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He-mu & She-mu, our resident emus, came to us in April 2011 from an elderly couple that discovered an accidental breeding and didn’t want to raise anymore. They have been raised with close human contact, therefore are very friendly. She-mu is the dominant bird out of the two. She lays between 9 and 12 eggs and leaves while He-mu gets a trophy for being father of the year and protecting the nest. Of course, we don’t have fertilized eggs because December is such a cold month here in the US. In Australia, it would be quite warm, allowing the daddy emus to go on short jaunts without the eggs getting chilled. Here, the eggs get too cold for procreation, so we pull them. They lay about 55 to 60 eggs per season. They are not known for their incredible brains like many birds but did win the Great Emu War in 1932. Western Australia was being overrun so the government gave the military full access to cull 20,000. It was a dismal failure as the emus were very good about staying just out of range and the ability to serpentine. Very few were killed, and after one year and the birds were granted a reprieve due to the success of barrier fencing. Apparently, these birds have great respect or confusion over a man made obstruction.


ORDER: Casuariiformes   
FAMILY: Casuariidae        
GENUS: Dromaius           
SPECIES: Novaehollandiae

Emus are the second largest flightless bird in the world. They are semi-social, day dwelling omnivores, eating everything including their own fecal material to get all the possible nutrients. They get their name from the sound they make which sounds like the word,” E-moooo. They love water and can be good swimmers or rain dancers. They have large territories because they are always on the look out for food, from insects and lizards to leaves, plant seeds, flowers, fruit and grasses. Their calls can be heard up to 2 km away. They are polyandrous, meaning the female mates with multiple partners, throughout her life. They mate from December to January. The eggs are incubated by dad for about 8 weeks and then 5 to 15 chick’s hatch. They are independent at 1 yr. Their superpower is they are seed dispersers which helps keep biomes growing.


Humans hunting them for meat, oil, feathers and eggs.

Conservation Status

LC - Least Concern

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