Emu Ostrich - description, habitat, interesting facts


The ostrich is the largest bird on the planet, it is well known to a huge number of people. The scientific name is Struthio camelus, from Latin the second part of the name is translated as "camel". These animals are similar to each other with bulging eyes and long eyelashes, as well as impressive body size. This beautiful giant bird called Australian ostrich (photo can be found in the article) is divided into several subspecies:

  • Asian ostriches.
  • Common or North African.
  • Somali.
  • Syrian.
  • African

What is the name of the Australian ostrich?

Emu is the largest fast flightless bird that looks like an ostrich. Due to the fact that Australia is far from other continents, this fact favorably affected the preservation of certain species of animals, to which the Australian ostrich emu belongs, the photo of which we present in this article. In the past, this bird was related to the ostrich-shaped species, but in 1980 the classification was revised and introduced into a number of casuaridae. It is to them and refers emu. There are three types of emus that inhabit Australia:

  • woodwardi
  • novaehollandiae,
  • rothschildi

EMU exterior features

Despite the large size, the Australian ostrich is still much smaller than the African. In height, they can reach 150-180 cm, weighing from 35 to 55 kg. They have a dense body and a small head on an oblong neck. They have large rounded eyes with fluffy eyelashes. Their pink beak ends with a bent tip. Since they do not have teeth to grind food, it is quite normal for them to swallow small pebbles, sand. In addition, to them in the stomach often come across life-threatening materials - pieces of metal, glass. The wings are not fully developed (because they do not fly) and reach 25 cm in length. These birds have incredibly strong legs that can break a person’s bone. Velvet brown feathers mask an emu and are able to regulate their body temperature.

Individuals of both sexes have the same color. Like ostriches, emus may not drink water for a long time, but if they find a source, they will drink a lot and with great pleasure. In addition, they swim well and are happy to spend time in the reservoir, but since they rarely see water, they bathe in sand and dust, risking to ruin their feathers with mud. Dust bath - this is universal fun, which is initiated by the dominant individuals and is held regularly. Such procedures help to get rid of various parasites, thereby disinfecting the bare places of the body. Dust to some extent protects feathers from water, replacing the subcutaneous fat that ostriches produce in small quantities.

Is emu australian ostrich dangerous?

Adults are dangerous even for large predators, one strike of a leg with a hard claw is enough to seriously injure or even take a lion, for example. With a direct attack, an emu can also cripple a dog with one blow or break a man’s arm. There were cases when males, guarding their immediate territory, attacked people and very seriously maimed them. In peaceful life, they are almost always silent and quiet, and the males during the mating period make a sound that is a bit like a quiet whistle.


Emus live in Australia and off the coast of Tasmania. As a rule, they inhabit dry biotopes - shrubs and savannas, can also live on the outskirts of the desert, but never go deep. The emu is characterized by a sedentary lifestyle, in the western parts seasonal migrations are common: in the summer they go north and in winter they go south. Adult birds have virtually no enemies, they quietly roam in open areas and only occasionally, in the event of a threat to life, they rush into the race at a speed of 50 km / hour. Vision have excellent, because a moving object can be seen from a distance, for a couple of hundred meters. They do not like rapprochement with big animals and people, therefore on excursion farms they try not to allow visitors to this bird. Emus are kept, as a rule, singly, but sometimes in pairs of 3-5 individuals.

What eat ostriches and how to breed?

They eat, as a rule, rhizomes, seeds and fruits of plants, fruits and small animals and insects (grasshoppers, ants, lizards). Even in starvation time, they do not feed on grass and dry branches, preferring grain crops. For this, they were regularly exterminated by the first settlers in the old days. The marriage period falls from December to January. At this time, the males are especially dangerous and disperse all opponents from their lands. Emus are monogamous, therefore any male mates with only one female. As for the female, after pairing, she is released from parental obligations, and she can converge with new partners. The role of the male in the continuation of the genus is great, he himself builds nests from branches and grass, and the female only lays 7-8 eggs weighing 800-900 grams.

In appearance, eggs differ in color: there are dark-blue, and even almost black, as well as greenish-blue shades. The care of the offspring is taken directly by the male. He incubates the clutch for up to two months and does not leave the nest for a second. He does not feed, does not defecate, drinks only dew from the grass and is constantly on guard. In two months of incubation, the male loses a lot of weight and survives only thanks to the fat that he was able to accumulate in advance. When the chicks hatched, the male carefully protects them. Despite the large size of the emu, his life is extremely restless. The main danger threatens the chicks, 50% do not live to reach the young. They are hunted by dogs dingoes, foxes, wild boars.

How to properly care for an emu?

In Russia, ostriches have long ceased to be exotic, breeding them is not difficult. In general, it is the same process as with other farm animals. The Australian ostrich emu is completely unpretentious, and it is quite simple to keep it if everything is done correctly. With a stall content of an adult, you need 10-15 square meters. m for walking. Since the emu is not able to fly, the fence should be 150-180 cm, if you decide to resort to the grid, then its cells should not be small, so that the bird does not stick its head there. And it is not necessary to leave the sharp tops of the hedge, as the pet hurts itself quickly. The basis of the diet of ostriches who are kept in the compound is mixed fodder with the addition of cereal harvesters, a large amount of grass, hay, vegetables, waste meat, and root vegetables.

If you want to breed an Australian emu, care and maintenance should be the most acceptable for the life of the bird. This acquisition or lease of land, construction of premises, walking, purchase of food, depending on the scale of the intended farm.

Interesting Emu Facts

Let's summarize everything we learned about this amazing bird:

  • reach a human height of 170 cm and a weight of 55 kg,
  • can't fly because they have no keel,
  • run fast, speed reaches 50 km / h,
  • steps up to three meters
  • the eyes are the same size as the brain,
  • the emu does not bury its head in the sand, but runs in case of a threat,
  • perfectly get used to t from -5 degrees to +45,
  • in general, males and females are no different,
  • bird eggs are dark blue or green,
  • only the male hatches the chicks, the female only lays the eggs.

Emu in ordinary life

In Australia, emus are quite common, so the danger does not threaten them. It is not typical for them to bury their heads in the sand, and these individuals are completely stupid. They represent the last species of large non-flying birds that exist today, except for the African ostrich. They live in the wild, in captivity they are kept to get meat, eggs, and skin. They are kept in zoos and ostrich farms. In terms of their meaning and appearance, they are amazing and unusual creatures.


  1. Ostriches reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 years. At the same time, females are already starting to lay eggs. The mating period in the individuals in question often falls in the middle of winter. It concerns wildlife.
  2. When keeping ostriches on the farm, their mating season falls in the spring. It is worth noting that the male is engaged in vids of the future offspring. In one nest, females take eggs, after which the male begins to work. Females never do such things.
  3. The eggs of the represented individuals have a very large size, the weight of which can reach up to 1 kg. When kept on a farm, special incubators are created for such eggs. In rare cases, small ostriches are bred in devices that are intended for goose offspring.
  4. If you are an inexperienced breeder, then for the first time it will be quite difficult for you to remove an ostrich from an egg. Therefore, in your case it is better to get young. If you still decide to risk and buy an egg, then for this you need a farm of sufficient size.
  5. The eggs of the individuals under consideration differ from other relatives in that the shell has a rather bright and unusual color. Often it can be dark blue or dark green. After the chicks are born, they need careful care. For industrial purposes, such ostriches are very popular.

Description of the species

In the reports of European researchers, Emu is mentioned at the end of the 16th century. Translation of its name from Portuguese and Arabic sounds like a "big bird". The description of the species first appeared in the book Ornithologist John Latham “Journey to Botany Bay”, which was published in 1789.

Emu's relatives are Australian ostrich and other species, as well as cassowals. Emu in height reach 150 - 180 cm and weighs about 35 - 55 kg. It is devoid of such characteristic features of the African ostrich structure as the bladder and two-fingered paws. It has a dense body and a small head, located on the long neck. There are no teeth, the beak is pink with a curved end. The eyes are round. Wings reach 25 cm in length, underdeveloped, on the tips there are growths similar to claws. Emu has very strong developed limbs, feathers soft to the touch brown. Females are much larger than males, and the plumage is identical in both sexes.

Birds tend not to flock. They walk alone, in groups of 7 to 10 individuals only during the period of wandering and searching for food. Communicate among themselves, making jerky and loud sounds that are like knocking on the drum and grunting at the same time. Lead a sedentary lifestyle during nesting. Sleep at sunset. They sit on their paws and after 20 minutes they sink into sleep, which lasts normally for 7 hours. And every couple of hours the bird wakes up. Thanks to the excellent hearing and sight, the bird feels danger from afar.

Male and female can be distinguished by behavior - in the mating season, the male with characteristic sounds calls her mate to mate. The peculiarities of the behavior of birds include the fact that the female leaves the nest after egg-laying, and the male takes all the care of incubating and raising the offspring.

Many farmers keep such birds on the farm because of their valuable fat. Since the fat of the ostrich Emu has found application in areas such as medicine and cosmetology, breeding birds has become very beneficial.

Emu fat is a natural moisturizer that helps the skin heal and rejuvenate. Its use in medicine is quite widely used to prevent bedsores, for diseases of the joints, has a healing effect on vascular damage, is used in the form of an ointment to heal postoperative scars, helps with varicose veins, protects the skin from frostbite and UV light, strengthens the nails. In sports medicine Emu Fat is indispensable for stretching. It has found its application in the field of cosmetology - as part of serums, sprays, creams, it helps to rejuvenate the skin, reduce the appearance of new wrinkles, get rid of eczema and acne, acne, quickly heal scars, reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Where dwells

Ostrich Emu inhabit the Australian mainland. He does not like to settle in densely populated and noisy areas, areas with a dry climate and forest plantations. Wild birds are often found on the roads. Farmers observe them in the fields - ostriches harm crops. Deforestation in Australia has expanded bird populations, providing them with good living and breeding conditions.

On average, Emu live to be 20 years old, but some can live no more than 10. The main enemies of birds are eagles, hawks and Dingo dogs. From the attacks of birds of prey Emu usually fleeing, running into a run. And massive limbs with claws help them to defend themselves from dogs.

There are Emu and on the island of Tasmania. They prefer to settle in the bushes and grass savannas, may appear on the outskirts of the desert. In the western part of the island birds make seasonal migrations - in the summer Emu lives in the north and in the winter in the south.

What feeds on

Ostrich Emu feeds on food of plant origin. He loves to eat the roots, seeds and buds of plants, as well as all sorts of fruits. Even with the arrival of winter, the bird will not eat dry branches or grass. She likes cereals very much, for which she was exterminated by the first settlers. Farmers, having found uninvited guests in the territory of their fields, drove them or even destroyed them.

To improve the digestive process, birds swallow small pebbles and sand. Such components contribute to the rapid and effective grinding of food in the stomach. Chicks are required as the main feed rodents, lizards, insects. Having a good appetite and nutritious food, the young grow well in live weight, and a year later they are little different from adults.

Video "Emu Farm"

Want to visit a real ostrich farm? Thanks to this video you have the opportunity to observe the behavior of Emu on the farm, without departing from your computer.

What does an emu look like

These are very large birds, outwardly they are very similar to ostriches. Emu body length reaches 150 - 180 centimeters.

The mass of an adult emu is about 40 - 50 kilograms. These birds do not know how to fly.

Emu is an Australian aborigine.

Unlike representatives of ostriches, emus have a more loose feather cover, in other words, the plumage of these birds is more like wool. The color of feathers is predominantly brownish black. Head and neck painted black. The limbs are long.

Lifestyles and behavior in nature, as well as emu nutrition

Emu prefer open dry areas. They are attracted by shrub thickets, as well as grass savannas. Sometimes emu graze on the outskirts of the desert, but do not go to the center of the desert.

By way of life - it is sedentary birds. And why should they migrate somewhere, if they have enough food all year round, they don’t have enemies, and they don’t know how to fly. True, partial seasonal migrations are sometimes observed, but this applies only to the population living in western Australia.

An emu bird cannot fly.

Large emu herds do not form. Most often, they can be seen in small groups: 3 to 5 individuals.

Emus have the ability to run fast - they can reach speeds of up to 50 km / h. If these birds are not disturbed, then they are completely harmless and friendly.

The basis of the food emu constitute a different kind of plants, as well as small animals: insects, lizards. Birds do not need constant drinking. Because their body is very rational uses moisture. Drink enough only on occasion.

Externally, the emu just can not be distinguished from ostriches.

Emu is very fond of water procedures: they are happy to bathe.

Breed description

Emus are grown in the first place to obtain their large eggs, which contain many useful trace elements. In addition, the Emu feathers are also important - they are used to make luxury items, clothing, and jewelry. Ostrich leather is also valuable - soft, elegant shoes, bags, and other leather goods come out of it. Also, ostrich gives valuable fat used in cosmetology.

The female bears eggs in January and February. Standard clutch contains from two to 30 full eggs: each egg has a characteristic rounded oblong shape and weighs approximately 600-650 grams. Note that the female retains fertility and the ability to lay eggs for 20 years.

Reference! One egg of this large bird can replace 30-40 chicken eggs. At the same time, such an egg is stored in the refrigerator for a year without losing its technical and taste qualities.

It has high nutritional value and ostrich meat. The taste of this product resembles veal, in its composition a lot of protein and fat, the consistency is tender. From one adult after slaughter, you can get from 28 to 30 kg of pure, ready-to-sell meat.


If in natural conditions on the clutch a male Emu is sitting, then in conditions of professional breeding, the eggs are usually placed in a special incubator. Next, we consider the features of incubation of ostrich eggs, as well as how to care for newly born chicks.

The ostrich is born after 53-66 days of the incubation period. All this time, eggs should be in a special room under heating: artificial heating is most often used. The air temperature favorable for hatching ostrich chicks from eggs is + 37-38 degrees with a humidity of 40-70%.

Nursing care

From the moment of birth, and until reaching the age of three to four months, the chicks are supposed to be kept separately, and only then released to common grazing.

Как только птицы вылупились, ближайшие трое суток в пище они не нуждаются, поскольку их организм еще функционирует на тех запасах, что заложены при рождении. Отметим, что желудок новорожденных птенчиков страуса неокрепший, поэтому переварить пищу не сможет.

After the third day of life, the chicks begin to feed the feed with protein. It is important that the ostrich baby food contains vitamin supplements such as alfalfa and clover. Cottage cheese and shredded boiled eggs will also be enjoyed by chicks, and will be useful for them. This diet is maintained until the end of the third week of the bird life.

From the fourth week and before placing on grazing (up to 3-4 months) of fiber in the diet of chicks, there should be a reduced amount (not more than 12%), and protein not more than 19%.

As for the temperature of the content of chicks, then the optimum will be + 18-20 degrees.

Ambient conditions

Note that these birds are completely adapted to keeping in cool conditions, they can graze on the snow. However, in a room where ostriches are kept, especially during the time of hatching of eggs, it is important to ensure the temperature is not lower than + 13 + 15 degrees. In summertime, no additional heating is necessary for birds, however it is important to set a separate pen for them on a pasture, where ostriches can hide from the sun.

If ostriches are kept in stalls, it is necessary to provide each individual with 10-15 m2 of area, and an ostrich garden - 5 m2. The field for grazing should be quite spacious: not less than 50-60 m2 per adult.


Ostriches are distinguished by a rare curiosity and mobility, so the grazing place must be protected. Fences 150-180 cm in height will be quite enough.

Important! Use a fine mesh for the fence, so that the ostrich cannot stick its head into the cells and be injured. In addition, all the sharp edges of the mesh should be ground with the same goal of protection against injury.

In the wild, Emu ostriches with the same pleasure absorb fresh grass, fruits, and various insects. In the conditions of artificial breeding, it is customary to feed them with special feeds - this is the basis of the diet of an adult. The following "dishes" are also added to the feed:

  • grain mash,
  • in the summer - grass, in the winter - hay,
  • meat and bone meal and fish meal,
  • root vegetables, grain and vegetables,
  • bread.

For the day, an adult ostrich is supposed to have about 3 kg of food: half the diet should be succulent and coarse food.

Attention! It is not recommended to feed the Emu too hard, since in this case the bird will quickly and actively grow. And with too rapid growth in ostriches often suffer limbs: legs are bent, deformed.

Ostriches have a naturally different immunity, well tolerated content in almost any conditions. The bird is able to survive at temperatures from +56 to -15 degrees. The mortality of both adults and young animals is rather low: this moment makes the breeding of Emus very profitable. Including you can engage in the cultivation of large birds and novice farmers: unpretentious, high immunity and excellent productive quality makes the breeding of this Australian bird is very profitable occupation.

But, although the ostrich is unpretentious, however, it can also get sick. It should be noted that, in general, the bird tolerates the disease well, and with the timely adoption of measures, it does not cause any special damage to its health.

Typical diseases of Emus are the following:

  • respiratory (viral and bacterial nature),
  • penetration of foreign bodies into the respiratory organs and into the esophagus,
  • gastritis, worms, poisoning,
  • Newcastle disease (pigeons suffer this disease while they themselves are also aching),
  • leg deformities
  • ticks, hepatitis, smallpox.

The most important thing in case of a disease is to start treatment on time, sometimes isolation of the diseased individual from the rest of the herd is also required.

The benefits of ostrich fat

Emus are grown not only for the purpose of obtaining large eggs, valuable feathers and skin: bird fat also has a high value. Fat is widely used in cosmetology and in the pharmaceutical industry: soap, various ointments and creams are made from it.

The properties of Emu's fat are surprising: the substance has pronounced bactericidal properties, perfectly softens and moisturizes, promotes regenerative processes in the skin. We also note that from one adult individual one can get from five to fifteen kilograms of a valuable product.

As you can see, the Emu is quite an attractive option for professional breeding. An unpretentious and active bird is able to give both meat and valuable eggs, fat, feathers, skin: the production will be practically wasteless.