It started a couple of weeks ago. The emus refused to go into their shelter at night, even with the lure of food, which had always worked before. The favorite place to hide is in the thick blackberry brambles. They cut through the center of our property separating two pastures.
No one can resist the brambles, not even a donkey wearing a hat and sunglasses.
The chickens cannot resist the blackberry brambles. The hold clandestine meetings in the brambles where they plot and plan the overthrow of Isi and his girls.
Goats cannot resist the brambles. They are good eats!
There are rocks to climb on in the brambles and you can just hang out and take time to smell the flowers.
I have to admit I can’t resist the brambles either. Soon I will be out there risking mortal wounds to harvest enough blackberries for a pie or cobbler. I have always wanted blackberries on my own land. The neighbors around us all hate the blackberries. They search for ways to destroy them. I like them. You can make pie.
But the purpose of this post was to explain how the emus like the brambles. They like to hide in the brambles at night so we can’t put them away in their enclosure.
So, for a couple of weeks we have been having to chase these guys down and carry them, kicking and whistling, to the enclosure. That is not something I suggest anyone try! Next we took a suggestion from our vet and straddled the emu to get ahold of the silly little wings. Using the wings as guides, you can walk the animal where you want it to go. This works in theory, but Michael and I have bad backs and after trying this a few times we decided we needed a better way. The emu breeder recommended halter training so, with a couple of dog halters from the pet shop, Michael went to work.
Question: How many goats does it take to put a harness on an emu. Answer: Four young ones and an old one!
Finally, in spite of all the goat assistance, the halter was on Louie, the Emu Formerly Known As Mary Catherine Gallegher.
It was time to take it for a spin. Note to the non emu savvy, emus cannot back up, they can only go forward. This is useful when halter training an emu. Louie was not too happy at first.
Some minor adjustments were made.
And they were back in business.
Finally the halter training was complete and they were let loose.
I am happy to report that, while not easy, it is much less of a hassle getting them under control and into the shelter at night.