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kookaburras as pets

Small to Medium size Birds. Hawks, Owls, Chicken, Ducks, Finches, Parrots Etc.

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kookaburras as pets

Postby Brash » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:49 pm

Any information on kookaburras as pets, how to care for them or how to acquire one as a pet.
Do they make good pets, can they be kept in captivity and handled?
I know they are part of the Kingfisher family and eat mice crickets and other small animals.
Any information would be great
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Re: kookaburras as pets

Postby BB » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:44 pm

I rescued one once, he was in bad shape. He seemed to get better but then he died suddenly icon-sad
They like eating frogs and insects. I seen the at few peoples places, when they broke a wing or so they are in cages. Some just formed relationships with wild ones.
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Re: kookaburras as pets

Postby Brash » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:24 pm

The reason I asked is because I saw an add on an exotic pet site thAt had 2 for sale and was wondering how one would go about caring for it and if it would be friendly
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Re: kookaburras as pets

Postby Ash » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:09 pm

I see them for sale all the time. There are a couple ads I've seen for some.
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Re: kookaburras as pets

Postby wadifahtook » Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:11 am

I really adore kooks. I can't think of another bird they are similar to in personality (other than frogmouths I suppose, though I haven't been able to interact with those). They are so food oriented that they are the *only* bird show bird I've ever seen put on a vet-ordered diet before.

Ever watched those jungle movies and heard the generic monkey chatter in the background? That is actually typically a laughing kookaburra recording. "monkshock: They are vocal. VOCAL. So anyone looking for one as a pet should be prepared for what sounds like an all out gremlin versus monkey war. They are members of the kingfisher family, but evolution for them favored more complex vocal calls over bright feathering. All the kook species still have kingfisher-blue feathers on them though.

Diet for laughing kooks: (This is what the local aviary fed them. I do think a better diet can be put together personally. Please feel free to correct/enhance any information)

-Dog kibble (soaked for hours until very soft and spongy. It takes a long time typically because most are coated.)
-Ground up meat slurry
-Calcium supplement (some feed this throughout their lives)

As they age:
-pinky mice dipped in water
-I'd recommend small insects too, but I don't recall us feeding these.
We fed with tweezers, placing food well to the back of the throat, always, always taking care not to get near the glottis which leads to the trachea, lungs, and death in a bird if you feed incorrectly. Food was always watered down/dipped in water to help both with hydration and swallowing.

As a side note, place sticks in the bottom of the nest bowl you are brooding chicks in to help with foot health and strength.


Meat rotation of MEB http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/zoological/MEBdiet.html , mice, and beef heart. Vita-hawk was sprinkled on for beef heart and mice days.

Enrichment rotation of insects (ie. crickets, meal worms, cockroaches)
I don't recall us feeding chicks even though we had both chicks and quail for other species. I would feed them since kooks can and will eat baby and smaller birds. Many people also feed egg mashes, lizards and small reptiles, worms, minnows and frogs. We did not.

People seem to be able to get even wild kooks to take food from their hands. Here are some videos of my favorite kookaburra. She made up my mind that I will be getting a kookaburra when we move next:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz3Lczszv0E Both vultures and kooks love pants. And the shredding of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HySw9T8OFw Contrary to popular belief, the amazing, mouse-inhaling kookaburra is not starving. Oh no, more like overweight and on a diet. This displeased her greatly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znXrICxIgjo You can practically hear her thoughts: "Food, food, FOOD!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtDTtNb7SHE&feature=relmfu "FOOOOOOOD!!!!"
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kookaburras as pets

Postby blacksagephoenix » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:16 am

Wadifahtook posted great information. I used to care for the kooks at the zoo program in Gainesville. They are really fun birds. We would do enrichments for them like a large but shallow bucket of water (like horse sized) with water and minnows and they would play in the water and hunt. They were fed twice daily, often a mouse, which they would grab by the tail and slam it against the tree branch to "kill it" even though it was frozen thawed. They also catch lizards if kept outside. They do the same to them, slam them against something til it dies. They were relatively easy to care for at the zoo. One of the two kooks was used for educational shows, and we would train them to target to specific points. They did great with that, but targeting was the only things we taught them.
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.

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