Emu Farming India


                                                                                 

Emus (pronounced ee-mews), are the second largest member of the ratite group of flightless birds. They are the national bird of Australia. Emus are native to Australia and were originally imported to the United States as breeding stock for American zoos. They have grown in popularity very quickly as today's premier alternative livestock for the American farmer. In India Emus were imported in 1996 for commercial purpose.
It is believed that the emu is a survivor of prehistoric times and dating back some 80 million years, roamed the outback of Australia. The Aborigines tribes relied upon the emu for their existence. The emu provided them with food, clothing, shelter, and spiritual sustenance. The emu will now play a large role in the future of Indian agriculture too.
The expanding emu inventory in the India is domestically bred. As research and sharing of knowledge increase, the Indian emu is emerging as the industry standard. The Indian breeder market is vigorous and can be made profitable for small and large participants


The EMU'S Habits    
                                                              
Emu are curious and docile. They are about 8 to 10 inches tall at birth, with black and white stripes. As 3-month-old chicks, they turn nearly solid black and change into a tan, brown and black mixture as adults, some having a bluish neck. The feathers are downy, with no stiff vein running through the center.

The mature Emu is 5 to 6 feet tall and normally weighs 45 to 55 kilos. They are flightless and strong runners reaching ground speeds of up to 60 kilometer per hour in short bursts, covering about nine feet in stride.

Emu adapt well from temperature extremes in excess of 100o Fahrenheit to below zero degree Fahrenheit. No diseases have yet been diagnosed as common to the species. They can exist on a simple diet and require a lot of water, drinking 4 to 6 liters daily. They also will play in water or mud.
Great Advantages Of The EMU In Agriculture 
                
The Emu hen can be productive for 25 to 35 years or more and may lay 10 to 60 eggs in a season. A hen may lay as early as 18 months, but normally laying begins at 2 to 3 years old.

Pairs normally breed from September to February, usually producing one egg every three days. Incubation time is 48 - 52 days and the percentage of eggs hatched is approximately 65 - 90%. Chick survival rates on emu are excellent. We cannot over emphasize the hardiness of the emu. These birds have been traced back 80 million years.

The emerald green egg normally hatching in about 50 days produces a chick, which will walk within hours and run within days. The chicks achieve rapid growth, gaining their height by one year of age. After six months, the birds have shed most of their chick feathers for the fluffy, elegant feathers of the adult. For most climate conditions, the birds need shelter during the first few months. The birds are a very hardy and adaptable bird.

For today's Indian farmer, emu farming offers an alternative cash crop. You can rear the emus in non-fertile land, which is not good for agriculture. With minimal investment in facilities and land area, excellent feed conversion ratio, and an established worldwide market evolving, the emu will provide a stable cash return to its' owners now and in the years to come.

  Products Of The EMU    Penetrating Oil                                                                   
The oil is rendered from the fat of the emu collected mainly from the back and the rump. Each emu can yield an average of 5 to 8 liters of deep-penetrating natural oil. This complex, primitive oil, properly rendered, is non-toxic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory. It is an excellent moisturizer and emollient, soothing and softening the skin.
Long known for its healing and penetrating properties, emu oil is well suited for cosmetic and pharmaceuticals. For thousands of years, the Aborigines have used the oil in the treatment of muscle aches, sore joints, inflammation and swelling. Today, the oil can be found for the family medicine cabinet to the professional sports training room. Emu oil helps to build healthy skin, and in burn creams, helps to calm the tissue beneath burned skin and restore elasticity. Additional oil applications include skin and hair care products, sunscreens, and perfumes.
Because of the primitive nature of the oil, important university and private research is currently underway to fully determine the oil's benefits and applications. The potential of emu oil is virtually untapped at this time.

Meat                                                                                       
Emu meat is 98% fat free. It is a perfect alternative for the health-conscious consumer who does not want to sacrifice taste.
Emu is a red meat better than beef in both taste and appearance. It is higher in protein than beef and lower in cholesterol than chicken. Emus are raised naturally containing no chemical additives or preservatives. Emu meat gives red meat lovers what they want and health-conscious consumers what they need.

Leather                                                                             
Emu leather is exceptionally durable, beautifully detailed, very supple, breathable leather perfect for designer apparel, handbags, boots and other accessories. One hundred percent of the emu body hide has an attractive full-quilled pattern. The surface visually shimmers due to the raised imprints left from the feather follicle structure. Emu leather has the ability to accept and enhance any color dye.
Fashion designers find the skin from the legs as a suitable substitute for certain hides from endangered species because of the wonderful reptilian texture.
   
Other Products                                                                 
The emu is a totally marketable bird. The emu feathers, eggs and toenails are being used as creative jewelry accents for fashion items and uniquely in craft goods such as backgrounds for fine artistic paintings. From a consumer perspective, the emu represents a natural resource useful to an unprecedented standard.


Opportunity of EMU Farming in India

In India, chicken is the most popular of the poultry species, followed by ducks and quails. Of late, we need to diversify to other species of poultry in order to reap more profits. Considering this let us discuss about Emu. Emu is a social bird with dark whitish complexion. The birds live in groups and can thrive under varying climatic conditions ranging 0° C to 52° C. These birds are omnivorous and eat leaves, vegetables, fruits, insects, worms. They can be fed modified poultry feed. It is clarified by the Chief Conservator of forest, GOM, Pune that Emu is an exotic bird and it has not been included in any of the schedules of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
The provisions of Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 and rules made there under are not applicable for these birds. As such no permission from forest Department is necessary for rearing, farming and selling of these birds. At present there are four Emu Associatison in India.
They are - at Hydrabad as Indian Emu  Association”, Mumbai - “National Emu Assocation”. These two associations are working at all India level. And in Maharastra level at Baramati in the name of “Maha Emu Association” and another at Pune in the name “Emu Farmer Association”. The experience of the Association in these states has been encouraging.







 Biosecurity measures to be taken in Emu Farming / breeding.
a) The farm should be ideally placed and away from the population.
b) The housing should be proper with adequate breeding facilities.
c) Proper disinfection procedures/foot dips etc., should be maintained.
d) The quarantine sheds should be separate and away from other sheds.
e). Routine disease monitoring procedures like postmortem examination of dead birds and periodic sera antibody assay is recommended.
f) Water source should be tested for mineral, bacterial, chemical, contamination and pathogen load.
g) The other birds (parent, commercial or pure line etc.) and pets should not be reared/allowed to enter the same farm.
h) The brooding space should be optimum.
i) There should be provision of showers, change over and dips.
j) Proper storage of feed to prevent contamination should be made. The water quality should be checked periodically and if contamination is seen it should be treated with any sanitizer.
k) There should be scientific facility for disposing off/destroying the bedding / dead birds
l) The equipment should be proper, properly disinfected and separated.
m) The farm should have a water sanitation system.

Business Plan for Emu Farming
(a) One can Start Emu farm with maximum 1 acre of agricultural land.
(b) Purchase Minimum 30 to 50 number of genetic 3-month-old Emu chicks from good Emu farm organizers.
(c) Emu Birds are grown by group concept only (16 birds group need 56 x 56 feet space with 6 feet height fence).
(d) Farm maintenance should be very important with good organic feed, purified drinking water.
(e) Emu bird 1st yields only in winter season and after completion of 21 months (in India November to December months)
(f) Further yield period is every year in winter season from October to March.
(g) Average of 10 to 15 eggs can be obtained from the 1st yield and subsequently average of 20 to 25 eggs can be obtained from next yields every year.
(h) Chick sale is a best profitable compared to egg sale.

Financial assistance
Loan from banks with refinance facility from NABARD is available for establishing Emu farm. For obtaining bank loan, the farmer should apply to the nearest branch of a Commercial or Co- operative or Regional Rural Banks in their area in the prescribed forms which is available in the branches of financing banks. For Emu farming schemes with very large outlays, detailed reports will have to be prepared. The technical officers attached to or the Branch Manager of the bank
can help/give guidance to the farmers in preparing the project report to obtain bank loan.
 A scheme can also be prepared by the beneficiary after consulting local technical experts or private commercial Emu hatcheries. Consultancy Services of NABARD would also be available for large commercial projects.

Beneficiary
A good practical training for a week and experience on an Emu farm will be highly desirable before starting a farm. If possible, they should visit the progressive Emu farms/ Hatcheries in the area and discuss the technical ability and profitability of farming.

Availability of Emu pairs
In India there are private Emu hatcheries supplying the Emu pairs of different age groups i.e. 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and 15 months old.

Availability of Emu feed
Poultry feed (layer) can also be fed to Emu. In addition to poultry feed mineral mixture and shell/stone grit can be given. Sprouted desi Chana and Methi can also be fed during layer season. During summer season chopped vegetables like cabbage, carrot, beetroot, etc. can also be fed.


  Project cost
Based on model Emu farm with 50 pairs of Emu the total project cost including fixed cost and recurring cost up to the income generating stage (21 months) has been worked out to Rs. 25 lakh (apx.).

Margin money & bank loan
Minimum 15 % of down payment has been considered to be collected from the beneficiaries and maximum 85 % of total financial outlay is considered as bank loan.

Security
a) Will be as per RBI guidelines issued from time to time.
b) Insurance: Bank may ensure that the borrower takes insurance of assets created out of a bank loan including insurance of Emu birds.

Repayment of loan
The repayment period depend upon the gross surplus generated in the project. The loan will be repaid within 7 years including first year as grace/moratorium/gestation period in suitable monthly installments (6/year) during October to March only.

Scope & potential
Emu farming offers great scope and potential because of its supplementary income additional employment and simplicity in operation. Efficient emu development can be achieved by promotion of small units in villages through a gamut of functions like dissemination of information and technology, making various inputs and organizing training sessions for farmers on this subject.

Emu farming, a lucrative option
Emu farming, which is growing worldwide, is gaining in popularity in India, and many are taking to it as an alternative to cash crops. Emu, native to Australia, is stated to be the second-largest living member of the ratite family of flightless birds. The demand for emu is said to be growing as the bird has "100 per cent utility” in terms of market value.

"The money lies in the emu's oil, which has great worldwide demand. An adult emu can yield up to 15 kg oil. Emu oil has great worldwide demand for its therapeutic and cosmetic use. One kg of refined emu oil costs between Rs 5,000 and 6,000, which means an income between Rs75,000 and 90,000 per bird.

The emu's meat accounts for 45 per cent of the bird's weight, which means 25 kg per average sized bird. At Rs 300 per kg, this amounts to Rs 7,500. Emu's egg, which weighs between 500 and 750 g, comes for around Rs 2,000. Emu's feathers, nails, bones and skin of legs also go into commercial use. In short, 96 per cent of the bird is used after slaughter Currently, emu farms in India have around 25,000 of the birds, including 10,000 grower and 15,000 breeder birds. The total number of emus is expected to grow up to 40,000 this year.

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