From late November to early March emus begging dating and making babies. If you find it odd that they mate in winter remember they are indigenous to Australia so it is summer for them. Flips flops, Mai Tai’s, and long walks on the beach are the order of the day. Emus aren’t particularly smart though, and they haven’t yet figured out that they are in the northern hemisphere now.
It takes about 56 days of incubation for an emu egg to hatch, so by the time the chick arrives, spring is just around the corner. Do you know that the male emu sits on the eggs and raises the babies for the first year? Maybe that is because the males are just goofy enough to sit out in the wind, rain, and snow for two months without eating or drinking.
The girls lay the eggs then go back to the cabana for a cocktail and pedicure.
Usually the female last a few eggs and the males builds a nest and begins sitting. The female may lay more eggs after the males begins sitting, spreading the hatch dates out.
We thought Louis was broody when he built a little nest and sat there all day on nothing, but eventually he moved along.
In captivity the females often have to be separated from the babies because they try to harm them.
All of this is neither here, nor there for us. We have our emu separated into two pairs. Stuart and Loca occupy the lower pasture while Chica and Louis live in the top pasture. The girls have displayed mating behavior but we have not actually confirmed that they are mating. Loca began laying last year has laid eleven eggs so far this year.
Chica just started laying this year and has laid just one egg.
Unless one of the boys goes broody, I do not plan to hatch any chicks. We really do not need any more emus. It is easy to let things get out of control on a hobby farm, so we have to reign in the desire for more of everything. There is nothing as adorable as a baby emu, but for us, four pet emus is enough.
I have shipped eight eggs to a gentleman who is incubating them. I have no idea if the eggs are even fertile, but I am anxious to find out in a month or so. Until then I’ll just keep collecting the beautiful dark green giant eggs and loving the goofballs that laid them.