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- Bethany's horse training site.

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Sugar gliders, Emus

Sugar Gliders:One of the smallest marsupials, the sugar glider looks similar to a flying squirrel. It can glide using the flap of skin between it's fore feet and back feet. It loves to eat fruits and juices, and is a very adorable pet if bonded with you. Sugar gliders are, without a doubt, The true pocket pets. Tame sugar gliders are delighted to be in physical contact with their owner's body. They will sit on your shoulder, ride in your hair or nap in your shirt pocket. They are nocturnal by nature so your pocket will make an ideal 'nest' for your sugar glider to take a daytime snooze. Sugar gliders are tiny gliding possums from Indonesia, New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia. All possums and opossums, including North America's Virginia opossum are marsupials that give live  birth to their young after a brief gestation. Young sugar gliders are a intense silver-gray with a black stripe that starts just above the nose leather and extends over the forehead, down the neck and back and continues on to the black tail. There is also a dark strip from the outside corner of the eye to the ear. Captive raised sugar gliders remain this color throughout their lives.

It had a distinctive warning sound, and then it will bite you with it's tiny teeth!  The male has a distinctive scent gland on the top of his head.  You can see it in the picture above.

Items you may need if you want sugar gliders:

A cage with 1/2- 3/4" " maximum spacing, at least 20" x 20" and a minimum of 30" high, with a double wire floor, the bottom of which is no larger than 1/2" mesh, and a removable litter pan between the two floors.
A food cup to hang on the side of the cage
An outside water bottle (and small cage cup if not trained to bottle)
A nest box
A hamster glove or sugar glider sock
Shredding material for bedding
Parrot ladders, ropes, rings, toys
An exercise wheel
 dog biscuits, monkey biscuits, rodent block
Pine or fir shavings for the pan
Glass tube for feeding nectar
Lorikeet nectar supplement
Vitamin and calcium supplement
Crickets and mealworms
Sugar gliders do well in relatively small environments if they are allowed ample exercise outside of their cage daily. They do best in an ambient temperature of 75-85 degrees F. Only tame sugar gliders should be allowed this freedom. Wire cages are preferable but must be placed in an area where direct sunlight does not shine on the cage and there are no drafts from open windows, doors, ceiling fans or vents. The openings in the wire mesh should not exceed 1" x 1/2". Many bird cages suitable for finch size birds work well. Sugar gliders need chewing objects to help wear down those long incisors. In the wild, these teeth wear when the sugar gliders chew the bark off trees, mostly eucalyptus, to eat the sap that drips from the wounded tree.

Sugar gliders have a high energy diet in the wild that has a fairly high level of protein.
They should have a free-choice mixture of sunflower seeds and nuts, ( a good parrot mix) dried fruits, coconut and cat food. (This is a handy diet to keep in front of them in case you must be away from home a day or two.)
The fresh diet should be fed in the late afternoon or evening to avoid attracting fruit flies.
Nearly all fruits and some vegetables are relished. Sugar gliders have distinct preferences for some fruits and dislike others. Citrus often encourages diarrhea. Bananas are not a favorite with many sugar gliders and they attract fruit flies almost instantly. Vegetables (frozen are okay after thawing) to try are broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, cooked beans and green peas. Add a small amount of hard-boiled egg. Balance their diet and give them variety.(top)

Sugar Glider Links


"Fred", out first Emu. He is one of the friendliest and gentlest emus we have. He loves it during breeding season when Jim comes around. Fred thinks of Jim as another emu - Jim where's baseball caps all the time and we guess the bill looks like an emu's beak!  Fred struts his stuff and does a little dance, and falls to the ground and writhes around to see if he can impress Jim.

Emu: One of the largest flightless birds in the world. Second only to the ostrich which resides in Africa, the emu can run up to 35 mph, and weigh up to 140 pounds. Its life span is between 30 and 40 years, and it starts its reproduction cycle at about two to three years of age. They are the more docile of the large birds, however, can really pack a wallop when they    kick!. They have 3 toes, and the middle toe has a large nail that can slice right through overalls! We saw this happen first hand when we picked up our first pair of emu from an Amish farmer in Ohio. He wrestled in a small barn with the large bird, (where we heard thumps and bangs) and emerged carrying the bird, but his overalls were sliced from his chest to his knee!

Emus breed and lay eggs mainly during the winter months, while ostriches and rheas breed and lay eggs in late spring, summer, and early fall. Sometimes starting as early as October and ending as late as June, the females lay an egg about once every three days, and will lay, on average, 25 eggs per year. The emu has dark-green eggs that cannot be candled (examined in front of light to check fertility and chick growth) during incubation. Incubation is approximately 50 days.

We have found emu to be gentle birds. We walk among them and pet them on their necks and back. They let us examine their wings and, in general, don't mind us in their pen with them. Even gathering the eggs isn't any big deal to them (I wouldn't do the same with the ostrich!!).

We got our first emu when Brandon was studying dinosaurs. He so wanted to live with the dinosaurs! We discovered emus and decided that they looked a bit like some of the dinosaurs he was reading about - the velociraptor and such. When we brought our Fred and Wilma home in 1995, it was such a thrill to look out the window and see the elegant birds walking so cautiously and deliberately around the enclosure. They are fence walkers, and will walk the fence line - no matter how long the line is. 
EMU OIL: The emu have a sack of fat which Aborigines have used for centuries for healing burns and other ailments. This sack is rendered into a lotion and rubbed on burns, and sore muscles. The Aborigines have used emu oil as a skin moisturizer, antiseptic, and as an aid in the relief of muscular aches joint pain and sunburn. American sports players recognize the benefits. Some chiropractics use emu oil in massage treatments The American Emu Association has articles on information using emu oil for burns. We use this for every burn we get... sunburn, grease burn, etc. It is still amazing to me how well it works for us.
Emu oil can be used in soap recipes, along with goats milk for a wonderful luxurious soap.

 One of the most remarkable attributes of Emu Oil is the effectiveness it has in comforting stiff muscles and joints.  Emu Oil is currently undergoing testing in Australia and the United States for its effectiveness on arthritis pain, as well as its ability to heal sprains and bruises caused by sports and other activities.  Emu oil contains naturally a high level of linolenic acid a substance known to ease muscle ache and joint pain. and oleic acid, which provides a local anti-inflammatory effect.

People who use emu oil have reported some success with the conditions listed here:
acne     age spots     arthritis    athlete’s foot    bed sores    bruises    burns    bursitis    calluses    canker sores   carpal tunnel syndrome   chapped lips    circulation    complexion problem   conditioning hair    contact dermatitis    cracked skin   cuts     dandruff    diabetic bruising & ulcers    dandruff    diabetic neuropathy    diaper rash    dishpan hands    dry skin     eczema    eye irritation    fever blisters    fingernail cuticles  frostbite    gout    gum disease    growing pains    hair loss    headaches    hemorrhoids    in-grown toenails    increasing mobility    insect bites  irritated skin   itching    joint pain    lumbago    massage    medication carrier moisturize skin    muscle pain & spasms   night muscle cramps
nosebleeds    pain relief    pet hot spots    pet/animal injuries & wounds    psoriasis     radiation burns    rashes    razor burn & nicks    rheumatism    rhinitis    rosacea    scar prevention    sciatica    scrapes & scratches     shin splints    shingles    sinus headaches    skin grafts    skin hydration    skin rashes    sore muscles    sports injuries  sprains   stiffness   stretch marks   sunburn relief   surgery scars   swelling   tendonitis   thin, aging skin   tick bites   tired feet   varicose veins   wasp, bee stings   weak nails   windburn   wounds   wrinkles & fine lines

One drop of emu oil will cover an area approximately the size of the back of your hand!!

Use Emu Oil for Dry, Damaged Hair       Use Emu Oil for Dry, Damaged Skin and Pain Relief   
Use Emu Oil Direct Skin Application  Use Emu Oil in your Bath

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. There is no intent to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease or condition
This Internet site is used for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to replace discussions with a healthcare provider.

EMU MEAT is lower in fat and higher in protein than other red meats. It is 99% fat free!! It looks and tastes similar to beef, but with healthier consequences. You cook it as you would beef. But, if you cook a hamburger BEWARE: there will be no shrinkage due to such a minute amount of fat. In fact, you will have to grease the pan to prevent sticking! It is most delicious! Because it is so low in fat, it is best served slightly rare, or it could dry out. Compared to others meats, the fat content, cholesterol, and saturated fats are lower than chicken, turkey, lean beef and pork!
Some recipes are: emu tenderloin, emu surprise, emu with beer gravy, and emu goulash
 Some gourmet recipes can be found at Blue Mountain Emu

FARMING: You can find out more about the emu as a viable farming resource with the
 Emu Today and Tomorrow... Outback Emuzing Ranch...

EMU EGGS : Emu eggs are a very beautiful dark emerald green. Many artisans and crafters enjoy the emu egg for carving , etched, painted, jeweled, or cut out and decorated with miniature figurines, jewelry boxes, , Christmas decorations... the ideas are limitless...
FEATHERS and CLAWS: Emu feathers are unusual in that there are 2 feathers coming from 1 shaft. They are soft and delicate looking. The tail feathers are long "up to 18")and can be used in hats, vase decorations, aboriginal shields The body feathers are about 6-8 inches and are used in feather dusters, jewelry, cat toys. Then there are the small feathers, (2-3" long). They make wonderful fishing ties, or earrings. The feathers can be dyed easily.
The claws are used in jewelry, earrings and necklaces, hat decorations... such as cowboy hats. Some great links to emu pages can be found at Davis World Wide Emu Page.


One of the emus looking through the fence after a major ice storm hit West Virginia during the 2003 winter
Cold weather doesn't bother emu.




A story about Fred:

Our emus left their enclosure one day to go out into the world.  There were 6 of them wandering around on our mountain top. We live in an area where our closest neighbor is about 1 mile away.  Two came home on their own and we ushered them into the fenced area.  Over the next few days we had many calls on "emu sightings", but whenever we drove to where they were supposed to be, the emu had slipped quietly into the woods. On one occasion a woman stopped at our house to tell us the emu was close to the highway (near our neighbor's driveway). We drove out to see, and sure enough there was one of our females. Bethany and Mariann stayed with her while I went for the trailer. I came back and we easily loaded her into the trailer and brought her home.  The tamer the emu is with you, the easier they are to load or move from one place to another. We  walked quite a distance along the dirt road in front of the house with 2 emus following a bucket of feed. 

Eventually all the emus were found except Fred and Wilma. Wilma never did come home and we never found her. But after a week, a young man told us he and his buddies had seen an emu in the woods across from our land.  The girls got on their bikes and road the dirt path, where they came up these fools and their 4-wheelers. The young men were trying to ride the emu - forcing themselves onto his back and scaring him to death. Mariann (she was 11 years old at the time) yelled, "That's our emu!"  and the men stopped what they were doing. As I came up with 2 friends of ours, the men went into an explanation of how they were trying to hold the emu there until we came. In the meantime, they had let go of Fred and he ran into the woods. My girls followed after him trying to calm him and coax him out. No dice. He was petrified.  We couldn't get him that day because when we got close, he took off. (Emus can run rather quickly). We left, but over the next few days continued to seasrch for him.  One day I looked out of the window and there was Fred walking slowly and cautiously up the driveway. We headed out and herded him into the fence with the other emus.

We were so happy to have him home. But we learned something from this experience. When an emu is traumatized as much as Fred seemed to have been, they don't forget. It has taken 3 years now to get Fred to trust us again. He was so skittish of any human after that experience. We can now pet him and move him easily, but he has never danced for Jim since.

So if you come across an emu that is out for a walk in the world - be slow, gentle and easy and call the owners to come get him. Riding a big bird is for the ostriches - not the gentle emu.

"Renegade" an emu found by the West Virginia DNR.

An educational note - The correct pronunciation is: "ee-mew" ... Please do not spread the ignorance of pronouncing it "ee-moo"!! (After all - how do you pronounce menu?)

Emu Links


First they Came for the Cows: In 2006 a USDA mandate called National Animal Identification System (NAIS) came to the attention of a middle-aged homesteader in NW Vermont and she finds herself thrown into the role of a reluctant activist. First They Came for the Cows is a fictionalized account of her experience. Some churches are using First They Came for the Cows for their book clubs. Good Christian fiction can be hard to come by, you know

PLEASE HELP PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF WV ANIMAL OWNERS   It is our duty as citizens (local, WV and U.S.) to know the laws. It's time to spread the word to the WV animal owning population that there are people out there trying to create laws that have the potential to affect every aspect of all animal ownership. Please join our group, and help preserve your right to keep animals!

If you are interested in owning any exotic baby, please remember that the Animal Rights activists are not your friend. You should join groups in your state - or go to Exotic Law for more info on where to go for information



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