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Hidden Farm Camera Films Unexpected Visitors Dropping In For A Drink

A family-run emu farm in Central West NSW was about to shut off its troughs due to drought until video revealed native animals, including an echidna and six-foot goanna, were relying on it for water.

With none of Emu Logic’s livestock using the back paddock while drought dries it up, the Henley family decided to turn off troughs to conserve water.

Before cutting off supply the family of farmers rigged up a camera to make sure it wasn’t needed, and the videos left them stunned.

“We’ve had the cameras up for a couple of weeks and we’ve been surprised by how many native animals are visiting and the variety,” farmer Penny Henley told 10 Daily.

'Spikey' susses out the water trough. Photo: Emu Logic

An array of birds and kangaroos are among some of the more unexpected guests.

“We saw some spikes at the bottom of the screen that looked like an echidna but we didn’t know echidnas drink water.

“We changed the camera's position the next day and sure enough it’s an echidna that we’ve nicknamed ‘Spikey’.”

Spikey and other echidnas are generally hydrated through the animals they eat; however, echidnas are known to drink from small pools or lick droplets from plants.

The spiny local shares this watering hole with plenty of native neighbours.

“We have a wallaby who gets in and swims in the trough and we’ve noticed three goannas. We can tell them apart by their size, the biggest is about six-foot long.”

At least three goannas visit the trough. Photo: Emu Logic

The popularity means the family will keep the trough filled with water and continue posting videos of the animal encounters.

The videos just let city people know farmers aren’t just about looking after our livestock, we take care of our wildlife too.

In these challenging times, the family love to “see what’s coming and going” on their property.

“It gives us something else to think about, we’re all looking after our mental health now.”

Of course with 900 adult emus and around 400 babies, the farm’s residents are there too.

“Our emus are just giant chooks except for one difference – they’re sitting in the water toughs to cool off!”

Changed emu behaviour hinted at the dry times ahead. Photo: Emu Logic

The farm near the Warrumbungle Range was fortunate enough to receive some rain, even if “it just ran down the cracks in the ground”.

“We’re not as bad as the other side of the highway like Narromine and Tottenham – it’s a dust bowl out there.”

Although the Henley’s fortunate position could also be to do with understanding animal intuition.

“The emus stopped laying earlier in the season, they pulled up at the end of August but they should go through to the end of September,” Henley explained.

National

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“Last time that happened was three years ago and it meant no rain so we started selling off our livestock.”

While the heat of summer reduces tourism to the emu farm down to a trickle, the farmers keep an online shop running year-round.