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Red Oak Farm
3040 Big Buck Road
Trezevant, TN 38258

Copyright © 1998 -2012
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Red Oak Farm
Revised: almost weekly


Emu Deadly Trees & Plants

We started compiling this list when we first got into emu farming and have added to it as we have heard from other farmers on email lists or in conversations at the AEA conventions. I think the first one we heard about was Chinaberry, when we were living in south Texas.

This is certainly not a complete list of plants dangerous to emu, but it is a start.  Please keep in mind that these are plants found in the continental United States.

Any of the Buckeyes: California, Ohio, Red, Painted, etc.: The seeds cause muscle weakness, paralysis, dilated pupils, diarrhea and stupor before death.

Cherry: Sweet Cherry, Wild Cherry – seeds, leaves, twigs. Gasping and respiratory failure. Spasms, convulsions, death.

Black Locus - Young leaves and seeds cause weakness, dilated pupils, bloody diarrhea, weak pulse, circulation slows and legs get cold, birds go into shock. Toxic if large quantities are eaten.

Buffalo Nut - seed causes severe irritation of the mouth similar to that of blister beetles.

Chinaberry – fruit in large quantities - Stomach irritation, bloody diarrhea, paralysis, irregular breathing and respiratory distress. Incidences of death in chicks.

Hydrangia –aka: Mountain hydrangea, French hydrangea, peegee hydrangea, oak-leaf hydrangea: toxic only if large quantities eaten, chicks (coming ones) in early spring at danger.

Jimsonweed, aka: Jamestown weed, thorn-apple, stinkweed, datura: All parts of this vine are toxic. In humans it causes hallucinations, emu reportedly go wild so we can only guess. Also pupil dilation, erratic pulse; sometimes stupor, convulsions before death. Large quantities required to kill an adult.

Kentucky Coffee Tree: It is reported that chicks eating seed pulp may die. Adults not affected as severely but it may be toxic if enough are eaten.

Lambkill, aka: sheep laurel, wickey, swamp laurel- all parts poisonous - lack of coordination, paralysis, convulsions and death.

Laurels: Carolina Cherry, English, etc – leaves, twigs, stems cause gasping, weakness, excitement, pupil dilation, spasms, convulsions, respiratory failure and death.

Oak – acorns will cause bloody diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination.

Peach – Pits from fruit, stems and leaves reported to cause convulsions, respiratory failure and death.

Pigweed, aka rough pigweed, green pigweed, winged pigweed: all parts poisonous - lack of coordination, paralysis, convulsions and death.

Soapberry – reported to kill chicks if fruit eaten in quantity.

Tobacco: Flowering Tobacco – all parts poisonous. Diarrhea, staggering, breathing difficulties, death.

Yew: leaves, seed pit reported to cause trembling, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, sometimes convulsions and death if large quantities eaten.

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