Artificial incubation vs letting nature take its course?

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by ES Emus, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. ES Emus

    ES Emus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Who leaves their eggs out for your birds to hatch naturally, and has that been successful for you?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  2. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, E.S.,

    I'm not being cheeky (for a change).

    Boy Emu sat on nine eggs. Two were infertile. (Predators got two more of the seven that hatched before Boy Emu Plus left the nest.)

    Supreme Emu
  3. Calla

    Calla Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2012
    England UK
    Well done on your hatch Supreme Emu! but hope no more dare this thief take 2 born Babies, was boy Emy not guarding them ?

    Just curious....this 2 infertile egg ? ....were they laid by just one girl or several ?

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  4. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, Calla!

    I understand that the case is that one female lays into one nest eggs that have been fertilised by several males. A DNA study about ten years ago showed – astoundingly – that half of all the eggs that a male incubates are not his.


    I hope that Supreme Emu’s value on this forum is that he represents the Cold Hard Real Emu World. The arithmetic is brutally simple, Calla: emus ‘throw’ large numbers of chicks at the environment. If, say for just four or five seasons,

    no, bad arithmetic -- say ten or fifteen seasons,

    almost all those chicks lived and bred, the numbers of emus would be hundreds of times larger.
    So, it’s brutal attrition: over two thirds of all wild chicks die before they reach the black-head phase.

    Was Boy Emu not paying attention?

    Now, that’s a good question!! Do foxes sneak up at night? Do chicks wander off?
    Gee, Calla, I wish I could figure this one out!! An infra-red camera set up to record the last two weeks of a hatch would provide good, if shocking, data.
    Long-term readers remember Ring-in, the chick that we found just wandering around. How did it get separated from the clutch?

    The fact is, and I make no apologies for this, Supreme Emu isn’t Supreme at all. He’s one tired old bird.

    My point here is that, if the energy and the equipment were available (hence my musings about getting you all here to help), we would put this study on a serious academic basis. The environment here – tame birds that do pretty much wild bird stuff most of the time – would be ideal for gathering data.

    For example: did Greedy mate with other males? Would a camera have shown predators near the nest during the weeks of incubation? What happened to the chicks that disappeared? Where did Boy Emu go? How many of his chicks are still alive? What part do vocalisations play? What part does smell play? (On a still night, you can smell a sitting male from over fifty yards away.)

    If we had cameras on distant pastures, what sort of behaviour would we see? Would it be as ‘hot’ as the house-clearing?

    Finally, one project that I think would be a triumph would be to follow a single bird for a single day, from its roost at night, across all the pastures it grazes on that day, to its roost the next night. That single day would tell us an enormous amount about emu life, perhaps most importantly, give us insight into the distances that birds travel, across how many pastures, and the patterns in which they do so. My efforts at observing birds on particular pastures have been good. My efforts at tracking birds from pasture to pasture have been abysmal.

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    The past year I let Merlin.sit his eggs. Come close to hatch time I pulled the eggs I could hear chirps or movement from and placed in the bator. I left the ones I couldn't hear.anything yet and just checked every day......
  6. Calla

    Calla Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2012
    England UK
    If I let my only male Zeppi sit eggs, Rosie may lay like mad, but no egg would be fertile? as Broodies don't mate inbetween sitting lol

    A classical example when I got 6 Rhea eggs, some 7 years ago, my friend had 12 adult Rheas following year, and Boy got broody......... the Girls lying like mad, selling most on ebay....but non was fertile she found out long later ... he was the only boy ha ha.

    At least I had 5 fertile and hatched....all boys ouch...


    One thing ........we can't control nature, however much we try !
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012

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