Today I received a visit from one of the community families. They have a baby emu, whose mother (CORRECTION: it seems that emu chicks are hatched and raised by the father. After laying her eggs the mother has no further responsibility) so, whose parent is dead. The unfortunate one is orphaned because her previous carer was even as we spoke being cooked for Sunday dinner. That is the way of the outback. However, no one wants a little chick to die just because its parent is delicious.
Would I like to raise it as my own?
What do baby emus eat? I asked.
I am not sure I will be able to fulfill that sort of obligation. But there must be alternatives to grasshoppers? I gave it a thought for a few seconds. OK. I shall try. Challenge accepted.
Her name is Brittany.
It would be! OK, I can live with that. I definitely would have called her Eric though, if I had first choice.
The next hour or so was spent preparing a blended mixture of chicken food (obtained in Kununurra on Friday in preparation for the soon-expected flock) dog food, and minced beef. Then convincing Brittany to eat it. By mixing it with water and making it sloppy, as I did with Eric the duck’s first meals, I finally got her eating quite heartily. I think we have that problem solved. If she eats and drinks, she probably will live. Basic tenet of faith.
Brittany now has a cup of water and a cup of dry food suspended in her cat-box cage and a tray of sloppy mix immediately below. Once she figures out how to eat the dry food the tray should no longer be required.
Molly the dog gave her a friendly lick, and seemed to understand Brittany was too little to play with. She has been charged with her protection from other dogs. Sally the goat also showed friendly curiosity, or perhaps was just interested in the chicken feed.
I hope when the chickens arrive she will be able to live with them. She is going to outgrow this catbox in no time.