Thinking about Emus...

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by sred98, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    I have been searching through BYC and have found a few different posts on Emus. I still have a few questions, though for people that have had them, or still do. There is a guy selling a proven pair for $50 or babies for $15. I originally wanted the pair, but DH said absolutely not. Then, I thought, well, maybe I could raise the baby with my chickens and make it really tame. How tame do they get? How aggressive do I need to worry about them being, if it is raised as a pet. Can it go in the pasture with the horses? They are protective animals, so it should help protect against coyotes and bobcats, probably not mountain lions, though. Right? I read that the males actually tame down better than the females. Is this true? It seems like it would be the other way around. How can you sex the young birds? Can you do like the doves and some of the other birds and feel, externally, the pelvic opening? How fast do they grow? Do they need a special food? Any supplements? Do they make a nest at night or do they sleep in a barn?

    Thanks in advance for the help!

  2. I thought about emus...then I started to read about how dangerous and unpredictible they can be....It scared me off only because of how powerful they are.
  3. I was looking about, thinking about getting an Emu.

    But then I couldn't find anyone in the area that sold them, and my parents said no. [​IMG]

    But Males are More tamer than females.
  4. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    Thanks for the replies! Seems people either love them or hate them! LOL! I am really curious how they would do with horses. Anyone have any experience??

  5. fancyfowl4ever

    fancyfowl4ever Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    Cranbrook, BC, Canada
    At the fall auction I was tempted to take a whole flock of them, they went for $15 a piece for 2 yr olds....... I always wanted emus and when I looked at those and all came up to the fence and let me pet them I knew I need one on the farm one day(when I have my own place and my parents can't say no).
  6. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    We had them. Except for the one who managed to run over their 6' (2x4 12 gauge) fence (yes, a group were running along the fence, crowded against the fence and one ran up and over) and luckly into the horse pasture they were never together. We were afraid it would run over the 4' horse fence before we could get it back in. Emus need a 6' fence. They also have very powerful legs with sharp claws, weapons. They have the ability to strike forward and do major damage...not worth risking my horses, goats, dogs or chickens. However on a predator.... Safely in their own enclosure they are entertaining. Some individuls do get friendly. One liked to swallow my ponyttail. We waited until they were adults to sex them, 2 years. The males drum in their throats and strut. We used Southern States pelleted Ratite feed. They slept outside in 3 sided shelters. Be careful to vaccinate for EEE, they can become carriers and you will never know.
  7. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    A little late in replying, but then I just joined yesterday.

    I have a breeding pair of emus and absolutely love them. My male is extremely friendly and loves a "hug" from his human mom. The female is somewhat tame, but a bit more hesitant when it comes to contact.

    If you start out with a hatchling and hand raise it, your emu can be as tame and friendly as a pet dog. I have friends who walk their emu on a halter/leash and regularly take her to a farmers market.

    My emus have been about the easiest to care for critters on our property... horses, llamas, goats, dogs, cats and a turtle. My favorite time of the year with my birds is during our first rains of the season. You'd think these birds were on drugs... they run, jump and "dance" when it rains. They look possessed!

    I can sell the eggs and/or chicks, but have chosen to give away the 4 month +/- old chicks to what I consider good homes. Where I live, emu chicks will sell for about $50 each... possibly more for a hand raised "tame" bird. I don't always want to raise chicks, so will occasionally take the eggs from the male and blow them out. Even emu eggs are a saleable item where I live.
  8. Chickndaddy

    Chickndaddy Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    East Texas
    One of my friends kept two female ostrich with her horses with no problems...
  9. EllyMae

    EllyMae Songster

    Didn't the show "Dirty Jobs" do a story on an Emu farm, or it might have been ostrich. All I remember is how the host gagged at dumping the water tubs because of something the birds regurgitate in the water....[​IMG]
  10. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I have a male and female emu, almost a year old and I love them. The female Jazzy is the friendliest because she was very little when we got her, Merlin the male was over a month old when we got him. jazzy will follow you everywhere, hug your shoulder, lay down with you and loves attention and to be petted. Merlin is not the petting type, but loves to follow you around and watch whatever you are doing - then get into it. They are in with our horses, chickens, turkey and peafowl 24/7. My horses are gentle and tolerent of the Emus investagating pecks and pulls. They do well with the chickens too but I stress highly to get emu chicks and raise them around your animals! Then they will think of all your animals as part of the flock and protect them. If you bring in new animals you will have to introduce them to the emus for a few days so they know that they belong there, otherwise your emus will chase them and stomp them. As long as I introduce all new chickens to them I do not have a prob, but I do not trust them around baby chicks! Emu's will remember who bossed them around when little and avoid them. My SLW hen will jump up and peck them in the nose if they get too roudy and they run off like scolded kids. But if something unknown comes in our yard they are chased and stomped. The peafowl and turkey herd the Emu all around the pasture and often lay with them. Jazzy & Merlin play with my pottbellies and do on occasion play chase some of the chickens- just for fun. My peafowl love chasing the emu - it is so funny watching an emu run and then 2 sec behind him a peacock, back and forth or to watch all of them chase squirrles. Emu are not the birghtest birds, so keep that in mind. They are just like parrots, attracted to shiny stuff, bright colors and movement, and use their beak to investigate.(watch your ears) They are just a lot bigger!I have privacy fence around 2.5 sides of my yard and 4 foot horse fence between my one neighbor that i worry about at times. They could jump it, but since raised with it the see it as a barrier. Emu love water, they begg to be sprayed with the hose and roll in the kiddy pool. Their feather keep them very warm. Chicks you can tell male from female because males will have a definate bullseye pattern on the back of their heads. [​IMG]

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