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MATE or no mate?

(Emus, Rheas, Ostriches, Cassowary)

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BB
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MATE or no mate?

Postby BB » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:55 am

Hi, I don't know if you can remember but I mentioned that Slinkie, my male emu has sometimes phases of hating me. Trying to attack, stand over tactics and so on. My partner also told me he tried to attack while I'm on the ride on mower and I didn't even realize.
Now it sounds nasty but he never really clawed me and we sort of got used to him doing it and just grab him by the neck and give him a pat but sometimes it is really annoying because he doesn't back off and when he stretches to his tiptoes he is bigger than me and he knows it.
Now, my question is should I get him a female or will that only increase his behaviour towards me?
Reading this article sounds really bad because it isn't, he can be a nice Slinkie too, but I'm just wondering if someone gets rid of their female emu, is it wise to grab her?
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Cutitdead
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Postby Cutitdead » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:36 am

That is a toss up question. My male gets really agressive during the mating season (now). He was really bad the first season he mated, and actually corned and kicks my wife. His claw cut through her sweat shirt, and cut her stomach. We have figured out over the years, that he hates her because of her long hair during his mating season. (makes no sense to me) But if she enters the pasture, this time of the year, and her head is not covered, and her hair hidden, he goes crazy.

So it may help.

Is he agressive all year round to you, or just Oct/Nov till Feb/Mar?
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Postby BB » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:44 am

That is too funny that your emu doesn't like long hair.(Not funny to get hurt though...)
Well, all I can say is there is no particular pattern in his behaviour. Like I said he can be really nice too, he likes pats and sits down and sometimes falls asleep while I sit next to him. (that's where I can do anything with him, like putting hats on his head and so on, you probably seen the photos :roll: )
He has never clawed me as such neither but does his stand-over stuff.
The funny thing he is doing in the moment is answering back to the thunder. As wet season has arrived there is thunder every day and Slinkie must think some awesome female is out there calling him.
I'm not quite sure if mating season in Australia is at the same time as yours but just counting back when we got him it might just be. How long does it normally take them to hatch out their eggs?
Oh by the way, how old do emus get?
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pat
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Postby pat » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:23 am

I am surprised to hear of the aggression on male emus at breeding time.
my rocky was never agressive. not sure if maybe because he had other animals to hang out with. of course his favorite was people.

I think, mabye a mate would be better. but, on the other hand, the male emu might become protective of her. that is a good toss up there.
maybe try one and see what happens.

I do know the male rheas are very agressive and over protective of all the birds that are in the pen :roll:

not sure of a emu's life span. I have heard 40 years. but, I am more inclined to think up to 20 years.
my rocky died at the age of about 16-17 years of age.
but, I don't know why he died. I just found him dead and never found out why he died :cry:
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
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Cutitdead
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Postby Cutitdead » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:51 pm

Yeah, I bet he thinks thunder is a female...funny.

Mating season is same, that is why it is weird here that Emu mate and lay eggs in the winter, because they evolved in Australia.

Eggs take about 52 days +/- in incubator, and upt to 60 days in the wild, and you hear all types of life spans. I would say 15-25 would be average.

So typically you see emu chicks, from late Jan to early late April.
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BB
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Postby BB » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:56 pm

Thank you for the info.
I guess I'll just wait and see, if someone wants to give a female away I'll take her and hope for the best.... :roll:
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Postby Phinnin » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:14 pm

Hey, I just realized I could contribute to this.

If you ever have an emu being aggressive with you, the best thing you can do is have your hand held high over the emu's head. Bring it down towards the emu's head but be real obvious about it. You don't have to me fast or sharp about it. Get them focused on that hand. Bring it down and gently touch the emu's head. You want that emu to see your hand WAY up there. This is a MAJOR dominance move and will make them drop their own head. Put's the brakes on thier temper. I have noticed that once you have an emu "dominated" like this, don't press on them. Try to reinforce that if they press, you dominate and if they leave you alone, you won't "high-hand" them. They really hate it. But they respect it.

When all else fails, bring a push broom. It will Gently keep them at bay. But that won't win the war, only the battle.
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BB
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Postby BB » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:07 am

Hi guys, here is an update on Slinkie:
Since the last post he just got worse and worse in his behaviour, trying to peck, kick and claw. His favorite thing is charging at me out of nowhere and then going all crazy..
I cannot even walk around the garden without a stick or broom in my hand. It has gotten completely out of control! He even tries it on my partner now and the dogs are constantly terrorised.

As it happens, last weekend we get a phone call from friends if we want their emus. Actually they given the emus away to someone who didn't want them anymore as they reckoned the female is aggressive.
We drove 300km to pick them up, the little one completely underfed and the female (5years old) with a huge wound on the leg, apparently being hogtied and chucked into the back of the car... :twisted:
Anyway, they are here now, the female, named Bob ( :?: ) is the most gentle and beautiful thing ever.
The little one is very skittish and doesn't like to be touched, but I'm spending lots of time with him, feeding him up. I probably find him a good home soon.
Slinkie on the other hand had to be locked away with the pig as he just tries every second to attack the newbies. He is a real pain in the %&$ !

I'm totally at the end of my wits what to do with him, I cannot find any other info on the net about "emu whisperers" except here on the forum.
I'm trying to get hold of a knowledgeable person from the wildlife park here, but either they are on days off or I'm too busy to get there in time. Hopefully this is just mating time behaviour and will sort itself out soon..... :?
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Postby BB » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:11 am

oh by the way, Phinnin, I tried your technique only to get bitten as my hand got closer to his head.... :roll: :lol:
beldavenport
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Re: MATE or no mate?

Postby beldavenport » Fri May 25, 2012 6:33 pm

We have a male rhea who was bought as a pair of DNA checked females from Rheas of Staffordshire. One was a runt who we struggled to gain size, eventually got her to catch up by feeding her more minced heart protein, but after almost two years of age she died suddenly. Got her autopsied and found her gut was devoid of stones even though she was free range and plenty of access to suitable stones. That left one who turned out to be a male. Now he is booming and trying to attract first a donkey and now an alpaca. I have photos of him snuggling the donkey, I wish I had the camera when I witnessed him kissing gently with the donkey, weird. Unfortunately he is pumped so full of hormones he has now taken to strutting around puffed up and has attacked the fence aiming once at me and once at my husband. I'm afraid he his booked his appointment with a bullet! unless anyone has any ideas. I do feel sorry for him, but we have the general public on site and I can't risk him throwing a wobbler at a customer. Rheas of Staffordshire do not respond to my emails, so not impressed with them!
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BB
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Re: MATE or no mate?

Postby BB » Sat May 26, 2012 3:50 am

Hi,
I'd love to see the photos!!!
As for the general rhea aggression, it seems to me that it is a common thing once they've matured (my opinion only by reading posts on Sybils). Pat had/has? rheas and described the same problem. Maybe you could double fence his area (one meter gap or similar) so there are no "accidents" with the general public? And make sure it is high enough.
That's really all I can think of, because I think his behaviour(towards people) gets worse if he gets a mate.
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Re: MATE or no mate?

Postby beldavenport » Sat May 26, 2012 1:04 pm

Not sure how to attach a photo on a forum thread. Thanks for your comments, it is a shame and this is the reason we paid extra to ensure females plus I wanted the eggs, but if I had a pumped up aggressive cockerel he'd go too. He is quite happy displaying to Eric the Alpaca at the moment who is interested in the slightest. Donkey is clearly out of favour!
Let me know how to post an image and I'll happily enlighten you with the mad thing.
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BB
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Re: MATE or no mate?

Postby BB » Sat May 26, 2012 5:54 pm

If you go to the board index, Message board issues, How to and apps it tells you how to post a photo.

So, do the breeders still exist? I know you mentioned that you tried contacting them.
beldavenport
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Re: MATE or no mate?

Postby beldavenport » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:17 pm

Sad news I had to have Chris Rhea destroyed today. Typically he showed no sign of aggression just because I had someone to do the act, but I had to do this as he had crossed the line. It was one of the worst things that I have ever done, but he would never get a mate as that would make him worse, nor another male as that wouldn't solve the problem and I couldn't risk hoping that he would grow out of it, so I had to be strong, but it didn't make it any easier. The body was taken away to process though I don't know why as I really don't think I can eat the meat. It was brought back later and I was told that he had had a large abbsess on his breast and that this might have caused his aggression. I am certain this is not the case but it clearly wouldn't have got any better without assistance so at least it sort of justifies his termination. If any UK reader reads this do not buy off Rheas of Staffordshire. Very dis-sappointed with service.
beldavenport
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Re: MATE or no mate?

Postby beldavenport » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:24 pm

picture of Chris Rhea when he loved Oliver the donkey
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