If you spend enough time on a farm, you will become accustomed to the natural rhythms of the lifecycle. In the case of chickens, this is especially true, and there is a specific time of year when, on many farms, new chickens are hatched to replace those lost during the previous year.
Some members of one family went on eBay and got themselves some emu eggs. Here’s what took place.
The average emu egg is about 14 times the size of a chicken egg.
Four eggs were purchased, but only one turned out to be fertile. The newborn emu is pictured here. Because she was frail and withdrawn, determining whether or not she would make it was challenging.
The failure to hatch two healthy chicks left them wondering if they had somehow botched the hatching process. They did their homework and gave it their best shot, so when one chick made it they were overjoyed.
The emu chick began to improve dramatically within a week. They mistook her for a man and referred to her as Paul. The moniker stuck.
Paul was left unattended for a few days while they drove south, roughly two weeks after she hatched. They picked her up and took her on the road. It was a chaotic ride, but it was fun in the end.
At about six weeks of age, Paul’s baby feathers begin to fall out around her neck. Her ear canals are also visible if you look closely.
The emu’s size increase can be attributed to the fact that they returned to school for a few months. Paul no longer has any stripes on her head or neck. The color of her tail feathers is changing.
They feared this was the final photo they would ever get of Paul.
Paul developed a severe bacterial infection shortly after the previous photo was taken. She tried to hide it for a while, but eventually she stopped taking care of herself at all, failing to eat, drink, or even get out of bed.
The second time we took her to the vet is depicted here. When they first took her in, she wasn’t feeling great, but luckily one of the vets had experience with ostriches from their time in South Africa. He had some basic knowledge of big birds.
The veterinarian said it was a hopeless case and she probably wouldn’t survive. They took the picture before taking her to the vet in fear that she would pass away there.
Both Paul and the vet were successful. They only charged for the materials they used and not for their time. Given that the owners could not afford veterinary care on their own, this was a huge help.
She seems to be in much better health now. She was sick for about two weeks before she recovered, and she didn’t appear to have grown at all during that time.
Paul loves the chickens and tends to them frequently. Maybe she’s having trouble finding who she is!?
Paul’s head and neck have turned a pale blue, as is now obvious. For the next year, her growth will be minimal but steady.