Raising Rocko the Baby Toco Toucan: Why Parts of it Are so Easy

 


Photo by Nathan Slabaugh Photography
Location: Centralia, WA
Pictured: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

There are lots of things that make raising a bird super complicated and scary, just like raising a human child. You worry they won’t turn out right, or that you didn’t do a good enough job in a certain area over another.

As long as you know how to properly raise a bird (you can learn these steps from our Total Transformation Course which also covers flight training indoors and fixing behavioral problems with your current bird) you’ll be off to a good start – but it’s important to be able to recognize the times in your bird’s life that it tells you it’s ready for something.

One example of this is we are lucky with toucans in general as naturally they just love to bathe. Give them a water bowl and they’ll jump and splash around in it (they get most of their water from the fruits they eat daily) the other thing that happens naturally is the bird will give you signs it’s ready to learn how to bathe, or to like bathing. Bathing is natural for birds so as you raise it as a baby it will show you signs telling you to bathe it. If you miss those, you miss the opportunity to introduce bathing at the right time for your bird to gladly accept it.

 


Photo by Dave
Location: Kent, WA
Bathing in the sink: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

Too often we miss the signs and before we’re able to introduce water in a happy way, they experience it in a negative way first and never forget it. Making it hard to change their mental thinking and association of that negative experience with water.

Rocko made it very clear for me when he was ready for his first bath. He had just had his breakfast and I moved all his dishes and things into the sink to wash. I had a huge steel pot from my mother in law who had made my husband a tuna casserole the day before and needed her pot back that afternoon. I filled it with water to soak and began cleaning it out in the sink when Rocko came right over and jumped in the pot, splashing all around! At first I was disgusted because there was still tuna in the pot! Not a lot, but enough…


Photo by Dave
Location: Kent, WA
All wet: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

“Rocko!” I exclaimed with a laugh and a little disgust. I kept the water running and dumped out the pot, refilling it and scrubbing it as fast as I could to clean it at least for his bath… my mother in law didn’t have to know, right…?

Well, there was no time for that and I decided it was more important for him to enjoy his very first bath with us rather than me making sure the pot was squeaky clean. He had no interest in drinking the water, as he had already been fulfilled in his tummy so there were no worries there.


Photo by Dave
Location: Kent, WA
Sink bathing: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

He proceeded to bathe and bathe and we were able to capture the moment which was adorable. Later that day he wanted to bathe again, and tends to join me whenever I go over to wash the dishes now or run the water in the sink.

Because of these few “sink baths” that he loved so much, and his constant baby-interest in bathing, Dave was able to take him in the shower with him for a little bit too. To the point Rocko was soaked and Dave was ready to bathe with both arms himself!


Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Kent, WA
Pictured all wet: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

Making Rocko comfortable enough to bathe outside in a rainstorm, or with a spray bottle with also be feats we will take on in the future. Our aviaries won’t be accessible until early November for him to experience a real Florida rain but we plan to do that when he can see the other birds enjoy it too (since ours already know how! They’ve been through this all before…)

I’ll make sure to document it, of course.

With raising a baby you have to think about all the things to introduce early on so it’s not hard later. The longer you wait, the harder it can be.


Photo by Jamieleigh
Location: Kent, WA
Playing with his first toy: Toco Toucan “Rocko”

The same goes for introducing toys to your bird. A friend of ours brought a toy to the show for us and I immediately gave it to Rocko in his cage. It was more of a foraging toy for parrots, but I thought it was a great noise maker that Rocko would enjoy as his “first toy”.

There’s a natural baby bird curiosity you have to recognize and take advantage of.

3 comments

sattavat

how old is Rocko now? he is so cute

sattavat
Jamieleigh

He is just a few days over 2 months old. :)

Jamieleigh
Chrissann

So adorable! Our toucans love a great rainstorm – always sure to inspire a more detailed bath in their water pans. Can’t wait to see how Rocko enjoys the warm tropical rains! For now – good luck with your dishes ;)

Chrissann

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