A NEW POND ENVIRONMENT AT WINTERPAST FARM

Farmer Mary has been turning her in ground pool into a pond over the past year. A good friend decided to jump start the whole process and paid Farmer Mary’s son, Alex, to concentrate his efforts directly on the pond. What a difference a few hours work made!

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ALL ABOUT EMU

Farmer Mary has two emu named OSCAR LULU and EMILY. Each winter EMILY lays big green eggs that are about the color and size of avacados. OSCAR LULU gathers them into a pile and some years he sets on them a while. He would need to set 50 days for them to hatch. This has never happened at Winterpast Farm.
Here is more information about emu.
Tell Me About the Emu
The Emu (Dromaius novahollandiae) is the second largest bird in existence and is native to Australia. It belongs to the ratite family of flightless birds, which include the emu, ostrich, rhea, cassowary and kiwi. Ratite means flat breast-bone with no keel, therefore these birds do not have any flesh in the breast area and this is one of the reasons that they cannot fly. Some of the other reasons for the inability to fly are: their feathers are not aerodynamic; they have solid bones instead of hollow bones; and an emu has wings that are only about eight inches long.

A grown emu will weigh 90 to 150 pounds and stand 5½ to 6 feet tall. They can jump four feet or more straight up and can run up to 40 miles per hour. Emus love water and are expert swimmers; however they would rather play in the water than swim. Emu are quite docile and are not aggressive to humans, with many growing to be quite affectionate to people. The male emu generally tends to be more affectionate than the female. They tend to be aggressive to other animals, i.e. dogs, cats, coyotes, chickens, and ducks which they view as intruders. Emu are very curious and are attracted to shiny or bright colored objects. Emu are very playful and comical. It is common to see them running, jumping, rolling kicking and doing all sorts of aerobics.

The female emu makes a booming sound, something like a bongo drum with the male making a grunting noise, similar to a pig. The sound comes from an air sac in the neck. The female’s air sac is much larger than a male’s air sac, which allows her to make the booming sound.

What Do Emus Eat?

Emu eat grains, bugs, worms, some fruit, berries, vegetables, flowers, clovers and grasses. They may drink from one to four gallons of water every day, especially in hot weather. When emu have a good nutritious feed they will consume from 1 to 1½ pounds of feed per day. On poor quality feed they will consume much larger amounts in an attempt to get needed nutrition. On the American farm, emu are raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones.

Breeding and Growth

Emu reach the majority of their growth before they are a year old. Many emu will start laying eggs before they are two years old. The life expectancy of an emu is over thirty years, with a productive life expectancy of over twenty years. There have been reports of emu still laying their normal amount of fertile eggs past twenty-five years of age.

Emu lay eggs that resemble a large avocado. The egg color may range from emerald green or very dark shades. They are generally 5 to 7 inches long and can weigh as much as 1½ pounds, sometimes more. Breeding season can start as early as August or September with laying season starting as early as September or October and continuing through March and many times through May. The female generally lays an egg every three days and almost always lays the egg after 3:00 P.M. and before 9:00 P.M. Most females will lay at least 20 eggs per season with many laying from 30 to over 50 eggs per season.

In nature, the male emu accepts full responsibility for hatching the eggs and raising the emu chicks. He will not eat, drink or defecate for the duration of the incubation period, which will be 50 – 55 days. On the emu farm the eggs are generally picked up shortly after they have been laid and hatched in electric incubators.

Emu Farming

Emu farming is a viable form of alternative agriculture. It does not require a large amount of land. A breeder pair should have a safely fenced area of 25 feet wide X by 100 feet long with a shelter to protect them from the weather. The fences should be no less than 5 feet tall and built with no-climb horse fencing or chain link fencing. Careful attention should be given to be sure there are no areas where a bird could get his head or neck caught in the fencing or gates. Emu have adapted well to varied climates.

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BUNNY BIRTHDAY PARTIES AREN’T JUST FOR KIDS!

Farmer Mary and her animals enjoyed celebrating a more mature birthday in Durham late this afternoon. She is happy to help you celebrate any occasion.

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TURNING SEVEN WITH A PETTING ZOO PARTY

Farmer Mary enjoyed helping celebrate a birthday in Raleigh today. A front yard was the perfect site and even the mailman stopped by to see what was going on!
The Birthday girl held a wide variety of animals.

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THE FIRST PEACOCK EGG!!

Farmer Mary spotted a beautiful peacock egg in the peacock pen today.

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Hoping for more!
Will Justin Beiber be a Dad this year?

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Did the mysterious albino peacock visitor leave his DNA?

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UPDATE APRIL 17
Farmer Mary found a slightly brown egg and the fresh remains of an egg this morning. She took the whole egg and hopes to collect more to incubate.

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April 18
Farmer Mary found (at 9:22am) the remains of one egg. This egg might have accidentally dropped out of a peahen as she perched above, but then someone ate the entire eggshell.

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