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Finding Minnesota: Emu Ranch In Nevis

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(credit: CBS) Mike Binkley
Mike Binkley has been covering Minnesota news for more than 25 year...
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NEVIS, Minn. (WCCO) – There are many tall tales of “the big one” in lake cabin towns like Nevis.

It’s the home of the World’s Largest Tiger Muskie statue. And it’s also home to some very big birds at the Heart of Minnesota Emu Ranch.

George and Pat Constans gave up their accounting jobs to start the ranch 20 years ago with just six birds.

“Last count was about 560,” George Constans said. “We’re still hatching.”

The emu is native to Australia, where aboriginals used the oil from its fat to treat a variety of ailments. Emu oil is now marketed in the U.S. as an alternative pain reliever and skin treatment.

Constans said he has had arthritis for nearly 19 years and the emu oil eases the pain, which is why they started an emu ranch.

“We made all the products to help us, and that burgeoned into an industry when our friends said, ‘You guys are doing so good. What are you doing?'”

“I got off all my anti-depressants,” Pat Constans said. “George got off his Lipitor and got off his high blood pressure medication.”

A full grown emu will have a four-inch layer of fat on its back, which is where the oil comes from.

The FDA has not approved emu oil as a drug to treat a wide range of diseases, and there’s not much research on its possible side effects.

But there are plenty of believers who have become regular buyers.

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