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Poultry Farms Show Interest in Australian Emus

by 5m Editor
7 May 2012, at 11:08a.m.

KERALA, INDIA - Australian Emu birds are becoming popular among households in the south Indian state of Kerala with more families showing interest in rearing the birds as a supplementary income.

In view of increased interest among domestic poultry rearers, government agencies have drawn up plans to popularise rearing of the bird, reports Bernama.com, citing Press Trust of India.

State-run company Meat Products of India (MPI) is establishing a 100-bird farm at Koothattukulam near Kochi primarily for its meat, while the State Animal Husbandry Department is planning to launch various schemes this year to popularise the exotic bird.

The Kerala State Poultry Development Corporation (KEPCO), meanwhile, has said it will go into emu farming after a careful study of the market.

Known for its large size and low-fat meat, Emus can be reared in fenced-off open spaces. They consume poultry feed, kitchen waste and grains.

Emu oil is in huge demand as it is believed to have therapeutic value. The bird's eggs are also rather popular but not its meat, Kerala poultry farmers said.

MPI Managing Director Ani S Das said the freezing and cooking of Emu meat was found successful in their trials.

"We are planning to purchase initial stock of Emu from the Central Poultry Development Organisation in Karnataka for our new farm," he said.

According to sources, the Animal Husbandry Department is mulling purchase of more Emus from private farmers this year and providing training to poultry farmers.