An emu is a large, fast, but flightless bird. Her homeland is Australia, the coat of arms of which depicts this animal. It belongs to the category of casuaridae. He lives on the continent everywhere, except in drought-resistant areas. In the period of prolonged rain goes to the outskirts of cities. As early as the 18th century, there were 6 species of birds, but its ruthless destruction led to the fact that only 1 species and 3 subspecies now live, which differ depending on their territorial location.
An emu is a large, fast, but flightless bird.
Some breeds of ostriches are bred in farms, among them:
Farmers keep these birds in farms because of their valuable fat. Ostrich meat has a red color, to taste like veal and beef. It contains little fat, but a lot of protein. Experts refer it to dietary products. The use of claws, feathers, eyelashes, not hatched eggs. Beaten eggs take white color, they are used in the manufacture of souvenirs, costume jewelry is made from polished claws.
Farmers keep these birds in farms because of their valuable fat.
Appearance and characteristics
Ostriches have a large body, they have a small head, a long flexible neck. The teeth are missing, the beak with the curved end of a pinkish color, round eyes frame the fluffy eyelashes. The wings can reach a length of 20 cm, they are visible underdeveloped claws. The ostrich has very strong legs, it can break even a human bone. The plumage of males and females is brown, which helps to mask, regulate the body temperature of the animal.
Ostriches have a large body, they have a small head, a long flexible neck
Australian ostrich does not like to be in flocks. But in search of food birds sometimes gather up to 8-12 individuals. During the nesting period, the animals maintain a sedentary lifestyle. They communicate with each other with loud sounds, resembling a drummer. An ostrich from Australia has a good ear, sees it perfectly. Able to feel the danger even at a considerable distance.
He goes to bed, sitting on his paws, only at sunset. The duration of sleep of these animals lasts 7 hours. The bird has no enemies in nature. But hawks, eagles love to feed on chicks.
Gallery: Australian emu (25 photos)
Nutrition and reproduction
Flightless Australian birds prefer plant food. They like fruits, buds of any plants. Animals ignore dry grass, tree branches. Love cereals. It is for this that they were previously exterminated.
Specially swallow sand and small stones to speed up the digestion process. Hatching chicks ostrich emu feeds insects. They are rapidly increasing weight with good nutrition, and after 12 months they look older.
Puberty of birds comes only at the age of 2 years. It is not the female that incubates the offspring, but the male, who independently prepares the nest, leads the female there for laying eggs. These birds are very smart, protect their children, obeying innate instincts.
The nest is a small pit in the ground, which is covered with grass or leaves. There, the male spends 15 hours a day, leaves home only for food. During this period, the male looks exhausted, because it loses weight considerably, and the feathers take on a faded appearance. At this time, it is apathetic and may even allow the egg to be taken from the nest.
The brood usually consists of 6-7 eggs, their weight is from 700 to 800 g. The shell has a dark blue or greenish color. The incubation continues for 2 months. An emu bird is born in a fluffy striped fur coat. It becomes sexual maturity by two years. The ostrich grows quickly, but the male continues to take care of them for 6 months.
In nature, an emu lives up to 20 years, because there are no animals that would hunt these birds. In places where the bird lives, aggressive reactions within groups are not observed. There are rarely in the breeding season.
Breeding ostriches at home
These birds are obedient, unpretentious, curious and therefore can live without problems on farms. An adult bird needs 2 kg of feed per day. It is impossible to overfeed, because overweight will negatively affect the emu's limbs, they will begin to bend.
In winter, the menu of a flightless Australian bird should include cranberries, germinated cereals. Throughout the year, the animal is required to give alfalfa. There must always be free access to clean water. Food ostrich swallows entirely.
Daily must be given:
In Australia, this species of ostrich is protected by law, the number of birds is controlled. These are the last representatives of flightless large birds. They are kept both on farms and in zoos.
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What does an Emu look like?
The kin of Emus are australian ostrich and cassowary. What does an emu look like? The characteristics and appearance of the birds are distinguished by some features:
- Dense torso. Weight ranges from 35 to 55 kg.
- small head volume
- have no teeth
- wings in length can reach 25 cm
- Developed limbs. In one step, overcome a distance of 3 meters.
Aggravated hearing and vision save individuals from danger. Because of this feature, during sleep they wake up regularly, with a total duration of 7 hours. They fall asleep quickly, sitting on their paws for 20 minutes.
It is easiest to distinguish the female from the male in the mating season according to the sounds made, since outwardly they look the same. Sounds pronounced male, calling the other half to commit actions. It was he who later incubates and raises offspring.
Gallery: Emu Australian ostrich (25 photos)
Habitat and food
Where does the Emu live? The Australian mainland is the main habitat of the Emu. Prefer a dry climate, forest plantations. Do not tolerate large crowds or noisy localities. Wild subspecies are found on the roads and in the fields. They spoil the harvest, thereby causing the anger of the farmers, for which at one time they were exterminated by them. For a residence choose shrubs, deserts or savannas with vegetation. Individuals living on the island of Tasmania, are migratory lifestyle: in the summer go to the northern part of it, and in the winter - to the south.
The total life expectancy in a free habitat ranges from 10 to 20 years, in fenced conditions - 28 years. Flocks of Emu birds are not collected. Mostly lead solitary existence. Only in the period of obtaining food are collected in small groups: up to 10 individuals.
The main product for food are plants. Eat everything: seeds, buds, roots, fresh grass. They love fruits and cereals. Small pebbles and sand include in the diet for good digestion. Chicks for this purpose give small insects: beetles, lizards, worms. From infancy, they have an excellent appetite, and therefore grow quickly - in a year.
What is the name of the Australian ostrich?
Emu is the largest fast flightless bird that looks like an ostrich. Due to the fact that Australia is far from other continents, this fact favorably affected the preservation of certain species of animals, to which the Australian ostrich emu belongs, the photo of which we present in this article. In the past, this bird was related to the ostrich-shaped species, but in 1980 the classification was revised and added to a number of cazuar-like. It is to them and refers emu. There are three types of emus that inhabit Australia:
EMU exterior features
Despite the large size, the Australian ostrich is still much smaller than the African. In height, they can reach 150-180 cm, weighing from 35 to 55 kg. They have a dense body and a small head on an oblong neck. They have large rounded eyes with fluffy eyelashes. Their pink beak ends with a bent tip. Since they have no teeth to grind food, it is quite normal for them to swallow small pebbles, sand. In addition, to them in the stomach often come across life-threatening materials - pieces of metal, glass. The wings are not fully developed (because they do not fly) and reach 25 cm in length. These birds have incredibly strong legs that can break a person’s bone. Velvet brown feathers mask an emu and are able to regulate their body temperature.
Individuals of both sexes have the same color. Like ostriches, emus may not drink water for a long time, but if they find a source, they will drink a lot and with great pleasure. In addition, they swim well and are happy to spend time in the reservoir, but since they rarely see water, they bathe in sand and dust, risking to ruin their feathers with mud. Dust bath - this is general fun, which is initiated by the dominant individuals and is held regularly. Such procedures help to get rid of various parasites, thereby disinfecting the bare places of the body. Dust to some extent protects feathers from water, replacing the subcutaneous fat that ostriches produce in small quantities.
Is an emu Australian dangerous?
Adults are dangerous even for large predators, one strike of a leg with a hard claw is enough to seriously injure or even deprive a lion, for example. In a direct attack, an emu can also cripple a dog with one blow or break a man’s arm. There were cases when males, guarding their immediate territory, attacked people and very seriously maimed them. In peaceful life, they are almost always silent and quiet, and the males during the mating season make a sound that is a bit like a quiet whistle.
Emus live in Australia and off the coast of Tasmania. As a rule, they inhabit dry biotopes - shrubs and savannas, can also live on the margins of deserts, but never go deep. The emu is characterized by a sedentary lifestyle, in the western parts seasonal migrations are common: in the summer they go north and in winter they go south. Adult birds have virtually no enemies, they quietly roam in open areas and only occasionally, in the event of a threat to life, throw themselves into a run at a speed of 50 km / h. Vision are excellent, because a moving object can be seen from a distance, for a couple of hundred meters. They do not like rapprochement with big animals and people, so on excursion farms they try not to allow visitors to this bird. Emus are kept, as a rule, singly, but sometimes in pairs of 3-5 individuals.
What eat ostriches and how to breed?
They usually eat rhizomes, seeds and fruits of plants, fruits and small animals and insects (grasshoppers, ants, lizards). Even in starvation time, they do not feed on grass and dry branches, preferring grain crops. For this they were regularly exterminated by the first settlers in the past. The marriage period falls from December to January. At this time, the males are especially dangerous and disperse all opponents from their lands. Emus are monogamous, so any male mates with only one female. As for the female, after mating it is released from parental obligations, it can converge with new partners. The role of the male in the continuation of the genus is great, he himself builds nests from branches and grass, and the female only lays 7-8 eggs weighing 800-900 grams.
In appearance, eggs differ in color: there are dark-blue, and even almost black, as well as greenish-blue shades. The care of the offspring is taken directly by the male. He incubates the clutch for up to two months and does not leave the nest for a second. He does not feed, does not defecate, drinks only dew from the grass and is constantly on guard. In two months of incubation, the male loses a lot of weight and survives only thanks to the fat that he was able to accumulate in advance. When the chicks hatched, the male carefully protects them. Despite the large size of the emu, his life is extremely restless. The main danger threatens the chicks, 50% do not live to reach the young. They are hunted by dingo dogs, foxes and wild boars.
How to properly care for an emu?
In Russia, ostriches have long ceased to be exotic, breeding them is not difficult. In general, it is the same process as with other farm animals. The Australian emu is quite unpretentious, and it is quite simple to keep it if everything is done correctly. When the stall content of an adult individual needs 10-15 square meters. m for walking. Since the emu is not able to fly, the fence should be 150-180 cm, if you decide to resort to the grid, then its cells should not be small, so that the bird does not stick its head there. And it is not necessary to leave sharp tops of the hedge, as the pet quickly injures itself. The basis of the diet of ostriches, which are kept in the compound, is mixed fodder with the addition of cereal shanks, a large amount of grass, hay, vegetables, waste meat, and root vegetables.
If you want to breed an Australian emu, care and maintenance should be the most acceptable for the life of the bird. This acquisition or lease of land, construction of premises, walking, purchase of feed, depending on the scale of the intended farm.
Interesting Emu Facts
Let's summarize everything we learned about this amazing bird:
- reach a human height of 170 cm and a weight of 55 kg,
- can't fly, since they have no keel,
- run fast, speed reaches 50 km / h,
- steps up to three meters
- the eyes are the same size as the brain,
- the emu does not bury its head in the sand, but runs in case of a threat,
- perfectly get used to t from -5 degrees to +45,
- in general, males and females are no different,
- bird eggs are dark blue or green,
- Only the male hatches chicks, the female only lays eggs.
Emu in ordinary life
In Australia, emus are quite common, so the danger does not threaten them. It is not typical for them to bury their heads in the sand, and these individuals are completely stupid. They represent the last species of large non-flying birds that exist today, except for the African ostrich. They live in the wild, in captivity they are kept to get meat, eggs, and skin. They are kept in zoos and ostrich farms. In terms of their meaning and appearance, they are amazing and unusual creatures.
This wonderful bird lives where there is space and greenery. Ostriches can not fly, although they have large feathers. Their speed can reach 70 km / h, but on average no more than 50 km / h. Therefore, birds live only in savannah and are almost never found in any other natural area.
Africa has always been considered the historical homeland of ostriches, there are still Australian species of this bird, but in Australia the runner lives in the savannah. Why this particular habitat? So everything is simple, ostriches are birds who love to run, and from enemies who are larger than them, all that remains is how to run. And based on this, it is safe to say that in the forest they will not be able to gain such speed that an ostrich can develop on a plain.
Also in the savannah it is easy to hide feathered. They fall to the ground and stretch their necks, from which the well-known proverb about hiding their heads in the sand has come. Also, thanks to the gray plumage, female ostriches perfectly mask themselves when they hatch eggs. But in dense thickets and marshy places runners do not live, they try to avoid such places.
The climate in the savannah is dry, there is no rain for a long time, and then it will pour for several months without ceasing. During the day, the air temperature rises quite high, but nights can be cold. Long-legged birds coped with these pretty well. During the day, they fan themselves with large wings, thereby reducing body temperature, and at night they lower their wings below the body, onto their legs, warming bare parts of the body.
The vegetation in the savanna is poor. It is in this zone that stunted, narrow-leaved herbs belong to the grass family, and sometimes they are covered with a special waxy bloom that preserves the life-giving moisture in plants. There are still low-growing shrubs, but for birds they are not interesting, on the contrary, runners avoid them, afraid to damage their eyes.
Water in the savanna in dry time is under the crust of the dried layer of earth. Thanks to powerful paws, ostriches smash the dried layer and pull out a small hole in which the necessary water is collected. The whole family drinks from it - a male and several females with chicks.
Do ostriches live in the desert?
You can definitely answer that ostriches do not live in the desert. There for them continuous inconveniences. The shaky sand prevents the runner from gaining normal speed, so they avoid this natural area. Although it was noticed by naturalists that during the incubation of the eggs of the ostrich family, on the contrary, they live on the outskirts of deserts, where there is still firm ground and there is at least some vegetation.
What does an emu look like
This original ostrich grows to 1.5–1.8 meters, while gaining weight from 35 to 55 kg.
У птицы плотное туловище, небольшая голова и длинная бледно-голубая шея с редкими серо-коричневыми и коричневыми перьями, поглощающими излучение солнца, и расположенным на ней просторным (более 0,3 м) тонкостенным мешочком с находящейся в нём трахеей. Глаза круглые, защищённые мигательной мембраной. Птица имеет розовый с загнутым окончанием клюв, зубы отсутствуют. Эму — не летающая птица, и поэтому крылья у неё почти не развиты: в них отсутствуют маховые и рулевые перья. Длина крыльев не больше 25 см, но зато на их окончаниях существует нарост в виде когтя.
Strong and developed legs without feathers allow the bird to take a step 2.5 meters long and to run up to 50 kilometers per hour at a short distance. On each leg, the ostrich has three fingers with very sharp claws.
The plumage of this bird deserves special attention: it is equipped so that the emu does not overheat in the heat, and does not freeze in the cold. Feathers are soft, brown-gray.
What is the difference between an emu and an ostrich?
Although the emu is attributed to ostriches (by the way, quite conditionally: the closest relative of the emu is not an ostrich, but a cazuar), but this bird has certain differences from them, for example:
- An ostrich is much larger than an emu, its weight can reach 150 kg, and an emu is 2-3 times less.
- The ostrich on the chest has a place not covered with feathers, the emu does not.
- Ostriches have 2 toes, and emus have 3 toes.
- The ostrich feathers are loose and curly, while the emu has structural feathers that resemble wool.
- Emus, unlike ostriches, is characterized by limited monogamy: one or two females.
- Emu are eggs of dark color, and ostriches are white.
The bird lives mainly in Australia, in the savannah, where there is a lot of grass and bushes, but you can meet it in Tasmania. Dislikes noisy and populated areas, arid places and dense forests. Favorite place to visit - sown fields, which cause significant harm. An emu is a loner, but sometimes it can also be in a group of 3-5 individuals.
Lifestyle and character
By nature, this bird is a nomad: it moves from place to place mainly in search of food, and with its long stride it is not difficult to overcome several tens of kilometers.
In the daytime, in the very sun, he rests somewhere in the shade, in the undergrowth, but in the evening, when the heat subsides, the emu becomes active, but only in the evening, the night for him is a deep sleep. To do this, he settles on the ground, stretches his neck and so sleeps. But doze him better sitting, closing his eyes half. It is believed that an emu is a stupid bird, but its stupidity is more than compensated for by caution: even when it feeds, it periodically pulls its neck and listens to what is happening around it, and if it senses something bad, it will begin to run away from danger. However, the bird has almost no enemies in the wild - its claws on its legs can kill.
Emu likes to be on its own, not coming close to people or large representatives of the animal world, but sometimes it does not mind joining a small group of relatives. In natural conditions lives up to 15 years, but in conditions of bondage - up to 25.
What emu eats
In the diet is not picky, rather, omnivorous, but the basis of its diet are plants. It feeds usually in the morning. Can eat and mice, lizards, insects, small birds. He swallows food, and then he throws small pebbles and sand into his stomach, which already grind food that had already got there. The water in his diet - not the main thing, without it he can do for a long time. In a reservoir encountered on the way, it can quench thirst and also bathe.
At about the age of two years, an emu develops puberty, and in the coming December – January, the breeding season begins, which is preceded by mating games. First, the male calls the female with its special sounds, then they stand against each other, lower their heads to the ground and swing them in different directions, and then go to the place of laying prepared by the male beforehand - a small depression in the ground, lined with dry leaves and grass.
The female lays one egg, as a rule, daily, but it happens that this happens in a day or two. On average, between 11 and 20 pieces weighing 700–900 g each come out. In the photo on the left (dark green) - emu eggs, on the right (white) - ostrich But dad hatching eggs and for him it is a difficult period: for about two months he leaves the nest only to eat and drink, and even then not far away and not for long. After 56 days, the chicks appear covered with fluff and already sighted, after 2-3 days they are able to leave the nest, and another day later they accompany Papa from wherever he goes.
The next 7–8 months only the father takes care of the offspring, the female does not take any part in the later life of the offspring.
Why is their numbers very reduced
The main reason for the decline in the number of these birds is their destruction by man.
In the 20s – 30s of the last century, agriculture actively began to develop in Australia, and the area of arable land expanded considerably. At the same time, the emu population, dramatically increased due to migration, in search of easy food production began to make raids on farms and cultivated land. They ate and damaged crops, broke holes in fences, through which rodents then penetrated. The Australian government received tens of thousands of complaints from farmers about the invasion of ostriches and the damage they caused. The so-called “war with the emu” was started when the birds were tried to shoot (three hunters were assigned, two Lewis machine guns and ten thousand cartridges were allocated). And when this method did not bring the expected results, the government resumed the previously introduced system of incentives for the independent elimination of ostriches. As a result, in only six months of 1934 over 57 thousand of these birds were destroyed.
Maintenance and care at home
The ability of the emu to adapt to new conditions and unpretentiousness to the feed became the reason for their active farming, including in the northern countries. Consider the conditions of detention of these exotic birds and care for them.
Requirements for the room
When equipping the premises should consider the following requirements:
- Square. When kept in stalls, the calculation for an adult is 10–15 square meters. m, and growing up - 5 square meters. m
- The litter should be thick and comfortable.
- Timely cleaning and disinfection of the floor.
- Ensuring continuous air circulation (enough if there will be opening windows).
- Maintaining the optimum temperature regime - from +10 to + 24 ° С, and up to + 30 ° С in winter and during incubation.
- Equipment troughs and drinkers, given the growth of livestock.
Aviary for walking
The site should be spacious, for an adult individual not less than 50-60 square meters. m. with a separate pen with a canopy so that the birds can hide from the sun. The enclosure of the enclosure should be equipped with a height of 1.5–1.8 m. A fine mesh is ideal for a hedge - an emu cannot stick its head and be injured.
What to feed
At home, cereal crops are suitable for forage, in the summer season - freshly cut grass, and in wintertime - hay. Mineral-vitamin complexes, grain mash, bone meal, chicken eggs, meat and bread are used as feed additives. The ration of poultry should be half full of juicy and coarse feed.
Emus Eggs and Meat: Benefits, Cooking Applications
Speaking of emu eggs, it should be noted that it is a storehouse of beneficial nutrients. They contain:
- Vitamins of group B - folic acid and cobalamin.
In eggs, about 68% of polyunsaturated fats and 31% of saturated fats are useful to humans, and they also contain 8 essential amino acids for people. Nutritional value of the product (per 100 g):
- Belkov - 14 years
- Fat - 13.5 g
- Carbohydrates - 1.5 g.
- Ashes - 1.3 g
- Water - 74 7.
The total caloric content - 160 kcal. In cooking, eggs are fried, boiled, baked, but best of all, according to experienced cooks, they are suitable for baking savory dishes. They make light snacks and omelets: to prepare an omelet for seven people, you will need only one emu egg.The most valuable and tasty meat part is fillet. It is recommended for people suffering from diabetes, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as those who have high cholesterol. Protein, which is very abundant in meat, is a catalyst for metabolism in the body. Properly prepared product will provide a good metabolism and better absorption of vitamins. There are so many useful nutrients in emu meat that a portion of 150–200 g replenishes 50% of the daily balance of nutrients.
Poultry meat contains:
- Complex of vitamins of group B.
- Vitamin E.