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How to transport an Emu and How to Get her to Her Pen? And other Q's

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by Sumatra503, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    I will possibly be purchasing a 3 year old adult female Emu. It is a 2 hour drive to pick her up and bring her home. I am very excited to get her, but I have a couple of situations here and I thought i would pick your brains. I am not entirely for sure getting her, but I would still like to know and maybe these questions will help someone else.

    First off I need to know a bit about transporting Emus. My most reliable vehicle is my Carola Station Wagon. I'm not sure if the truck would make the drive up there, so I would be transporting her in the hatch back part of the car with the seat folded down. I have a gate that will separate her from the front seat and it is pretty roomy back there. I could open up either the hatch door in the back or one of the side doors to load her into the car. I also have a large plastic dog crate that i could use, but I would like her to have a lot of room.

    How do you foresee this working? Any tips for transporting will be helpful.

    Second is the other problem. There is no way to drive the car directly to the Emu pen. I would have to get her from the car about 50 feet to the pen. I have some 6' fencing that I could make an alleyway out of and herd her into the pen, but I have a couple of questions for you.

    Are emus easy to herd? Like into the car and down the alley way?

    Also, since I will have to climb into the back of the car with her, How prone are they to inflicting injury when they are scared? She seems tame, but my brain just works that way.

    How do emus behave when are really stressed? As I'm sure she will be and i don't want either of us getting hurt.

    Do think this is a better one person job to keep her less stressed out or is it better to have a helper when working with Emus.

    Also, is Payback Provider a suitable temporary feed for an Emu until I find a place that sells Ratite food?

    Here's the CL Ad I'm thinking I could possibly bargain, but then again it is a good deal and he lives in Oregon!

  2. silkielover5

    silkielover5 Songster

    Sep 11, 2011
    Hudson WI
    Quote:arnt emus big? i dont see one fitting into the back of a car for 2 hrs. maybe a horse trailer...
  3. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    They are about as big as one of my sheep, which fit in the back of the car to transport.

    With seat folded down the back of the car is about a 4'x5' space and 4 feet tall. It is a big car.

    BAMABIRDS Chirping

    Jan 13, 2011
    Ive seen people put some really big animals into small areas, HOWEVER there are quite a few differences in an emu and a sheep. I can haul sheep in just anout anything but the emu is going to be extremely hard to get into the car if you even can. My suggestion to keep you and the emu from getting hurt is to haul her in a horse trailer.
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I see a huge doctor bill or car repair in your future.................... [​IMG]

    Now I know Foulman transported his in the covered bed of his truck....... but putting one in a car..... ummm....... scary. Frightened emu's can be very dangerous, especially in an enclosed space. They will kick and flail their legs, even if they are not meaning to hit you those claws, they can do damage. I have a 5 inch scar on my side from one. They also don't think when scared and will fight to get out of anything. When you consider they are 120 lbs with the kick of a horse and the claws of a wolf...... caution should be taken as even the friendliest emu can quickly get upset.
    The best method would be to load one in a horse trailer. If I didn't have a trailer, some sort of wooden livestock pen on the bed of a truck or inside the covered bed shell would be next. Perhaps a van if you penned the inside with cattle panel or something? Use a black sock with a small hole cut for the beak. Slip it over the emu's head. this helps calm them. Come from behind and either grab a "wing' in each hand and walk them from behind or if you have someone strong with you have them bear hug the emu, lean back enough to pick them off the ground and have their legs lifted and run.. I mean walk quickly to the transport vehicle.

    Now if their was a way to slip the sock over it's head, then pin it down and wrap it's legs together in duct tape..... you may be able to get it in a van etc... but I sure wouldn't want to be locked inside with one if it got undone......................[​IMG] They also get very stressed when their legs are touched.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I think I'd rent a small U haul truck and just not tell them what I'm moving........ and clean it Really good. [​IMG]
  7. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    In June these two boys took a two hour drive to an avian vet in the back of our Hummer. They are over 5 feet tall now and it would be difficult to get them in there again. They are less than a year old.


    When emus are transported it is best done in the evening to avoid stress. They still stress anyway and will kick and fight. Their large toenails are razor sharp and if they get you with one you could be hurt. They can kick in all directions except straight back. You can try to get behind the emu and sort of straddle it and hold onto it's "wings" to guide it while trying to walk it to the car or to the pen. I don't think our boys would allow anyone they don't know well to get close enough to them to do that though. I also don't know how you could get a full grown emu to step up into a car. A trailer with a ramp would be much easier. Our boys knew us from the day they hatched so we could pick them up and carry them out. Our avian vet said emus can't vomit, well, I am here to tell you they can and will. Both of our emus vomited in our local vet's office on the way to the avian vet then one of them vomited twice while we were driving. It is very gross in the car. We had a bunker in there with old moving blankets, tarps etc so it didn't damage the car but the ride was very bad.

    Here is a very good link to all things regarding raising emus. The section regarding transporting them is here: http://www.eemufarming.com/page/3

    know someone who rented a Uhaul to transport several adult emus, put socks over their heads to keep them calm, and all the other recommendations. They still lost one during the move to stress. It was a fairly short drive too.

    Read all the pages of that articles. It is great information. My local feedstore does not carry ratite feed but they do special order it for me. Be aware that it takes up to two months from the time I order it until they get it in. The article has good recommendations for substitutions.

    I hope you will be getting a second emu at some time. I know they prefer each other's company. Also be aware that if you put them with other livestock do so with great caution. Emus have no respect for personal space and will peck at and annoy larger animals until they get kicked or stomped. This was one of my emu this morning being a jerk to my neighbor's 2,500 pound draft horse!



    Who would mess with this guy?


  8. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    Thanks for the help.

    I didn't think transporting her in my car would be such a life threatening experience. I did think about it quite thoroughly, though. I made it extremely secure and paneled it off to keep her out of the front. If I could lift her into the back of a truck, then I should think I could lift her into my car. My thinking before hearing this, anyway.

    I do have trailer, but it is an open trailer and is about 5'x6', so the same as the car. I have 6' Wire fencing that I put in the back for large sheep and a few plywood pieces to make it enclosed if you think this is a better option. I can avoid the freeway at all costs.

    The truck bed is dad's Chevy Love and it is a small bed that is smaller than the trailer.

    Do you think she may calm down after a little bit?

    I see you mentioned putting sock over her head. If she can't see then how can she tell how enclosed the area is? Just trying to figure this out.

    I'm trying to do the best with what I got here since it is a good option for me if I can get her here.
  9. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    My plan is to get a second emu eventually if I get her. I do want to DNA sex her first to make sure i'm getting the correct gender of emu as her mate.
  10. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I don't think we are saying the size of the vehicle is a problem, just strength. They can easily kick out a window or kick through a car seat. Some depends on the temperament of the emu, but even nice ones, if stressed enough can get hard to handle. If you put a sock over their head, it is dark, they can not see and are less likely to spazz out, but can still jump around and thrash. They are very strong, even stronger when stressed and they don't think when scared, they can hurt themselves or you. if the sheep trailer has a top and sturdy sides, even if it is open goat wire panel etc.. would be safer than a car. Just make sure to put a sock over their head. If you could post a pick of it we may be able to give some suggestions to help. Transporting an emu is about the hardest part of emu ownership and when most accidents occur..

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