Emu questions

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by houndit, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. houndit

    houndit There is no H or F in Orpington!

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    Jul 13, 2008
    Braymer Missouri
    I am looking for any and all information on emus. What type of fencing is needed? What feed? What shelter? My main interest in them is as guard animals. I may also want to hatch a few. Do they set there own eggs? Is there anyone on here that raises them? What is the average cost of emu chicks?
    Thanks.
     
  2. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    I have a breeding pair of emus that I received from a friend about 5 years ago. My friend got into the "emu craze" when a good breeding pair cost thousands of dollars. Since he raised emus commercially he had hundreds of them at a time.

    My pair are in a 100' x 30' run, constructed of 6' no climb horse fencing, with "t" posts spaced about 8' apart and wood braces about every 25'. My husband built the birds an 8' x 8' x 6' tall shelter that they pretty much ignore, even in rain, hail, heavy winds or snow. I do keep their feeder in the shelter to keep the pellets dry. When we discovered that my birds don't build their nest in the shelter we built a crude lean to over his nest... and that's where he nests every year!

    My birds are fed a commercial emu pelleted chow made by Associated Feeds. Commercial breeders often use chick (emu)starter, then grower, then maintenance and/or breeder feed. Me, I just use an all purpose chow. I have a 50# metal feeder, along with a horse bucket waterer with an autofill float.

    I have emu chicks that just hatched out on 2/28 that I'll be selling... probably for $60 a chick, which seems to be pretty standard where I live.

    With emus, the male sits the nest for the entire 56 day incubation period. Enoch, my male, doesn't eat or drink during his nest time. He lives off the fat that emus have along their backs. I just had to separate my female from the male and his chicks as she will stomp them to death. I think she sees them as a threat... she's also stomped a skunk to death that got into their pen.

    Emus raised by hand from chick size can be very friendly and easy to handle (as mine are). I took Enoch's chicks away from him and have them in a brooder to get them accustomed to being handled.

    Emus are very curious animals. I have to be careful not to wear jewelry when I'm in their pen as they like brite and shiny things! One of Enoch's favorite "toys" is to tug on my jacket zipper pulls.

    I couldn't tell you about using them as guard animals. I have llamas that serve that purpose. Hope this answered some of your questions... if not please feel free to PM me.
     
  3. Kelpie

    Kelpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2008
    Charles Town, WV
    ick, my donkey stomps skunks too! I wish there was some was to teach guard animals to ignore skunks. (sorry not emu elated)

    PS- what's up with the crazy thumping noises emus make? They sounds like they come from a drum machine!
     
  4. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Somerset, CA
    LOL, if the skunks weren't stomped so close to the house I wouldn't mind a few less skunks!

    The females make the drumming sound... I think it's to attract mates, but my female drums all year long even when she has not interest in breeding.
     
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I use mine as guardians as well as comic relief. LOL There's nothing funnier then watching two emu play........well perhaps an emu and a dog, or horse or....LOL. They will chase after anything that is not part of "their flock". My poor neighbors cats learned real fast. I have to be careful when I bring in new animals because they will try to stomp them until they know they "belong" there. I have seramas that follow my emus around in the pasture. They also guard the ducks and geese, turkey but are scared of the peacocks after a bad incident when they were young, LOL. It is so funny to watch a full grown emu run from a peacock. And emu are not the smartest of birds, they will run up and back the fence line while the peacocks chase them. Silly birds. They love water, to get in , sprayed with it doesn't matter but will get in a pool. They can jump high, so a high fence is recommended, also one that they can see as a boundary. Emus can run right into a wire fence, repeatedly, although mine don't.They are VERY curious birds. Warn people of this. They LOVE bright colors, shiny objects and are very good at picking out new objects left unattended. Mine are out with my horses, minis, goats, potbellies, chickens etc and G Pyrenees pup. As long as they see them as part of the flock I don't have too much trouble from them. Mine were raised from chicks so like people and want attention. Their is nothing like a emu hug, where they press on you and lay their neck and head over your shoulder. Mine love to be petted and fussed over. Get them young, introduce them to your flock, socialize them from day one and harness train them, you'll need it one day. They also get shots like horses. Especially for Westnile & EE&WE. I use to give mine Emu chow but they decided they like sweet feed better, along with catfish pellets, dogfood & catfood, chicken food etc. Teach them to lay down by pressing on their backs is helpful too. They have a language of hisses that can mean anything from hi how are you?, what's that?, Get away etc. My male is the one that booms. He always follows me around displaying and then goes over and starts arranging a nest. Hopefully next year I'll have eggs. With the right training, exposure and housing they can be really fun.
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  6. houndit

    houndit There is no H or F in Orpington!

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    Jul 13, 2008
    Braymer Missouri
    Thank you very much for your information on emu. I am definetly interested in raising some.
     

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