How Much Does an Emu Bird Cost?

Written by: Staff

An Emu is very similar to the ostrich and are native to Australia but can also be seen in other countries.  The birds are flightless and can reach up to six feet in height and are capable of running 30 miles per hour.

Emu birds are primarily kept on farms and are used for meat, oil, and/or its leather.  Even though there have been efforts to conserve this animal, there are still emu birds being sold.

Emu by Kiwi Flickr, on Flickr
Emu” (CC BY 2.0) by  Kiwi Flickr

How much does an emu bird cost??

Finding an emu bird in the United States, at least according to our research, is extremely hard.  If you’re able to find a seller, chicks, three to four months old, can cost $3,000 to $5,000, but one to seven-day-old chicks, if found, can cost less than $1,000; however, finding a chick younger than a week is very hard to find.

Yearling emus can cost $11,000 to $19,000 for a sexed pair, while a pair older than two can cost even more, often as much as $25,000.  If the pair has been proven to be a good pair and breeds well, then this can be near the top, costing as much as $30,000 to $40,000.

In the end, the costs will come down to who you purchase from, the age of the emu, its breeding qualities, the bird’s quality and where you live.  As you can see, the costs could be as little as $1,000 for a chick to as much as $30,000+ for a pair known to breed exceptionally well.

Overseas, the prices are much lower than that in the United States.  In India, for example, we were able to find hundreds of sellers, selling their chicks for less than $100 and pairs for about $500., the world’s largest marketplace, has hundreds of listings with most sellers residing in India.

If you’re talking about the meat, not a live bird for farming, then it can cost about $30 per pound, depending on the cut.  Fossil Farms, for example, sells two four-ounce fillets for $20 and $12 for a six-ounce steak.

Emu overview

An emu can grow relatively fast.  In fact, by the time an emu turns three months old, it should be able to peak over a four-foot fence, according to Sugar Maple Emu.  Emus, once matured, can weigh 90 to 150 pounds.

An emu’s temperament, just like any other pet, will depend on the bird.  Most will be docile and won’t attack.  Males, generally, will be friendlier than a female, but again, this isn’t always the case because it varies from bird to bird.  Some birds may peck at shiny objects, while another may want to eat and leave it at that.  Some, if extremely friendly, may allow you to hug them.

What are the extra costs?

A six-foot fence, at a minimum, is highly recommended to safely contain your birds.  This fence, according to the experts, should be made of either a chain link or woven wire.  Inside their fenced in area should be a shelter with several inches of bedding material such as chopped straw.  The cost of installing a fenced in area will really depend on much fencing you need.  If using a professional, plan on spending about $8 to $16 per foot.

Emus feed on a low fiber pellet feed per day.  Unless they are able to graze in a field, the average emu eats close to pounds of feed per day.  If allowed in a pasture, experts recommend no more than 20 emus per acre.  Aside from the low fiber pellet feed, you will need to supplement their feed with vitamins and minerals.

Emus require very little in terms of medical attention.  Owners may opt to vaccinate and deworm.

If you’re considering raising an emu, owners recommend subscribing to Emu Today and Tomorrow and joining the American Emu Association.  The magazine costs $25 per year and joining the American Emu Association will cost about $100 to join and another $100 per year to remain active.

Tips to know:

Raising a chick from a younger age can make it easier to handle as an adult in the future, but as Sugar Maple Emus recommends, “bonding” with a teenager or adult may create a problem since the emu may want to bond with you, not other emus.

Don’t skimp and install a four or five-foot tall fence as this won’t be tall or strong enough to contain your emu/s.  Due to their heights and rate of speed, most will be able to jump over it with ease.

A male emu is known to grunt like a pig, whereas a female will make a booming sound.

Emu vs ostrich

The ostrich is the largest bird by height, while the emu is the second largest bird.

The emu is known for its darker brown feathers, and during the mating season, the hens will grow black feathers on the head.  Ostriches can have different colored feathers: males will have black feathers with white on the wings, while the females will have grayish-brown feathers.

Emus can run up to 30 miles per hour with their three toes and their kick is said to be strong enough to be fatal to a human.  An ostrich, unlike the emu, will use two toes, which enable it to run up to 40 miles per hour.

An emu is farmed for its meat, oil and leather, while an ostrich is farmed primarily for its feathers.

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