Thinking of getting emus

Tkpfowl

Chirping
Mar 31, 2019
93
76
61
Illinois/Indiana
So my gf and I are considering getting a pair of emus. We would be getting them as chicks so we could raise them to be friendly and tolerate the animals, but I know despite best efforts it doesn’t always work out.

We live on about 3.25 acres and our hopes are to allow them to stay out with our hoofed animals, 3 horses 1 goat 1 lamb and 1 mini donkey. If not we have a pasture that is over half of an acre, roughly 120’x200’ we would set aside just for them.

The current fence is mostly 4’ tall cattle panels with t posts spaced every 10ft, but some is old run down horse fence that needs replacing. I know that is not enough to contain them so I plan on extending it. My plan would be to utilize the existing t posts but stagger a wooden post in between them. this would make for a post every 5’ and add some strength. Then I would cut cattle panels in half and attach them above the existing ones making a 6’ fence.

I know this project is going to be a little costly, estimate around $2600 for supplies, but I’m willing to spend the money if it’s the right call and to ensure theirs and our safety. Has anyone done anything like this before? Is this even a practical idea or should I scrap it and start over. Any ideas that would be more cost effective? The reason I went with cattle panels is because we just refenced Over 300’ of our pasture and didn’t want to have to redo it again and waste money.

I appreciate any feedback you guys have for me. We have a lot of time to get this right as we won’t be getting any emus until at least next spring.
 

briefvisit

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
872
840
196
'Is this even a practical idea or should I scrap it and start over.'

Welcome.

Others will provide details.

Fence gotta be high. And gotta keep predators out -- folks forget this aspect. And gotta be 101% foolish-bird-proof: no wires sticking out. No nails. No way they can easily get caught up.

SE
 

goldysgirl

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2010
367
756
252
Do some states require a permit for emus? Then, if you need a permit, are there containment requirements such as fencing height, etc? I was thinking that it might give you an idea of what you would need if your state requires anything. I work with emus as part of my job and they are considered potentially dangerous exotics. Just wondering...I think it would be cool to have emus!
 

Tkpfowl

Chirping
Mar 31, 2019
93
76
61
Illinois/Indiana
@briefvisit we have horses on the property and my gf is an absolute nut about fencing. Not so much as a splinter can be sticking out. Horses WILL find a way to cut themselves if at all possible, so that aspect will be well covered. The only predator we have in our area are foxes and for some reason they are small, had a few roosters picked off this summer by them but they leave our geese alone. I’m aware to but not overly concerned about them.

@goldysgirl were in Indiana and they are very lax about animals you can own. You can own a freaking tiger here with a permit. I’ve looked up and down and nothing about fencing requirements for ratites. I’ll call local authorities on the issue just for verification. Even if they say no fence requirements we’ll still make it 6’ and solidly built. Last thing I want is to chase a dinosaur down the street.
 

goldysgirl

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2010
367
756
252
@briefvisit we have horses on the property and my gf is an absolute nut about fencing. Not so much as a splinter can be sticking out. Horses WILL find a way to cut themselves if at all possible, so that aspect will be well covered. The only predator we have in our area are foxes and for some reason they are small, had a few roosters picked off this summer by them but they leave our geese alone. I’m aware to but not overly concerned about them.

@goldysgirl were in Indiana and they are very lax about animals you can own. You can own a freaking tiger here with a permit. I’ve looked up and down and nothing about fencing requirements for ratites. I’ll call local authorities on the issue just for verification. Even if they say no fence requirements we’ll still make it 6’ and solidly built. Last thing I want is to chase a dinosaur down the street.
I call them my little dinosaurs! They are really cool. I bought a house with a pond in Anderson, Indiana once and it was zoned rural and was next to a farm and some other houses. It was about 16 years ago. I bought that one just so that I could have chickens and maybe a pet pig. I called the authorities and they told me I wasn't allowed any livestock unless the property currently had livestock on it because it "wasn't the right kind of rural zoning." They said the rules had changed. I was pretty upset about that, so I was lucky to get to move away about a year and a half later. I did love the people in Indiana, though. I thought it was such a friendly place. Even downtown Indianapolis was friendly. Post pics of your emu babies when you get them. I would love to see them!
 

Tkpfowl

Chirping
Mar 31, 2019
93
76
61
Illinois/Indiana
I call them my little dinosaurs! They are really cool. I bought a house with a pond in Anderson, Indiana once and it was zoned rural and was next to a farm and some other houses. It was about 16 years ago. I bought that one just so that I could have chickens and maybe a pet pig. I called the authorities and they told me I wasn't allowed any livestock unless the property currently had livestock on it because it "wasn't the right kind of rural zoning." They said the rules had changed. I was pretty upset about that, so I was lucky to get to move away about a year and a half later. I did love the people in Indiana, though. I thought it was such a friendly place. Even downtown Indianapolis was friendly. Post pics of your emu babies when you get them. I would love to see them!
My gf looked into having livestock when she moved there because of the horses etc. and the only animal exclusively named that we cannot have is pigs. We’re extremely lucky, emphasis could not be stressed more on this, that we have amazing neighbors. The wife brings over all their leftover produce for our birds, and the husband helped me build our aviary. They don’t mind the roosters crowing or the peacock crying, and they actually kinda like coming to visit. I thought they would flip out when we said we might get emus, but they were like oh cool.

My gf’s kinda starting to him-haw around about getting emus now. It doesn’t help that my brain hyper fixates on a single idea and won’t let me do anything else. I’m sure I’m an irritant, but I just want to be prepared and start building now so when next spring comes around all we have to do is find some babies.

I will most definitely post pics of the babies and their setup when/if the gf gives me the green light.
 

goldysgirl

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2010
367
756
252
My gf looked into having livestock when she moved there because of the horses etc. and the only animal exclusively named that we cannot have is pigs. We’re extremely lucky, emphasis could not be stressed more on this, that we have amazing neighbors. The wife brings over all their leftover produce for our birds, and the husband helped me build our aviary. They don’t mind the roosters crowing or the peacock crying, and they actually kinda like coming to visit. I thought they would flip out when we said we might get emus, but they were like oh cool.

My gf’s kinda starting to him-haw around about getting emus now. It doesn’t help that my brain hyper fixates on a single idea and won’t let me do anything else. I’m sure I’m an irritant, but I just want to be prepared and start building now so when next spring comes around all we have to do is find some babies.

I will most definitely post pics of the babies and their setup when/if the gf gives me the green light.
It is weird that they don't allow pigs. Pigs are wonderful, especially if you clean up after them! It is probably because of some really dirty, smelly large scale pig farm, but a few pet pigs aren't that messy. They do enjoy a nice wallow in the mud when it is hot though!
 

Tkpfowl

Chirping
Mar 31, 2019
93
76
61
Illinois/Indiana
It’s the whole town that can’t have pigs, weird I know. I don’t understand the reasoning behind it because you can have all different kinds of animals besides the ever terrifying dangerous fiendly pig.

Oh well more room for emus i guess.
 

Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
249
757
111
I took in a stray Emu about 25 years ago and had her about 2 years when unfortunately she took off one night never to be seen again. Her name was Maybelline. I did enjoy her unique personality though.
 
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