After gazing at the cute owlet all day, I was thinking, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a pet owl, like a pet parrot?” Now deep down I figured that was a horrible idea on a LOT of levels (and turns out, yeah, its a BAD idea). But I’m sure that with the huge popularity of the Harry Potter movies, quite a few people think that having a pet owl might be fun.
Karla Kinstler, who lives with a Great Horned Owl as a “education owl” lists numerous and, frankly, quite disgusting reasons that no one should ever contemplate wanting a pet owl.
Mating season involves a lot of all-night racket! Are you willing to put up with the all-night hooting or tooting of an owl during mating season? If it’s a human-imprinted owl, all that noise will likely be directed at YOU. Alice the Great Horned Owl EXPECTS me to hoot with her every night during mating season. If I don’t, I REALLY get hooted at!
Owls can’t be litter trained, so they just poop wherever they happen to be. Even if you have a large amount of your house covered with floor protectors (like we do), there is still a heck of a lot of cleaning to be done on a very regular basis. Even if you clean it up every day you’re still likely to step in some poop in the middle of the night when you get up to go to the bathroom. Whether you’re wearing shoes, socks, or are barefoot, I can attest to the fact that it’s gross no matter how you step in it! Then there’s ceca. Owls have two dead-end sacs at the end of their intestines called ceca. They empty these sacs once per day, and it comes out as a hideously smelly, brown, tarry poop that stains terribly. I’m not exaggerating here.
But if her “Top Ten” list isn’t enough to dissuade you, well you’re still out of luck. Its illegal to have a pet owl in the US. Guess we’ll just have to be content with pictures.