Emu can be very friendly and tame, if raised from a young baby and exposed to all types of stimuli. Jazzy was raised in the house, he was by himself for the first month, then we got another. They stayed in the house until they were old enough to reach things off the counter, then they went outside. Jazzy is very friendly, Merlin was a month old when we got him and is less friendly than Jazzy, but still follows you around and tolerates petting. Jazzy is an attention hog. hehe
Emu are pretty easy to raise, much like turkeys.... just bigger but don't eat as much. You use Chick starter and I also give broccoli, show them with your finger how to eat, make sure they have a good source of light and good footing and space to walk, as leg development is the main problems associated with emu chicks. When they get near adults you can switch to an Emu chow, but mine didn't like it and get a mix of sweet feed, chicken layer, dog food and greens.
You want to desensitize emu chicks to being touched and handled. They are prey animals, much like horses, and their legs are their main means of safely keeping distance between things that eat them. Emu do not tend to like their legs touched when standing. As chicks, touching their legs helps them accept it when older. Make sure to touch their mouth, face, beak, wing arms etc..etc.. this will make handling an adult easier.You can train them to walk on a dog harness. Do not ever put them in a fence, pen etc.. that can not contain them, if they push it over, they learn not to respect fences.
Emu are fairly docile animals, but very curious about shiny, dangley objects....( when they are not afraid of something.) They do not know what "personal space is". To them, you are mom Emu and anything you pick up with your hands is kind of like Mom Emu's beak. So if you pick up a nail, screw etc.... well mom Emu ate it, it must be ok. They must have stomachs of steel for all the strange things mine have ingested.
I do not know about the bushes, they have never went for mine in the front yard. They do eat some of the weedy plants/vines that grow on the fence and grasses. They like some fruits and veggies. They eat dirt, rocks and stones. LOL In fact, if you start digging a hole, they are drawn to it and stand their eating the new fresh sand. They are suppose to eat insects, small mammals and lizards... but I've never seen mine eat anything except pick off a bug on the llama or something. Mine seem to be finicky.
I have not had or been around a mean Emu. They seem docile, except sometimes with each other, but never with me...infact sometimes they love me TOO MUCH. LOL. Males tend to be friendlier, as they are the ones that sit on the eggs and care for the young. You still have to understand that these are not dogs, cat etc.. but emu and respect that, but they can be just as tame as any of them if you remember what they are. The only time mine show any threatening tendencies is if you try and grab their legs, they can kick and those toe tails can be like razors. Even if it is a minor kick, as to say "stop that, I don't like that" their toes can still hurt or injure. My one male Merlin fell and got pinned between fences. I went to pull him out, he started flailing his legs trying to wright himself. He slashed through my pants, into my stomach and I almost had to get stitches. He didn't mean to, but even the slightest graze can cause injury. Luckily you don't find yourself in that situation often with tame Emu.
They have various noises they make, grunts, hisses, drumming in females. Females make a drumming sound that sounds like bass in a car stereo. Males make a grunting sound that sounds like a cold starting chain saw. Hisses can mean anything from Hi, how are you, what's that, I don't know about that, I don't like it..... Yuck, get away from me.
Emu are very territorial and make good livestock guardians, if you keep somethings in mind. Anything an Emu has grown up with is "there flock", anything new to that area is considered a trespasser until the Emu understands that it is now part of the flock. I have never had them be aggressive toward new people, only animals. New dogs, cats, chickens, geese, etc... have to be introduced in a separate area so the Emu can look at them and get use to seeing them. Then slow supervised introduction should be used until the Emu is disinterested in the new animal. Sudden movement and noise excites an Emu and they may chase the newcomer... so make sure the newcomer has a place to hide if need be. My Emu are out with tiny Serama chickens, geese, ducks, turkey, peafowl, llama, mini horses, horses, dogs, mini cattle etc... and get along with everyone. It took some time for the geese and ducks, as they are very animated in movement and get the Emu excited. Excited Emu run , jump, kick, roll and stomp..... even in playing. Although again, they never did with people... mine played "chase" with my 3 & 4 year old nephews and just when you started to get worried the Emu might catch them, the Emu would fall down on the ground, roll and run the other way. LOL
You do have to be careful with eyes and ears, fingers etc... sometimes shiny eyeballs look like marbles and painted fingernails jewels.....
Jazzy will lay down when I ask him too, have kids sit on him, tolerate dressing him up.... He loves to give hugs, loves attention and if you are petting the dogs, he comes and lays down in the middle of them and sticks his head in the way. He plays with my hair clips, pretty much understands and more importantly listens to the NO command. He knows he's not suppose to bite or take things... although sometimes he can't help himself..... They have a innocents about them, maybe because they have short attention spans like a child, but they can be so fun and enjoyable if treated properly.
Sorry about the book.....