Can You Have a Pet Raven? 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t
Ok, so you are thinking of getting a raven as a pet, but you are wondering if it is a good idea or if having one is even legal.
Well, legally, the answer might be yes (depending on where you live), but ethically, it’s certainly not.
I agree that ravens are majestic birds, but the reality is that they are wild birds, and they do not make good pets.
However, if you are genuinely interested in having a pet raven and learning more about the legal side of things – you are in the right place.
Can Ravens Be Pets?
Ravens are intelligent and quite sociable birds and can quickly get used to people, but that doesn’t make them good pets. The call of the wild is too strong to keep these birds tamed, and ravens are too demanding to be held in controlled conditions.
Ravens enjoy freedom. Although they can handle life in urban areas and make a connection with people, it’s not wise to keep these birds in your home. That would not be good for both you and them.
In rare situations when ravens have been raised in tame conditions since birth, it’s possible to make them your bird companions.
Still, there are many reasons why these magnificent birds don’t make good pets.
We’ll talk more about the reasons in a minute.
Related: Pet Seagulls
Is It Legal to Own a Raven?
Keeping ravens as pets is illegal in most countries worldwide. You may face high penalties if you dare to imprison ravens unless you find them injured, dead, or killed. In that case, you can only keep them until they recover enough to return to the wild.
In the US and Canada, only wildlife facilitators can legally keep ravens. But some loopholes allow you to have a raven as a pet. For example, you can own a non-native raven, like a White-necked raven from Africa.
The UK and EU countries have slightly less strict laws regarding raven ownership. Their law on wild birds allows you to keep pet ravens, but only if your pet is captive-born, i.e., taken from a licensed breeder, and you have proper documentation to prove that. But these countries prohibit taking ravens from the wild since they’re protected as an endangered species.
How to Get a Raven Permit?
As part of the wildlife, ravens belong to the state, and you can’t alienate them just like that. However, in specific situations, such as caring for an injured bird or an abandoned chick, you can get a permit to take care of them for a while (usually 6 months).
In the USA, you can get a permit to rehabilitate ravens, but this process varies by state. In general, you must be of legal age, experienced in bird care, and own an appropriate facility that meets the requirements of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.
Where Can I Buy a Pet Raven?
Raven pets, and only certain breeds like white-necked ones or pied crows, can be bought exclusively from authorized breeders. However, only a few certified breeders of these birds exist.
Avoid buying ‘second-hand’ ravens, i.e., already-trained birds. No one can guarantee these will be good pets.
Also, don’t take eggs from the nests of wild birds, as that’ll be an ethical and legal mistake that can cost you a lot.
If you can’t find a raven pet to buy, think of befriending one of these. It means feeding ravens in your yard or local park but not taming them.
Rest assured, these birds will remember these kind gestures and make great friends with you.
How Much Does a Raven Cost?
To fulfill your wish and make raven your pet, you must pay between 2,000 and 6,000 dollars. The price will depend on the breed you buy, age, and level of training. And that’s just for one bird.
Also, factor in the costs of building a cage and providing space for your future pet raven. In addition, the food for these animals will cost you a lot.
Although ravens are not picky, they eat a significant amount of food every day. And remember the costs of bird shipping or going to a certified breeder to pick up your future pet.
Do Ravens Make Good Pets?
As can be concluded from the previous answers – no, ravens are not good pets. And here are the factual reasons why it is so.
Pet Ravens Are Too Demanding
Bird experts compare ravens with toddlers in terms of behavior and temperament. That means these birds are equally intelligent, nosy, stubborn, and demanding as kids. Ravens can throw tantrums and won’t hesitate to hit or bite you if they get frustrated.
Like kids at a certain age, ravens show jealousy and intolerance if they think they’re threatened. These birds don’t like to share their territory or any property, not even you.
That’s why you shouldn’t keep other pets near, as ravens can think of them as a threat or enemies. And they treat their enemies really, really bad.
Ravens are also hyperactive, so they need a lot of activities to channel all that energy. Also, because of their intelligence, you must feed their curiosity and tackle their mind with something. That it may require a lot of the owner’s time and dedication.
At first, it might be fun to play with your bird companion and teach them new tricks. But over time, you’ll figure out that ravens want all of you.
So, if you fail to commit to them, these stubborn birds may adopt unwanted behavior and even do some damage.
Pet Ravens Need Special Conditions
Many compare ravens to parrots regarding their intelligence and fascinating learning abilities. But unlike parrots, ravens don’t adapt to home conditions.
Ravens want to fly, be free, and have insight into their surroundings.
Also, ravens can’t stand closed space, and you can comfort them with a large outdoor cage (for example, a 12 ft x 12 ft size will do). Plus, it should be high enough so these birds can fly freely.
But let’s be honest, that much space is a luxury, especially if you have a small yard.
As mentioned, ravens aren’t picky eaters, and they equally enjoy meat and plant food. However, in the wild, their diet mainly consists of meat.
Sure, ravens can eat human food, but it’s not good for them. Instead, you should feed tamed birds as if they were in the wild, which may require live meat, grains, fruits, and certain foods that can notably impact your budget.
Ravens Need Company
In the wild, ravens rarely live solitary. These black birds are known for their socialization and forming bonds with their family members.
A group of ravens will work together to protect each other, find food, and warn of danger. In other words, they don’t like being alone.
You can’t adopt just one if you still think of getting a raven as a pet. You’ll need a few more birds to provide proper social stimulation to your feathered companion.
As you’ve probably understood so far that even a single raven is too demanding, you’re aware that having a couple of these could be a mess.
Captivity Harms Ravens’ Health
Captivity can be devastating to the raven’s mental health. Apart from the lack of space and intellectual stimulation, not having social interaction can make your pet raven anxious and possibly aggressive and destructive.
And if you don’t pay enough attention to your feathered buddy, they will find a way to take revenge on you. When stressed or depressed, ravens in captivity can hurt their owners.
If you consider the look and sharpness of their beaks, it’s clear that owning a stubborn and unpredictable wild bird can be a rather painful experience that you don’t have to go through.
In summary, should you buy a pet raven? No, most likely not.
I admit – the idea of having a raven as a pet can be thrilling. However, in addition to not being great pets, obtaining the required licensing to maintain one in a household is expensive. And most importantly, ravens belong in the wild and should not be kept in captivity.
If you want to keep an intelligent bird as a pet, get yourself a parrot.
Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this article, here’s another popular pet article: Can you have a pet jaguar?