Red Oak Farm
Copyright © 1998 -2012
Forage for Emus
According to the Emu Farmer's Handbook, emus need between 15 to 20 pounds of forage per day if no supplemental feed is used. In the wild, emus exist on forage. Forage in the wild would include small animals like mice, lizards, snakes in addition to any plant material and insects.
Studies in Australia and New Zealand indicate that feed consumption can be cut in half if the right kinds of forage are used. Chicory, clover, kale, rape, timothy, alfalfa and other grasses have been used with varying degrees of success. In any grow out pen the vegetation will quickly be depleted. Careful management and rotation of the birds to new pastures is necessary.
Under rotational grazing one section of pasture is used while the remainder rests. The pasture is divided into sections (paddocks) and the emu are moved from one paddock to another.
Using this method, you seed the pasture, allow the grasses to reach 6 to 9 inches and release the emu into the pen. They stay in the pen until processed.
Continual Grazing with Feed Supplementation
At Red Oak Farm we utilize a permanent pasture mix that includes Timothy, clover, millet and other grasses suitable for our area. This is sowed in breeder pens as well as the grow out pens. We mow weekly and the birds eat what we mow before they eat their feed. We do not rotate pastures but find that we are able to reduce feed consumption by 1/3 during the summer months.
Other things to consider:
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