Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other
Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other

First Rescue of 2015!


Last month, there was an emu loose in Santa Clarita. Animal control was called and after two hours they were finally able to catch him and bring him to the shelter. After several weeks, no one came to claim him or adopt him. Finally, the shelter called us and asked if we would take him.

We used to have an emu at The Gentle Barn named Yoda who was wonderful. Yoda would fall asleep in our arms when we would pet his fluffy head. He was so cool looking: orange eyes, huge dinosaur feet, and millions of tiny fluffy feathers. Yoda was a fan favorite among the at-risk kids we hosted. Yoda looked so menacing, yet once you got to know him, he was kind and gentle. Many of the teens we worked with knew what it was like to be judged and thought of as tough or bad, yet underneath they were all like Yoda - sweet, gentle souls. We had people all over the world who came to meet Yoda and lull him to sleep.

We rescued Yoda from a hoarder many years ago. Because birds have no teeth, it is near impossible to tell their age, so we had no idea how old Yoda was. A few years ago, he got very ill suddenly. We rushed him to the hospital but by the time we got there he was in critical condition and the vets could not save him. It was a devastating loss and the barnyard has seemed empty ever since. Even though we could never duplicate Yoda, the thought of having another emu made us so happy! So we hitched up our trailer and went to bring him home.

Female emus make a loud, booming, drumming noise while males make a growling noise like a pig. It didn’t take us long to know for sure that this emu was a boy because he started making the tell-tale piggy noises as soon as we got him home. Our vet suggested he be in quarantine until the end of January. So… unfortunately, he hasn’t met the rest of the family yet. However, there has been much talking back and forth between the emu and the rest of the animals and I know they will be the best of friends once quarantine is over.

Like chickens and turkeys, emus need a variety of fresh fruits and veggies to eat every day. We have been giving him cranberries, greens, bananas, and assorted berries. His favorite so far has been cherry tomatoes. He does not seem to like being pet, but he is slowly getting used to the idea. He sticks his head out of the window of the barn and I can pet his fancy blue neck. Emus are from Australia originally and are cousins to the African Ostrich. It’s not every day that you meet an emu, so come on by The Gentle Barn any Sunday from 10-2 and help us give him a warm welcome. 

Written by Ellie Laks

Founder, The Gentle Barn

Latest Posts

Upcoming Events

  • Chakra Meditation and Sound Healing (Winter 2024)

    March 2nd 2024 - The Gentle Barn California

    Clear, Balance and Align your 7 main Chakras through guided meditation, chanting, and Integrative sound bath. When your chakras are aligned, the energy moves through you more freely, and you can feel in harmony with all aspects of your physical, emotional and spiritual self.

  • Thermal Horizon - Windsong Retreat (Spring 2024)

    May 4th 2024 - The Gentle Barn California

    Let’s come together as a community as we support The Gentle Barn in their endeavor to enrich the lives of abused animals worldwide. Let’s bring our loving hearts, the spirit of opportunity and fill our cups emotionally, spiritually, and physically as we celebrate unity in community by helping these wonderful support animals.

  • Open Sunday in Missouri

    We are excited to be open to the public again on Sunday, at The Gentle Barn: Missouri.

  • Open Sunday in California

    We are excited to be open to the public again on Sunday, at The Gentle Barn: California.

  • Open Sunday in Tennessee

    We are excited to be open to the public again on Sunday, at The Gentle Barn: Tennessee.

Spotlight Sponsor of the Month

At Katjes we believe that every life is precious and these values extend beyond our plant-based gummies. As part of our campaign featuring rescued animals, we’re honored to join hands with The Gentle Barn, to support their non-stop efforts in protecting animals. By drawing attention to their heart-warming stories, we hope to provide food for thought when we say: Kindness just tastes better.

Eliza Jahn

Head of Marketing Katjes USA