Stressed-out Male Emu Wouldn't Eat

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by IamEmily, May 29, 2016.

  1. IamEmily

    IamEmily New Egg

    Aug 16, 2015
    Reno, Nevada
    Hello. I wanted to share a recent experience I had with my emu. We recently got a new mini horse and we let him stay in a pen next to our two emus ( along with the animals they share a pen with; goats and pigs). Well, this new horse really freaked out our male emu. All night he ran along the fence line and every time he turned to run the new direction, he rubbed his face and neck against the fence ( which is wood and wire) and ended up scraping off all of his neck feathers, some of his head feathers until he was raw and swollen.

    I did not know he did this until the morning when I found him. When I left him in the evening he seemed fine and not panicky next to the new mini horse. Anyway, I immediately moved the mini horse to a pen out of site and away from our emu. He still slowly paced the fence line, I tried to gently walk him away from it. He then just sat down and didn't eat. This went on for 8 days!

    I looked everywhere online to see what I could do for him. I felt terrible. Poor guy. I added sugar to his water ( which he drank just a little of) and offered him bread and strawberries everyday. Well, o the 9th day, I went out to feed him and he wanted a few berries! Hooray! And each day since he has been eating more- he is on his way to normal.

    Well, I have no idea if this will help anyone with their emus or not, but I wanted to get this online just incase. And even though I love our emus, I would not advise anyone thinking of getting one as a pet- only because they aren't domesticated well and I'm not sure humans can provide them with a space and life they deserve. One more thing! No offense to any current emu owners out there! I don't mean you aren't good to your birds, I just mean they seem like they would be far better off running free then in a pen- no matter how large.
  2. Emu House

    Emu House Just Hatched

    Jun 30, 2016
    I know that emus do not like being in an enclosure of any kind and no matter how big or small the enclosure is, they will always walk up and down the perimeter looking to get out. Put a fence or boundary in front of them and all they want to do is peer over it and yearn to get to the other side. If however, the land area is big enough for them to run long stretches and wander around which they love to do, then the boundary fence represents more of a territorial boundary rather than an inconvenient barrier to the rest of the world. One emu is going to be more inclined to want to jump the fence in search of a mate from time to time but they are not silly ! They know their way back. It is their inquisitive nature that keeps them walking if they go a long way from their 'home' territory. Having only had our emu free-roaming, I could never imagine her in an enclosure. When it has been necessary on occasion to put her in the large dog yard, she behaves as if she is imprisoned and paces back and forth along the fence-line wanting to get out. They do love their freedom. In relation to their attachment to humans, this is a unique experience. Anyone who has an emu as a pet and who has spent a lot of time with it as it has grown, will know that they make gentle, amusing, affectionate pets.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016

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