Farmers Warn Iowans That Emus Are More Than Just Cute
Social media has done wonders for the farming community. Farmers have used it to squash misconceptions about the industry as well as educate.
It has also helped inspire some people to try their hand at it.
Emu farmers have started to run into this as people see others raising emus and want to try their hand at it.
However, some have spoken up telling people to stop buying these birds just because they are cute on social media.
Tammy Shull is the owner of Moonlight Valley Farms in Pennsylvania. In an interview with The Guardian, she talks about the uptick in interest in owning these giant birds due to social media.
Recent viral videos definitely created an awareness of emus and their antics. We are finding many folks are getting emus on a whim and not doing the proper research before obtaining these large birds.
In Iowa, there are a few emu farms where you are able to buy emu oils or meat.
But say you get your hands on a live emu. Is it going to be as fun as social media makes it out to be?
Shull explains that sometimes emus can imprint on their human and will behave fine… when they hit maturity. However, their hormones can cause them to change their behavior “literally overnight”, leaving owners wondering ‘‘What happened to my sweet and tame emu?’”.
And I don’t know about you but I am not trying to mess with a bird that is bigger than me.
Emus can grow to be around 5’7” and weigh over 100 pounds.
While some people on social media are showing their emus off, they are showing off their birds at their best.
Todd Green, a postdoctoral teaching fellow at the New York Institute of Technology studies emus. He told The Guardian that this recent emu craze is the same as when people would buy baby alligators- forgetting that they grow up to be full size.
Most emus don’t want to be touched on the head or cuddled. Some are very docile and friendly, but not all are. They’re very strong animals and if you’re not careful, they can kick and break bones.
The American Emu Association works to teach people about the big birds and what their uses are. There are seven affiliate organizations within the national umbrella, one being in Iowa.
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