Defining Sex in Mature Emus

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by Supreme Emu, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Supreme Emu

    Supreme Emu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Until my three emus were about fourteen or fifteen months old, they made the same range of noises. The Internet articles that I'd read said that 'booming' – I think of it as 'gluk-glukking' – is the noise that defines the female. Then, I hear this quite unmistakeable sound for the first time, from Greedy – so, I assumed that 'she' was female. Sometime later, I asked BYC denizens about 'her' walk sideways/gluk gluk/feather-flaring behaviour. Some people suggested that that was female (mating) behaviour.

    Three days ago, Greedy disappeared. I have no concerns for her safety (as the police say). I think, rather, that she's a he, and now sitting on eggs somewhere -- but I'm not sure.

    Opinions, please. What are the best indicators of sex in a mature emu (short of turning them upside down and inspecting their woozers, which I'll leave until my suit of armour is back from the cleaners)?

    Supreme Emu, Rocky Gully, Western Australia
     
  2. JROOSTER

    JROOSTER Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Woozer!!! :d
     
  3. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I have noticed the females tend to be taller and have more feathering around the lower neck that gets a bit of sway to it as they walk, also some seem to have more blue in the neck. The Booming will be unmistakable - think car stereo bass booming, a very vibrating noise that can be herd from a good distance . The males seem to do more grunting and will often stand in an area or lay down in a corner and grunt at the ground. My males tend to be shorter legged. I have unfortunately seen a male emu woohoo, when one of mine tried to romance one of my mini horses, hehe. Not what I was expecting at all. [​IMG]
     
  4. Supreme Emu

    Supreme Emu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good morning, all. Hmmmm . . . this is exactly why I am confused, Emu Hugger. Greedy the Emu was the tallest, and I have observed 'her' booming -- car stereo bass is a good analogy, and she has the ruff. (Does anyone recall my questions about differentiating the species? One species has a ruff at breeding time. I'm trying to figure out if the silhouettes on the Site show the bird (which has a DISTINCTIVE ruff in the silhouette) in a normal state, or during puffed-up/walk sideways/grunt mode.)

    I find myself unconcerned about Greedy's absence. Mating season has been 'on' for some time now, if the booming that I hear at night is any indication. There are no predators around here (they'd be local yokel's dogs, if any, but I live a ways out in the bush). Therefore, I think that Greedy must be sitting on eggs.

    Oh well, I'll wait a couple of months, and perhaps I'll become a grandad!!

    Supreme Emu

    P.s.: I'm definitely somehow becoming a part of the scenery. Yesterday, a booming wild female emu sauntered across the top of the house-clearing while I sat quietly and watched.
     
  5. ShadowRooster

    ShadowRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our 4 month old emus have a "whistle" sound, and the males at the farm we got them make a kind of er er er with a kind of whistle sound. The females did make a drum sound. Our Female had always been MUCH bigger then our male, and most likely to runs away if you walk in the pen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  6. Supreme Emu

    Supreme Emu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, live and learn . . .

    Greedy the Emu just moseyed out of the bush yesterday, after four days away. So, she can go back to being a female. Thank you for your help. It is a strange and wonderful thing that the ONLY people I can find who are interestted in emus are on the other side of the world.

    Yes, Shadow Rooster, my emus have whistled at times.

    I spoke the other day to a gentleman who has been farming out here for . . . a long time. He reckons that dingoes could and did 'pull down' full grown emus -- but I confess that I wonder. There were dingoes here until the 50's, and there's still a dingo trap on the wall at the local hotel.

    A mate of mine was three thousand miles north of here recently. He noted to me that the emus up there are noticeably skinnier than down here -- and if any of you guys have ever been in that country, that'll come as no surprise.

    Supreme Emu
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  7. PrinceSandwich

    PrinceSandwich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm pretty sure that males are the ones that sit on the eggs, not females. Anyway I'm glad shes back [​IMG]
     
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Perhaps she was off laying eggs in a nest somewhere, now leaving a poor fellow to sit on them, hehe. I think it would take a lot of Dingos to pull down an emu, at least if there were a few emu in the group. Our emu will go after dogs if there are at least 2 of them that set their sites on one. Yes it is odd that the only people you can talk Emu too, are all the way over here, far from their native land. I guess it's easier to notice what they do when they are in a more confined area.
     
  9. Supreme Emu

    Supreme Emu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, Emu Hugger and others, for your help and patience.

    Yes, perhaps Greedy the (girl) Emu has indeed been off laying eggs. The . . . umm . . . 'academic' aspect of it all is that (because of my ill health) I've hardly been away from the farm house in the five hundred days that I've been feeding my three birds
    -- though I wasn't privy to the egg-laying part, the first two or three months. So we BYC Persons have a chance to 'observe' emus in a fairly natural environment.

    Yes, Emu Hugger, I think, as you do, that a dingo would think long and hard about tackling some of the emus I've seen – hard old man emus. However, I thought I'd report this gent's position simply because we have so little 'data' to work with.

    Whatever, I have grown to greatly enjoy having my three birds around. They fuss and grunt and carry on every morning at dawn, and then – the 'academic' bit – they just wander off, after they've been fed, to be 'wild' emus – hahaha!

    Supreme Emu
     
  10. Nicophorus

    Nicophorus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Search function is kinda bad and was not helped by someone named Dingo as a poster :p

    Anyways, I read that emus have a pretty well developed defense against ground predators like Dingos, and I guess by extension to other dogs. I think it may only be effective 1 vs 1 though. As soon as you have multiple dogs working together, its either run or die (for pretty much all prey). As an aside, was an article in the local papers of a very hurt Emu found with two dogs harassing it. I guess that it was not found dead might be testament to its defenses. These were big dogs (german shepard and something else).

    Does anyone have any further info on Emu vs. Dingo interaction in the wild? My interest lies in anti-predator strategies that Emu may or may not have.

    I think Emu and ratites in general are VERY vulnerable when they bed down at night, and this maybe the reason why Emu constantly wake up at night and check their surroundings. They say that small hunting cats (think Severals, caracals, etc) can take adult ostrich at night, and I know from my own personal experience Bobcat can take 3/4ths grown Emu (at least at night). But then again cats can ambush and jump much better then dogs... to reach the highly vunerable neck and head.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013

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