(Photo above left) Yeek is quite friendly and sometimes wanders loose in the classroom. He especially likes shiny objects and pecks at things like zippers, jewelry and other shiny things and they sometimes take him outside on a harness and leash. Students in Maria Blackshear’s third grade class (above right) are raising a baby emu. The bird, which originates from Australia, resembles an ostrich.

Glen City School students raise emu

April 24, 2013
Santa Paula News

Students in Maria Blackshear’s third grade class are raising a baby emu. The bird, which originates from Australia, resembles an ostrich. 

Blackshear and her husband got three emu eggs from a farm in Solvang. Only one hatched and it was given the name Yeek. Because this was an experiment they opened the other two.

Yeek lives in a cage with a heat lamp in the classroom (to keep him warm) except on weekends, when the Blackshears take him home. Yeek is quite friendly and sometimes wanders loose in the classroom. He especially likes shiny objects and pecks at things like zippers, jewelry and other shiny things and they sometimes take him outside on a harness and leash.

Blackshear said she’s had chicks hatch in her classroom for seven years. “We finally got brave and decided we’d try to hatch an emu,” she said. “We went to an emu and ostrich farm in Solvang and they said if we were going to take an emu egg it has to be this week, because they only lay eggs from October to February.” 

They had only done chickens before. She said the lesson for the children is the structures of life. “So we always learn about the lifecycle of an animal, how it develops and how it forms,” she added. Now they’re watching and observing its behavior.

Emus grow up to six feet tall.  A full-grown bird can run from 30 to 60 mph. Yeek is a month old and is going back to the farm soon.





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