An unusual diversification project in the Great Southern is supplying massive green eggs that weigh as much as 500 grams to locals and the tourism sector alike.
And soon these beauties are likely to be spotted on menus in Perth and the South West.
The eggs are far from rotten, they are the primary product from what was once Australia's biggest and most diverse manufacturers of emu products.
Today, Emu Essence - based on a traditional wheat/sheep farm at Kukerin - has scaled back from its peak of running 4000 emus to a core flock of 300.
This flock reduction was necessary for Catherine and Jeff Watkins when they lost the only abattoir in Western Australia that could process emu meat.
Initially the Watkins went into emus about 25 years ago when grain prices tanked and they were seeking a value-add diversification enterprise on their 4046-hectare farm.
"We liked the emu because there were markets for its oil, leather, feathers, meat and eggs," Ms Watkins said.
"But we lost the meat side of the business when the abattoir couldn't process for us any more.
"This was a big loss and we had to make the hard choice to reduce our numbers."
Today their 300 emus are run on 50ha and the rest of the farm is used mainly for export hay production.
The big birds are fed grain and kitchen scraps and are happy to graze the natural grasses.
In return, they provide green eggs that are about the size of two cricket balls and weigh about 500 grams.
The Watkins were recently granted a licence to sell these commercially.
This has morphed into a tourism venture, where tourists come to see the emus and collect their own eggs.
The egg-laying season runs from May to September and has been a huge success in 2023, according to Ms Watkins.
"We typically get about 1000 eggs per season and this year that was about what we achieved," she said.
Ms Watkins said visitors from across the globe had visited the farm to "get up close and personal" with the emus and take home one of their mighty eggs.
Equivalent to about eight chicken eggs, the emu eggs can make huge meringues.
Ms Watkins said it was best to bake several items at once to use all of the egg, such as a quiche and a cake.
"Once the egg is open, I use it all - so it is best to have a couple of recipes on-hand," she said.
"My favourite is an emu egg sponge cake that is often available for visitors to taste.
"One egg makes three cakes and sometimes I am making up to about 20 cakes at a time.
"I wouldn't store an open egg for any length of time."
Ms Watkins said the eggs were slightly thicker than chicken eggs and required more beating to make them light and fluffy.
She said they have the same health benefits and taste as a chicken egg and, at $30 each, were about the same price as their equivalent in smaller chicken counterparts.
"Now that chook eggs are so expensive, there's not such a big gap between an emu egg and a dozen chook eggs," she said.
"The emu egg business is not really price sensitive, as it is more of a novelty product.
"Tourists, especially, like to buy an egg after they come and interact with the emus.
"And I am sending eggs to locals right across Western Australia."
Work has started to get the emu eggs into WA restaurants, a few of which have shown strong interest.
Freight costs are a major issue, along with the scarcity of refrigerated transport.
Ms Watkins said this was also hampering export opportunities for the eggs.
She said they did send some empty eggs overseas - mainly for carving and painting but this was only a small portion of the business during the off-season when eggs were not being laid.
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