TODAY -
NGOs firm on expanding Emu venture
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 11, 2010: With successful rearing of Australian Emu (scientific name: Dromaius novaehollandiae), a kind of poultry bird similar to the Ostrich but smaller in size, KVK Sylvan at Henbung, Senapati and Foundation for Environment and Economic Development Services (FEEDS), Manipur now look forward to popularisation of Emu farming in whole of North Eastern States.

Considered to be one of the rare and expensive bird, in India, Emu farming is popular in States like Tamil Nadu, Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Along with commitment and determination, KVK Sylvan, Henbung and FEEDS, Manipur, an NGO, took up the joint initiative of introducing Emu farming in Manipur on experimental basis after procuring 81 chicks from SAF Emu Farm at Chennai in March/April last year.

The chicks were three months old and weighed around three kgs when brought to Imphal paying Rs 5000 for each chick, excluding freight charges.

Talking to The Sangai Express in connection with successful rearing of Emu, Dr N Muhindro, who is the subject matter specialist (veterinary) of KVK Sylvan and FFEDS, Manipur, informed that each of the 81 chicks that were brought from Chennai are 12 months old now and weigh around 25 to 30 kgs.

Dr Muhindro explained that Emu needs lot of water and an adult can drink upto 7 to 10 litres of water in a day.

Among the poultry birds, Emu has highest resistant to diseases.

But they have to be fed thrice a day with crushed wheat and maize or poultry feeds available in the market and properly washed leafy vegetables.

By the time, they are 18 to 24 months old, Emus become sexually mature adults.

An adult female Emu started laying eggs normally from November to February and lay upto 30 to 40 eggs at the average rate of three eggs in a week.

An Emu egg which can be fertilised can fetched upto Rs 2500 in the market.

One unique character of Emu, which is quite different from other domestic birds, is that although the female lays the eggs, it is the male which is responsible for hatching them.

After a female Emu laid 7 to 9 eggs, the male Emu takes over the task of hatching the eggs.

On the economic value of Emu and its body, Dr Muhindro further explained that while an egg which fails to hatch can be used as a decorative item, the feathers plucked from Emu killed for meat are being utilised in making brushes for dusting off computer accessories and other electric gadgets.

The meat of Emu is also so expensive that it is sold in the market at the rate of Rs 1000 per kg and the delicacies made are served in five star hostels.

In between the muscle and skin on the back of Emu, an oil which has great medical value is secreted and it is used in treatment of joint pains.

Claws of Emu are also used as decorative items while the hide in manufacturing fine leather for making ladies' hand bags and purses.

Conveying that KVK Sylvan and FEEDS, Manipur have so far provided training to around 20 poultry farmers from different parts of Manipur with an eye on promotion of Emu farming widely in the State, Dr Muhindro disclosed that n incubator machine has also been ordered since the 81 Emus being reared would start giving eggs from November to February next year.

Informing that Nagaland and some other States have given positive response to the proposal of SAF Emu Farm at Chennai for supplying Emu chicks to the North Eastern States, Dr Muhindro said that imparting training on rearing of Emu had been conducted for only 20 poultry farmers so far as there is no definite knowledge on the quantity of the chicks that can be supplied by the said farm.

However, plans are afoot for organising more such training programmes and popularisation of Emu farming not just in Manipur but also in other parts of the North East region with a view to improve the economic condition of the people, Dr Muhindro added.


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