4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Keep An Owl As A Pet

4 Reasons Why Owls Make Bad Pets

As we have seen on social media, movie and TV owls are very smart and very friendly. Can owls be good pets as they seem to be on TV? If so, how do we properly care for one? Can you keep one in a regular bird cage and feed it seeds and other types of bird food?

Owls need space

Owls need space
Owls need spaceOwls need space

Owls might have been popularized to be pets in books, movies and social media , but they are not the best bird to have as a pet. Having a hard time to take good care of them is the main reason it is better to leave them in the wilderness, as beautiful and captivating as these creatures may be.

For amateurs, owls cannot be kept inside a standard cage. They must be kept in a large cage with both indoor and outdoor access, with a  bath pan that must be kept clean at all times. Owls bathe regularly in order to keep their feathers clean, as owls do fly silently, their dirty feathers make a lot of noise for their quiet being.

Owls Are amongst the Independent Creatures

A sleepy owl
Owls Are amongst the Independent Creatures

These birds are birds of prey that live to hunt independently. Unlike other types of large birds. Owls do not like to live in flocks in the wild, which is making them extremely antisocial when it comes to other birds, except for their mates and their offspring.

Being a flock bird is the key to successfully integrate into a human family. Since owls lack that sort of mindset, they view everyone except for the one person they choose to mate with as an enemy or prey, and will likely attack others on sight. This can become a problem if you ever become sick or otherwise unable to care for your owl. And since they mate for life, they may become depressed to the point of death if they are transferred from one person’s care to another.

Owls diet is specialized

Owl eating on a log

Owls diet is another thing that makes it nearly impossible to successfully keep them as pets. Since owls are technically a bird of prey, they have developed nutritional needs that cannot be met by feeding them seeds, pellets or fresh fruits and vegetables. As a matter of fact, if you presented any of these treats to an owl, they won’t even recognize them as food. Owls are naturally carnivorous and must be fed things that would satisfy them, such as; mice, a small rabbit or even chicks that are commercially produced in order to meet their complex dietary needs, and must be stored in a freezer and then thawed before feeding or fed live. As one might think, this can be an unpleasant ordeal to witness, much less to have to take part in several times per day. Like all birds, owls can be really messy eaters, so cleaning up after meals is another chore that most people would find hard to stomach.

As meat eaters, owls are equipped with a beak and talons that are specifically designed for ripping and tearing apart chunks of meat―and they are capable of doing a bit of damage to human owners if they become displeased for any reason. They are destructive and can easily rip apart anything you might have around them.

Owls Are Illegal to Own

Eagle Owl Flying Over Field

It is illegal to keep owls in many areas around the world. Those who choose to go against the law and keep an owl anyway face lots of problems. If the bird falls ill, there is usually no choice but to take it to a veterinarian who specializes in these kinds of birds, raptors. Your standard vet is not specially trained to treat them. Taking an owl to a veterinarian puts owners without permission at risk of being caught, fined and possibly jailed, as you need a permit and extensive training to become a certified and bonded professional raptor handle.