A GREAT Shortcut and time saver for watering emu chicks

The best method is to use a small gravity controlled drinker. These are available online. In order for it to work properly, it will need to have constant pressure. Most systems do not provide constant water pressure. To ensure this, use a (variable) pressure regulator set to about 20 pounds of pressure. This is well below any normal pressure, but enough to run your drinkers. This ensures that your chicks are not left without fresh, clean water and only need to be cleaned every three days or so.

Emu chicks require a LOT of water and without a system to provide it, YOU will need to check the water multiple times a day AND they will need to be cleaned multiple times a day. Emu chicks make quite a mess with regular ground level drinkers. A gravity controlled drinker is the best system by far. It is easy and inexpensive to build a PVC bracket for the drinker to hang from and you can use almost any configuration as long as the drinker hangs about an inch off the floor.

A GREAT shortcut and time saver for watering adult emus

All outdoor water systems must be 100% underground. Black polyethylene tubing is the best to use, it is durable, cheap and long lasting. Wherever you need a faucet, install a plastic water meter box with a plastic faucet inside. Make sure the faucet is not in the middle of the box, but at one end to allow room to connect a water hose. The box should be left about two inches above ground level.

Drill a 1½” hole in one end and run a hose through it to the faucet. Drinkers can be plastic bowls with a float that attaches to the side. The bowl should be placed on some type of support to prevent it from birds come over. Anything will do. The treated 2″ x 4″ ones work best. Just make four legs about 14″ long with a couple of braces on top for the tub to rest on.

Now, you have water available to connect to a drinker and it can be moved. Emus makes a mess around the drinkers and this allows you to move them around.


Adult emus require a lot of water. If it’s on a public system, it must be trusted. Depending on how many emus you have, a backup water system might be necessary. Our main irrigation system for the emus at Emu Oil Depot is a well from our lake. Our backup irrigation system is from our regular well.

The lake’s main irrigation system requires everything a normal water well does. It requires a pump, a 220 volt circuit and a tank. The only difference between this and a regular well is the water supply. One is from the lake and the other is from an underground water table. If your main water system fails, it’s not possible to water many emus without a backup of some kind, so make sure you’re prepared!

Again, the shortcuts make it better for you, the rancher AND the birds!

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