Emu Breeders in Colorado

You might think that this somewhat exotic bird (it’s native to Australia) wouldn’t catch on in the US as a livestock option. Not so. You can find emu farms in several states, including Alabama, Michigan and Massachusetts and right here in Colorado. Given how the climate varies so much among these states, and the weather itself can be quite variable, it’s a testament to the hardiness of the emu that you can find them living in these parts of the US.

Like their larger relative, the ostrich, emus have gotten plenty of press as an environmentally-friendly and sustainable alternative for farmers looking to raise livestock. Typically it is the smaller farms that express interest in emu breeding. This is probably because emus don’t require an enormous amount of space, although experienced breeders like us will point out that more space equals less squabbling at breeding time.

One of the reasons US farmers may want to get into emu breeding, is that the emu is a “totally usable bird.” What this means is that the farmer can raise an emu or two and find that they can sell the meat, the feathers, eggs, and make leather from their skin. The fat which is removed when preparing the meat for market can be rendered down into oil; this can be sold as well. And of course, the birds can be sold to people looking to start their own emu breeding business. Given the current state of the US economy, such a useful bird is likely a boon to small farmers.