For sure, when most people think of getting a pet, their mind does not readily go to the second-largest bird in the world. But then, under the right conditions, emus can make good pets. So, they are one to consider.
In this article, we discuss 5 reasons emus make good pets. But since they are not all perfect, we also talk about 5 reasons they do not make good pets.
5 Reasons Emus Make Good Pets
Emus Are Comparatively Docile
One of the primary reasons emus make good pets is their tame temperament. Relative to ostriches, emus are pretty docile.
They are less likely to cause trouble, especially if you get them when they are very young. It is advised that you hatch them or get them when they are between 1 day and 1 week old.
Like ducklings, emu hatchlings bond with humans. So, if you want the best experience with pet emus, get the eggs, incubate them, and hatch them yourself. It has been said that artificially hatched emu eggs are relatively more docile than those hatched naturally.
Besides promoting bonding with you, hatching your emu pet yourself promotes bonding with your other pets. So, if you have dogs, cats, chickens, or other pets around, you had better hatch the pet emu yourself.
Also, if you hatch your pet emu by yourself, you give the bird a chance to grow in your environment. So, all the environmental factors become a part of its life from the start. It won’t have to readjust to new conditions.
If you are getting a pet emu, try to avoid getting one that is already an adult. However, if you do get an adult emu, get one raised by another human.
Adult emus are generally not as docile as emu chicks, specifically if they were not raised by humans. In fact, if an adult emu was raised by a human that isn’t you, it may never trust or bond with you like its original human.
Emus Can Act as Predator Control
Thanks to their speed and powerful legs, emus are efficient watchdogs. So, if you have them around, they can serve as predator control. This makes them pretty useful for keeping livestock safe.
Emus can run as fast as 30 mph, and they can deliver powerful kicks to intruding predators. Unsurprisingly, there have been cases of emus stomping on opossums, bobcats, and snakes. In fact, they may trample unwary neighborhood cats.
Besides their speed and powerful legs, emus have an intimidating stature. On average, emus are 5.7 feet tall, so some predators would rather avoid them.
Besides controlling predators, emus can help with pests. They typically feed on insects and other invertebrates like spiders and scorpions. So, they may just be helpful if there is an infestation.
Emus Are a Source of Eggs
Your pet emu can also be a source of eggs. Emu eggs are much bigger than the eggs of typical poultry. So, they are pretty impressive physically.
On average, an emu egg weighs about 1.5 pounds. The average emu egg measures 5 to 6 inches in length and around 3.5 inches in width.
Beyond being supersized, emu eggs are nutritious. Their shells are pretty durable too. So, you can preserve them in a refrigerator for extended periods.
Apart from consuming emu eggs, you can use them for crafts. So, if you are into crafting emu eggs, having a pet emu can be a plus for you.
Remarkably, even when out of their native region – Australia – emus still produce eggs at the same time of the year. They will lay their eggs during the colder months of November to March in the Northern Hemisphere.
You Can Get Feathers From Emus
If you find any use for emu feathers, you may enjoy having one as a pet. Emu feathers are used for various aesthetic purposes. They can be used in clothing accents, hats, flower arrangements, jewelry, wall hangings, and much more.
Emu feathers may also be used in fans, fishing lures, and dream catchers.
Emus typically shed their feathers in spring. So, if you need emu feathers, you can wait till your emu molts.
After molting in spring, emus eventually grow a thick plumage for winter.
Emus Can Be Fun
Emus are fun to observe and be around. While they might be shy in some instances, emus are pretty curious. They are typically fascinated by shining objects, and they may even peck at such items.
Emus are also quite energetic, especially when they are in the mood to play. At such times, they are amusing to watch.
Emus have a dinosaur look to them. Understandably so, since they are descendants of dinosaurs. This appearance might be fascinating for kids who fancy dinosaurs.
While emus are fun to have around, never try to ride them. Neither you nor kids should attempt to ride an emu. Emus typically shake off any weight laid on them. So, trying to ride an emu is not safe.
5 Reasons Emus Do Not Make Good Pets
They Eat a Lot
Emus are voracious eaters. They eat around 1.5 to 1.75 pounds of feed per day. This rate of feed consumption can be pretty expensive.
Thankfully, you can cut down on the cost of feeding by providing sufficient foraging sources and supplementary feed.
Since emus are omnivores, they consume both plant and animal matter. If you provide sources of animal matter like insects and invertebrates alongside fruits and vegetables, they will thrive.
Emus Can Get Aggressive
While emus are relatively tame, they can also be aggressive when provoked. Besides provocation, emus may become aggressive during their breeding season.
Generally, female emus are more aggressive than males. During mating season, they may sometimes be hostile towards the males. So, if you have a male and female emu as pets, ensure there is enough space in case you have to separate them.
It should be mentioned that while emus have been recorded to attack humans, such occurrences are uncommon.
Emus Live Pretty Long
Emus live for up to 30 years. While this is a good thing, it also means you will be committed to taking care of them for a long time.
You Need a Tall Fence to Keep Them In
With their powerful, long legs, emus can readily jump over short fences. Knowing how fast they can be, you certainly wouldn’t want your pet emu roaming outside the fence.
To ensure your emu remains confined within your space, ensure you build a tall, robust fence around it. Generally, a 6-foot-tall fence is recommended. But you can go as high as 8 feet if you want.
Ensure your emu’s head cannot get stuck in the fence.
Emus Can Be Pretty Loud
Adult emus, especially females, can be pretty loud. They make various low-pitched sounds, including a booming sound, a thumping sound, and a grunting sound.
Adult emus can be heard from as far as 1.2 miles away. But while their sounds are loud, they are not particularly annoying since they are low-pitched.
Since their sounds are typically not irritating, you could say emus are loud but not noisy.
Emu chicks typically only make whistling sounds. So, they are not as loud as the adults.