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Couple Found Success With Emus
When Clover and Joe Quinn bought their first breeding pair of emus in 1996, they were well aware that emu ranching wasn’t a “get-rich-quick” endeavor. The get-rich-quick and go-broke-even-quicker era had occurred during the previous decade when breeding pairs sold for as high as $45,000. When the Quinns started Wild Rose Emu Ranch at Hamilton, Mont., the price for breeding pairs had tumbled to $1,000 and, soon thereafter, emus were available as giveaways. The couple launched their emu venture with 4 breeding pairs.
The Quinns started producing emu as a meat enterprise because emu meat is lean and highly nutritious. They also knew emu oil from a bird’s 25 lbs. of backfat contains healing properties. It moisturizes skin, reduces inflamation and pain, and relieves itching.
“In addition to 30 lbs. of meat and the valuable oil, emu eggs can be eaten, painted or carved. Emu feathers can be used in flower arrangements and are coveted by fishermen for tying flies. And emu leather, which is soft and supple, can be used for pillows, vests, purses and other objects,” says Clover.
What she didn’t anticipate when they entered the business was how raising emus would transform her life, giving her purpose and experiences “that I never would have dreamed of,” she says. In 1999, Clover was sent to Russia to help two farms learn about raising emus. In 2007 she hosted the National Emu Convention in Missoula, and in 2008, she was invited to the White House as the Montana producer who’d present a decorated Easter egg to First Lady Laura Bush. “Those were all adventures I wouldn’t have had except for raising emus,” she says.
Over the years the Quinns have tried many promotion ideas to sell meat and emu oil products. Two of Clover’s favorites have been farmer’s markets and hosting tours of the ranch. “Nothing is more fun than helping busloads of children learn about emus as they tour the ranch.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wild Rose Emu Ranch, 284 Rose Lane, Hamilton, Mont. 59840 (ph 406 363 1710; www.wildroseemuranch.com).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #4