One of the most important aspects of caring for a Toco Toucan is their diet. If you search for information on toucans, you are sure to find many websites discussing the utmost importance of what you choose to feed to your bird’s health. I will leave the full dissertation to the pros, but essentially, toucans are very susceptible to Hemochromatosis, the iron storage disease. They MUST be fed a diet extremely low in iron or their liver will accumulate too much, poisoning the bird. As a toucan owner, this is always at the forefront of your concerns – constantly researching iron content in foods and always digging for more information on how much you should really be feeding your toucan.
Toco toucans eat a mostly all-fruit diet. To ensure balanced nutrition, we also feed Paco, Paz, & Pepe a low-iron pellet along with their fruit. They really enjoy Mazuri ZuLife Softbill Diet and I feel good because it’s individually batch-tested for iron content. One of the most helpful documents I use for choosing acceptable fruit for the toucans is a Food Guide for Green Aracaris (also low-iron eaters) I found on the website Toucan Do It! You can tell that the research team put a lot of effort into this amazing document and it is truly a valuable resource to me.
We feed our toucans a fresh bowl of fruit twice per day, at 9am and 2pm. We take their fruit out before they go to bed at night (sunset is currently around 6:30pm) to ensure it doesn’t go sour and attract pests. They have a bowl of Mazuri pellets available at all times. We have experimented a bit over the past few months about the best way to serve our birds their food. Initially, we were mixing it all together in one bowl. However, I think mostly due to the tropical humidity, it would get mushy very quickly and they weren’t eating as much as they should. Now that we have separated the bowls, they are eating a bunch more of their fruit and Mazuri alike. The Three P’s like their Mazuri crunchy!
Today’s breakfast was papaya, peaches, plums, kiwi, banana, raspberries, and pomegranate. Seriously – we should all eat this well! Between the view from their enclosure to the bowls of deliciousness delivered to them daily, I’m fighting off offers from people who want to move in with the birds. Fortunately for Pepe, there is a no-subletting clause in his lease. 😉