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Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

(Emus, Rheas, Ostriches, Cassowary)

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nicoeflein
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Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby nicoeflein » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:35 pm

I am getting a pair (two that were part of a larger flock and the previous property) and I wanted to ask the experts here about them. They will be living with a little herd of Pygmy goats in a 1.5 acre pasture, of forest and grass, and will have the option to sleep in a few open door small outbuildings of their choice. The fence is not quite tall enough yet, it is 4 ft woven wire, so I am thinking that I should just put up two lines of barb-less wire a foot apart above the fence line, making the fence 6 ft tall. Would this be enough for them? The property where I am buying them from has them in 5 ft woven wire and they stay in happily. One of the emus that I am buying is actually the runt of the group, and "it," has a bad back, missing most of the feathers around the rump area. This looks like a well loved chicken hen, but I do not know if Emus are that reproductive and if this bird is a female. The owner was planning on butchering it until I asked to buy him:( I have been wanting to get Emus for a long time, and these Emus are amazingly friendly, and love attention. Should I feed a ground corn, grain mixture feed, or try to find a ratite feed around here. I have also heard that turkey finisher works well, but I am trying to use the same feed as the rest of my birds . . . I am not buying these birds on a whim, I am waiting to pick them up once I have the correct environment for them. Thanks, any replies will be greatly appreciated!
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Cutitdead
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby Cutitdead » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:15 pm

The emus should do fine around goats. They will just have to get use to them if they have never been around any. Mine are around goats, swans, chickens, peacocks & dogs and they do well. Though when my goats have kids, the emus are weird around them for a while. If the emus are pretty tame, then 4' fence may be ok. That is what I have, and have never had any problems, but I have read where if the birds do not get a long, they will go over the 4', so barbless wire may be a good idea. Are the feathers just missing from being picked on by other birds, or does it look like it just will not have feathers? If you end up with a male and female, I do not think this feather issue would really matter. Emus do not digest ground corn that well. But I will say mine LOVE scratch feed. They eat it and do not have any problems, so I let them, othere may disagree with me on that. You can buy ratite feed, but be aware that all are not good for emus. All ratites do NOT need the same feed. Turkey finsher is good, just try and not to them any mediciated feed. I have read this is bad, but do not know first hand. For years I bough the expensize mazuri feed, and if got hard for me to find. So I took the % listing from one of he bags and started to look for what feed I could find that was the close to it. That turned out to be rabbit feed (the pellets). I know if sounds weird, but that is what I ended up feeding them. I also feed this to my goats, and other animals. Hope all this helps....good luck
nicoeflein
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby nicoeflein » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:22 pm

Thanks for the information, I think that they would be fine in the 4 ft fence, and these birds are really calm and friendly birds, and have been living at a large scale petting zoo, so they have been around the guy's goats and other birds . . . but, I do not want to risk the chance if one of them do happen to manage to get out? I think that two lines of barbless (so they do not cut their necks) above the fence they couldn't get out would be enough. The guy I am getting them from suggested electric, but I am not a fan of that idea. Hopefully I can find some ratite feed, but in my area I am probably one of the few to own them and the feed stores might not stock it, but I will check for sure. The bare back one looks like the feathers have just been almost rubbed off maybe, or picked off by the others. The previous owner has a lot of Emus together. I haven't been able to really look at the area, but I will try to tomorrow if I can get over there. The other Emu is really a beautiful bird, and I am almost certain that I heard this one make the drum sound that females make. Should I look for any other signs of being a male or a female? I heard that the female has a drape-like feather around the base of the neck too?
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pat
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby pat » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:30 am

the 4ft fence should be Ok, but, sometimes, if something spooks them, they might be able to jump the fence.
I had a 5' fence, and one of my emus did jump the fence icon-sad well, two of them did.
one ran away, never found her, the other tried getting back in..
but, the part of the fence they jumped, sagged a little.

but, you might want to confine them in one of the houses, so they get use to
their new environment.

I don't recommend electric fence. doubtful they would even feel the shock because of all their feathers,
and if they did feel it, it could spook them.

I fed mine turkey finisher, they seem to do well on it.
also fruit is good. mine like thinly sliced apples.

the females do make a drumming noise, and have a drape-like extra feathers on their chest..
I don't know any other signs that distinguishes emus ..

keep us updated on them..
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

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nicoeflein
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby nicoeflein » Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:45 pm

I think that the 4 ft would be okay too, but I with the risk of one of them possibly escaping, I am going to put up some barb-less lines. I am not a big fan of electric either, and it would seem to me that the Emus wouldn't be able to feel it under all of the feathers, and if one of them would be zapped, being a bird, they would terribly stress out. And with the really laid back attitudes of these birds I think that they won't try to hard to get out of the now 6 ft fence. They have an 1 1/2 acre pasture anyway, and there are only two Emus and a couple of goats frolicking in there . . . Even if both of the Emus are males, it would be fine because there are two, the magic number for most animals, I would think?
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pat
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby pat » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:21 pm

wow, they will have plenty of space.
they should be content.

but, again, they need to adjust to their new environment.
once they do, I think they will be fine.

keep us updated please
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nicoeflein
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby nicoeflein » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:08 pm

I will definitely keep you updated,
I want to make sure that you and all of the moderators on this site have really helped me a lot with all of my crazy animals, and I appreciate the advice and stories shared on this site. One of the little outbuildings have a divider in it, making kind of a two stall building, so I think that I will lock them up in there for a night, and then set them loose under supervision for a while . . . I was actually a little worried that the Emus would need more space Pat, but it seems that most people can keep them happy and healthy in smaller pens, so I think that they will be okay. Should I make sure to have the fence extension complete before I get them? I am really impatient to get them, I have been wanting to get a few for a long time, and I can't wait! I have probably read the all of the posts on Ratites at least three times, and really like reading all of the great stories on there, and I am excited to start sharing my own. What about Rheas? Should I consider getting some of those too? I know of the aggressive nature of the males (especially the white) and honestly I do not mind the issues of aggression with animals. I have a REALLY mean Pygmy buck, who really likes me, but just can not resist head butting me at every little chance he gets! He has huge horns too, at least a foot and a half and gently curved back. He is very impressive, and, crazy enough, I like the mean ones, they keep you on edge, like if you were a fugitive always worried that they were going to get you! I like that love/hate relationship with the mean ones. Anyway, thanks for the advice, and any more suggestions about the Emus would be great! Thanks Pat and BB, I really appreciate it. Any pics?!?

N
nicoeflein
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby nicoeflein » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:30 am

Thanks for the info, Cutitdead, rabbit pellets seem like an interesting idea. I guess that if the percentages are similar, it would work! The fence will be built up soon just in case, but I do not think that the Emus will have a issue with it anyway. I do not know what to feed them, regularly, yet, but at my local feed store they stock Ground Beet Pulp, and it recommends feeding it to Emus!? I would assume that it would have to be only a part of the diet, but that may work for me if it seems okay for them to eat. It goes through fast, so they stock it fresh for the farmers around here. I will have to keep researching and searching around. Thanks,

N
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby pat » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:07 am

glad to hear you found our info helpful.

I really don't recommend rheas at all.
the males I had are pretty nasty.
they bite, and bite hard.
the male I had literally bit a small chuck of my thumb :roll:
and this was over the fence. these birds can actually draw blood.
if you have rheas, it is not a good idea to let anyone near the fence.

a while back, a friend of mine, had rheas and emus also.
the rheas killed killed a couple of the emus icon-sad
but, these guys were kept in a temporarily small pen.

however, the males might also protect them all.
thats what mine did. he would fluff out his feathers, wings up and try to
protect everyone :roll: trying to feed the rest of them was a real fiasco.

on the fence, can you get a 2 or 3 foot fence, even chicken fencing.
and attach that on top of the 4ft fence? that would be safer than
putting wire around the top. what concerns me, is, if your emus
do get scared, and attempt to jump the fence, it could get its foot
caught between the fence and wire.

but, like I said, chances are slim they will jump the fence,
once they are adjusted to their new enviroment.

also, keep in mind, that emus generally walk the fence line.
this is normal for them. so, they will eventually wear a
path around the fence line. at least mine did anyway.
mine had almost of an acre of pen space.

as for the feed, I used turkey finisher pellets.
most farm stores carry this, and is generally used quite a bit.

I don't have any emus right now icon-sad
I have some pictures of what I had, but, need to find them. icon_confused.gif
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nicoeflein
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby nicoeflein » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:26 am

I have heard about the fence border walking, and I am not that concerned about them getting snagged on anything because the goats do the same thing. They don't wear a path down but they walk all around the fence and the path is clear of little snag kind of things. Our fence is attached to tree trunks wherever it could work, so I think that their path will have to be a little zig zag, or maybe a few feet farther away from the fence than they normally would. I didn't really plan on getting Rheas, but they obviously sparked my interest, and I like their faces a lot. I am not going to chance it though, killing one of my Emus would be disastrous, or it had a bad relationship with my little goats and tried to hurt one of them that would be :-x I do like them, but I would rather just go with the fun and funny Emus. What is their water situation in the winter . . . I don't have any heated tanks/buckets for the rest of the animals, but if they need one, I will get one for them. My goats don't even drink water in the winter, I bring down warm buckets of water, and they stick to their gentle snow eating! It is a neat little technique they do. Like a cat lapping up milk. I am going to stop by my future Emus today, and try to look at the back skin closely. Thanks,

N
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby nicoeflein » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:42 pm

I looked at the injury today, and it has little feather spikes growing in, before the Llama picks them out! I guess that the llama has been fighting with this one Emu for a long time, but the guy didn't really know what to do with them, they are in separate pens, but whatever. Once the feathers grow in, the llama plucks them off. It is a pretty big patch of skin, but the feathers are growing in . . . I will be getting them by the end of this week, if all goes as planned! I am extremely excited! One of the Emus lets me hug him and pet him, he is a real sweetheart. The plucked one is a little skittish, but I would be too!

N
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby pat » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:43 am

the male rheas are really pretty birds, especially when they fluff out their feathers.
the white ones have blue eyes. if you decide later to get rheas, you could keep them in a separate pen.

I don't know what it is about emu feathers that other animals, and their own like to pick them out icon_confused.gif
mine had some feathers missing once in a while.

at the auction, I seen some where the back was almost bald.

I have a creek that was in their pen, so I generally didn't need to worry about water.
but, I would keep water in their house when it was really cold.

I had a 2x4 nailed to the wall in their house(about 4ft high). then snapped a feed bowl(sold at farm stores) on the 2x4.
for my emus and all my other animals, I just refresh their water a a couple times a day if needed. but, I also have a pond where most all the other animals can drink water.

I am excited for you. I am jealous too :mrgreen: I really miss having emus.

I think it was mentioned here, that emus will try to stomp smaller animals. but, once they get use to seeing the animals,
they generally don't bother them. mine use to try and stomp the chickens, but, never was successful.

one time a small stray dog got in their pen. the emus tried stomping the dog. :roll:
emus are strange when it comes to newcomers or strays for some reason.

but, overall, they seem to make nice pets, and I know you will enjoy them.

don't forget to let me know when you get them, and pictures please.
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
nicoeflein
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby nicoeflein » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:55 pm

The Emus should be here by Saturday or Sunday, depending on when the owner is open! I am extremely anxious, they are just great birds, and I want to get them more and more everyday. The goats broke down the solid 2 by 4 door today, thanks Bruno, and decided to go on a 5 goat parade through the neighborhood near our home. And they really liked the subdivision weirdos evergreens! I had to smack the goats back into the pasture, and it was terrible, but now I have to build up the door, again! I will have to make like a fortress door, with the horizontal planks to keep then from ramming it down :roll: Now the fence extension had to be put on hold, but I can't see it being a big project . . . Anyway, I just wanted to post the status on the Emu situation. If I end up with two boys, I won't be able to get any females, without trading the boy for a girl along the road? Two males can not have any females together? I have heard the drumming from a few of the Emus, but it is just hard to match a noise to a bird when there are 12 looking at you! Would the female look more withdrawn and almost hunched than the male? I have heard that, but I do not know how accurate that is? Thanks,

N
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby pat » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:53 am

The goats broke down the solid 2 by 4 door today, thanks Bruno, and decided to go on a 5 goat parade through the neighborhood near our home.
I'll bet that was a site to see for the neighbors :lol:

I can relate to farm animals escaping icon_confused.gif I had a steer that got out, and was hanging out
on another road, up and down, in the neighbors property. was a fiasco getting him back home.
One time, my neighbor at that time, had a big herd black angus cows that all got out.
he did get all back..

If I end up with two boys, I won't be able to get any females

they might all still get along. If I remember correctly, I think emus will pair up.
(male/female) but, there could be some might not like each other.

simple solution for you, just get two females :lol:

Would the female look more withdrawn and almost hunched than the male?
never heard that.. all I know is the front of them, have extra feathers on the chest.
but, I can see where it would be overwhelming to pick them out..

I am happy for you, and jealous icon_biggin.gif
Hope you take pictures of your emus.
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den
nicoeflein
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Re: Getting a pair of adult Emus . . .

Postby nicoeflein » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:47 pm

YES, the Emus are snuggled into their temporary little building until I finish the rest of the fence on the main pasture. They are great, and the car ride home was a real adventure. So, we own a Jeep, and I brought it to pick up the Emus. The owner said that he had a large dog kennel that he transports them in, so I thought it would fit . . .
It did not.
The kennel fit in width wise, but length wise, it stuck out only a few inches, NO! We had to push the seats all the way up, forcing us to sit crouched and smashed in the front of the car, while the Emu was happily laying down in the back/kennel. And pooping, a lot! He pooped all over the back, luckily it is a Jeep, but it was nasty, and I did not have a tarp. Green poop and sludgy. But he was happy, so I was too.
Then, of course, we are driving with a car right behind us, almost touching the back of the open Jeep. And, the bus for elementary school had to turn in front of us, NO, again! The bus was stopped for nearly 10 minutes while a couple of insanely slow walking little kids got out. I was freaking out, expecting the kennel to fall apart and the Emu to start running around Jackson, with me chasing.
We finally got home, and the Emu was now fine, hunkered down in one of the hen houses.
Now for round two, and I was prepared.
I hitched up the trailer and grabbed a tarp, and off back to the Emu farm! This was going to be an easy transport. The second Emu, was considerably larger, and a lot more jumpy and erratic. But it was scared. We get this Emu, in the trailer, and I think it is all good, well, I forgot something . . .
The owner tells me that Gizmo can fit in the kennel with the Emu, Gizmo? I forgot about the goat! I am breeding his Pygmy doe to my Pygmy buck, and totally forgot! And he planned to fit in there, with that Emu? What? So the man tells me to watch the Emu, once he turns around, quickly stick the goat in the cage, and shut the door! UmHmmm. This is not a stupid Emu, it wanted out, NOW. The man decides it is time to jam the goat in there, and the Emu tries desperately to get out, and I have to hold it in and push in the goat! It was terrible. Now it is all ready, and it finally is done . . . And I have Emus! And even better, I heard the first one drum, YES, a female! I think I have a male and a female, oh please love each other . . . One of the Emu have a patch of blue skin in the bare area, it looks like a patch of frostbite or maybe just vein/arteries near the surface of the skin? It is my only concern with them. They are really nice Emus too, and I finally have them, and they gave a run for my money with that car ride. I love them. I will try to take some pictures tomorrow, in the light . . .

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