Khulna, Jan 19 (UNB) – A farm of Emu bird, popular worldwide for its meat and oil, has been set up in Batiaghata uapzila here purely on experimental basis. Now the farm is abuzz as visitors stream in every day.
Ashraful Alam Khan, chairman of Bhatiaghata upazila, set up the farm on one bigha of land at Kismat Fultola, aiming to create jobs for youths. Now people from different corners of the upazila are visiting his farm every day to see it for themselves.
Emu bird is the second-largest living bird by height after Ostrich and the national bird of Australia. Emus are soft-feathered, brown, flightless birds with long necks and legs, and can reach up to 1.9 metres (6.2 ft) in height. They forage for a variety of plants and insects but have been known to go for weeks without eating.
Besides, it can adapt to a variety of conditions ranging from excessive hot to excessive cold and it can be raised anywhere of the world. Emu is considered as friendly bird as it can easily live in grassy plains and dry open farms. Emu grow from 5 to 6 feet high and weight between 45 to 60kg. Female Emu are capable of reproduction for at least 25 years old.
It generally lay down eggs from October to March. They lay down 25-35 eggs in per year. The colour of egg is green and 10—12times larger than chicken’s egg.
Talking to UNB, Ashraful Alam said he bought per pair of Emu bird at Tk 16,000. He first bought 200 Emu chicks and 12 Ostrich chicks. When he bought the Emu chicks, their weight was from 600-700gram. Now, the weight of each emu bird is 40-50kg.
As Ostrich chicks could not adapt to the weather condition, his 10 chicks died but 190 Emu birds are still alive and growing well, Alam said.
The farming of the bird has gained popularity all over the world for its meat and oil. Emu oil, collected from fat of Emu bird, are used to make medicines.
The chairman expressed the hope that Emu farming will soon get much popular across the country and unemployed people will become self-reliant through its farming.
Dr Bamkim Kumar Halder, livestock officer of the upazila, said the meat of the bird is tasty and 98 percent cholesterol-free which makes it popular in the world.
Besides, its death rate is also low compared to Turkey and poultry chicken. There is huge potential of Emu farming in Bangladesh commercially, he added.