Louis was frozen this morning!

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by The Sheriff, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    When I went out to feed the emus this morning, my boy Louis met me at the gate which was frozen shut. As I was pouring water on the latch to thaw it out, he was sticking his head through the gate and eating out of the feed bucket. I reached in to push him aside so that I could swing the gate open. The feathers on his back were frozen! Not like a little frost on the feathers but frozen hard like a tortoise shell. I was so shocked! They have a shelter to sleep in but he must have gotten wet in the rain and then slept outside during the hard freeze. Poor baby. He seems none the worst for wear but I was a nervous wreck about it all day. I noticed a couple of piles of the finer emu feathers lying on the ground. I wonder if he pulled those out trying to get the ice off? Has anyone else had an emus body freeze like this?
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    OMG I thought you meant he was dead :rolleyes:

    I know that my horses will get a coat of ice over their back and sides in bad weather. As long a they remain dry next to the skin, no harm done - the fur (or presumably feathers since he didn't freeze to death) insulate them from the ice.
  3. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sheriff, I'll be happy to check this for you:

    something that might not be apparent to those in the U.S. is that Australia has enormous amounts of snow in winter . . . it's just all on top of the Great Dividing Range, from about southern New South Wales, right down to southern Tasmania. What I would have to check is if emus range along that 'spine,' but the habitat maps I've seen indicate that emus range iin some seriously snowy territory (thuogh a relatively short season, I suppose).

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  4. Raptor65

    Raptor65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2012
    Gerry found himself frozen a few times before I was able to get his house finished, I'd go out at night with a towel and dry him off then lay the towel over him. Course he'd throw it off sometime in the night and get frozen anyway, then I'd bring him some hot water to drink in the morning and he liked that. Under the feathers though he'd be nice and warm despite the ice. It's the tail that would get me though, his tail fans out on the ground when he lays down so it'd freeze in the funniest looking fashion then he'd be walking around like that until the sun came up.

    He's much happier now that he's got four walls, a roof, a heat lamp and some pine shavings though, was able to get it done before the worst of the snow and frost.

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  5. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    I've had free range chickens get frozen before.. one rooster in particular liked to roost on top of one of the big metal pasture gates.. he would end up with icicles hanging off his tail and saddle feathers.. didn't seem to bother him much
  6. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    All night long I bin thinkin', 'Gerry the Emu got a table!'

  7. nothingbutbirds

    nothingbutbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2012
    I thought this as well.

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