Stuart and Louis, our sweet emu boys need at least one girlfriend, possibly one for each of them.
Raising emus as babies allows them to bond with humans resulting in friendly, non-aggressive emus, for the most part. In the emu world males are typically the friendlier gender. We have decided that the the best way to get dance partners for the boys who wouldn’t peck our eyes out was to hatch them ourselves. I ordered three emu hatching eggs from Kalaya Emu Estates in Kansas and they arrived today.
Emu eggs are large, beautiful, deep turquoise eggs. Mine weighed from just over a pound and a half to nearly two pounds. They are a handful.
It takes a big incubator to hatch emu eggs. I decided to make one out of my brooder and the lid, which houses the heating element, to my Brinsea incubator. All I did was line the wooden brooder with styrofoam and put the Brinsea lid inside and plug it it. I tweaked the digital temperature control until I got the inside to stay at a steady 97.5 degrees, the correct temperature for incubating emu eggs. I then hooked up the humidity pump, set it for 30%, again the proper humidity for emu eggs, and let it go for an entire day. Temperature and humidity held rock solid and I felt we were good to go. Ideally one would incubate emu eggs in a specially designed incubator or at the very least, a large cabinet incubator. Having neither of those, I needed to improvise.
Here are the eggs all tucked into the Brooderbator, as I call it, with the Brinsea lid inside providing heat and humidity control. I am either genius or completely mad. We’ll know in just under two months!
I will be providing updates as the hatch progresses. Emu eggs can’t be candled so I will have to rely on weight to know if embryos are developing. Eggs lose moisture as chicks develop and the weight of the eggs goes down. Ideally they should lose about 15% of their starting weight. If after a couple of weeks an egg has not lost weight, it would indicate that is was not fertile or the embryo started developing and quit. I am using incubation software to keep track of all the weights and will be reporting them here. So check back often and see how little emus, 1, 2, and 3 are doing!
These boys need dance partners STAT!