We have been on a three-year plan to hatch emus. During the first year, we raised our two boy emus before finally getting two females. The girls turned two on New Year’s Eve. Emus mature for mating between 18 months and three years of age. We hoped that this would be the first year for emu eggs. Mating and laying season starts in November and ends in march. My online friends started getting eggs two months ago while we did not. I finally decided that maybe we would have to wait another year.
Then a couple of days ago I decided to change the name of the blog to the Egg Farm as I way to highlight and promote our rare and endangered chicken breeds. Everyday I wander through the emu pasture looking for eggs but have come up empty-handed. We even hauled in eight bales of straw and made nesting areas to encourage the emus. They like to hide the eggs and we have precious little natural vegetation this time of the year.
We began to see promising activity in the emu nests we built.
We also saw some less promising activity.
The straw emu nests have been in for three weeks and so far as I can tell, they are being slept in and pooped in, with no sign of egg laying. It appeared as if we would be waiting until next year. So, I forgot about emus having sex and making babies. (Sigh)
I turned my attention to my blog, and set about transforming it from Everyday Miracles and Mayhem at the Buck ‘n Run Ranch to the Egg Farm. That was two days ago.
This morning at daylight, I went out to feed the animals. As I headed down to the donkey pasture, something green caught my eye in the emu pasture. Jack was braying up a storm, so I kept heading that direction for fear he would wake up the entire county if he didn’t get fed. Once that was out-of-the-way, I went to investigate the flash of green I saw in the emu pasture.
It didn’t take long to realize that we had our first emu egg! It wasn’t laid in the straw nests, rather in the alfalfa that had spilled out of the goat feeder. So much for humans deciding where emus will lay eggs. Can you see it? I think Loca is at the fence saying “Na Na Na Na Na Na, I laid the first egg!”
Then fainting goat Shirley decided she was hungry and started stomping around the feeder by the egg. Fearing she would crush it, I grabbed it up and headed out of the pasture. Stuart saw me with the egg and decided I wasn’t going to take it unless he went with me. As I opened the gate, he shoved his way out with me. Then he went a little berserk, running around the yard, heading towards the front yard and the road. I ran to the house to get Michael to help me herd him back to safety. It took awhile, but we got him back through the gate. Here’s a short snippet of the action.
Once Stuart was secure, we returned to the house with our prize. Now we have to wait for more eggs and see if the boys start sitting. In the emu world, the boys sit on the eggs for 56 days, hatch the chicks and raise them for the first year. This is the beginning of a really exciting and much-anticipated event here at the Egg Farm. I hope you will follow along with us.
Tucker say it tastes like chicken!