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Feeding hatchling emu

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by DoraG, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. DoraG

    DoraG Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2015

    Could you please hep me. I have my first emu hatchling, this is the first time I have bred my emu, I am really struggling to get him to eat anything, he has absorbed his yolk sac, but is taking very small bits of water and hardly any food, just pecking at the occassional chick crumb if I put them on the floor and not from his bowl.

    How much should he be eating at 4 days old?
    Any tips on getting him started, how to make him eat and drink?

    I would really appreciate some help with this.

  2. birdeo

    birdeo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2013
    he will eat very little at day 4 and don't force it, it should do just fine on it's own.
    Prob. good to add some vitamins and electrolytes to his water for a week or so.
    You can put something CLEAN and shiny in the water and /or food, like a large marble...it attracts them, especially yellow things it seems. Also just wiggle your finger around in the water and feed, he will follow it.
    Small bits of clean fresh chopped greens may help too.

    Lone chick ? If so, put a stuffed toy in with it or a mirror he can see himself in to help keep it company.
    With stuffed toys, be sure they don't have any strings or buttons on it the chick can swallow.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  3. DoraG

    DoraG Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2015
    Thanks for your reply, yes he has a cuddly friend. I didn't know about putting the eggs in in a batch when I incubated them so did them as they were laid, the next chick is due Wednesday / Thursday. He is now on day 4 and has started to eat bits of boiled egg this afternoon. He was attracted to my rings so I put them in his food :) Don't worry, they are chunky rings and too big to swallow.
    I have Nutrabol vitamins, I was putting it on his food and thought it may put him off so I didn't put it on his food today. He has greens, crumbs and hard boiled eggs, I don't leave the eggs in his brooder cage, I have been taking him out to eat. For his water I put tin foil in the bottom of his water bowl, he has not quite got the dip and swallow action down to a fine art yet but he is getting there. As recommended by a friend who breeds rhea I have been pecking at his food with my finger to make it seem like another bird pecking.

    I think it is looking up a bit now. I was just really worried this morning about his weight loss and his lack of interest and I know how quickly birds can go down hill when they don't eat.

    Thank you so much for your advice :)


    The photo is of him last night having his feeding lesson :)
  4. From the picture of your bird he looks pretty healthy. Some chicks are so layed-back and others are real go-getters by nature. Birdeo's advice is very good and I agree with everything you have done on your own. I have a good friend in Kansas who has raised emus since the late '90s and her advice is this: a little dab of probiotic cream (from the feed store) on the roof of their beak when the chick is moved out of the hatcher, water on the third day and food on the fourth. Her rationale is that this routine insures that the egg sack is absorbed completely. She says if the chick still has a little round tummy then it doesn't need food to survive. Things will be so much better when it has a mate or two :)
  5. DoraG

    DoraG Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2015

    Well they are doing really well now, my friend hatched one in her incubator, s/he was the first to hatch, then my first one, then around a week later there came another one, the second one here didn't take to eating so well, preferring greens to pellets, but now, well I can't believe how much they have grown! I had a bit of trouble with the 3rd chick around 2-3 weeks old, his/her eyes started going slightly misty and s/he went of their food, I mashed up some pellets and fed through a syringe and sprayed its eyes with Colloidal Silver, his eyes stopped misting over and after a few days s/he was eating pellets by himself.

    All are now doing really well and I cant believe how much they have grown! The 3rd one (Wilbur or Wilma) is still a fair bit smaller but is a week behind in growth and you can forget how quickly they grow in a week! This one is also more timid than the other 2, the other 2 hold a good posture, are very inquisitive and alert, baby 3 is a bit of a bumbler, so, I have a feeling that the first 2 are female and the 3rd one is male, the males I have known seem a bit more dappy than the females, this is just a feeling, what are every one else's thoughts on sexing babies by personality? Also the smaller one does the 'happy dance' more than the other 2.

    Anyway, now they all love their food, they cant eat enough, I have been putting Vitamin B powder in their food as I have read that they suffer with a deficiency in that, the ratite pellets that I buy are called Ostrich growers pellets and with ostrich and rhea being vegetarian I wonder if the emu may need more vitamin B, what does everyone here think?

    I've occasionally been giving low protein rabbit food and I have some alfalfa for when they are older.

    There is such little information out there it is hard to know what to do for the best sometimes, so I thank everyone here for your help :)

    Here is a little video from yesterday :) ...


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