Can Emus free range

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by marvun22, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am thinking about getting Emu's in 6-10 years. I live in the country, around 8 miles from the nearest road. There is a gravel road. I hear all this stuff about fencing them in, but can't they free range? It seems like they're very nice and docile, if everyone left them alone. And I don't think I have any predator around that would take them on. I have Coons, Skunks, Weasels, Foxes, and I had a cougar and a mountain lion a couple of years ago.
     
  2. ES Emus

    ES Emus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sure emus can free range, just don't ever assume you will see them again...!
     
  3. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm from Australia, and can tell you that for sure they can free range, but as ES Emus says, don't expect to see them again. They are nomadic birds and don't hold territory; being desert birds they must wander in search of food which is only found in small amounts and rapidly depleted in any area they visit. Chickens however do naturally hold territory in the wild. Hence the ability to have free ranging chickens but the necessity to fence emus in.

    They go through normal paddock fencing without a problem (until the odd one tangles and gets hurt) but maybe an 'invisible' boundary fence would work? (Just a random idea). If a proper fence is too expensive, what about those ones they use for dogs; not the sort that shocks, but the sort that interacts with a collar on the animal which buzzes or makes a sound or even a mild shock when the animal gets within a set distance of the boundary. This would be an easier way to give them some unfenced acres. But there's a good chance, being birds, and being fast birds, that they'd still speed through the fence despite any shocks, and they may not be smart enough to understand the shocks accompany whatever visual markers you put up... Maybe not a good idea... I don't know.

    Anyway, best wishes. I too hope to keep ratites in future. But I'm hoping to do it with deer fencing. ;)
     
  4. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the problem is this bad, I'll just fence them in. I was just thinking about saving me some money. And if I don't let them free range, I won't have to worry about letting my chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, peafowl, guinea fowl, pheasants, or swans getting hurt/ran over.
    Okay I probably won't let them free range.
     
  5. smokeyjoe

    smokeyjoe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have emu and have a large area fenced , keep in mind I have raised them and petted them for a long time in a smaller area when I expanded it they have never explored the new area they feel safe in there old area , but with the free range they are right they might stay for a little while but the first time they get spooked by a cougar or mountain lion they will run as fast and far as possibly to protect it self , that is how they stay alive in the wild , and as soon as they get to the road and get hit by a car you will be held responsible along with losing a emu , so you are making the right decision to fence .[​IMG]
     
  6. Ellamumu

    Ellamumu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats funny, my two emus stay in the first paddock almost all the time and its the smallest one but its the closest one to the house and barn so maybe it makes them feel safer.The front paddock is only about 150 feet by 50 feet and the back 2 are much much bigger but they prefer the small one, more action and more goodies lol.
     
  7. smokeyjoe

    smokeyjoe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are right more action and goodies, and they seem to feel safe , my pen in front closest to the house is 200x150 but the back side is about 3 acres and they don't like it , I guess I have spoiled them they accidentally run over the fence when spooked then they come to the yard or lie beside there fence till I come out to put them back in . but like I said they have been raised in there area for years and tend to be spoiled , there shelter is in the lower pen that they like . As soon as the weather gets cool they start going inside to sleep . they were raised indoors but I have 2 that were rescued and they also like indoors in the winter , the female lays her eggs inside and he likes to sit indoors lol I don't have to worry about an incubator Ernie does it all for me all I have to do is check to make sure when they are due and collect the babies when they hatch .
     
  8. Ellamumu

    Ellamumu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are such cool birds, my horse barn is attached to the house through the laundry room, so they come in all day and look in the window just checking for treats or watching us do laundry, and at night instead of bedding down in one of the empty stalls Ella makes his nest up against the laundry room door so you can't even open the door without disturbing him! Soo cute!!
     
  9. smokeyjoe

    smokeyjoe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh wow I would love to have them attached to my laundry room but we can't ,there isn't enough room we had to let the road come through our yard for our neighbors mail, and it divided our property they watch for our pets and there is no danger but they are on the other side of the road , but they do like to visit this side just to see what is going on lol when something got in the pen a couple of years ago and attacked one of my male emu he got out every night till I got the bob cat but he would come to the house and when I would get up he was waiting for me at the door, I could track everywhere he had been the feathers the big cat had tore out was everywhere ,but he wasn't hurt . now we have a camera to watch everything and keep them safe ,I love my babies so much best pets / friends I have ever had , I have had emu for about 18 year give or take a couple of year lol would not trade them for anything we used to buy minnow and feed them to them but it got real expensive , now they get other treats , they love bread and other stuff like fretoes apples and all kind of fruit they expect it when they see me ,
     
  10. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Like any species, if you/anyone kept emus for enough generations in smaller enclosures than large paddocks, soon enough they would lose interest in roaming. I expect in future intensively farmed emus will be more sedentary than nomadic.
     

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