Toco Toucan
(Ramphastos toco) 

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Please see the bottom of this page for our position on toucans as pets- we DO NOT recommend them for pets.

Shown here are photos of baby Toco Toucans that were raised at Aves International in 1999 on the behalf of another local breeder.
new photo 5/31/03

 
Here are two of the chicks hatching on 8/11/99.

 
These chicks hatched four hours apart.

 
Here is a baby Toco Toucan at four hours after hatching. These babies are being raised by Aves International for a local toucan breeder!

These three baby Toco Tocans were photographed on 8/17/99. They are being fed Kay-Tee Exact Hand-Feeding Formula and soaked Scenic Jungle Apple pellets.


At a week of age they each eat ten cc
each feeding.
 

 
The chicks are constantly hungry!

The oldest chick, which we have named "Ramphasto", is shown here on 8/23/99. The wing feathers are seen under the
skin, the ears are open, and the beak
is beginning to show pigment.


Four days later on 8/27, look how much he has grown! The pinfeathers are coming in on the wings, the feet have grown, and there are feathers coming in on the head.

 
We weigh the babies several times a day to monitor their growth. Here is the oldest chick at seven days of age and shown to the right ten days later.

The three chicks are one day apart in age but weigh almost the same weight. The Ramphastids (family of birds that includes toucans, toucanettes, and aracaris) have thickened pads on their elbows that keep their feet elevated until they fledge.


Shown here on 8/30/99 at 18 and 19 days of age, these adorable chicks are starting to resemble toucans! They are now eating chunks of papaya, blueberries, raspberries, and figs in addition to their formuls which
is comprised of Kay-Tee Exact and Scenic Apple Jungle soaked pellets.

 Here Ramphasto swallows a
raspberry whole!


The chicks often get excited while feeding and try to eat the towel, the hand-feeder's fingers, and even each other!

Their eyes are now open on 9/5/99.

Shown here on 9/5/99, these chicks are now three and a half weeks old.

It's a good thing they are banded now as they are hard to tell apart at this age!
photographed 9/5/99

And here are the Three Stooges on 9/10/99 and four weeks and a half. At this age, they are comical eating machines! Look at the feather growth in five days!

As they eat they make an appealing
begging noise.

Notice how the feathers grow in from lines called feather tracts. These feathers will grow over and cover the chest and belly.

 
Here is Ramphasto's weigh-in on 9/10/99.
Ever hungry, they are constantly begging
at this age!

At just over 5 weeks of age, these little toucans are ever vigilant for the approach of a human hand-feeder! They were photographed 9/17/99.


They have really grown in the past week and are now eating large chunks of food every few minutes!

 
On 9/22/99, Ramphasto is off his peak weight of 656. At this age of six weeks, he is slimming down in preparation to learn to fly. He is practicing by flapping his wings and hopping.
 

 
Note how the babies hold their tails upright
as they sleep.

 
These baby toucans are very tired after a full day of growing on 9/22/99.


On 9/26/99 it looks like it's time for a cage for the little wandering Tocos!

 
What a mess they make in their first day
in the cage as they begin to learn to eat
by themselves! They were photographed
here on 9/28/99.

 
Ramphasto got a little carried away with these pyracantha berries! These berries are very nutritious and birds love them.


Look Mom, we're perching on 9/30/99!

 
Here are the two of our three toucan
babies after their bath on 10/22/99. They jump right into their water crock to bathe! The babies have been DNA sexed and
are two males and a female. Ramphasto
is a female (that is her on the left) and the
two youngest are males.

 
The babies are eating on their own now and just weaned. The three comical babies will be leaving us in about a week to go back to their owner, Linda Chen. Linda is planning to put them in large flights and plans to breed them in the future. Linda and I both strongly feel that toucans should be in breeding programs rather than be kept as pets.

 At Halloween, one of the baby Toucans shows off his best Casper, the Friendly Ghost, costume.
 

 
On 11/4/99, Linda Chen is taking her babies home.

 
We have enjoyed working with these
babies and feel privileged to have had
their company. We will miss them!


Here is one of the males raised in 1999 in the aviary of owner, Linda Chen, in 5/03.

We no longer raise Toco Toucans at Aves International but display these images on our web site for informational purposes only. Toucans are difficult to breed and hand-rear in captivity and should be in the hands of expert aviculturists. In our opinion, the Ramphastids (toucans, toucanettes, and aracaris) should be in breeding programs. We do not recommend any of the toucan family as pets for several reasons. The primary reason is that they are becoming more rare in captivity. Aviculture does not have self-sustaining populations of any species- quite the contrary. We strongly feel they should be in the hands of experienced breeders and kept in southern climates in large outdoor aviaries. Toucans have health issues such as hemotomachrosis that baffle even experts and avian veterinarians.

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