Emus pair in December and January, then lay eggs from April to June. The emu’s nest, placed under bushes, is merely a trampled mass of vegetation into which the eggs are deposited by the hen. The eggs are large, colored green, which later turn to black. The male then incubates the eggs and takes care of the young after hatching. It is the hen’s duty to defend the nest during the incubation period, which varies in length depending on how much brooding the parents do. The chicks are striped longitudinally with black, brown and cream. They grow quickly to adult size, but take 2 or 3 years to mature sexually.