Emu fanatic

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Emu House, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Emu House

    Emu House In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2016
    Hi Everyone, I'm from Australia, living in New Zealand where we have a pet emu, bought as a 3wk old chick, she is now 3yrs old and the best pet we have ever had. We noticed a significant deterioration in weight and overall well-being this year. Tried everything, including discussions with vets too reluctant to travel out to the property here to see an emu that they were not confident to handle. Phoned emu farms, emailed the zoo (they refused to assist even with suggestions by email) and I researched as much as possible to find answers. She became so thin I was convinced she was not long for this world so I got the pour on wormer we had for the pet cow. Adjusted the dose rate accordingly and applied it to her skin by parting the feathers on her thigh. It has only been 3 days since the application and already she looks brighter. If internal parasites are indeed the cause of her misery, I am very sad to think my ignorance caused her to become so ill. She may not be over the worst yet, as I have since read that she will require another dose in 3 weeks. If there is anyone else out there with a pet emu please share your experiences and knowledge. I would hate to think there might be other pet emus suffering the effects of not being wormed ! Thank you for listening and I'm glad I have joined a group of bird enthusiasts.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC, and I hope that you have solved your bird's problem.
    1 person likes this.
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
    1 person likes this.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Please check out the emu threads on BYC- I've read that there is a tiny parasite that can kill them. Just put "emu threads," in the search box and they will pop up. Some chicken folks were raising them a few years ago and posted great videos - was just so interesting to see them grow and develop.

    Welcome to Backyard chickens - hope she will regain her weight and continue to improve.
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
  6. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    Welcome to BYC and thanks for joining us! I hope that your emu feels better soon! Good luck! [​IMG]
  7. sseabass

    sseabass In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2016
    Fishtail, Montana
    I also have a lone female emu. To be honest, I never really noticed her weight until this Spring when she started limping. She lives with the other critters here and is free range.
    Then, I also realized that she looked very thin and that I needed to get her tamed down enough to see what was going on. She isn't really wild but not keen on being touched. Over time she let me touch her more and more. I felt how thin she was and then found the swollen area.
    I didn't find any wounds, just swelling. We were able to load her into our tailor and took her to our vet.
    Nothing broken or infected. Probably a bad sprain of some kind. He wormed her for us and gave her some antiinflamatories. I kept her in the barn for a month so she would run around but she didn't really get over her limping. She is still limping but much better.
    This was well over a month ago. I need to worm her again. What is the best way to worm her? Will the pour on work?
    My main concern and worry is that I can feel her ribs? I don't know what is normal?!? I have never gotten this close to her before and been able to touch her all over. She is much happier now, I think? She is drumming again and seems good, except I can feel her ribs. They are very prominent. Is this normal?
    She is free range.
    I just bought 2 Emu chicks so she will eventually have some emu friends. I have been told to keep them separate until the chicks are her size, about 9 mo.?
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
  9. Emu House

    Emu House In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2016
    Hi Sseabass,
    I think you have done really well to gain the trust of your emu. They really do respond to touch; they love being stroked all the way along their back. I believe the pet emu enjoys attention and can form a strong bond with the person who puts in the time and effort.

    I have learned such a lot since my girl became so ill. It was very difficult to find a vet who was interested enough to give advice and it was even more dificult to find a vet (or anyone) who knew something about them. I finally found a vet who suggested I use a dog wormer 'Advocate' for over 25kg dogs. It was easy to administer because it's absorbed through the skin. So you just part some feathers (on the thigh area) and squirt the liquid onto the skin. I repeated the dose 2 weeks later then again 2 weeks after that. I will be worming her regularly every 4 months from now on. I'm now quite sure it was a worm infestation that caused her condition to seriously deteriorate, because it has only been since the worming that she has improved. She is now looking interested in food again, she eats without being coaxed (most of the time) and she does not appear as 'depressed'. She is now walking around the place like she used to including finding her way into the garage where I prepare the food for the other animals. She has not done that for 6 months !!

    I believe that a pet emu needs attention and affection, just like any other pet. As you have experienced too, it is a lot easier to monitor their condition when you can get close to them and feel their condition through the feathers. Prior to her becoming ill, she was a big, strong bird with palpable muscle and flesh covering her ribs. She lost at least 1/3 of her body weight overall and being able to feel her ribs so easily was a real worry ! When she was lying down, I sometimes helped her when she went to get up. I could feel how light she had become. She was skeletal !
    I monitor her closely and spend time with her every day. When she was in top form she roamed around our property with a royal elegance and I'm hoping she will return to that form again soon.

    I have always been able to walk next to her with my hand resting lightly on her back or over her back if I need to direct her in a certain direction like when I have walked her home after she wandered onto the neighbours property. Her diet has been varied but when she was in top form, she ate lots of thawed peas. I'd buy frozen peas in bulk and thaw them as required. She would eat up to 1kg of peas per day, and she would also eat some of the chicken feed and she likes grated apple and she sometimes pinches the cat and dog kibble. She also eats earth worms and bugs.

    This weekend, she finally ate some peas again, so I know she is getting better ! Good luck with your lovely girl. I think the importance of worming emus should be something more people are aware of. I would never have known it was necessary. If I had known, I could have saved her months of misery. The emus in the wild (such as outback Australia) must have a stronger resistance to parasites/worms and therefore they survive without anthelmintics. The more farm bred they are, clearly their resistance is weaker.

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