In the spring of 2004, Matt started a new job, as a Software Engineer, in the Austin area. We found a nice place in the country which also happened to have 2 Emus. The previous owner had been very active raising Emus. When our real estate agent asked the seller what he was going to do with the emus, he said that they were staying. We took him up on the offer.
At the beginning, the emus were more of a curiosity than anything else. That changed when we found the birds sitting on 23 large, green eggs. We were introduced to another couple, the Bitz’s, in Georgetown, that also had emus. As it turns out, we had two hens and not much chance of any of the eggs actually hatching. We purchased a couple of young chicks in the hope that one of them would be a male. A few months later, when the Bitz’s downsized, we added a few more birds to the operation.
Our prized pair of breeders, Hercules (from the Bitz’s) and Myrtle (who came with the house) are very productive. One year, out of 35 eggs laid, only 1 egg did not hatch. We raised 9 chicks our first season, winter of 2008/2009. We still have Hercules & Myrtle. They have been joined by three breeding pairs, from birds we raised ourselves. We have since added three additional breeding pairs that we acquired in 2014. Lastly, we paired two birds, acquired from two different Emu operations here in Texas.
When we first heard of emu oil, our first thought was, “Yeah, right. Sounds like snake oil.” Then we tried the oil. As one of our customers said, “That stuff is a miracle in a bottle!”