Alternative Livestock: The Emu

By Laci Jones

Cattle. Pigs. Chickens. Emus? If you are looking for alternative livestock, emus may be exactly what you are looking for.

Not to be confused with the ostrich from Africa, the emu is a flightless bird from Australia. Walter and Wanda raised emus for 23 years, and they had 150 birds at one time.

“When Walter was ready to retire, we were looking for something we could do in the country,” Wanda explained. “We had enough of the large cities, and it took us about a year and one-half to find what we wanted.”

The couple decided to start selling emu products because of Bishop’s 40 years of experience as a chemist. They purchased four three-month-old birds from a man near Blackwell, Okla., and discovered they had too many females.

“We checked around and found someone who had the same problem but in reverse,” Wanda explained. “We boarded his birds, so we had six pair.”

Learn more about emus in the July issue of OKFR!