Supreme Emu Visiting

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by Tame Emu Guy, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Tame Emu Guy is really Supreme Emu – I’ve just popped in: I have a new email address.

    Three emus in residence: Eric and Mrs Eric, who are fairly wild. Greedy the Emu left a couple of months ago. Felicity Emu returned after an absence of seven months. An emu who sometimes passes through brought a newly-hatched chick to within ten yards of the back fence. It was so small it was having trouble ploughing through the grass. Another bird, Number One, the third chick that I tamed, and which I thought was dead, is apparently alive: she is not tame, but comes to the edge of the house-clearing. She’s a lovely big dark bird.
    I’ve been observing the birds here for nearly four years now. Fig season starts in a couple of weeks, and the annual emu wars – the house-clearing has the best food within miles – are underway, with sometimes a dozen or more birds jockeying for social position around the fig trees.

    The avatar photo is of two of the three wild emu chicks that I tamed, taken several years ago in front of the fig trees.

    Mark Blair
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Interresting, Mark. Please fill out your sig so we know where you are.........Pop
  3. foulman007

    foulman007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2010
    Columbia SC
    Good to see you back S.E.
    We have missed your insight and input.
  4. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    My health is very poor, readers. My eyes trouble me greztly. So I’ll leave an update, and my email address with Foulman. If I may be of assistance, please feel free to contact me:

    For more recent members, I seem to be the ONLY person on BYC who has tame emus as opposed to pet emus. I live in an old farmhouse in the country in Southwest Western Australia; and in the last four years, I have tamed three chicks that a male I was feeding brought to the fruit trees in the house-clearing, and I have become familiar with a number of others. Here’s the roll:

    Eric the Emu is the original emu. The books say that emus mate only for a season, but Eric and Mrs Eric have been an item for more than three years. His three chicks are ‘Greedy,’ ‘Felicity,’ and ‘Number One.’ I fed them morning and night for a thousand days, and when still chicks we would go for walks for several miles beyond the farm itself. So, emus certainly hold a map of some square miles of territory in their heads. (You can also watch them choose and eat things in an absolutely native environment during walks like that.) The books say that males do all the parenting, but here’s a quandary for you: Eric appeared first with one chick (Greedy, which is why she’s the tamest.) Then a week later, two. Then one. Then three, etc, etc. Where were the other chicks being ‘stashed’ between times?
    Continuing the roll: there is orphan emu. It’s clearly an orphan. It turned up one day, on its own, while still less than a year old. Here’s another question for readers: do emus know their genetic relatedness to other emus? I note that there are definite patterns of toleration among the emus. Some are vigorously attacked by my birds; some are tolerated.

    There is a clutch of five which I have watched grow over the year or more since I identified them. They are ‘tame,’ readers, in the sense that they will not bolt when they see you. On occasions, the male and the five chicks have walked right past the house – the length of a tennis court from the desk at which I’m typing – and for three or four strides the chicks have fallen into step in a neat rank behind dad, like a military parade. I note that this family group has remained coherent until the chicks are two years old. I can now longer identify the chicks by their smaller size, only by their number and tameness. (One of these birds is identifiable by personality alone. It is extra curious, and comes right up to the fence, and stretcheeesss its neck out to get closer to the action. Wild birds have identifiable traits. Some like different foods; some like to swim more than others; some will more readily drop to their knees to eat; some are more or less aggressive.)
    Fighting/pecking-order determination: I have viewed a couple of dozen You Tube ‘Emu Attack’ videos. Not a single one shows an actual pecking-order fight. There is a gradation of ‘ferocities,’ the ‘top’ of which was a twenty-yard-run-up flying Bruce-Lee double-footed chest kick that Greedy delivered to her dad the day she wrested from him the alpha position of the house-clearing (which clearing, I have come to realise, is far and away, because of the fruit trees and my wheat, the best spot within literally miles). Eric has since wrested his crown back. So, the pecking order changes naturally. I note, for all frustrated owners of ‘paddock emus,’ that jockeying for position is absolutely unending, as I observe it (which, academically, we note is not ‘pure’ because of the wheat that I provide, but at ‘the periphery’ – where my emus interact with the wild emus – is very very close to a natural environment). At any time at which more than one emu is in sight, some degree of jockeying is in progress. Here’s another question: several times I have observed the following: a stoush between fifteen or even twenty birds will be in progress. One emu will just sit down in the middle of it all, as though it has declared itself neutral, and be ignored by all the rest. Has anyone seen this happen?
    Two of my three chicks now have consorts, and they come and go in their pairs. I note that the nucleus of a flock has accreted around Greedy: she and Boy Emu are an item (his first visits were hilarious. Wheat is good tucker for wild emus, but coming up to a house was clearly a major drama for him). Orphan emu often hangs out with them, and so does another bird that I think is a male. So, Greedy left the farmhouse for her first adult mating-season, and within six months was the alpha bird of a group of four. Sadly, all three of my chicks are females, so they will never bring young chicks to the farmhouse.

    An annual migratory pattern of sorts is discernible. A local used the term ‘flocking up.’ It seems that during the natural – Australian – mating-months, the emus gather in large numbers. This pattern is discernible: during mating season, I may not see a single emu for days at a time, including mine; yet my record, at another time of year, is sixty-four sightings of emus in the house-clearing in a single afternoon. They clearly have a ‘life agenda’ whereby they come and go, during the year, to do this or that. (Emu-watching includes escapades like managing to sneak across the house-clearing, and enter unseen the old shearing-shed, from which I was able to watch a clutch of wild emu chicks from a distance of twenty to thirty yards. Your chances of doing this in the wild are a million to one.)

    I have seen spirited spazzy dances on a number of occasions, though usually very early in the morning.

    Emus sleeping in the wild: I haven’t bothered to study this much. I think they sleep in groups, and generally in the same area – they appear in the morning for weeks on end from the same direction. I have several times, while walking in deep dusk, seen my emus just settling down to sleep. Do your emus gluck gluck at night? The wild ones do, and during mating-season, you can walk for miles through the bush in the day time, and hear females calling.

    Finally, a sad episode: a friend turned up one afternoon with a chick about two weeks old in his shirt, and did I want to raise it? He’d caught it by hand in the bush. I made a pen for it, and sat reading with it, to begin the familiarisation process. About two hours later, I determined that the reason it seemed to be falling over a lot was that it had a club foot. We have discussed in posts the fact of clubfooted-ness in incubated chicks. So, I don’t know if there are statistics; but the curled-under foot deformity exists in the wild. I put Bruce down the day I got him.

    Mark Blair
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Good to see you again... often wondered what you were doing and how you were. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  6. BLRW

    BLRW Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 23, 2012
    I have 4 emu chicks hatching in 3 weeks. I have never hatched Emu before and have NO idea what I'm in for. Is there anything I need to know? I raise quail and standerd chickens. What should I expect?
  7. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Spend time with them. It’s the basis of tameness. Talk to them. Touch them. Beware them injuring their st… silly little selves on fences etc. They don’t need treats. Normal food? You U.S. guys must advise on that. (Mine largely feed themselves.) But they love wheat, love any dried fruit you can afford; veg., nuts. They will gobble things in their environment. Check for necessary shots if you are ‘exotic.’ Provide as much space for them as possible, absolutely as much.

    Here’s my neat thing with emus: if you have to get an emu to go in a direction, such as to get its silly self out of a fenced yard, don’t try to drive it. That doesn’t work. Sit with wheat within sight of the bird, and in straight line of sight, and tap the food tin, a familiar sound, and they will come for the food.

    Okay, must super extra gotta hop it now.

    Supreme Emu

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