Emus in the wild feed largely on high quality food such as succulent herbage, seeds, insects, fruit and other flora.
5.1 Emus must have daily access to adequate quantities of appropriate food to maintain their health and vitality. This period for newly hatched chicks may be extended to not more than 48 hours.
5.2 Emus, other than newly hatched chicks, should have ad libitum access to adequate quantities of appropriate food. There should always be at least one week’s feed supply on hand.
5.3 Emus should receive a diet containing complete balanced nutrients to meet their requirements. Emus should not be provided with food that is detrimental to their health. Young chicks should not be fed fibrous or coarse food as it may become impacted and cause an obstruction. Commercial chick rations are available from commercial suppliers. Chopped lucerne can be mixed with rations and can stimulate birds to eat.
5.4 Medicated food or water should be supplied only under the supervision of a veterinarian familiar with emus, as the overuse or mixing of medicaments, or the medicament itself, may cause toxic injury.
5.5 Where it is proposed to slaughter emus that have received medications, professional advice should be sought to ensure that chemical residues do not contaminate the carcase.
5.6 When using mechanical systems for delivery of food, alternative methods of feeding should be available.
There should be enough food on hand, or ready means of obtaining food, in the event of failure of supply.
5.7 Where chicks and yearlings are reared in groups of over 100, multiple feed points should be provided in each pen.
5.9 An emergency delivery system must be able to deliver adequate supplies
of water in the event of a power failure.
5.10 Emus must be provided with access to sufficient drinkable water to meet their physiological requirements.
5.11 When an emu farm is first established, or when a new water source is accessed, the water should be tested for mineral content and microbiological contamination and advice obtained as to its suitability foremus. As the composition of water from bores, dams or water holes may alter with changes in flow or evaporation, the water may require more frequent monitoring to ascertain its continued suitability.
5.12 Where chicks and yearlings are reared in groups of over 100 birds, multiple water points should be provided in each pen.