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How to Tell If an Emu Egg Is Fertile?

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Raising birds is fun and easy, especially once your birds are mature enough to lay eggs. It does not matter if you are raising chickens, ducks, or emus, you need to care for your eggs so that they can hatch into beautiful chicks.

Well, you must know that not every egg is fertile. Unfertile eggs do not develop into chicks or ducklings.

If you are raising emus, you need to make sure that their eggs are fertile before you incubate them to prevent wasting precious time and resources.

How can you tell that an emu egg is fertile? Here are seven awesome tips for you:

1. When You Raise Both Male and Female Emus

The first thing to consider when you are raising emus is the number of male and female emus in your farm or yard.

Typically, there should be a male emu for at most 10 female emus. If there are not enough males on the farm, your female emus might lay unfertilized eggs.

If you are sure that you have enough male emus and they mate actively with the females, move on to the next tips.

A mother emu guarding her eggs

2. Candling the Eggs

A very common and easy way to tell if an emu egg is fertile or not is by candling it.

How do you candle an emu egg?

To candle an egg, you need a very bright, small light source. You can easily get candling torches in online stores or shops near you. After 7 days of incubating, you should candle your emu eggs.

To candle your emu eggs, place them on the candling torches in a darkened space so you can see what the light illuminates within the shell. You should see a web-like network of veins growing inside.

Candle the eggs every 7 days to see the progress of the embryo.

If the inside of the egg looks clear and void of development 10 days after laying, it is not fertile. If an egg appears cloudy, the developing embryo might have died.

Remember to candle your eggs regularly. If you are incubating the eggs by yourself, it is very important that you monitor their growth by candling.

3. Opening the Eggs

For this technique, you’d have to sacrifice an egg to tell if a set of eggs is fertilized or not. You can always eat the egg after checking it. To know if an egg is fertilized, open it and carefully examine the egg yolk. If you can see a white circle surrounded by another whitish covering (just like a bullseye), the egg is fertilized.

4. If the Female Emu Is Incubating Her Eggs

Even though this technique of identifying fertile emu eggs is not 100% accurate, it is a very cheap method to tell if the eggs are fertile or not.

Most mother birds will sit on their eggs until there are ready to hatch. If their eggs are not showing signs of development, your mother emus may abandon the eggs.

If you can see your emus actively incubating their eggs, there is a high chance that the eggs (or most of them) are fertile.

5. If the Female Emu Has Hatched Chicks Before

Another easy way to tell if your emu eggs are fertile or not is to note female emus that have successfully hatched baby emus before.

So long as you have enough male emus on your farm, it is very likely that these successful mother emus will continue to lay fertile eggs.

6. Test the Eggs With a Stethoscope

This technique is best for eggs that are more than 40 days old. When tested with a stethoscope, fertile eggs should have mini heartbeat sounds.

While some people who raise emus use stethoscopes to tell if the developing bird is alive or not, others are unsuccessful. You should try other methods to tell if the egg is developing or not and not fully rely on the stethoscope.

Note that this method is best used when you can no longer monitor the growth of an embryo with the candling method.

green emu egg in a basket

7. Test the Eggs by Tapping Them

The cheapest and easiest method through which experienced farmers tell if their emu eggs are fertile or not is by tapping the eggs. You should gently tap an egg every 7-10 days.

A developing egg should make a different sound when you tap it next time. Fertile eggs should sound emptier (i.e. with more air inside) than unfertile eggs after 25-30 days.

Now you know how to tell if an emu egg is fertile or not. Still, the most effective way to make sure that your eggs are fertile is to purchase fertile eggs. Where can you find fertile eggs? Continue reading.

Sources of Fertile Emu Eggs

Here are three major sources of fertile eggs:

  • A Feed Mill: Even though they make animal feeds and are not actual breeders, feed mills know people raising different types of animals in your area, so they can easily connect you with emu farmers that have fertile eggs.
  • A Nearby Emu Farm: If you live close to a nearby emu farm, you can ask the farmer for some eggs. They can even incubate the eggs for you and send you the emu chicks later.
  • Online Stores: There are many online stores where you can get emu eggs.

Make sure that you are prepared to care for your new emu chicks.

Related Questions and Answers

Now that you know much more about emu eggs, do you still need more info? Here are answers to questions about emus and eggs you might be asking:

1. How Long Does It Take for Emu Eggs to Hatch?

Emu eggs can take between 49-55 days to hatch. Some can take up to 60 days, but the average number of days is usually around 52 days.

2. Should You Incubate Your Emu Eggs Yourself?

Here are some things that you should consider:

  • The Mother Bird: Some mother birds become sick or weak when incubating their eggs as they no longer eat as often as they should. To help your female emus remain healthy and active, you should incubate the eggs by yourself.
  • The Scale of Your Business: If you are operating a large-scale farm, you’d have to incubate the eggs by yourself to ensure that every egg develops quickly.
  • Number of Eggs: Birds usually cannot incubate all their eggs especially if they lay more than 10 eggs. With an incubator, you can incubate and successfully hatch more eggs.
  • More Eggs: When your female emus are incubating their eggs, they will reject male emus and fail to produce more eggs. To ensure the continued production of emu eggs, you should collect the eggs from their mother.
  • Incubation History: Compare the number of eggs your emus lay to the number of eggs hatched by their mothers or by an incubator. If you are more successful with an incubator, you should incubate the eggs by yourself.

What do you think? Will you incubate emu eggs yourself?

An emu bird walking outside the fence

3. Should You Brood Your Emu Chicks Yourself?

The factors to consider before deciding to incubate your emu eggs by yourself or not still apply in brooding your emu chicks.

If you are operating a medium to large-scale emu farm, you should brood your emu chicks by yourself.

Also, brooding emu chicks yourself is recommended especially in winter. Note that emu chicks learn beneficial behaviors from their mother.

4. How Often Do Emus Lay Eggs?

Emus can lay an egg every 3-4 days. They prefer to lay their eggs in the cold months between November and March. A female matured emu will produce 30-50 eggs in the laying season.

5. Are All Emu Eggs Fertile?

Not necessarily, as outlined above, but if the breeding ratios are correct, most emu eggs laid will be fertilized.

Have you found the answer to your question? Awesome.

Final Thoughts

There are several ways to tell if an emu egg is fertile or not. You can check the eggs by candling, opening, or testing them with a stethoscope.

Always remember that only fertile eggs will hatch to become emu chicks.


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