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The Red Dragons Den
 

Feb 2008

From Ebay to Emu
You really can buy ANYTHING on ebay!
The emu egg hatches!

 

2-5-08
T
he chickens and turkeys are getting BIG~ I've never seen an animal grow this fast~ but my understanding is some modern breeds like the Cornish cross grow even faster! These are heritage breeds~ mongrel black star/aracauna and the turkeys are Blue slates
30 days old


Or dog So-Chee is doing very well learning "watch the chickens" and not to EAT the chickens. She does really good at not eating them~ and pretty good at watching them. But.......she gets distracted and forgets to watch. Luckily~ chickens are apparently smart~ and every time I see a hawk buzz the house when the chickens are out (they are only out in nice weather right now~ otherwise in a brooder in the garage)~ every time I see a hawk and run out there all the chickens are piled in the dog crate I use to move them. So apparently THEY watch for hawks more carefully than So-Chee does!

Scott and Will are building them a chicken coop~ it's almost done~ waiting on the weather so we can finish is and paint it and then they can move out there full time......pretty darn good for a couple guys who never built anything before working from a picture in a magazine huh! I'm so proud of them!


The coop is on skids so we can drag it around the pasture and have true free range eggs and meat! Very exciting!

I've got more Turkey eggs incubating~ they are on day 22~ expect them to hatch next week. Looks like there are 5 blue slate and 8 Royal Palm live eggs

......................

and your waiting to hear about the Emu egg aren't you?

....................

Well...........................

ME TOO!

The Emu egg is on day 47. I turned it three times a day through day 45~ and now I'm waiting. It is supposed to hatch sometime between day 50 to day 55~ the breeder who sold me the egg told me his last batch hatched on day 49. The egg is too thick to candle so I can't tell if it is alive or not~

But I SWEAR~ HAND TO GOD SWEAR..............
Either I'm seeing things or the egg moved/rocked this morning on it's own.

I think~ maybe I saw it move..........

It might be me seeing things. But I THINK the egg moved!
We'll see!

2-5-08
I didn't know if it was alive. But I was fairly certain it was NOT alive. It was shipped USPS in Dec~ shipped on a Monday got here on a Friday so lots of days unregulated temps~ so really.....I only kept turning it because it was funny to be trying to hatch an Emu egg.

Well~ it's on day 48 (inucbation is 50-55 days average) and.......
IT'S MOVING!

I SWEAR! That egg moves! It rocks and twitches. When I first saw it move yesterday I said "Cheryl~ you've got to stop drinking" Then I realized I was not drinking........So I had a drink..........and it kept moving. Karen (my sister) watched it last night~ telling me I was an idiot as I made her stand perfectly still and be carefull not to touch anything that could rock the incubator........
THEN SHE SAW IT MOVE!!!!

This morning it's just a rocking and a rolling! No more "maybe it moved"~ IT MOVES!!!!!

So~
Either it's alive
OR
It's never been alive and is now full of gas and preparing to explode (no~ it doesn't stink~ but thats a really thick shell)..........if it explodes.......I think I'll just throw away that incubator!

what am I going to do if it hatches?
I never really thought it was alive until it moved.......and now I'm just not sure which to hope for......a baby emu or a giant green exploding egg...........[/

2-06-08
SOMETHING is trying to get out of that emu egg
What do you want to bet it's an emu?

Feb 6, 2008~ 4:40pm

 

2-7-08

Feb 7, 2008~ 6:00am


Feb7, 2008~ 7:35am


Feb7, 2008~ 7:35am


Feb7, 2008~ 7:40am


Feb7, 2008~ 7:45am[

I Hate to admit it~ but the little critter is already growing on me. We had a "family meeting" this evening at which I announced I would not be keeping that emu as a pet unless the entire family wanted a pet emu. It's still a bit daunting....but at this point the family wanted to keep him (we are calling it HIM....we don't know why cuz it could be a HER) and the entire family says they will chip in on his care and socialization.

He still has not stood up yet~ but he bounces where he wants to be. Mostly he wants to go to my husband or son when they whistle to him.

2-8-08
I tried to get more pics today but I was just so busy trying to finish the chicken coop so I can have the brooder ready for the Turkeys that are hatching ~I think they may be trying to hatch early~ I'm a bit worried about that~ I already here chirping and see one cracked shell......only day 26 for them..

I did snap two real quick pics of the emu for y'all~ I'll try to get a comparison pic over the weekend. I got one of it finally walking


And one of the back of it's head for those guessing the sex based on pattern (I read online that a bullseye pattern means male and a stripe pattern means female)


I tried to get a pic of it's arm but it wouldn't come out. I finally realized thats what makes it look so....odd?............it aint got no wings!! It's got a little skin flap~ a REALLY TINY skin flap.....and get this.....it's got a CLAW on the end of the skin flap! It IS a velociraptor!

2-9-08
BTW~ the nasty little beggar bites. I've offered it turkey feed. It won't eat. Not a big deal~ web sites say it probably won't eat for the first 3-5 days...............
except~
It acts like it's hungry and bites me.......
A LOT
REALLY A LOT

I'm not worried yet though~ it's only two days old and still has enough energy to bite me. To bite the dog. To chase the cat around the house biting his toes (really upsets my old cat!). To bite ITS OWN toes (very funny~ it falls over and squals when it bites itself!)

"Watch the Chicken?"

 

2-11-08Size comparison~
4 day old Emu chick and 1 day old Turkey poults (blue slate and royal palm)


I finally got it to eat some boiled chicken egg and some diced up salad greens with turkey feed sprinkled on it today. Not nearly enough for a bird that size I think~ but I don't really know how much it needs. Either it still does not drink or it doesn't drink the same way baby turkey and chicks do~ no head bobbing and gulping.

It trills and whistles a lot. It pretends to eat more than it does ~ snaps at air and acts like it is swallowing with the head bob. Still seems very energetic. Web site said it's normal not to eat for the first 3-5 days. I know it said that. But I'm worried, sure didn't look like it ate very much today before it went to sleep again.[

 

2-15-08
The Emu is a week old now. Eats and drinks well now. I ordered emu feed from the dealer that gets my rodent feed but it may be a bit before it comes in. Right now it eats better than we do~ boiled eggs, premium canned dog food, cabbage, lettuce, cricket paste (squished up crickets~ its a real product made to feed turtles and I could get it!) all sprinkled with game bird starter. He seems to be growing. I didn't weigh him the first week but I did today~ 13.3oz~


I won't name it~ I'm still not sure I'm not going to eat it. Family wants to name it. They keep suggesting stuff. I think IT thinks it's name is "little friend" because I call it that most often. I don't want to be attached to it. I might still eat it...........

It's been a rough week here~ Neighbor dogs massacred the chickens and turkeys last Monday. It was horrible~ the dogs showed up out of nowhere and killed 10 chickens and 3 turkeys in less than 5 minutes. I checked the birds~ 10 min later Will went out to lock up the coop and it was all over. One dog was in the pen~ the other in the coop~ they had NO chance. I have two left that escaped to the woods. I'm really upset about it. I was really getting attached to the chickens and turkeys~ they were so much fun to watch~ and I had put SO MUCH WORK into them. I'm pretty sure I know who's dogs they were~ but I can't prove it and they don't believe it was their dogs. I bought traps that will be in next week and I will try to catch the dogs and send them to the pound ~I really want to shoot them~ but I'd never seen them this far over on the property before or since (those neighbors let their dogs crap in my pasture about 2 acre from the massacre and don't seem to understand when I ask them not to allow their dogs on my property that means the part of MY property in front of their house too!).......I'm not a very good shot......and it's illegal for me to shoot their dogs unless they are currently harassing livestock (and since they killed them there is no livestock left to harass!) The two chickens left WILL NOT come out of the coop. Not dumb birds I guess.

Since that happened I'm afraid to put the emu outside~ luckily it is still too little. For now it's living in my kitchen in a dog crate.


I put boards across the kitchen door and most of the day it has full run of the kitchen. It chirps, whistles, looks entirely too cute and craps a lot. I talk to it a lot.......but before long it will get to big to live in my kitchen. I'm going to get attached if I'm not careful. I don't want to get attached to it.

I honestly don't know what to do with it. Since the chicken massacre I've spent a lot of time with it~ and it is undeniably cute and endearing. But it's going to be huge someday. And it bites.....a LOT~ now~ while it's little that's annoying........later? And I don't really have any confidence I can get it big. How long can I let it live in my kitchen? And when I put it outside~ how do I allow it any room to move so it can grow and still keep it safe from the marauding dogs?

I just don't know what to do with it. But it is undeniably cute!



On the bright side~ I hatched 13 more Turkeys (afraid to put those outside too) and Scott encouraged me to order some new chickens from a hatchery........
so I did
But I'm not sure how it happened.....
I ordered 3 geese.....to keep with that stupid Emu.....and....um.....
well.....
70 chickens
It's amazing how many breeds there are and how 5 of these and 5 of those add up to 70 chickens. Not sure how to explain to Scott that I replaced the 13 dead birds with 73 new ones. Guess I could wait and see how he reacts when they get here. I doubt they'll stand still long enough for him to count all 73 of them..................

 

2-21-08
Two weeks old.

I learned something new about emu this week. They can play dead. REALLY CONVINCINGLY play dead!! Like say~ when you want to wash the emu poop off the emu’s feet (because maybe it lives in your kitchen for some bizarre reason) so you hold the emu feet under the tap water. The emu will struggle (flinging emu crap off it’s feet across the kitchen~ NOTE TO SELF~ next time do this procedure in the bathroom!) Then~ flop over DEAD~ limp neck, limp body, mouth agape. You give the emu a little shake and it just flops. So………..well……..now would be the time to panic right? So at this point one might yank the emu out of the water and shout:

“OH GOD I KILLED IT!!” Then it will sit up~ blink and I swear I heard it say “Nanner-Nanner-Boo-Boo!” just before it bit me. Again. (yes~ it still bites)
Sorry I didn’t get a pic of that~ I was too busy panicking because I thought I killed it~ then I was trying to talk myself out of killing it for scaring the snot out of me.

It’s more than doubled it’s body weight in just the 7 days since I last weighed it. We may not be feeding it right~ but it appears we are feeding it enough! We still have not gotten the emu feed in. Special orders are slow. I was worried it was not getting enough protein in it’s diet of whatever I could find that it would eat~ so since it had turned into a pig I decided to hold out until it ate turkey feed like I wanted. I stopped cutting up all the goodies~ instead I mixed some water and turkey starter mash and left it in the crate.

When I came back there was a perfect little circle of green emu poop in the middle of the bowl of turkey mash……….I’m not kidding. Again~ I should have taken a pic but I was busy so I scooped the poop out and gave it back to the little son of a gun!!!!

It really does not like turkey food…….but apparently it does like DOG food

The picky little cuss doesn’t like ALL the dog food though. Apparently the yellow pieces are better. So it picks through slinging brown pieces of dog food across the kitchen and eating the yellow ones.


BUT~ brown pieces that have been IN THE DOGS MOUTH taste pretty good though~ so it sits next to the dog bowl and bites So-Chee every time she gets a mouth full of food~ causing her to drop those delicious pieces of dog food that had been IN her mouth!
So-chee has begun grabbing a mouth full of dog food and running across the kitchen with it to eat it! LOL! She is SUCH a good sport. She gets LOTS of treats for letting the emu pick her teeth and NOT using the emu to pick her teeth!


The little cuss really asks for it too~ last night it bit her toes until she curled all her feet under her body. Then the little son of a gun took a shot at her eye! I walked her out of the kitchen and gave her a treat for letting it live………
This morning I started giving it a gentle kick (more a shove) with my foot when it bites me. I’m hoping we can teach it to stop that before it gets to be really painful or So-chee decides it needs to learn the lesson. I thought about moving So-chee’s food out of the kitchen~ but I really want her to learn to be accepting and tolerant of livestock and pets that may be less than polite in their behavior……so poor So-chee has a new dental hygienist for the foreseeable future!

 

2-28-08
3 weeks old

It’s been another week. I know there were a lot of you out there claiming you were going to get an emu egg when you saw this one hatching…..so?.......well?.......come on now~ it’s not so bad having an emu living in your kitchen. It only craps about 30-60 times a day. The whole family volunteered to help take care of it after all……………(I BELIEVED IT TOO!)

LOL! Are y’all laughing as hard as I am? You don’t think that’s a sign I’ve become unstable do you? Well…..not anymore unstable than one has to be to allow an emu to live in her kitchen right?

So~ it is 3 weeks old today. Even I have to admit it’s getting cuter:


It’s also getting BIGGER. MUCH BIGGER already! That’s the egg it hatched out of (I washed and saved the egg~ I want to glue it back together……if I EVER have free time again)


The emu food finally came in~ I’m going to pick it up on Saturday. I hope it likes it~ but if not it seems to be doing fine on dog food and cabbage/kale/lettuce free choice all day.


I’m already dreaming of building it a hoop house and moving it outside. Won’t that be great? It will be~ trust me. I keep the emu poop off the floor (LOTS of bounty and Clorox wipes!) but still! I locked it in a cage on Monday so I could mop the floor~ and I almost took a picture of my clean floor…….because I knew that was going to be a fading memory in short order!

It actually made me feel bad too. The little monster has decided I’m it’s parent~ so it panic’s when it doesn’t know where I am. Squalling and throwing it’s self into the child gates over the kitchen doors. Monday when I let it out of the cage it’s little beak was a bit torn up from rubbing the cage bars and it insisted on being with me or laying down at my feet all night. It’s really hard to be disgusted with it and want to get rid of it when it’s being all pitiful and sad……………

THEN it learned to leap the boards over the kitchen door (that’s when the child gates went up) and make a break across the house…….chirping all the way ~ I swear it sounded like giggling as I tried to snatch the weaving and bobbing little cuss!!! And it’s FAST already!


On the biting front~ apparently it can be taught. Spraying it with water didn’t do the trick~ but pushing it over seems to have. It doesn’t bite me nearly as often as it used to~ unless I make the mistake of letting it get a shot at my watch. The little thief can not resist jewelry (all you ladies with expensive jewelry should come visit right away).


It’s stopped biting the cats~ they hit back (and one of the cats has claws!)


But poor So-chee………she doesn’t retaliate and she gets bit a lot! I’d actually let her give it a little lesson like I let the cats~ but I’m just as glad she doesn’t yet. I keep trying to explain to the emu that annoying the Dog by putting your head IN her mouth may NOT be conductive to continued good health……..but he doesn’t seem to get it and So-chee spends a lot of time looking like she just can’t get that annoying taste of emu out of her mouth. She takes it~ and apparently dog hair tastes almost as good as whatever is stuck in the dogs teeth……..

“It’s biting me AGAIN!”


I’m really very pleased with what a good dog So-chee is becoming~ she certainly puts up with more from that little emu than any one else in the house will! Now……do you think I could teach her to scoop emu crap?


 

Thats it for Feb 2008!~
Jump to March 08
or
Jump back to Dec 07' and Jan 08'

More emu in my kitchen stories!

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Contact~

Cheryl Marchek
at

thered_dragon@yahoo.com

 I know a lot of people prefer not to use yahoo.com addresses
But I've used this address for several years and am comfortable with it
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