Does anyone have experience on how to tame/socialize 2 mo. Old emu chick?


6 Years
Jun 28, 2016
Fishtail, Montana
Hi. I just bought a month, month and a half old emu chick. She, I call her she, but realize I won't know that for 2 years or so?
She is not used to people and quite skittish / wild.
I am starting with holding her next to me on a bench. outside.
I keep a good but gentle hold on her feet.
I am hoping that she will get alittle desensitized to me this way to start with.
Hopefully I will be able to get her to associate me with food soon.
I don't want to turn her loose with my 3 month old emu until she is tamer.
He, I know I don't really know, Is calm around me and will eat out of my hand and let me gentle manuver him around a bit. They have a large yard to run free in until they are a year. Then they will be free range around a pond and access to a hay field.
I already have a grown emu and she has been with me for over 5 years. She lost her buddy a few years back.
I am trying to have some new friends for her.
All thoughts or knowledge would be most welcome.
I have tamed a number of wild chicks over the years (‘mating season in australia’ and ‘planet rothschildi’)
Endless investment of time
Remain still/move slowly
Talk quietly
And I wouldn’t hold her feet. There’s a ‘cradle thing’ you can learn: first and second fingers touching above and below neck. Thumbs touching under toosh. Third and fourth likewise in front and behind legs. This way the chick sits sorta ‘untouched’ inside an inescapable ‘cage.’
And for management at a later age (you can’t DRIVE an emu, but you can LURE them): familiarize them with a particular sound. I have been tapping my knuckle on the bottom of the same tin plate for eight years. If the sillies get themselves stuck where you can’t drive them out without panicking them, sit at a distance, and ‘draw’ them to you with the sound.
Stroke them as you feed them sultanas.

This is Eric the Emu with Alpha Chick and Omega Chick. Don't worry about the fence. They're tame-wild, came in a side gate from a swim in the dam. (Emus luuuurv to swim). These two were not very tame, but Uno, below, became v. tame because it came here when v. young:

Supreme Emu, Unicup, W.A.

EDIT: taming wild chicks is waaaay harder: 'I'm coming closer to you? No!! Oh wait -- you've got sultanas? Well . . . okay!' Eric (the original emu) has bought four clutches of his chicks here over eight years
Last edited:
Thank you Supreme Emu,
I guess you would be the one to take advice from. Do you live on West Australia? Are yours Wild from the bush?
I bought 2 month old chicks. Unfortunately I lost one. I luckily found another one a month younger. The older one, Ayleth, is somewhat friendly. Are Sultanas crackers?
I have been trying to find something they really like, but have been trying fruit. No luck so far.
I also have a 5? Yr. old female, Edwina. She pulled a muscle in here's and has been limping for about two months. Took her to the vet and luckily no break of infection. I have been handling her a lot because of this. She has never been really wild but not keen on being touched.
Now I can touch her all over and feel her ribs. I could tell by looking at her a couple of months ago that she was very thin and thought she was dying. Her spirit is much better now, limping less and drumming again.
I am so worried about her weight. Should I be able to feel her ribs so pronounce Do? It doesn't feel right.
I need to worm her again. I read where someone used the pour on ivermectin. Does this sound right? I am embarrassed to say that I have taken her for granted for years since someone gave her to me. Her partner died. That is why I decided to get two chicks for her.
I am semi-retired now and spend most of my time at n
Home so I am able to be with her and pay attention. I also have her on proper feed now. She is free range.
Carol from Montana
I am very new on BYC and will try to learn how to post photos. I enjoy yours. Aylet, is 3 mo. Old,, and Cloe is 2 mo. Edwina is 5 yrs?
I also had one peacock, one goose, one turkey, one duck and one pot belly pig. Now I have at least one more of each so they will all have buddies. The ones I have had for years all hang out together and all are very copacetic , except when the Peacock is molting. Then we see PMS on testosterone. He actually is who killed my emu chick. It was horrible. He then went to jail in my barn and is waiting his release. Once he is no longer molting, then I will test is mood. If he continues this change in personality towards all of the new critters, then he will have to find a new home! He never showed this crazy homocidal behavior before. They are all free range and have common and separate shelter when winter is harsh.
I have Peafowl eggs in the incubator now. I am trying to quit being a Sheep Rancher and switching over to a new career. I want to be a Fowl Farmer ~~~
Apparently, sseabass, I'm unique in the world -- but before we go on: there are a number of BYC citizens with more experience raising chicks. The thing I have to offer is that the chicks I interact with are wild.

So, Google 'Lake Muir, W.A.' To the south of my keyboard, it's 50 miles to the next dwelling -- 'BYC Planet Rothschildi' A particular emu family has 'commanded' the house-clearing here (with grass and fallen fruit) since before I came. Over eight years, Eric the Emu has bought four clutches here. Apart from many passers-through, I know Eric, Felicity (she's here today), Greedy, Number One, Alpha Chick, Omega Chick, and Uno Chick. And consorts Boy Emu and Noddy Big Ears.

The photo is the last we have of Uno Chick, the tamest of them all -- but we'd have trouble identifying him now 'cause he left when a yearling.


P.s.: I'd never thought that 'sultanas' was an English or Australian word! Sultanas are dried grapes. It is my policy that I never feed -- pardon my frankness -- junk food to the emus. 'Home Brand' sultanas are a treat. Everything is either Yummy for Emus or Not Yummy for Emus. They'll scoff up almost all types of dried fruit, muesli, and anything made of grain (I buy 20kg bags of cheap wheat). I once left a pasta salad on the back step while I went in for salt. Greedy Emu ran up, and ate almost all of it before I got back. When we were doing the 'formal work' (several years of observations), I once counted 122 apricot stones in one of Erics blessings -- the alpha emus get the lion's share of everything.

Hmmm . . . they're refusing fruit? That's odd. I'll add detail: in my experience, emus love grapes, dates, dried apple, sultanas and currants, prunes, figs, etc. They don't like citrus. Concentrate on dried fruit. I'll be surprised if they don't soon decide that sultanas are Yummy for Emus.
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom