Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted Aug 04, 2015
Barn owls are not pets. Strange, saying that on a website called "RightPet", but what I mean is that they are not household pets - you can't stroke them (it reduces the waterproofing of their feathers), you can't keep them inside (your furniture will be streaked with droppings), you can't hold them without a glove, they have no sense of loyalty (like dogs), and they're fairly inactive. Barn owls need to be imprinted at birth by a well-trained falconer, and even if they are, they will still be highly aggressive against other humans, because they interpret them as competition. Owls in general are extremely hard to train, as they are less active and than other birds of prey, and because food enters their stomach immediately instead of passing through a crop, which makes them fill up after rewarding them a couple times - and after they're full, they won't do anything.
Now to the good side: these are absolutely beautiful birds. I love the appearance of a barn owl, and I love watching them fly. They are completely silent fliers. While some find their calls (a high shriek) annoying, I love the eerie sound of the barn owl. Don't depend on them as a food source, as they won't bring the prey to you reliably, but if you just want to watch them stalk a mouse at night, it is an incredible thing to see.
Remember - it is illegal to release a captive-bred barn owl, so don't get one unless you are trained and ready to raise the owl for its lifetime.