Raising An Emu as a Pet – What Are They Good For?

While having an emu as a pet isn’t exactly a common thing, there are many people that absolutely believe them to be among the best birds that you can own. However, don’t think that it is going to be an easy experience. While emu chicks may be small, they are eventually going to go into a rather large bird, and this can be quite difficult to deal with.

On this page, we want to run you through absolutely everything that you need to know about having an emu as a pet.

Emu at a Glance

Speed30 mph
Weight150 lbs.
Hight7 feet
Egg weight1.0 – 1.4 lbs.
Egg size (long x wide)5.1 in × 3.5 in
Eggshell Dark green
Emu Characteristics

Emu Chicks

Nearly everybody that raises emu as a pet, or for eggs and meat, will tell you that this is an animal that you need to raise from birth.

In fact, if you hatch the emu chicks yourself (check the video bellow), this would be even better.

However, if you decide to buy emu chicks, you will probably want to know how much does an emu cost, right? Well, an emu will cost $200 as per the current market prices.

Emy Baby – 50 day hatching adventure

Emus tend to cling to the first person that they see, which means that they pretty much come ‘trained’ to be friendly towards you.

If you purchase an adult emu, then you do not get this. They tend to be a bit more aggressive towards new owners, perhaps because they are wary.

We know that it can be tough to find emu chicks but, we promise you, it is the best route to go down.

Get Males, not Female Emu Baby Chicks

If you are raising emus purely as pets as opposed to getting eggs, then most people will highly recommend that you only purchase male emu chicks.

Females emu chicks can be a lot more aggressive than males if they start to get a bit broody.

emu chick as a pet
Emu Chick

They won’t be aggressive to the point where you are running the risk of getting injured or something. They just become a bit trickier to deal with.

What and How Many Eggs to Expect From Emu?

Emu eggs are 8-10x larger than your average chicken egg, and they are a fantastic delicacy in many parts of the world.

The Emu egg is 1.0 – 1.4 lbs in size, with dark green eggshell color. It is 5.1 in long × 3.5 in wide.

However, do not expect your pet emu to be laying eggs with the same frequency as a chicken.

At most, you are going to be getting fifteen eggs during the summer from your emu, and that is the max they will lay all year. However, a lot of them will lay close to the five to seven mark.

Of course, with so few eggs, if you are running an emu breeding program, you won’t really have that much left in the way of eggs to eat, which is a shame because they are incredibly tasty and very nutritious.

Can You Eat Emu Meat?

While not many people are going to be eating their pets, we are going to assume that the people that want to raise emus as pets are planning on raising them to be practical birds as opposed to ones that you bond with for life.

This means that the idea of having emu meat is probably going to run through their head at some point.

emu as a pet

Many people that have eaten emu meat praise it as one of the best tasting birds.

Chicken often gets praised for being a low-fat meat. However, emu meat takes that to the next level.

It has a wonderful taste, and it is packed to the brim with nutrients. Obviously, since the emu is such a big bird, you are going to be getting a whole lot of it too.

If you can, you may also want to think about extracting the oil from the emu when you slaughter it. Emu oil, for centuries, has said to carry a ton of health benefits.

Other Emu Farming Benefits

Emus also produce good leather and some fantastic features.

While we can’t imagine that there are many people out there that will be raising emus solely for their feathers and leather, it is always worth considering too.

After all, this can be an expensive bird to raise, so the more you get out of it, the better.

What Do They Eat?

This is where you may have a few difficulties. Because emus are not a common bird to raise, there are not that many dedicated emus feed options out there.

Emus as Pets

You may find them in a popular emu farming area, but this may also be quite rare. This means that you may need to concoct your own emu feeding plan.

Now, we are not going to go into too much detail on the emu diet here. This is because there are a lot of things that you will need to be considering and there isn’t enough space here for us to ensure that you get it absolutely perfect.

What you do need to know, however, is that the emu is an omnivore. It needs a mixture of meat and vegetables if you want it to survive.

There are many farmers out there that are feeding their emus with a commercial dog food. If you are going to raise emus, then talk to an emu farmer so you know what they are feeding them.

You might be interested to know What do the ostrich eat?

An Emu as a Pet Requires a Lot of Space

Emus are larger birds, the second largest in the world, which means you need to have a lot of space for them to roam about in.

You should try to ensure that they have a small body of water too. They use water a lot for a variety of purposes, although some people will also have a small child’s paddling pool that the emu can enjoy.

emu as a pet

The more space your bird has available, the better. The most important thing is to ensure that you have high fences, at least 6-feet high.

The emu cannot fly, but it can jump quite high, and a lot of emu owners with small fences have found that their emus have escaped, which obviously isn’t a good thing.

Emu Temperament

The emu has a nice and friendly personality as long as it is not broody. They love their owners, and they won’t really get aggressive towards them.

However, as we said earlier on this page, they are probably going to be far better for those owners that raise the emu from chick.

Do Emus Make Good Pets? – Conclusion

Emus are not going to be for everybody. They are tricky birds to raise. However, if you are looking for an animal that brings a lot to the table in terms of usefulness (meat, eggs, etc.) then this bird is going to be absolutely tremendous for you.

All you need to do is ensure that you have a ton of space for it to wander around in!

Related articles:
– Emu Vs. Ostrich – What are the differences?
– Can Ostrich Fly?

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