Who Says, "That Bird Won't Fly?"


 Emu Farming Becoming Viable Industry

    Emu farming?  Yes, that's what we said, emu farming.  According to Iowa emu farmer, Cyril Klein, the emu industry is a growing business, even in today's economic climate.  Klein said that he is …very positive about his own business and the future of the industry.  Farmers such as Klein have found that emu farming has innumerable benefits.  Keep reading to find out why Cyril is sold on the emu industry.  
 
    MEATEmu meat is both profitable and nutritious.  The meat appeals to customers because it can be prepared as burgers, steaks, roasts, brats, sandwich meats or used in ground meat casseroles.  It is a lean, dark red meat that is very high in protein and very low in total saturated fat.  Research has shown that it is also high in vitamins and minerals, including trace minerals like selenium.  Emu meat is recognized by The American Heart Association as a Heart Healthy meat.
 
    OIL - Studies have shown that emu oil has many advantages as well.  The oil, which is refined from the fat of the bird, contains Omega 3, 6 and 9, and is odorless, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, which means it does not block or clog pores.  Now you're wondering, What does that mean to me and why would I want to raise emus?  Well, we can tell you what that means to emu farmers.  Studies have shown that emu oil can soothe and nourish skin, is an effective transdermal carrier and has anti-inflammatory properties.  Emu oil has the potential to appeal to professionals in the cosmetics industry and medical fields.  Many people enjoy the soothing and moisturizing properties of emu oil.  Emu farmers understand these benefits and encourage the use of emu oil for the above advantages, applications and benefits.
 
    EGGS, FEATHERS & LEATHERS - Emus lay eggs that are an unusually beautiful greenish-blue color and are much larger in size compared to other eggs, such as chicken eggs.  One emu egg is equivalent to 10-12 medium chicken eggs.  The eggshells can be decorated and sold as artwork, jewelry, or unique home decor.  Emu feathers and leather are also distinctive and valuable.  Some farmers have sold feathers for craft projects and leather for clothing, wallets and boots, demonstrating that nearly every part of the emu is useful and profitable.
 
    Besides the value of the above emu products buyers are looking for live emu chicks, birds for processing and mated breeder pairs along with wholesale contracting of emu meat, fresh frozen emu fat, fertile emu eggs, edible emu eggs and blown eggshells.
 
    Now that we have briefly explained the advantages of this 95% usable bird, we want to encourage you to consider raising emus, learning more about the American Emu Association (AEA) and becoming an AEA member.  Once you decide that you want to raise emus, joining the AEA can help to make you a more successful emu farmer.  In addition to getting the opportunity to spend time with other people in the industry and attending conventions and seminars, you would get support from a national association that cares about the growth of your business.  AEA member, Walter Bishop, could not have explained this better when he said, Name a farm group that doesn't have an organization working for them?  Too many people think they can operate by themselves but, if they get involved with an organization, far more can be achieved.  If they work together on their problems and share their successes, they are much stronger than just working alone. 
 
    The AEA keeps members up-to-date on activities and upcoming events, provides tools to help educate the public and alerts members about changes in legislation that may affect the emu industry.  The AEA publishes a quarterly newsletter and hosts a members-only e-mail list through which ideas are shared and emus and equipment can be sought or offered for sale.
 
    For a great way to learn more about the emu industry and get a chance to interact with other emu growers, mark your calendar for JULY 15-17, 2011 and make plans to attend the AMERICAN EMU ASSOCIATION NATIONAL CONVENTION in BLOOMINGTON, MINNESOTA (Minneapolis area).  This convention will feature speakers, workshops, exhibit booths, numerous experts who are willing to share ideas and help those who are new to the industry and an emu egg art contest showcasing egg artists from across the US!   We look forward to seeing new faces and hope that we have helped you understand why emu farming is a beneficial industry and becoming more profitable.  
 
    If this article has raised your curiosity or if you need more information to be convinced that there is an alternative option to making money in the farming industry, we encourage you to visit the AEA website at  www.aea-emu.org  or phone 541-332-0675 with questions about the emu industry in general, AEA membership or the 2011 AEA National Convention.