So you are beginning to run out of room inside, or maybe you just want some extra space for yourself. Perhaps you’ve heard how sociable the average emu is and are sympathetic to his extroverted needs.
Alternatively, maybe you are beginning to wonder how friendly that bipedal avian buddy of yours actually is, considering they are about to have a few new stall mates to share the nest with.
Do away with the future headache of a potential domestic dispute between ruminants and ratites by learning exactly which animals are the most likely to not get along with your mob of emus.
So while most of these upright avians tend to be pretty sociable creatures (if not a bit nosy), not all emus are gonna pull up to the pasture with a sociable attitude. Most times how they get along with other animals is entirely dependent on how they are introduced to one another by their owners.
If you just throw a person into a living situation with another randomly, it will usually result in disaster. The animal kingdom works very similarly. But speaking for the majority of outcomes, if emus are acclimated properly from an early age with other farm animals, there should be very few issues.
That is unless you have the misfortune of putting your emu together with any of the animals listed below!
I’m just as horrified as you are, because who doesn’t like dogs?
Well, naturally animals that consider them predators. A full-grown emu has few things it has to worry about when it comes to beasts that prey on it— wedge-tailed eagles, the Australian government (that’s a fun google search), and of course dingoes, a breed of wild dog.
Whether it be through their genetics or from pervasive avian gossip shared throughout generations, these birds really like to put their best foot forward when meeting your household dog. As in, they will chase and kick your St. Bernard with legs that can travel up to 30 miles an hour.
While there are examples of dogs and emus coexisting beautifully across the internet, it may not be wise to attempt it if you are newer to owning an emu or buying one that is well into adulthood.
If you are steadfast in your desire to intermingle the two species, it would be best to try and get them acclimated over a long time, so both stop perceiving the other as a threat and can be less anxious around each other.
If you do have a younger emu (which will be more likely to get along with your dog as it grows up) try to establish clear boundaries with your dog that it’s to be gentle, as emus can be pretty fragile in their adolescence.
This one for most can seem pretty self-explanatory, though I will explain a few concerns one may have when placing barn cats and emus in a similar shelter.
Emus are good at fending off predators. They will stomp out opossums, bobcats, and snakes along with other potential dangers to their eggs. Regrettably, one of these dangers is stray cats (don’t let a house cat fool you, these guys can get pretty scrappy).
So because of this, when your battle-hardened Maine coon is doing his nightly patrol of your outbuildings, he may be in for more than he bargained for when your emu breaks into a full charge after him.
There are outliers to this, as there always are with animals, but you will likely be in for a long undertaking trying to acclimate an outdoor cat to an emu.
A better call would be making sure the two are kept separate, as barn cats are rarely seen but sorely missed in their absence and emus will kill one if they perceive it as a threat.
This is more than likely going to be the most controversial pick of the trio, with good reason.
Several emu handlers raise all different types of poultry together under one roof, and they get along famously. An emu can even prove to be competent at scaring off predators, keeping more vulnerable birds safe from harm.
The problem lies in the fact that when these big barn guardians do not get raised with chickens, it isn’t uncommon for them to terrorize the various members of the brood. They can get quite territorial with other birds, especially when laying eggs or in mating season.
Additionally, if one of the birds ends up with avian flu, what could have been contained to just a few hens if they were kept separate quickly becomes a barn-wide pandemic.
Bird flu could result in your emus having to be euthanized. The best way to avoid bird flu is by limiting the socialization of poultry (turkey, chicken, geese, pheasant, peacocks, ducks, etc) with other birds, making sure they integrate slowly and keeping their shelter tidy.
Keeping animals that can share the same parasites or diseases in the same area is something that can end in a very expensive and tragic disaster.
While many may find this information very limiting and pessimistic, allow me a chance to alleviate those concerns.
Emus as a whole are typically very sociable and peaceful animals that get along with quite a few species, cows, goats, horses, donkeys, and most domesticated ruminants.
It also never ceases to amaze me how many brilliantly proficient animal handlers there are who have every species under the sun tranquilly existing amongst each other under one roof.
So while this article speaks to the dangers of having a German shepherd and an emu under one roof, nothing is concrete. You could raise them from infancy into the best interspecies buddies the world has ever witnessed.
No two animals are alike, and when you raise one from a young age (or have a passionate and patient breeder raise one) you get a lot more control in how they turn out as they mature. So breathe easy knowing that your mob of emus is going to get along just fine with the other birds!