Page last updated at 20:14 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 21:14 UK

Baby emu could have been omelette


Osborne the Emu will eventually grow to over 6ft tall

A woman from East Sussex who bought an emu egg sold as a novelty food item on a farm on the Isle of Wight has managed to hatch a chick from it.

Gillian Stone, from Bexhill, who breeds chickens, brought home three large green emu eggs from a holiday and put them in an incubator in her kitchen.

Two turned out to be infertile, but after 52 days little Osborne hatched.

He needed to be hand fed at first, but at nine days old he is now thriving and Ms Stone is hoping to get him a mate.

"We decided to risk putting the eggs in the incubator and, after a little bit of help Osborne arrived," she said.

"He was destined to be an omelette [but] now he's an emu."

Osborne will grow to over 6ft tall and will soon move from Ms Stone's home to her smallholding nearby.

Family friend Jenny Cosham said nothing Ms Stone did surprised her.

"She turns up with all sorts of things," she said.

"We've had chicks, we've had lambs, we've had all sorts - there was even a duck in the shower once."

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