Not everyone could live in constant fear of an emu attack while doing their daily chores, but Amanda, a 38-year-old Tiktoker, can.
Amanda, her husband Adam, and their two sons run a TikTok famous farm north of Kingston in Ontario, affectionately called "Useless Farm." Filled with animals that provide nothing but enjoyment, including three alpacas, two emus, a mini donkey, a mini horse, a regular horse and 13 peacocks.
If you've ever been on TikTok, you may have seen Amanda defending herself from her emu Karen who, despite being rescued by her, holds a special hatred in her heart for her caretaker and can often be found charging to attack her.
Amanda told Narcity she didn't plan on owning a farm filled with animals looking for a second chance in life.
"We definitely did not set out to do this. This is just a weird turn of events, but here we are," she said. "We're not a rescue or a sanctuary, we aren't registered as such, but it's just kind of a retirement home for nonsense animals."
The farm has no practical use other than housing animals, some of which have unique needs or sordid pasts – unless you count the ability to generate a TikTok following of almost five million people.
How it happened
Amanda grew up in the suburbs of Winnipeg with no farming experience, but despite the hurdles, she ended up with a 44-acre farm which she runs on top of her full-time job in government services with the help of her family.
The farm started about five years ago on the same property where Amanda and her husband built their home, with a few chickens and guinea hens.
Amanda says it feels like she "blinked' and now they have roughly 60 to 80 animals on the farm, including all of their birds and large animals.
In 2019, she started posting pictures of the animals on a separate Instagram account to avoid bombarding her personal account, and in 2020, she moved over to TikTok.
The animals on the farm have captured viewers' hearts with their intricate background stories. From Doug, the mini donkey with personal space issues, to Micheal, the donkey whose father is putting him through school to be a unicyclist. In two years, Useless Farms has developed an impressive following.
"I can't tell you what a privilege it is and how thankful I am for TikTok because it's been so much fun sharing all of these crazy animals with everybody," she said. "I've been so fortunate that I've found like 5 million people who have the same sense of humour as I do."
"The whole thing has been just a wonderful experience," she added.
At the moment, Amanda works three jobs which include having a government service job, staying on top of the farm's upkeep, and being active on her thriving TikTok account. But, as exhausting as that may sound, she has no plans to stop juggling all of them.
"All of these animals bring me so much joy, and it's been really wonderful to be able to share that with other people."
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.