A few questions about emus

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by cityfarmer12, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    So, i've always loved emus and ostrich's, but never really thought about owning one. Well, now that a lot of my other farm projects are done, i had a few questions about their care and if i should even pursue this venture of if not. Im not at all going to get one son, just wondering about if its possible.

    1. What type of fencing should be used? I have a 5 foot woven wire field fencing around 2 acres. In this area i have all my chicken pens, dogs pens, goats pens, duck/geese pens, quail, pigs, and rabbits. The dogs have their own yard, but the goats and pigs generally run the entire area during the day, so the emu would be running free with everybody. Chickens also typically wander around, and the geese are always out.
    2. Will they stay in my fence or would i have to design a pen specifically for them to stay in all the time?
    3. How big of a pen would one need if it ran around all day verses if it was always in the pen?
    4. Would it get along with the pigs and goats as well as random poultry?
    5. Do they need a buddy or can i have just one?

    hopefully this was clear...thanks in advance for any answers :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  2. Albanydog

    Albanydog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Central Oregon Coast
    All I can tell you is about our experiences, as I am no emu expert. We raised one emu, Emily, for 6+ years on her own. When she was a baby she was raised with the chickens and when she got older we moved her into the bigger field with the goats, llamas, two sheep and the occasional pig. We moved her mostly because we had baby chicks and she would pick them up and start tossing them around the yard. YIKES! She never ate or killed one. She also liked to pick on the new Polish Chickens we got, I think it was all the fluffy head feathers that interested her. She loved the goats and slept in the loafing shed with them. The piglets were not fond of her as she would nip their tails. LOL. Our field is about 2 acres with 4 foot field fencing with an electric wire across the top. Only once did Emily ever jump the fence and that was just to get back into the chicken yard. Emily passed away last year but she spent the last 6 months of her life with a male emu in the field with her. In the wild they are very solitary animals and only come together to breed. After she died we got another female. Our two emus have never jumped the fences or tried to leave, possibly because we have everything they need? Our new female was raised with llama's so she follows our two llamas around most of the time.

    My only advice would be that if you were going to have males and female I suggest you get them before they reach breeding age. Emily was several years past maturity but because she had never had a male around she never laid an egg. We found her first egg, or part of an egg without a shell and she became sick shortly after that. The necropsy showed she had an infection and became egg bound because she had only laid part of her first egg and things just sort of backed up. Maybe it would have happened at some point anyway but if she had never had a male around she never would have laid an egg at all and gotten sick. :(

    Our female laid for her previous owners last year and she is laying for us now, so we are thrilled and looking into incubating and hatching a few babies this year!
     
  3. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Missouri
    Thanks for the response Albanydog!! Lol, she sounded like quite a character! Sounds fun! Thank you for the information...very helpful! I'm sorry she died :( its always sad to lose any pet. Thats good that your female is laying...Baby emus sound fun!
     

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