Ravens And Crows As Pets - Can They Make Good Pets?

Ravens and crows as pets? That's what we'll talk about in this article and try to decide whether crows and ravens can make good family pets or not.

Crows and ravens are birds we see in the wild and have not been domesticated like other animals have. While this does not make it impossible to have one of these two birds as a pet, it can make it challenging.

Although is not too common to see a crow or raven as a pet, it's also not extremely unusual. There have been many cases of crows and ravens that have become family pets after they suffered injuries, or after they were saved from various threats at a young age.

You may find it strange, but these animals are extremely intelligent, they like to play and have a very strong personality.

Ravens vs. Crows

Before discussing whether they can make good pets, let's first learn a few things about ravens and crows.

Crows and ravens belong to the Corvidae family. They generally live between ten to fifteen years when in the wild, but have been known to live twice as long in captivity if they are well cared for. Each of these types of birds is very sociable and has comparable behavior.

What is the difference between a raven and a crow?

Many believe that a raven and a crow are exactly the same bird. However, that's not actually true.

While they may apparently look the same when observed by someone who does not know these birds very well, there are some differences that help distinguish crows from crows.


First of all, the most obvious distinction is the fact that ravens are larger than crows. Crows can commonly reach a length of about 18 inches (45-46 cm), while ravens can get up to 27 inches (68-69 cm). According to the Nature Mapping Foundation, a crow is approximately the size of a pigeon, while a raven is comparative in size to a red-tailed hawk.


Although both birds are completely black, what differs from one to another is the radiance and shade of feathers. Both crows and ravens have plumage with shades of blue and purple, but crows are less radiant than ravens.

The crow’s tail feathers will look different from a raven. When they are in flight, you will notice their tail looking fan-shaped in appearance. This is due to them having feathers there that are all the same length.


These two types of related birds can also be distinguished by the sounds they make. Crows have a "caw-caw" sound, while ravens have more of a deep "gronk-gronk".


Ravens are more solitary than crows. They prefer to live outside of the populated urban areas, while crows like to stay together in larger groups and live in populated areas where they can find an abundance of food scraps and waste.


Ravens have a similar diet to that of the crow. These birds are both omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals.

Both these birds will typically eat anything they can find. They enjoy eating on the ground. Earthworms, seeds, fruit, and garbage are some of the things they eat but are also been known to attacking the nests of other species of birds.

Will They Make Good Pets?

Crows and ravens can make good pets if you are willing to work at it. Both ravens and crows can equally make good family pets, but their care differs greatly from the care of a dog or cat.

Depending on where you live, there might also be legal restrictions concerning keeping these types of wild animals as pets. 

Keeping ravens and crows as pets

In the US, many states' law requires you to have a special permit to keep these wild animals as pets. If you are found with one in your possession, the bird will be confiscated and you can be fined. Even if you found the bird injured, you still need to take it to an animal shelter for the proper care.

If you do have a raven or a crow, you will not want to confine them to a cage. These birds were made to roam around and fly. You can make an outdoor space for them that is safe and secure so they are not able to escape.

You will also need to make sure that they are mentally stimulated though so they do not get bored, and at the same time stay mentally healthy. Some owners have clipped their wings, however, this is not a good idea as if they get out in the wild, they will be handicapped.

What do pet ravens and crow eat?

Crow Eating MeatAs already mentioned, these birds are omnivores. Some crow and raven owners use dog food as a meal for their pets. However, as disgusting as it sounds, these birds like to eat fresh roadkill. This is because, in the wild, that is what they are used to eating. But really, these birds are not picky. They will gladly eat your leftover meatloaf, chicken parmesan, or sub sandwich. Cut them up some apples or bananas, give them some cereal, whatever you have, they will most likely nosh on.

Both of these birds are very hard to take care of. If you are willing to take the challenge on, be certain that you fully understand what their care all entails.

The behavior of crows and ravens as pets

If you treat them right, these wild birds can become affectionate family pets. In fact, many crows and raven owners say that these birds can be just as good as dogs and cats.

Besides that they have a strong personality, ravens and crows can learn their name, will come when called, follow owners around the house, and love to be petted.

They are also extremely smart and will never cease to amaze you with their learning skills and problem-solving abilities. Many even include crows and ravens in a top of the world's smartest animals, along with chimpanzees, dolphins, and other very intelligent animals.

If you don't believe it, just watch the following short documentary from BBC. We are sure this will pretty much shock you.

Should you keep ravens and crows as pets?

Here at petblog.org, we are firm believers that any animal deserves to be free and the only situations when wild animals should be kept as pets are when they have any health problems or any situation that prevent them from being reintroduced to their natural habitat.

So, even though the law may allow you to legally keep crows or crows as pets in your location, and even if these birds can be extraordinary pets, please think first about what is best for the animal.

Interesting Facts About Crows

  • Older crows help their parents raise their siblings.
  • Crows have the ability to remember human faces.
  • They have been known to fight off their predators by ganging upon them.

Interesting Facts About Ravens

  • Ravens can mimic human voices, just as parrots do.
  • This class of birds can be very playful.
  • They are empathetic towards each other.
  • They utilize movements and gestures to express themselves.
  • When a raven baby grows older, he leaves the parents and joins a “teenage gang” of ravens until he meets his mate.
  • If you see a group of ravens, this is referred to as “unkindness”.
  • The raven is an unbelievable hunter. It can kill prey that is twice as big as it is.


Crows and ravens are fascinating birds who can make good pets, but they also bring various challenges due to their wild nature and habits. They are not domesticated birds and they should be kept as such, excepting rare cases when they require human intervention and help.

Hence, you should only keep ravens and crows as pets only when they need your help and if you can devote the time and energy that is needed to raise them. If you can not commit to that, consider watching them from afar of volunteering at a bird shelter.

If you still don't believe that crows and ravens can be good pets, just see how Maple enjoys the company of her owners.