A Farmhouse Shelters 16 Animals. Some Of Them Are Chickens Shortcuts for Raising Emus – Number 3 – Pen Facilities and More

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Shortcuts for Raising Emus – Number 3 – Pen Facilities and More

Your pen equipment can make a huge difference to the workload on your emu farm. If your pens are built and set up correctly in the beginning, a lot of future headaches will be avoided for you AND your emus!

Properly constructed emu pens average one acre and will comfortably hold 40 birds. There should be shade available to the birds and shelter from cold winds. Usually a shed that is 24′ x 8′ is plenty because not everyone will be using it at the same time. The north side half (12′) needs an open wall along the top (about 18″). This is for ventilation in the summer and protection from the wind in the winter. Emus are hardy animals and do well in cold weather, but the wind block should be available if they want it, and some will.

A great shortcut and money saver

Pen fencing can be expensive, but there are some shortcuts. Emu fences must be six feet high. Emus rarely climb a fence that is six feet. If one runs at full speed and hits a fence at an extreme angle, it is possible for the bird to go through, but it is so rare that major and expensive changes to the fence are not necessary.

Regular 2″ x 4″ x 6″ wire is widely used, but expensive, and rolls are only 100 feet, so a lot of splicing is required. Field wire comes in 330 foot rolls. but costs about the same as 100 feet of horse wire. It’s only 47″ high, but two pulleys can be stacked (one at the top and one at the bottom), and the cost is still much lower. You can use 8-foot “T” posts that are two feet into the ground and six feet high. Hang the field wire along the bottom, clearing the soil by about six inches, then overlap it in the middle by hanging a second roll along the top. Fasten the two rolls together with inexpensive, easy-to-use, galvanized hog rings.

This way, you can use two rolls of field wire and get 330 fence for the same cost as 200 feet of horse wire and just 200 feet of fence. It’s not too hard to cut the field wire in half (lengthwise) and run the half along the top of the fence (over the bottom 47″) and you’ll have one half left over for about another 330 feet. That way , you’ll get 660 feet of fence (using three rolls) for the same cost as three rolls of horse wire and 300 feet of fence… double the fence for the same cost.

A main shortcut to your gateways

Economical, strong and lightweight gates can be made from bulldozer panels at a very reasonable cost. Bull panels are 52″ x 16″ and are made of welded wire. They are the size of a pencil, maybe a little smaller. You will need to solder with a wire welder, but they are so affordable these days that one would pay for themselves in no time and they are very easy to put together. Search online.

Use a top chain link fence frame and attach the bull panel to it. The chain link fence hinges can be welded and you have a custom built gate to last. A gate of this nature is strong enough for emus and will hang properly without sagging over time. It is a good idea to install a lag bolt to use as a pin to rest the gate in the closed position. You can also do this if you want your gate to swing both ways. It’s more trouble, but worth it in the long run.

Fence posts

All corner posts and goalposts should be treated with wood, not metal. Wood is much better to work with and repairs and alterations are much more feasible. Use longer posts or poles (14′ to 16′) for gates and stretch a wire across the top. In this way, braces on each side of the gate are not required. Do this AFTER the fence is built. When you decide where the gate will go, place the posts or posts, attach the wire to them on both sides and cut the middle.

When placing posts for emu pens, be sure not to add concrete (bag-concrete) at ground level. Emus walk through the fence constantly and the concrete WILL be exposed. Stop about 8 to 10 inches below ground level.

A key shortcut for moving emus from pen to pen

Moving emus from pen to pen is a never-ending task at the emu farm. It can be extremely stressful for the birds (and you), depending on the weather, but it doesn’t have to be. You will need some panels that can be made just like your gates. When you need to move the birds from one pen to another, temporarily attach a panel to each gate post (with wire) and leave the middle about eighteen inches apart. Have the “funnel” go into the pen where you want the birds to go.

Remove the food and water from the pen the birds are in and place it near the opening of the funnel in the pen where you want the birds to go. Birds will walk down the funnel and can’t figure out how to get back. It’s the same basic concept as the fish trap, but for emus. After a day or so, all the birds will have moved on their own and no one is stressed! If you have a stubborn bird or two, move the funnel opening closer (so the birds don’t filter back) and leave it. You can use metal rods in the ground at the base of each panel and the top will easily come apart and put back together. They will brush it off and move on very quickly. They can smell the water. This is their desert characteristic.

Again, shortcuts make it better for the farmer AND the birds!

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