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Frequently Asked Questions


1. Are toucans messier than parrots?
Toucans are no more or less messier than parrots or other birds. They do not get
into their bowls and swish the food around like a parrot looking for that special
seed hidden at the bottom of the bowl. Rather, toucans pick the food off the top
and swallow it. Occasionally they may shake their beak and a piece will fly off
the tip of the beak.
2. Is it true that toucans squirt their droppings sideways and upside down?
No, toucans do not squirt sideways and upside down. They defecate standing
upright and it falls straight down.
3. Is it difficult to clean up toucan poop off of carpets or furniture?
No, because the stool is so watery, it easily cleans up with a sponge and will not
stain carpets or other fabrics. Parrot poop, on the other hand is very pasty and will
not readily come out of fabric unless thoroughly scrubbed. Toucans are much
easier to clean up after.
4. Do toucans require pinkie mice and other live food?
No, toucans do not require live food. While toucans in the wild eat some insects
when rearing young, it is not necessary to provide any live food to pet birds. They
will not eat live food in a pet situation, and only a few breeding birds will try it.
Pinkie mice are a real potential danger to pet toucans as they carry bacteria
harmful to toucans.
5. Can toucans bite hard and hurt me?
Toucans cannot bite hard. Their beak muscles are very weak compared to parrots
and they cannot crunch. They even have difficulty crunching grapes!
6. Will toucans chew my furniture or other household items?
No, toucans are incapable of chewing or causing damage to furniture, furnishings,
drapes, TV remotes, or any other item in the house.
7. Are toucans really friendly birds?
Toucans are comparable to a tame cockatoo in friendliness and affection. They
will cuddle with you, sit on your shoulder, love to be scratched and petted, and will
come running (or flying) to greet you when you return home. They are eager for
your attention. When cuddling, they will often make a soft purring sound indicating
their content.
8. Can toucans be trained?
Yes, they are very trainable. Some toucan owners have trained their toucans to
go potty only in their cage. Toucans have been regular cast members of free flight
bird shows, and can be seen daily at Disney World's Animal Kingdom.
9. How can I train my toucan?
The training techniques are similar to those used in training parrots. We
recommend you acquire Steve Martin's excellent tape, Training Your Parrot, which
is advertised in several bird magazines.
10. Can I keep a toucan with my other birds?
Yes, you can keep your pet toucan in the same room with your other pet birds,
but not in the same cage. They can also be kept on a perch stand (if wing
clipped) next to other similar sized birds.
11. Can I keep a toucan in an aviary with other birds free flying?
Yes, depending on the size of the aviary and the size of the other birds. Birds
of similar size can easily be kept with a toucan. The larger the cage, the more
possibilities you have.
12. Would you recommend a toucan as a first pet bird?
Yes, They are not difficult to maintain. The diet is simple and similar to a parrot
diet, in that pellets and soft foods(fruit) are offered. Caging is equivalent, and a
handfed, tame toucan is a delightfully friendly and playful bird.
13. Are toucans very noisy?
Not when compared to a parrot. They do not scream, shriek, or make other
loud, obnoxious noises. Only the Red Bill has a loud call and it is melodious.
Toucanets and aracaris are extremely quiet.
14. Do toucans produce powder down and feather dust?
No, toucans do not produce any down or dust, and are an ideal bird of choice, if
you think you may have dust allergies.
15. When is the best time to acquire a toucan?
Toucans are more readily available in the summer during and shortly after
breeding season, which extends from April until September. Availability is
limited as few people are successful in raising them.
16. What is the difference in personality between the various toucans,
toucanets, and aracaris?
There is little difference in personality between the various types. They are
so similar as to defy differentiation based upon species.
17. How should I choose which toucan to buy?
We recommend you choose a bird based upon its visual appeal and what you
can reasonably afford.