Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"How to" of Emu Farming

In recent days, I have received several queries asking my phone number to call on to check more information such as pricing, etc. My humble opinion about this is: If you are really serious about emu farming, get to the ground. Do not do arm-chair learning. This is not an IT course to learn that way.

Before you get on to the emu farming, you need to know the following:

  1. What is the business model of your Emu Farming 
    1. Chicks to Breeder and selling eggs
    2. Breeder and selling eggs
    3. Breeder -; Eggs --; Hatchery -- Chicks for Sale
    4. B-Eggs-Hat-Chicks-->12-month birds for Meat purposes 
    5. Each requires, different amount of investment. Please remember, this is money-intensive business. To certain extent, you need to invest, the rest you can go for bank loans.
  2. Do you have enough resources (all Ms, such as money, manpower, etc)
  3. Cashflow statement for the business (how much money needed to run the show, till you get the returns). Please remember this is a seasonal business, cashflow will be the BIG issue, if you have not planned in advance.
  4. Visit as many as emu farms to find out the commonality and difference between each one of them, and speak to the farm owners and employees to know more m in face-to-face. Many farm-owners do not entertain people to ask questions to them about emu farming. Some even charge entrance fees and consulting fees to speak about.
  5. Emu Farming training is provided by few, govt and private. In Tamil Nadu, Emu Research Centre (under TANUVAS) is providing three-day emu farming training course on a subsidised rate. Please call them to find out the next dates. In Hyderabad, I understand there are some training from Veterinary authority, please check the local emu farmers association. 
  6. Decide on what mode you want to startup, (a) with Breeders or (b) with Chicks. 
  7. Chicks rearing is most suitable for people with patience, because they need to wait for long (remember cashflow...!!).  
  8. Breeders rearing is for people with deep pockets, and wants to see immediate returns. Be careful in choosing the breeder, since you do not know whether it is an adult bird or to-be adult bird, because all the birds do look similar after 11-months, except some minor differences. Only the trained eyes will identify them. 
  9. Check for history of egg-laying while you buy for breeders. Most of them won't maintain records, but some will do. This is very common, since they seldom separated breeders into individual pairs. Hence, tracking the number of eggs laid by each breeder is difficult. Average eggs per season could be somewhere between 20-25 per breeding pair.
  10. Observe the types of pens to cage the birds, and space required, etc during your farm visits. 
  11. Employ the trained farm workers, else, train yourself before you train your farm workers, on how to handle the birds and how to give oral medicines, administer injections, etc. Emus are known to kick vigorously and severely cause injuries, if not handled properly.
  12. Devise a feed management scheme. Either you prepare them, or buy it from feeds manufacturers.
  13. Devise a vaccine administration scheme, and explain to your farm workers. Follow whiteboard method.
  14. Maintain registers for both feed mgmt, vaccines, and eggs-laying.
  15. Think about whether you have enough money to set-up Incubator to produce chicks. Chicks management is altogether a different story. It is very difficult and you need enormous preparation for that, like Diesel Generator, 24x7 monitoring & troubleshooting for 6-months, separate chicks brooders, vaccinations, etc. If you cannot afford it, please do not try hatcheries. 
  16. Get Insurance for your birds.
  17. Know a veterinary doctor near by.
All in all, keep in mind that, this is a seasonal business. You may not be engaged all the days of the year. So, try integrated farming, like goat farming, and use your hatchery to hatch quail eggs for the remaining 6-months period.

You must enjoy visiting your farm every day, and keep looking at minute things like health of your birds and animals.

I have given some of the starting pointers to ponder about. People doing business based on their conviction of doing that. No one can force it to them and they should not take it for granted too. If you are not convinced  and do not have conviction about what you are going to do, do not get into that.  Just enjoy watching.

All the best to your Emu Farming.