A little back story:
Chica has been on the outs with the other three emus since we moved here almost a year ago. For whatever reason, she started displaying mating behavior quite early. That set her apart from the others and resulted in her being ostracized. From being ostracized, the situation escalated to fighting and chasing. It got so bad recently that she actually toppled over or under the fence and was loose on our property. We were able to get her safely back inside the pasture without her being hurt. We decided to erect a fence dividing the goat/emu pasture in half. The idea was to keep the goats in the lower half with an emu pair, and move an emu pair to the top half.
We chose Louis as the first boy to join Chica in the new “upper” pasture.
It seemed to go well the first day.
On the second day he was pacing the fence trying to get back with the others. Eventually he just laid down by the fence and didn’t get up. I gave in and let him back in the “lower” pasture, leaving Chica in the upper pasture alone.
Chica had seemed quite content by herself but I worried about her. One night she was sprayed by a skunk which then entered our garage and fumigated my car. It stinks to this day and so does Chica. I have tried to move Stuart to the upper pasture but every time I got close, Loca would run over and thwart the effort, chasing Stuart away from the gate. Yesterday I went in to feed Chica and Stuart followed me. I quickly latched the gate before Loca could cause trouble. I finally had my emu pairs in separate pastures. Visions of emu babies danced through my head.
Now, back to yesterday. I went out several times to check on Chica and Stuart and all was going well. They were keeping their distance from one another, but there was no fighting or chasing. I was sure it would be a successful. I was so sure I made a little video of the peacefulness.
Fast forward about two hours after I made the video.
Michael and I were sitting on the porch enjoying the late afternoon. I decided to check on Stuart and Chica one last time for the day. As I walked towards the pasture, I heard the most alarming commotion I have ever heard in my life. I ran around the corner to find Chica, under the fence, flailing and wedged in a space about a foot wide between the chicken run and her pasture. She was on the ground kicking and trying to get up. Poor Chica was crammed into this space between the green poles and the white vinyl fence. I started yelling for Michael.
Chica was finally able to get her feet under her body and stand up. I called to her and she walked down the narrow space to me. I bent the fencing back to let her out into the yard. Michael got behind her and guided her back into the lower pasture then through the gate into the upper pasture. She was safely back home. This is the spot where the confrontation occurred. You can see emu feathers strewn about. It was here that she somehow got under the fence.
She had a few ruffled and torn feathers but she was none the worse for wear. Stuart had a large red bite mark on his neck.
Here is sweet Chica, back in her pasture where she belongs. I am working on a Plan “C” at the moment. No more mayhem. Please.