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6 Reasons Why Owls Make Bad Pets

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Owls are wild animals, and keeping them in a home environment is virtually impossible. They don’t put up with cuddling or frequent human interactions, which goes totally against their evolutionary nature. These razor-sharp talons are made to cut and pierce and not snag on your shoulders. This bird’s evolved to kill and hunt small predators, not entertain humans in their homes.

There are at least six reasons why an Owl is the wrong choice for an animal.

Owls Are Carnivores

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If you have an Owl, you’ll feed fresh meat every day. Owls are primarily meat-eaters, and feeding animals raw meat is not enjoyable. Though most wild carnivores at a captive facility are given frozen meats, which are then thawed out, having to do this every day and dealing with the leftovers and blood isn’t for those who are weak of heart. This isn’t an animal that will eat steaks or hamburgers. Owls eat whole animals, including rodents that have to be procured through commercial suppliers. Many people don’t like storing guinea pigs and rats in the same place as food items frozen in the family within the freezer.

They are also known to be messy eaters. They break up prey so that they can eat tiny bites. This mess has to be cleaned after every meal. Owls hunt rodents and small mammals in the wild using their senses of hearing and sight. Many owls have an ear located at different heights on their heads, allowing the brain to produce an audio map that is three-dimensional of the surrounding. Owls in a domestic environment mimic the hunting instinct and consume food violently inside your home. The urge to sink nails into any food source–even human hands delivering food–makes an owl a danger to those who aren’t familiar and proficient.

Owls Need Space

Owls require plenty of space. A cage for a parrot located in the corner of your living room is not enough. A huge aviary setup is essential, and it will need to be constructed from sturdy wire because an owl’s sharp claws can turn a wooden enclosure into toothpicks quickly. Keep this in mind: if you manage to moderately control an owl and let it fly about your home, the furniture won’t stand an opportunity.

Owls require regular bathing because of the dirt and dust that collects on feathers. This instinct gives the bird advantages as a hunter because soiled wings make feathers whistle when the bird is flying and reveal the presence of the Owl to predators. The need to bathe keeps the bird’s feathers fresh and quiet. If they are kept in captivity, they require a large bathing pan that is regularly maintained and cleaned often. (Owls bathe throughout the day, which can cause problems for owls living on the move. Raptors that are swifter, such as goshawks, are hunters during the day. Goshawks are the most dangerous to owls. Owls often are prey for them when bathing.)

In general, owls that are kept in homes prefer outdoor bird houses. This is a significant deterrent to having a pet bird in the first place, as it’s challenging to connect with a bird who doesn’t come inside as it is kept in an outdoor aviary. The best you can do is to visit it only once or twice daily. However, owls are familiar with human interaction and can become anxious if they are not listened to. If you have contact with your Owl, it’s usually to help with feeding it or cleaning after it. It’s not a warm and cuddly pet, but it needs a lot of attention and doesn’t offer any reward.

Owls Require a Permit

Owls are wild animals that require undergoing training before you can obtain a permit to keep native species in the wild. Only after having been certified and trained can you legally keep an Owl. Even this license issued from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) doesn’t permit you to transform an owl into a domestic pet, only serving as a rehabilitation specialist. As per the rules, once an owl is fit and healthy, the animal must be released into the wild.

An owl who has a long-term handicap isn’t a good “pet,” either. If an owl suffers an injury that hinders its release, it must also possess an education permit. This will keep you engaged. The permit requires you to conduct educational activities for the general public for a certain number annually. The requirements for education differ between states, but you must satisfy the minimum requirements to be able to keep your permit. There are also some injuries that permit an eagle to be classified as an educator bird.

Also, the limitations on education and licensing are extremely stringent and make it difficult to legally house the raptor within a home setting. A “pet” Owl is typically one that is kept in a shady manner.

With the exception of special situations, In certain circumstances, keeping wild owls illegal in the U.S., however, isn’t an issue in different countries. In the U.K. For instance, the keeping of wild owls is permitted. However, the Harry Potter-inspired increase in owl ownership was, and then birds were rounded up. Families simply weren’t ready to take on the task of keeping an owl captive.

Owls are Nocturnal

Owls are night-watchers, which implies that they are active and hunt in the dark of night. In contrast to other species of birds, owls generate their sounds in the evening, particularly when mating time is in full swing. Domestic parrots, though they can be extremely vocal at certain times of day, generally remain quiet during the darkness of the night, so they do not bother neighbors. However, owls interact and bond in a noisy manner and are in their loudest mode in the dark hours of the day, which neighbors are the most annoyed. An owl with a great horn in an outdoor aviary that is loud all night long, every night throughout the month of October, is not going to attract the attention of your neighbors.

Owls Need Constant Care

Every pet needs care from its owners. However, it’s generally not difficult to find an animal-friendly pet-sitter or boarding facility in case you have to travel or plan a trip with your pets. An owl, however, isn’t an animal that can be entrusted to any pet-sitter. It’s hard to find a person willing to defrost frozen rodents and feed them to a deadly Owl and then wash off the bloody aftermath.

A bird’s presence will limit your options for travel. Prepare to stay at your home if you decide to have one.

Owls are messy

Then you’re getting a treat. Owls vomit. They pee a lot. They are all over the place. And unlike parrots that consume a lot of vegetables, their poop is food waste from digested meats and is odorous. Owls also consume pellets that contain bones and bones-related waste and feathers from the carcasses of animals they’ve recently eaten.

Birds are all messy; however, owls are among the most messed-up. If you keep an owl, you’ll often get rid of excrement, discarded feathers, pellets, and the rest of the squatters found on the floor or in your enormous birdhouse. The presence of an owl can make owning an enormous parrot seem easy when compared to.

The Bottom Line

Many experts have confirmed that an owl isn’t an animal that is suitable for an animal. When asked about the Owl’s potential as a pet, the handler of raptors, Tamara Barker-Hanley, responded: “Owls make lousy pets since they are wild creatures. They are protected by the federal government as a species in the migratory bird act. They can cause major injuries if handled properly.”

Steve Malinowski, Team Leader for the department of birds at the Cincinnati Zoo, notes that private individuals aren’t likely to have the right to own an owl. “I would recommend leaving the decision to experts and not bother with the adorable videos of owls that claim to be petted. Europe and the rest of the world could differ, but USFWS (United U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services) is extremely strict.”

Finally, I will leave you with a few phrases from Joe Krathwohl, ” The Bird Man of Las Vegas:”

Owls are not, or will ever be, considered to be pets, except for the most disgraceful of captives. Recently, we have seen much negative footage on the Internet of people from all over the globe who have discovered an opportunity to purchase Owls, only to treat them as toys. There’s nothing cuter than watching an owl suffer from a sense of helplessness at the hands of someone who has ignorance of the behavioral sciences and has no respect for the behavior of owls.
Owls are fascinating raptors and are worthy of your admiration and fascination. If you are a fan of the Owl, you should try to help them by making a donation in cash to the rehabilitation center close to where you live. Visit and view “your” bird whenever it is convenient for you, but let the care and feeding to experts who are experts in what they’re doing.

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