Friday, July 17, 2015

GardenUpgreen: Raising Emus

While I'm busy working on a brief that's due for school tomorrow (yes, it's Friday night.  fun huh?) here's a re-post of an interesting blog on Emus.  Bet you'll learn something!

Original Post is here which I've copied in full below:  GardenUpgreen: Raising Emus:

Raising Emus

This is my husband Robert we had last week off and it seemed like a good time to introduce the Emus without a fence dividing them.

The little ones are funny and excited to be out in the open.  Introductions went pretty well until a little pecking started.  This may have been due to establishing dominance or a possible greeting.

We decided to keep the little ones separate from Chaka; they're currently in the sheep gathering area.  Once they grow another foot they should be able to all live together without any problems.

They're growth has been explosive; let's take a look at just how fast these amazing birds grow.

They arrived April 22, 2015.  At this time they were a month old and living in a plastic tub.

After a couple of days I decided they could spend their daylight hours outdoors and bring them indoors at night.  They would go back in the tub with hay snuggled up to sleep.

Transporting involved covering the birds with a towel so we could hold them close to our upper body.  You can only have a bird mess on you so many times before you say, "Enough already!"

Little Emu's are strong at a month old but they're also fragile.  You can handle them but it's important to remember they will squirm.  Make sure not to drop them as their legs could break on impact.

We found wrapping them in a towel and petting their neck was calming.

When we put them outside during the day, they went in a enclosed run.  I built this stationary coopfor the quail and since it was vacant it seemed like a good fit.

Chaka our big emu immediately took to them and went on protective mode.  In the wild the males raise the babies so it appears his instincts were kicking in.

His approval has made the effort worthwhile.  My husband and I have decided we'll continue to raise emu's at our next property on a larger scale.  Excited!

The month of May was interesting because the rain was endless.  The birds were moved to a new area which was the big Quail Sanctuary.  This was another protected space allowing Chaka to walk by and keep a look out.

My baby bobwhite quail were indoors at this point so I didn't see the harm in letting the emus use this space.

Emu's love to pace and walk the fence line, with all the rain they pretty much destroyed the sanctuary after a week so we needed a new plan.  This is when I moved them to the fenced in backyard.

They loved the backyard and this is when we could see our human interaction pay off.  They seem to love fingers and toes, thankfully when they're little they have a light peck.  

Look close at the emu drinking water, she has hands.  Can you see them?  They are placed between the neck and legs.  They can be difficult to see because they keep them close to the body unless they go into protective mode.  Emu's are fantastic guard birds. 

It's important to keep their water dish clean; we add clean water about three times a day.  They're messy and love to step in the water.  Later we moved to a taller container as they began to grow, so now they jump into their containers.  

Once the feathers come in the stripes fade.  This is actually a happy time because they no longer need to go inside at night; this makes chores a little easier.

At one point they out grew the tubs so we put them in our winter emu shed, we use this for Chaka when temperatures get below 30 degrees. These cuties were a little overwhelmed at first, but it was better than being in a tub.

I wanted you to see the feet, this is Chaka's foot.  Those claws are destructive even when they're little.  My son ended up with a pretty nice claw mark one evening, lesson learned and another reason why we used a towel during transport.

We recently watched the movie Jurassic World and the similarities these birds have to dinosaurs is very interesting.  That was a fun movie!

They now reside in the pasture waiting for the day they can roam the fields like Chaka.  I want them to be at least three feet before we let this happen.  We'll slowly reintroduce the emus a little here and there to make the transition an easy one.

Are you wondering what they eat?  It's pretty simple; you start with chick starter feed and add meal worms for a treat.  After being outside they seem more interested in eating bugs and grass.

Did you know they will munch down small rocks to help with their digestion?

Notice I'm referring to the baby emu's as they or them.  It's our hope they're girls and eventually we'll choose names as their personalities transpire.  You never know you might be able to help with that.

 As of today they're 4 months old and I will share another update towards the end of summer.  In the meantime subscribe via email, I share pictures of them here and there.

Hope you enjoyed today's update; this video is from a couple weeks ago when they were in the backyard.  I'll do another video soon once all the rain passes.  Have a Great Day Everyone!

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