Although the most common pets are cats, dogs, goldfish, and budgies, some pet owners are more adventurous. Many people have owned iguanas, ferrets, and hamsters as pets.
Surprisingly, wildlife lovers have even gone as far as domesticating raccoons and opossums.
So, is it really that farfetched to consider the possibility of owning a crow as a pet?
After all, crows are extremely intelligent, which may lead people to speculate as to whether they could train a crow the way that they would train a budgie.
While it may indeed be possible if you bring the crow into your home when it’s young, there are several reasons as to why you should not attempt to domesticate a crow.
Do Crows Make Good Pets?
Despite a crow’s intelligence, they don’t make good pets. It’s illegal to own a crow in the U.S. They also don’t respond well to attempted captivity. Also, crows thrive on Vitamin D and need regular exposure to direct sunlight, aside from being social animals that need contact with other crows and room to be able to fly.
It Is Illegal to Own a Crow in the United States
OK, there are some people out there who are not law-abiding citizens.
While most people would prefer to own the type of pet that doesn’t need to be hidden from visitors and would not potentially cause them to spend time in jail or pay a hefty fine, the law may not deter everyone from owning a crow.
Unfortunately, owning a pet crow would be unfair and inhumane if the crow was to ever need medical care. Of course, you can’t take an illegally owned pet to your local veterinarian.
Sure, wildlife rescue centers may be able to assist in this situation, but questions would be raised.
If you live outside the United States, you may still not be off the hook when it comes to crow ownership. Many countries have bans on owning crows as pets.
Crows are Wild Animals that Don’t Fare Well in Captivity
The zoo has wild animals such as elephants, lions, bears, and tigers, so this may lead you to believe that wild animals can continue to thrive in cages.
However, most zoo animals were either born into captivity or rescued from the wild due to injuries or health conditions.
It’s highly unlikely that the zookeeper went out on a safari and captured a healthy adult bear to transition it to zoo life, but that’s essentially what you’d be doing if you brought a crow home as a pet.
Additionally, crows need continuous intellectual stimulation and don’t handle captivity well. Although some wild animals may appear to be content with lounging around in a cage, this is not the case with crows.
Aside from the moral dilemma presented by catching a wild crow and housing it in a cage on your porch, crows are highly intelligent creatures that need to continue to use their mental capacity.
No, training them doesn’t satisfy the need for a crow to exercise their intelligence. Very simply, caging and feeding a crow will result in a rapid mental decline.
Crows Need Vitamin D from Sun Exposure
This may not sound like much of a barrier to owning a crow. I mean, you could always just place the cage outside on the porch or near a window.
While this approach would indeed expose the crow to some sunlight and a daily dose of Vitamin D, it still wouldn’t provide the crow with the same amount of vitamins that direct sunlight would, which could result in deficiencies.
Of course, you also need to remember that it’s illegal to own a crow, so placing a cage out in the open would increase the risk of the authorities knocking on your door about your pet crow, but depriving the crow of adequate sunlight and vitamins could cause health problems to develop.
What would you do then? A veterinarian is out of the question.
Crows Need Socialization and Room to Fly
While a budgie may be okay with learning how to talk to you, crows need to be socialized with other crows. A human family will never suffice for a crow.
They socialize and gather together with their crow family. Remember that you can’t walk into a pet store or reach out to a breeder to obtain a pet crow.
You would have to snatch them from their habitat, ultimately separating them from their family.
You may think that crows are just birds, so what’s the big deal?
Well, their high level of intelligence and ability to bond with other crows means that it would be detrimental to the crow’s well-being if you were to separate them from their flock and place them in a cage alone.
A crow’s need for flight is another obstacle when it comes to owning a pet crow. Sure, budgies can thrive in a cage without continuing to fly, but that isn’t the case with every type of bird.
The only way that you could satisfy the need for flight is by building a huge cage, but not only is this unrealistic for many people, but the big cage would also likely be noticed.
Frequently Asked Questions about Crows as Good Pets
Can You Befriend a Crow?
A crow’s high level of intelligence leads them to be extremely cautious when coming near humans unless a welcoming environment is created. Crows are drawn to places that are quiet and contain a regular source of food. If you provide this for crows, it is possible for them to come around and eventually befriend you once they’re comfortable in the environment.
Do Crows Remember Kindness?
Crows are not the type of bird that you would want to act meanly towards, because they’ll remember how you treated them. Crows have the capacity to remember people’s faces when they are treated kindly or when a person is cruel towards them.
While crows are intelligent animals, they thrive best in their natural habitat, where they can bond with other crows and bask in direct sunlight.
Since it is illegal to own pet crows on top of it being inhumane for the crow, you should enjoy the company of this amazing bird by placing a bird feeder in a quiet outdoor area and allowing your neighborhood crows to fly freely rather than bringing one home as a pet.