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Yes you can get turacos hand tame if hand-reared from an early age. However, the following pointers may be of some help:
Turacos are fruit eaters and their droppings are very sloppy, deposited anywhere, including when in flight.
They need a lot of space to fly and run around in.
Most do not really enjoy human contact, although hand-reared ones, petted continuously, do accept and enjoy human attention.
Hand-reared birds can just as easily be over aggressive towards humans and with no fear of people can present a problem. I have had two males (hand-reared by someone else), who attacked me at every opportunity!
Turacos are happier with a partner, although sometimes have to be kept alone due to aggression.
Having said all that, I know that some people do keep turacos in the house as a pet, so if you can find a tame one it is up to you.
It is possible, but I will no longer do so. I now only sell to UK collections.
It is my understanding that bird movements to and from the Continent will now be subject to the same regulations as if you were transporting to or from South Africa (for example). A self-certificate of health will no longer do. I believe there will now be a requirement for:
- All individuals must be close-rung
- CITES licences – export licence from leaving country plus import licence to where they are going for each species in the shipment
- When applying for the CITES licences you have to produce documentation to show that the birds being exported have not been imported from another country. This can be difficult! When I have exported turacos that I have bred here, I have had to provide information about the parents / grandparents / great grandparents and where / who I got them from and when – lots of dates, names addresses and ring numbers required!
- Veterinary export health certificate to cover all the birds in the shipment
- quarantine facilities in an approved premises must be arranged before the shipment is sent – quarantine is normally for 30 days.
All this can be very time consuming and ridiculously expensive – far greater costs than the value of the birds. One shipment to South Africa took six months to obtain the relevant paperwork!
To export to the U.S.A. it is harder still. I include a reply I got from Jan Trader in Virginia:
“To answer any questions you might have about shipping birds into the US….They would not be able to import into the US unless they were part of a cooperative breeding program for turacos. The only ones that would not need to be, would be the Lady Ross and Go-away Birds. Everything else would have to go through the co-op. ET and I are head coordinators of this breeding program with Fish and Wildlife. Unfortunately Black-billed are not on the approved list for us at this time. I am hoping to get them added.”
Added by Jan on 12th February 2010: “Unless you are a Certified USDA Importer even the Lady Ross are more involved than just a health certificate and shipping. You have to have an Import/Export Permit through the Dept. of Interior out of New York, a Broker who picks them up at the Airport and takes them to USDA quarantine (where they have to stay 30 days), a Fish and Wildlife Inspector who inspects the shipment when it arrives and transportation for the birds to USDA quarantine. Your best bet would be to go through an Importer such as Penguin International to get Lady Ross. You cannot import the Great Blues legally into the US unless you are part of the Touraco Co-op or a Zoo.”