Emu may not be everyone’s first idea to raise, nourish and make a profit from in the United States, but when done right, this Australia-based bird can make you a lot of money. Because of that, it’s not common to find emu on farms in the United States, which is why having one could turn out to bring a lot of profit and other rewards in the process. Still, there are a lot of things to know about caring for emus on a farm, and one of them is how much emu cost in the first place.
Emus don’t make perfect pets, as they are used to roaming freely in Australia where they are native, but they can commonly be found on ranches in Texas in the United States, which doesn’t confuse many people as Texas is home to everything American and some unconventional things as well.
Many people believe that having an emu can turn out into a very profitable business, but it’s also a steep business model in the process, as well as unconventional. Still, the benefits are many as these birds who remarkably look like Ostrich have great quality meat, as well as premium quality leather and feathers.
Another thing worth mentioning is that emu oil has incredible value, which is exactly why so many people are turning to emu ranching. Still, many people go into this business and invest in buying emu without understanding the real cost. It’s far from an easy experience but can be very rewarding.
In this article, we’re going to detail the value of emu and how much they cost based on age, origin, and other factors. This article will help you become an expert emu rancher while keeping the cost in mind. We’ll also detail other things like what emu birds eat, and how to ranch them and take care of them.
Continue reading this article to learn more about how to turn this unconventional emu business model into a million-dollar industry that emu ranching is guaranteed to reach.
Quick Summary: Emus are extremely expensive birds because of their majestic appearance, being limited to Australia and rare across the world. Even an Emu chick can cost you at least $800, while a proven breeding pair with prolific activity can cost over $30,000.
Emu is a large, flightless bird that closely resembles Ostrich in both appearance and size. Their natural habitat is in Australia, and for ranching purposes, they can’t be found anywhere else in the world. It is the second largest bird in the world after Ostrich, but just like its cousin, it can’t fly.
Emus have large and long necks and legs, but because of their tiny wings, they’re unable to fly. They can grow as tall as 5.7 feet weighing anywhere from 110 to 120 pounds as males, and about up to 130 pounds as females.
Although these species are native to Australia, there have also been subspecies that lived in both Tasmania and King Island, but ranching and hunting habits made them go extinct. There’ve been several conservatorship efforts to keep emus alive, but the common ranching practices prevent that from happening.
The reason why so many people are open to ranching emus is that they have red meat which is quite similar to that of beef. It’s worth mentioning, however, that the meat is not only premium in taste but also lower in cholesterol and other dangerous fatty ingredients compared to beef. It’s more expensive, however, which is exactly why you should get into the emu ranching market.
There are two main reasons why emu ranching has grown popular and brings a lot of money to the farmers. The first reason is raising baby emus and then selling them for a lot of money. The other reason is meat, which is the best quality when emu chicks reach one year old. The leather quality from emu is impeccable at that age too.
Whichever may be the reason for you wanting to buy an emu bird, here are what costs are associated with it and what you can expect.
How Much Does Emu Cost?
The most important determining factor about the cost of the emu is their age. However, other factors may determine the price, such as breeding status, health, and some additional factors.
When purchasing an emu, one of the most important things you should know is that the younger emus will cost less compared to the older ones. When visiting an open animal market, the age of the emu should be the first thing that you’ll recognize and ask about, and then negotiate the price based on that, breeding status, and other factors.
To see how varied the price of an emu just looks at this comparison. If you’re looking for a baby chick that is one to seven days old, expect to spend around $800 to $1,100, depending on the breeding status and other reasons.
However, if you’re looking to purchase a pair of yearlings that has been sexed, expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000, these abrupt differences in pricing are exactly why we say that the prices for emus are so varied.
Here is a little table about the cost of emus at different ages, study it to get the general price range, but continue reading below for more detailed cost estimation.
|1-7 days old
|3-4 months old
|Sexed Yearling Pair
|2 years or older
|Proved Breeding Pair
Emu Eggs Cost
If you’re restricted on budget, your cheapest bet is to purchase emu eggs and invest in that approach. Still, it’s a very risky ground if you’re inexperienced and didn’t raise emus before. They require special conditions to raise properly.
The infertile emu egg can cost around $50, while a fertile egg can be found for $100. The best way to know whether the eggs are fertile or not is by trusting the merchant you want to buy from.
Emu Chicks Cost
Given that you don’t want to risk with emu eggs and you know that the more they age the more expensive they are, the second cheapest option you can opt for is that of emu chicks. Those that are not older than seven days can be found for about $1,000. The older they are, the more expensive they can be. Also, keep in mind that juvenile emus are rare to find as everyone wants to profit from at least 1-year-old emus.
As they age, their price will grow so even a chick that is 3 to 5 months old will cost you up to $5,000 and in some instances even more. Keep in mind that they are still quite difficult to find and that no rancher wants to sell an emu that is younger than one year old.
1-2 Years Old Emu Cost
At this age, selling sexed emu pairs becomes more popular. For a sexed emu pair, you will have to expect to cash anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 which just goes on to show exactly how expensive these flightless birds are.
If you’re looking to buy one yearling emu, you’ll have to cash out anywhere from $5000-$10,000, which is a lot for someone who is just starting in the industry.
Adult Emu Cost
As mentioned earlier in the article, the price of an emu will grow as emu also grows older, so an adult emu will be significantly more expensive compared to a yearling. That being said, you’re expected to pay anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000 for a pair of sexed emus. You can expect to pay a single-sexed emu of two years or older for $12,500 to up to $15,000 depending on different factors.
Emu Breeding Pair Cost
If you want to purchase an Emu breeding pair, expect to spend more money than any other category we listed above. When it comes to purchasing breeding pairs, another thing that you will have to keep in mind is their production rate. That being said, if the emu breeding pair produces a good number of eggs, it’ll be considered a pair with a prolific production rate and will be worth more.
Such pairs can cost over $50,000 and sometimes, they can go up to $50,000 which is quite a lot for this rare bird. Emus can lay 30 eggs per season most likely, so you’re about to expect about 30 eggs each season. Emus are very rare in the United States which drives their value so high, causing the proven breeding pairs to be extremely expensive.
It’s worth mentioning that in other countries, purchasing an emu is considerably cheaper compared to the United States.
Costs to Care for an Emu
You’re probably taken aback by the cost of emus, especially if you want to purchase a proven breeding pair. However, that’s not where your expenses end given that there are also costs for caring for emus which are luckily not that high.
Emus are large birds which is why they need a big dedicated space where they can spend their day, roam freely or run. Given they are tall, it will be necessary to make a fence that is at least 6 feet tall, because even though they don’t fly, they are very resourceful animals.
Depending on your needs, it’d be best to choose a fence that is made of woven wire. It should be firm, and strong to prevent the emu from escaping, given that just like their relatives, Ostrich, emus are also quite fast. Alternatively, you can use a fence made of chain links.
You should keep emus in a large yard, but keep in mind that the fencing installation costs can be anywhere from $8 to $15 per foot.
Forget everything you knew about feeding the birds before because emus have a large stomachs and need more food than a chicken or a peacock would need. They need to graze regularly and eat foods that are high in nutrition.
Emus eat low-fiber pellet feed, but you should also feed them with minerals and different vitamins that will stimulate their growth and healthy habits. Expect to pay anywhere from $350 to $400 for low pellets per ton
Emus are generally considered healthy birds that don’t need much care in sense of medical monitoring. As long as they have enough space to roam, be physically active, and eat nutritional foods, they’ll be safe from all bird-attacking illnesses. However, keep in mind that there are costs of vaccination and deworm treatment, as well as other parasite prevention practices.
Where to Buy Emus?
We mentioned earlier that Emus are a rare bird, and even more so in the United States. However, if you visit Texas, you can expect to find the highest number of Emus than in any other state. That being said, Texas is also the best location to purchase Emus. Below, we listed some farms where you can buy Emus from across the United States.
- 3 Feathers Emu Ranch: Aside from Texas, you can also visit Washington state and drop by 3 Feathers Emu Ranch. There you can purchase high-quality emu products, as well as purchase your emu. The ranch is famed for perfect emu products like eggs and oil, but also very docile emus, both grown and chicks.
- Yoke Farms: Yoke Farms is famed for selling emu eggs and chicks. That being said, if you want to raise emu from scratch, Yoke Farms is the best place to visit.
- Moonlight Valley Farm: If you’re looking to purchase Emu eggs, you can’t go wrong with visiting Moonlight Valley Farm located in Pennsylvania. They also sell emu chicks, so you can raise them from hatchlings to fully-grown emus. They are also known for their rare white emus.
Online Emu Marketplaces
Of course, if you feel like it’s not convenient for you to travel across the states, some online marketplaces are worth visiting.
Editor’s notes: One problematic thing about these online sellers is that you’ll have to find a way to message the sellers individually, given that these sites are quite limited.