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Can my Emu be a loner? Huge help needed

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So we have 3 emus, 2 female siblings thats over 2 years now, and a male thats a little bit over 1 year, the problem now is a year ago the females starting fighting like real bad, we tried everything but they just wont seem to be friends, we´ve kept them apart, putting them back together. And now with a male in the picture we thought atleast one of them would be happy. Nope they all just fight, even with diffrent pens tried diffrent combinations.

I dont know what it is but these animals just dont want to get along.

 

Now my question is, would it harm them to just be seperate and alone from each other, they work great with other animals but not with their own species.

 

We dont have any more ideas. And i dont want to sell them all but we cant keep 3 diffrent pens.

post #2 of 8

Pardon my prose

My eyes are bad

We have discussed this often

The literature states that emus are ‘solitary’ but people misunderstand this – it has an ornithological sense.

The life of emus – I’ve been observing them in the wild here for nearly eight years – is a cycle of fattening up for breeding-season; then breeding; then the males parent.

The species is ‘gynocentric’ – the females (usually) rule. Thus it is the females who stake out the territory. (Two times my tame-wild females have brought their ‘consorts’ here to breed. See ‘Mating Season in Australia.)

The amount of energy that these creatures expend in squabbling (but which are deadly earnest duels) is just extraordinary. They will spend hours, days, months, driving one another around and around the piece of territory they want to control.

(The house-clearing here has an abundance of food, and thus attracts high-quality birds – ‘double alphas’ – to vie for it)

Now a note about how my observations will be received by the owners of pet emus:

It seems, from my reading, that many emus raised with other critters end up living happily with them.

 

But I will state the case of my experience, wild emus:

These birds are evolutionarily attuned to mate. Their entire life cycle revolves around it. A bird may not become a sad neurotic ‘fence walker’ if it spends its life alone, but I state unhesitatingly that the emus with the most space, and the most access to other emus from whom they can choose mates, will be the happiest emus.

It may be that each of these birds, if in the company of other critters, will be okay; but I betcha a bottle of cold beer that almost any time the two females get a chance to vie for territory, they will do so gusto.

In the wild (I’ve watched these fights, on many occasions, from mere feet away – close enough to feel the thud of the blows on opponents’ chests), there is always the possibility of physical withdrawal, which is what makes the encounters look like squabbles.

However, if no withdrawal is possible, one may well kill the other.

(On one occasion, I had to rescue a bird entangled in wire, here in the house-clearing, from its two sisters, who were both trying to kill it. It ended up that I was holding one sister at bay with a broom while throwing rocks at the other – chunks of brick, in fact: the two birds clearly had every intention of killing the weak sister.)

Please feel free to ask further questions.

Supreme Emu, Unicup, Western Australia

 

[Extra bit after re-reading your post:

 

the male parents the clutch. In the first six or eight months, he is protective, and the chicks are scared little cheepers, always looking for pop. Then, at about ten or twelve months, the chicks begin to assert themselves, trying cheeky stuff like confronting an adult emu in their environment.

At about this time -- though I wish I'd had years more to get data on this particular issue -- the separation process begins. Pop starts to become less protective, and to compete for food with the chicks, who begin to compete with each other for food.

Then, sometime between one and two years (here, we work by seasons: chicks hatch in spring; they are one year old the following spring; and may be early contenders to mate the winter after that), pop splits from the chicks, who also become steadily more aggressive with each other, as they become participants in the unending emu-life drama of beating other birds off the best pasture/]

 

 

 

the black head chicks in the photo seem to be in fine health. They look a credit to you.

 

Here are some of my birds:

This bottom photo is of Felicity, who just returned after two years away, and booted out her sister Number One -- the darker bird above.

The aggressive looking bird -- with her feathers flared -- is 'Greedy,' a genuine double-alpha bird, breathtakingly aggressive (towards other emus, not towards me. My mate's three-year-old fed her.

 

And here below is a link to a close-up photo of Greedy: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/641934/lightbox/post/9443501/id/5253287)

 

It okay to see these birds as sillies in feather pyjamas. They are your pets. You're entitled to that.

 

But if you're looking for an answer to your question, look at the eyes of this bird. She's a dinosaur whom I have seen attack a dozen wild birds at a time, wading in, slashing chunks of feathers off them.


Edited by briefvisit - 9/20/15 at 2:12am
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I know what you mean ive wrestled with 2 of my emus that have escaped, i mean litterly jumped and trying to hold them down. And yes i know what they are capable of, but you suggest i should keep my male and female together even if they fight? as long as they can escape?

 

 

This is the male and female as they where before, before i seperated them. I would just prefer if they could stay friends and eat at the same time. What would you suggest i do :P


Edited by Avipt - 9/20/15 at 2:53am
post #4 of 8

If you don't separate those birds and/or at least have something they can run and hide behind.. if they must stay in the same pen.. then don't be surprised if you find one or more badly hurt or killed one day.  Those big round hay bales may would help for them to have something to  hide behind, something similar.  

As far as the birds escaping goes, be sure you have adequate fencing...6 feet tall and sturdy. 

If they get out in the public then a lot of officials won't think twice but to shoot them.

 

If you can't get them to get along and can't have 3 pens then yes, time to get rid of one or more.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdeo View Post
 

If you don't separate those birds and/or at least have something they can run and hide behind.. if they must stay in the same pen.. then don't be surprised if you find one or more badly hurt or killed one day.  Those big round hay bales may would help for them to have something to  hide behind, something similar.  

As far as the birds escaping goes, be sure you have adequate fencing...6 feet tall and sturdy. 

If they get out in the public then a lot of officials won't think twice but to shoot them.

 

If you can't get them to get along and can't have 3 pens then yes, time to get rid of one or more.

 

Good thing i live in Sweden then, usualy officials dont shoot on sight :P But yeah this latest combo didt work out at all so we have to move him back to his old mate who wasnt as aggresive on him. So if it came to removing two of them. Would it be considered animal cruelty to leave one emu behind?

post #6 of 8

Birdeo correct. Discussions on this in the past: an environment that allows bird to dodge line of sight.

 

se

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avipt View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdeo View Post
 

If you don't separate those birds and/or at least have something they can run and hide behind.. if they must stay in the same pen.. then don't be surprised if you find one or more badly hurt or killed one day.  Those big round hay bales may would help for them to have something to  hide behind, something similar.  

As far as the birds escaping goes, be sure you have adequate fencing...6 feet tall and sturdy. 

If they get out in the public then a lot of officials won't think twice but to shoot them.

 

If you can't get them to get along and can't have 3 pens then yes, time to get rid of one or more.

 

Good thing i live in Sweden then, usualy officials dont shoot on sight :P But yeah this latest combo didt work out at all so we have to move him back to his old mate who wasnt as aggresive on him. So if it came to removing two of them. Would it be considered animal cruelty to leave one emu behind?

If the officials don't shoot them someone else may very well, not to mention they could cause an automobile accident if they got out in the highway.

Keeping one emu by itself would be fine , it may not be happy at first and you need to watch it carefully at first  but it will adjust with time.

post #8 of 8

I have 2 emus, male and female, that are in the same pen together and get along fine.  They don't fight or squabble.  I've seen them mate once but even that was without any feathers ruffled.  Are mine unusual then?  Or is it because they are in their mid to late 20's

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