It is essential for healthy vision, the immune system, and reproduction.
Vitamin B6: It is essential for blood formation and energy metabolism.
Vitamin B12: Essential nutrient that is important for blood formation and your brain and nervous system.
Vitamin C: It is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues.
Vitamin D: Plays a significant role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood.
Vitamin E: Key for strong immunity and healthy skin and eyes.
Potassium: It is essential for your body’s electrolyte functions and critical elements to maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Iron: Plays a vital role in the conversion of blood sugar to energy, red blood cell production, transportation of oxygen around your body, and production of enzymes.