Many are taking to it as an alternative to cash crops.
Emu, native to Australia, is stated to be the second-largest living member of the Ratite family of flightless birds.
The demand for emu is said to be growing as the bird has "100 per cent utility' in terms of market value.
Its meat ( low in fat), skin and oil command a high market value.
Emu chicks are sold for Rs 4000-5000 ( each )
The chick survival rate is high since no diseases have been diagnosed as common to the species.
An area of 3000 square feet is apt for raising five pairs of Emus
From about 10 inches at birth, a fully-grown emu could be six-foot tall and weigh 45 to 50 kg
It can adapt well to different temperatures
Simple diet but drinks plenty of water. The typical emu feed is essentially a maize-based combination, and each bird eats about 800 grams a day.
An emu may start laying eggs as early as 18 months. However, egg laying normally begins at two to three years and continues till 26 to 35 years. The bird's lifespan is about 40 years. It needs 49 to 54 days of incubation. The emu's meat is also in demand and is sold for Rs. 450 a kg.
Uses of oil
Quoting reports from abroad and a few individuals who have used emu oil (sold at Rs. 400 for 100 ml), effective for arthritis, muscle and joint pain/injuries and acts as a moisturiser. Its skin, especially from the leg region is strong and soft and can be used for leather products and in the fashion industry.
Around 100 farms are found in India and Andra Pradesh is concentrating more on this at present.