14 Things Emu Birds Can Eat and 9 They Should Avoid

14 Things Emu Birds Can Eat and 9 They Should Avoid

14 Things Emu Birds Can Eat and 9 They Should Avoid

Emu birds, known for their large size and unique appearance, are native to Australia. These flightless birds have a varied diet that consists of both plant matter and small animals. If you’re considering raising emu birds or you’ve come across them in the wild, it’s important to know what they can and cannot eat to ensure their health and well-being. In this article, we’ll explore 14 things emu birds can eat and 9 things they should avoid.

What Emu Birds Can Eat

1. Grass and Plants: Emu birds primarily graze on grass and other plant materials. They have a special knack for plucking leaves and tender shoots from various plants, providing them with the necessary nutrients.

2. Seeds and Grains: Emu birds can also consume a variety of seeds and grains. They readily eat corn, oats, wheat, and other similar foods.

3. Fruits: Emu birds enjoy feasting on ripe fruits. They can eat a wide range of fruits such as apples, oranges, berries, melons, and even grapes.

4. Vegetables: Emu birds have a voracious appetite for vegetables. You can offer them carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, and other leafy greens.

5. Insects and Small Animals: Emu birds are omnivorous, and their diet includes insects and small animals. They can eat worms, crickets, grasshoppers, and even small lizards if they come across them.

6. Fish: While not a regular part of their diet, emu birds may consume fish on rare occasions. If you have a pond or lake on your property, they might be tempted to catch small fish.

7. Nuts: Emu birds can also eat nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts. It’s best to offer them shelled nuts to avoid any potential digestive issues.

8. Berries: Emu birds love berries, and they can eat a variety of them, including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

9. Plant Leaves: As mentioned earlier, emu birds enjoy grazing on plant leaves. They are particularly fond of tender leaves and shoots.

10. Flowers: Emu birds are known to nibble on some flower varieties. They can eat petals and small parts of flowers, but it’s advisable to ensure that the flowers they eat are safe for them.

11. Legumes: Emu birds can consume legumes like beans and peas. These provide them with essential protein and fiber.

12. Hay and Grass Clippings: If you have emu birds in captivity, you can supplement their diet with hay or grass clippings. However, ensure that the grass clippings are free from any pesticides or chemicals.

13. Eggs: Emu birds are cannibalistic and may eat their own eggs or those of other emus. It’s important to monitor their behavior to prevent them from consuming the eggs.

14. Commercial Emu Feed: If you’re raising emu birds for commercial purposes, there are specifically formulated feeds available in the market that meet their nutritional needs. These feeds are a balanced combination of grains, proteins, and other essential nutrients.

What Emu Birds Should Avoid

1. Chocolate: Chocolate is toxic to emu birds and many other animals. Make sure to keep all chocolate products out of their reach.

2. Avocado: Avocado contains a substance called persin, which is toxic to emu birds. Avoid feeding them any part of the avocado plant, including the fruit, pit, and leaves.

3. Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic can be harmful to emu birds. These foods contain compounds that can cause digestive upset and other health issues.

4. Alcohol and Caffeine: Emu birds should never be given alcohol or foods and drinks containing caffeine. Just like humans, they can have adverse reactions to these substances.

5. Processed Foods: Emu birds have a sensitive digestive system and should not be fed processed foods. These can cause digestive issues and lead to poor health.

6. High-Fat Foods: Foods high in fat, such as fried foods or fatty meats, should be avoided. Emu birds require a balanced diet, and excessive fat can lead to obesity and other health problems.

7. Bread and Pastries: While emu birds may snatch a small piece of bread or pastry if given the chance, these foods should not be a regular part of their diet. They lack the necessary nutrients and can lead to weight gain.

8. Raw Meat: While emu birds are omnivorous and can consume small animals, it’s important to avoid giving them raw meat. Raw meat can carry harmful bacteria and parasites that may pose a risk to their health.

9. Dairy Products: Emu birds are lactose intolerant and should not be given any dairy products. These can cause digestive upset and diarrhea.


Emu birds have a diverse diet that includes grass, plants, seeds, fruits, vegetables, insects, and small animals. They can also consume nuts, berries, legumes, flowers, and certain commercial feeds. However, there are several foods they should avoid, including chocolate, avocado, onions, garlic, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, high-fat foods, bread, pastries, raw meat, and dairy products. Providing emu birds with a balanced and varied diet is essential for their overall health and well-being.

My 2 Cents

Emu birds are fascinating creatures with unique dietary needs. If you’re considering raising emu birds, it’s crucial to ensure that their diet consists of a balanced mix of both plant matter and small animals. Providing them with a diverse range of foods not only satisfies their nutritional requirements but also keeps them mentally stimulated. Remember, their diet should be free from any toxic items or foods that can harm their health. As with any animal, it’s important to consult with experts or do thorough research to ensure that you’re providing the best care possible for these majestic birds.