Day 19 of my 30 Days of Ag “All Things Minnesota Agriculture” is Eric and Beth Engstrom of E2’s Emu Ranch located in Shafer, MN. My goal for this blogging series was to highlight Minnesota’s agricultural diversity. And who thinks about Emus as part of Minnesota’s agriculture? I surely hadn’t. Beth is professionally a Registered Respiratory Therapist working full time in a hospital setting, but they started their Emu Ranch in 1994. They bought 4 four-month old emu chicks to begin their breeding flock. They chose the farming life to help offset the costs of raising two kids and future college expenses.
A Few Fun Facts About Emus:
It is believed that the emu is a survivor of prehistoric times and dates back some 80 million years roaming the outback of Australia.
Emus are curious and docile. They are about 10 inches tall at birth, with black and white stripes. As 3-month-old chicks, they turn nearly solid black, changing into a tan, brown, and black mixture as adults, some with 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 90 to 120 pounds. They are flightless and strong runners, reaching ground speeds of up to 40 miles per hour in short bursts and covering about nine feet in stride.
Emus adapt well to temperature extremes from in excess of 100 degrees to below zero. No diseases have yet been diagnosed as common to the species. They can exist on a simple diet and require much water, drinking 2 to 4 gallons daily. They also will play in water or mud. (Thank you to Emu Fun Facts)
Why did you decide to raise Emus?
Who are you customers?