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Red Oak Farm
3040 Big Buck Road
Trezevant, TN 38258

Copyright 1998 -2012
All Rights Reserved
Red Oak Farm
Revised: almost weekly



Feeding Practices

What I am going to say here does not agree with what many feed experts say.  We are told to feed a set amount each day, twice a day and to provide clean fresh water daily.  The idea behind this is to be able to measure the amount of feed taken in daily, and to allow the birds to clean up the feed so none of it gets stale. 

It has been my experience that if you feed a set amount twice a day this is what happens: 

In a Breeder pen the alpha will eat first and block off the other emu with it's body.  When it is finished, the second bird will eat whatever is left - or if  there is a trio in the pen, the last bird to eat may get very little of the ration.  Because it has gorged itself so quickly, the alpha emu will not utilize the feed as effectively as the other two do and this will show in the manure being thick instead of liquid.

In a group pen, no matter what the age of the birds, there will be a feeding frenzy and again, the birds gorging themselves will pass much of the feed on through their manure.

For these reasons we feed free choice.  We do not pour the feed in a trough, we use top load feeders which allow the new feed to drop down as old feed is consumed.  During the off season we load the breeder's feeders twice a week.  During breeding season, we load them once a week.  In grow out pens we load the feeders every two weeks.   There is no rush to eat, no wasted feed and they actually eat less. We keep up with the amount of feed eaten weekly, not daily and that reduces our paperwork as well as time spent loading feeders.

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