After mating, the female cassowary will lay three to six large, green eggs. Once these eggs are laid, the female’s job is done, and she will wander off to find another male to mate with. It is the father who constructs a nest of waterproof vegetation and incubates the eggs for the next fifty days. A devoted parent, the male will not leave his eggs until they have hatched. A broody male cassowary does not need to eat, drink, or even defecate for the entire period of incubation.
Cassowary chicks are small, beige in colour, with dark brown stripes. The father will protect his new family with devotion, showing them what foods to eat and ferociously protecting them from predators. The chicks will stay with their father for the next nine months.
It has also been noted in zoos that cassowary chicks will imprint readily on anyone who is present when they hatch, including humans. These chicks are then extremely tame and will follow their adopted parent anywhere. In some native villages in New Guinea, cassowary chicks are even kept as pets and left to wander loose through the village, like chickens. However, even the tamest chick will turn savage and dangerous upon reaching adulthood.