Emu Eggs and Babies: All You Need to Know (Life Cycle)

Emus are amazing birds that are known for their size and unique traits. Emu eggs and babies are as unique as their parents. Below we’ll learn more about the first weeks of this bird from laying to hatching eggs.

So, if you are looking to learn more about these birds, here’s what you need to know about their life cycle.

All you need to know about emu eggs and babies

Nest construction

When it comes to nesting, emus are a bit unique. They don’t build nests in the traditional sense like other birds. Male emus will find the right spot; it has to be a place with a clear view of their surroundings.

They prefer a hollow surface near a rock or shrub or even open ground. They then line the nest with sticks and grasses, while in other cases, mud and leaves. The finished nests are usually quite sturdy, and can withstand wind and rainstorms.

Nests are almost flat but during colder months, males ensure there is a 2-inch wall around the nest to keep them warm.

Where do emus build nests?

They do not build nests in trees like many other birds, but instead adult male emus build them on the ground. They are typically flat and about three feet in diameter. Found mostly in Australia, these bird species range from the Snowy mountains to the coastal regions.

You’ll find their nests in dry forests and grasslands. In colder regions like the snowy mountain you’ll notice they have longer feathers that help trap heat and keep them warm.

Mating Ritual

Their mating ritual is quite interesting. Unlike pelicans where the males initiate courtship, the female emu is the one who initiates courtship. The female emu will run around puffing her feathers and producing grunting sounds.

She’ll then spot a male she likes and perform this courtship dance while circling him. Note, she’ll keep her distance from her prospective mate. If the male is interested, he responds by erecting his feathers and pecking the ground. He’ll then move to her side and if she finds him a worthy companion, she’ll squat and raise her rump.

How often do emus lay eggs

Mating season occurs during the summer months. The pair will pick a large territory which they can defend from predators. Note, the female is more aggressive.

Emus remain loyal to their partner during the mating season. Mating happens every day or every other day, and the female lays 5-15 green eggs. Before laying eggs, both parents put on weight with the female weighing up to 128 lb which is at least 40 lbs more than their normal weight.

What color and size are emu eggs?

Emu lay green eggs. They look like avocados but are glossier, oval and very beautiful. To identify them easily, be on the lookout for green oval-shaped and glossy eggs.

They are about 5 inches in length and 3.2 inches wide; making one emu egg larger than a chicken egg but smaller than ostrich eggs.

The egg shell is thick and the emu egg weighs up to 1.4 lbs.

How long do emu eggs take to hatch?

Like kiwi birds, emu males incubate the eggs and will also develop a naked patch on their belly. Generally speaking, though, emus will incubate their eggs for around 55-56 days before they hatch.

Before incubation the eggs are a glossy pale-greenish color but will gradually become darker during incubation. While sitting on the eggs, male emus do not eat or drink. They’ll just stand up occasionally to turn the eggs so that different sides come into contact with the brood patch.

Another interesting thing that happens during this period is as the male takes care of the eggs, the female may wander off and go start another relationship. Yup, females in this bird species are not loyal. They may even start a new family with the new male.

But, those who stay with the first mate will defend their territory and take turns caring for their clutch. They may also have two more clutches before the breeding season ends.

What do baby emu look like?

When a baby emu is born, it is small and covered in downy feathers. Note the color; cream and brown stripes that help them blend into their surroundings, keeping them safe from predators.

As the chick grows, its body will fill out and its feathers will become more like those of the adults. Baby emus can run and walk within hours of being born, and they are able to feed themselves. Emu chicks are very curious and playful, and they love to explore their surroundings.

How big is an emu chick?

When an emu egg hatches, a small, brown and white striped chick emerges. Emu chicks grow quickly, reaching half their adult size within six weeks. At two months old, emu chicks weigh about six pounds and are as big as a full-grown chicken. They keep growing until they are about five-six months old and reach their full adult size of 100 to 130 pounds.

How can you tell male emu from female

Male and female emus look similar and the only time you can easily tell them apart is during breeding season. From late December, females’ plumage darkens and they put on more weight. Male color does not change though he’ll also put on a bit of weight.

What do emu babies eat?

Emu babies are hatched with a full stomach and they continue to eat and grow rapidly for the first six months of their life. Emus are omnivores and their diet consists of seeds, fruits, vegetables, insects, small mammals, and other small animals.

They will also eat anything that is left over from farm animals. Small pebbles are also eaten to aid in digestion.

How long do emu chicks stay in the nest?

Emu chicks remain in the nest for up to one year. During this time, they are cared for by their dad who will keep them warm and protected. The chicks will also be fed regularly by their dad who will make sure they get the nourishment they need to grow strong and healthy.

Once the chicks have matured enough, they will start to explore their surroundings and learn how to survive on their own.

How to take care of the babies?

The care of emu babies is not difficult, but it is important to make sure they get the right food and exercise. Emus can easily become overweight, so it is important to monitor their diet. Emu chicks should be fed a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. They can be fed commercial chick feed or a diet that consists of chicken starter feed, corn, oats, and greens. Emus need plenty of room to run and play, so make sure they have access to a large yard or field.

Emu babies are precocial, meaning they are born with downy feathers and can walk and run within minutes of being born. Though they are able to care for themselves to a degree, emu babies still need some help from their parents in order to grow up healthy and strong.

Emus like to live in open areas where they can see their surroundings, so make sure your baby’s pen is large enough for them to run around in.


Are emu eggs good for eating?

Yes – emu eggs are good for eating. Emu eggs are a great source of protein, and they also have high levels of antioxidants, which can help to protect your body against disease. In addition, emu eggs are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for your health.

How long do emus live for?

Emus are a type of bird that can live 5-10 years in the wild and up to 35 years in farms. They are able to live this long because they have a strong immune system.

How much are emu eggs worth

While their eggs are not generally considered a delicacy, they do have some commercial value. Emu eggs typically sell for $50 to $100 per egg, depending on their size, quality, and whether they are fertilized. They are mostly used in food dishes such as omelets, quiches, or scrambles.

Can you hatch an emu egg?

The answer to this question is yes, you can hatch an emu egg. Emu eggs are large, so they need plenty of space to hatch. Make sure the temperature in the room is around 95 degrees Fahrenheit and keep a constant humidity level of 45-50 percent. It will take around 50-56 days to hatch.

Are emus friendly

There is a lot of debate over whether emus are friendly or not. Some people say that they are very skittish and will run away if you get too close, while others say that they are docile and will let you pet them.

The truth is that emus can be both friendly and skittish, depending on their individual personality. If you want to make sure that you don’t scare an emu, try to approach it slowly and calmly. If it starts to get scared, back off and give it some space.

What do you call an emu baby?

Emu babies are typically called chicks.

Can you have an emu as a pet?

Emus, while not traditional pets, can be kept as companions with some special care. Because they are native to Australia and New Zealand and have very different needs than domesticated animals, would-be emu owners should do their research to ensure they can provide a proper home for these interesting creatures.

Emus require plenty of room to roam and need good access to water, as well as a diet that consists mostly of plant matter. They are also social animals and should not be kept alone.

How many babies do emus have a year

Emus are a bit of an enigma when it comes to reproduction. They can have anywhere from five to fifteen babies in a year, but the average clutch size is six.

Final Thoughts:

Emu breeding season is interesting. Taking place in summer months, you’ll notice females changing plumage, gaining weight and becoming aggressive. Males take care of the incubation and taking care of the babies. Found mostly in Australia, these unique birds are a must-see for any avid birder. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *