What do Emus eat? Am I feeding him o.k.

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by mamaluvschick, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. mamaluvschick

    mamaluvschick Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2012
    Kersey Colorado, USA
    So about 5 mos. ago we were given an adult male emu. I have fallen in love with him as he is the sweetest thing. But I am still trying to figure out what to feed him. The people who had him before said that he only ate cracked corn. I don't think that is too healthy for him so I have been giving him,lettuce, which he LOVES. I also give some goat feed, cracked corn and sometimes a "flock raiser". I am not sure on the amounts and if he is getting enough of all. He seems healthy and happy. Sometimes he poops like a loose green substance and other times it more of a solid. I would appreciate all the help I can get. I bought about the only book on emus I could find, but it doesn't give me details on feed. Thank-you so much.
     
  2. ES Emus

    ES Emus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey Mama!
    If you ask ten different emu owners, you will probably get 10 different answers. However, one thing that they would probably agree on is that an emu needs a more balanced diet than just cracked corn or lettuce. So, here is my opinion, based on my experience. The easiest, but perhaps the most expensive option is to purchase a prepared ratite feed in pellet form. These feeds are prepared with all of the necessary nutrients, minerals, vitamin, amino acids and protein percentages for a balanced diet. A typical adult emu formula would consist of 14-17% protein, and include trace amounts of ME, Lysine, Methionine, Cystine, Calcium, Phosphorus, salt, and about 1% fat. If your local feed store does not carry a ratite formula, a non-medicated poultry grower/finisher pellet is probably just as good. There is a lady who lives about 15 minutes who has raised hundreds of emus and all she ever feeds them is non-medicated poultry breeder/layer pellets. Some people make their own feeds from a mixture of different feeds, this is perhaps the cheapest way to go, but a bit more trouble. Regardless, any of these prepared pellet formulas would be much better, nutritionally speaking, than a diet of cracked corn.

    Typically goat feed has the right protein percentage, (16% +/-) but has more fat content, a higher salt and fiber content, and lower calcium percentage than is generally recommended for emus. In addition, it contains copper and selenium.

    p.s.- your poop description sounds normal for an emu!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  3. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Yep....everyone feeds different. Raptor listed a good feed guideline for comparison on here somewhere.
    Here...because I feed so many amimals and the emu can't stand someone getting something different....their base diet is an all stock feed with added layer mash and sometimes alfalfa pellets. My also have woods etc they freerange and find stuff out here too. Also give dog food as treats as well as greens etc....emu differ in what they like....so some get one thing.....others like something else.
     
  4. Raptor65

    Raptor65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2012
    Here's the chart I made up for Gerry last year:

    Feed
    Crude Protein
    Crude Fat
    Crude Fiber
    Calcium
    Phosphorus
    Salt
    Lysine
    Methionine
    Chicken Layer
    16.00%​
    2.70%​
    4.00%​
    2.50%​
    0.40%​
    0.25%​
    0.70%​
    0.20%​
    Rabbit Pellets
    17.00%​
    1.90%​
    20.00%​
    0.90%​
    0.25%​
    0.48%​

    Chick Starter
    23.00%​
    2.00%​
    4.00%​
    0.50%​
    0.50%​
    0.15%​
    1.00%​
    0.30%​


    Starter Mix
    18.67%​
    2.20%​
    9.33%​
    1.30%​
    0.38%​
    0.29%​
    0.85%​
    0.25%​
    Feed Mix
    16.50%​
    2.30%​
    12.00%​
    1.70%​
    0.33%​
    0.36%​
    0.70%​
    0.20%​

    Difference (Starter Mix)
    2.33%​
    0.30%​
    2.33%​
    0.08%​
    0.02%​
    1.31%​
    0.25%​
    0.45%​
    Difference (Feed Mix)
    0.50%​
    0.30%​
    1.00%​
    0.55%​
    0.33%​
    0.29%​
    0.14%​
    0.16%​

    Mazuri Ratite Starter
    21.00%​
    2.50%​
    7.00%​
    1.22%​
    0.40%​
    1.60%​
    1.10%​
    0.70%​
    Mazuri Emu Feed
    17.00%​
    2.00%​
    11.00%​
    1.15%​
    0.65%​
    0.65%​
    0.84%​
    0.36%​

    The top three lines are the off the shelf feed in 50 pound bags, the next two lines are what they look like mixed together, each bag costs $10 and 100-150 pounds of feed lasts a LONG time, takes Gerry about 2 months to go through 100 pounds of food and not for a lack of trying. The starter mix is all three mixed evenly with the pellets ground to the same consistency as the starter and the feed mix is just the layer and rabbit pellets mixed 50/50.

    Like ES said, it's just one of probably dozens of diets out there, but I find it very affordable, easy to do and Gerry loves it. You may want to ask for a sample of the rabbit feed to see if he'll eat it, I know Gerry refuses to eat certain kinds, or you could possibly replace it with the goat feed you have if he's already eating and enjoying it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey, Mama.

    Gotta agree with E.S. Variety is good. Wild birds get a surprising range of foods.

    The poop you describe seems quite okay.

    Economically, a ratite food would do well as Emu’s basic food; and beyond that, ply Emu with tidbits of fresh anything.

    Say hello to him for us, and check in any time.

    S.E.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  6. mamaluvschick

    mamaluvschick Out Of The Brooder

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    41
    Feb 26, 2012
    Kersey Colorado, USA
    thank-you so much, this information has been helpful. I will try to get some "Feed" for him. I will have to price it first. Thanks again.
     
  7. mamaluvschick

    mamaluvschick Out Of The Brooder

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    41
    Feb 26, 2012
    Kersey Colorado, USA
    o.k. so I am going to try some rabbit feed today and see what he thinks. We have a couple of rabbits so I will first try the food we have. Thanks again for all of your help. I so need it to learn more for our "elmo"
     
  8. Tame Emu Guy

    Tame Emu Guy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey, Mamaluvschick!

    How is Eemoo getting on?

    Supreme Emu
     
  9. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Thank you for the information as one of my Grandchildren
    just got a EMU and had no idea what to feed the Big Guy
    and yes this is also the EMUS name ....


    Mike
     
  10. Tacampbell1973

    Tacampbell1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2013
    Washington State
    Wow Chickenzoo, I was just reading your list of critters you have....that sounds like paradise to me. I so badly want an emu someday and an alpaca. I'd really like a camel too and a donkey. Guess I need to buy a farm, or win the lottery[​IMG]
     

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