I know this is a chicken site, but was wondering if anyone also rasies Emus along with chickens? I have a nice assortment of layers and my husband said he wanted to add Emus to the farm. In his eyes they are just XL chicken. Yea 150+ lbs ones lol.
We have had Emus. They are completely stupid and unfriendly but great meat. You can't herd them like cattle and they need a strong, secure 6ft fence. Here in Texas people that got roped into the "this is the next designer meat" craze and paid huge amounts of money for them have let them go when it didn't pan out and they are feral in some areas. Their eggs are huge and greasy and not really palatable for most of us. I can't think of much to recomend them.
The up side is where you can find them they are cheap and if you put an ad on craigslist you can probably find folks that are willing to give some away. If you get them be careful of thier feet, they can really hurt you if you don't know how to move them around.
I've never had them myself, but I've heard good stories and bad. Unless you are going to eat or breed, there's not much more you can do with them. If raised from a baby and socialized, they can be friendly, however, I've heard males are usually friendlier.
They eat ALOT of food, and need a very sturdy enclosure. They also need a run in shed sort of shelter. I've heard they should be fed a special emu feed, but the feed store around here does not sell anything special. I think my one friend who had them just fed them layer pellets, but she went through quite a bit each week!
They can be VERY dangerous, so even around tame emus you have to be careful. They are quite capable of killing a man. If they get loose, they are pretty hard to catch, and it usually comes down to a huge group of neighbors chasing the big birds! (One got loose down the road from me and no one wanted to go near it!)
I thought about getting them, but it seemed like they would not be "real" pets. I wanted something I could pet and it just didn't seem like Emus would be like that. If you decide to get them, make sure to do lots of research first! like I said, I've known people to have them with wonderful experiences and people whoe have had terrible experiences.
Thank you all for the info. They would be used for meat if we do get any and put in a 7ft high round pen with shelter.
Sorry I posted it in the wrong spot. I was at work when I posted it and wasn't paying attention.
PasoFinaFarm is right about them being feral here. I have seen a couple out in the wild. Crazy thing too, don't expect to see this huge bird out there. I've heard they are mean. On the other hand, if you raise them around you and handle them I'm sure they would be a little nicer. I petted one at a place in Glen Rose, Fossil Rim Wildlife Preserve. Cool.
We had them also never again one thing to consider is there pen is there territory and when my favorite turkey flew in there they stomped her to death they killed anything that dont belong in there.and loose they are dangerous and not easy to catch either! had a big emu ranch not far away and 15 of them got loose and the police didnt have a choice but to call on all hunters to hunt them down as they were on bad roads and a big highway and afraid of people hitting them and getting killed so they shot them down. after they killed my best girl I gave em away!
They dont need a shelter~ just something to block the wind. A row of tall bushes should be sufficient. As for food... they can eat 3 parts catfish food, mixed with 5 parts maize. This keeps them healthy, but you should also offer various greens with their daily diet.
LOOK AT THAT FACE.........Does She Look Nasty????? LOL
Some Emu can be very mean and aggressive, but if you raise them from very young you have a better chance of getting a pet. I know you said you wanted them for meat, I would suggest not getting babies because they are very cute and follow you everywhere and easily get attached too. Mine have been socialized since they were little. I let them follow me outside while I fed up all the critters to get them use to them. The peafowl use to pick at them and they are still cautious around them.LOL They are protective of their space, but I use that to my advantage. I have mine as livestock guardians along side my LGD's. As long as I introduce new critters to them and give them time to know they belong...I have no problems etcept with cats. They still chase my cats... They are out with seramas, banties, big chickens, turkey, peafowl, ducks, geese, goats, pigs, mini horses, horses , llama, an Alpaca, and a zebu. They can get bossy sometimes, or chase someone just for fun but for the most part they behave. Mine are use to people and show no aggression towards anyone.........they will however steal your earrings etc. My 4 year old nephew use to play chase with them, it was hilarious. Mine will come up and give Emu Hugs while laying their neck over my shoulder waiting to be petted. They can be really neat pets if you have the time to commit to them and understand how they work.