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Life with a Toucan



We have been getting an increased interest in Toucans lately. We do not sell Toucans, but we do have Emi, a Keel-billed Toucan, as a store pet. As a toucan owner myself, I can give some insight as to what the day to day life is like. I have a Curl Crested Aracari named Gizmo (image above). You may have seen him in the store as I do bring him in from time to time to get out of the house for socialization.

The care of a toucan is quite different from the care of our other parrots. The big things to keep in mind are cage requirements, diet, and toy selection.Toucans are VERY active birds and need a larger cage for their sake than their parrot counterparts. They jump around their cage more than climb so height is just as important as width when selecting a cage for them. The cage should still be longer than it is tall, but adding both lower and higher perches for them to hop to and from needs to be kept in mind.

Their diet is also very different from parrots. Toucans eat a mostly fruit diet, with insects added in for protein. Here is a link to a really good source for the types of fruit they can eat: https://www.drcrean.com/beaks-bird-house-nutrition As you can see from the link most citrus fruits should either be not fed or fed in small amounts. This is because vitamin C can lead to iron storage disease in toucans. Because of this mostly fruit diet the cleanup of the cage and cage area is more involved. Their poop is more liquid and they can aim it so it gets everywhere! They also tend to throw food on the walls and ceiling, not necessarily on purpose, but if you watch the way they eat they throw their food back and into their mouth so food being thrown will happen.

Toys can also be harder to find for them as well. They are a little more accident prone then parrots so toys with long chains or holes big enough to fit their head through could lead to big problems. They also will try to swallow anything they can even if it is not food so any toy parts need to be large enough that they can not swallow them.

The last thing that I am going to mention that should be kept in mind is aggression. Toucans can be aggressive, and need to have ways to deal with that a


ggression. Below is a link that talks about one case of how the aggression was shown and how they dealt with the issue. https://birdtricksstore.com/.../raising-our-baby-toucan...

With that being said Toucans can make a good pet if you are willing to work with them and are willing to adapt to their more specialized needs. I would recommend doing more research if you are interested in owning a toucan.

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