Originally Posted by Sweet Parakeet
✸ Did you hand-raise them from hatchlings, or did you receive the young owlets as chicks? In any case, I'm certain you imprinted on them your "mother" status.
✸ What do you feed them? Do they have a particular protein treat that they prefer?
✸ Are you involved with a program to help save these tiny raptors -- like with providing data information on these owls (in your area)?
I hope I'm not sounding too nosy -- but the fact that you are experiencing their growth and development first-hand is absolutely fascinating! 🎄🎁🎅 HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and your family! *hugs* Sweet Parakeet
You're not being nosy at all and I absolutely love talking about them!
Chester was hand-raised from an egg but he was creche reared (raised as a clutch rather than individually). Creche rearing allows the bird to be raised knowing it is still a bird and while they do rely on you for food and become exceptionally tame you still have the opportunity to breed in the future with them and less behavioural issues. Unfortunately, Chester has been a turd from almost the get go. I went for the sassiest and most confident chick and he is more than happy to boss me around. When he became sexually mature, he instantly turned into an absolute nightmare and was very aggressive towards me entering his flight. Once he has his equipment on and is removed from the flight he is no bother. Go near his flight however, he will happily take chunks out of your scalp. While they may be quite small for birds of prey/owls, they are still a larger bird with a horrendous grip and bite. I've learnt my lesson now. Always wear glasses and a hat! Imprinted birds usually go this way. Owls tend to be better as imprints or creche reared, other raptors can be very noisy and aggressive. Quite the opposite to parrots really (in terms of handleability)
Luna was also creche reared and is a lot more quiet and manageable. She isn't territorial whatsoever. She never makes a peep!
My birds of prey eat day old cockerels, rats, mice, quail, pheasant, rabbit, steak etc. All raw of course. Owls seem to be a lot more fussy and prefer to eat rats, mice and D.O.Cs. I think it's because they swallow it whole and they aren't used to seeing a lump of meat in front of them. They like small mice as snacks, easy to get down the hatch and very nutritious compared to the chicks
I am not involved in any breeding programmes. In the UK it is illegal to release owls into the wild, even if numbers are declining. I will be breeding them but they'll be going to centres, displays, homes who wish to fly them or people just interested in keeping them. There's quite a lot of people keeping them here, just not very well. I hope to make sure I vet new homes and find the best people possible. They're not pets at the end of the day and need to be respected, that seems to have gone out the window. I've seen people keeping them in parrot cages. Now a parrot can climb bars and make the most of the space in a cage. An owl cannot
Please, if you have any questions at all don't be afraid to ask them. Even controversial ones haha!
If you'd be interested in seeing some photos of my Indian eagle owl growing up before she sadly passed away I would happily share. She was beautiful. Seeing her develop into a big, impressive and beautiful girl from this little hand sized ball of fuzz is so cool