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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2018, 08:42 PM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

Quote: Originally Posted by sunshine.within View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Lillie View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by sunshine.within View Post
OMG I want to cry. This poor creature is for sale? People freaking disgust me.

I hope you get all the answers from this lovely board. I would just rush there and rescue that baby like there was no tomorrow. I adopted my U2 Bianca without having ever had a bird before. I wish you all the best with your new friend!

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well...


the store works like this, they have some smaller birds, given to them by breeders (all disease tested etc)


all the bigger birds are ones they've taken in because people no longer wanted them. Jeffrey, in particular, was only bought 2 years prior, fully feathered and all! but... the woman who bought him didn't take him out of the cage at all, and he began plucking. They usually have all of the birds out on stands, but Jeffrey is absolutely terrified of them. I take him out sometime's and play, but he has many toys in his cage and people interact with him all of the time... I can tell you wholeheartedly that he's in good hands there (esp by the workers). About him being sold... well, it's like how rescues have an adoption fee. They can't give him for free.


I attached some more photos of him.

He looks adorable! You never know with cockatoos. Mine is tame, sweet and quiet even though she was severely abused and neglected in the past. But she’s also 40yo so age might be what makes her so easy going.


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I agree that it is always a gamble. It is also important to note that a bird doesn't always show its true self (good or bad) for 3-6 months in a new home--often longer.

Sushine.Within: Bianca is an older bird, but she is also still fairly new. Not trying to jinx it...just saying, you may see things in the years to come that remind you of this post She could also be taking longer to come out of her shell due to past abuse...she is still a cockatoo and they aren't quiet (or mellow) by nature. I could be wrong--I still think mine is way more relaxed than many others (but that is by no means relaxed compared to an independent bird like an African Grey--a high-strung grey is still super "chill" compared to most cockatoos).

All I know is that, much like human children in a classroom, a few months isn't really enough time to make a call one way or the other.

Teacher comparison---
Long term: A rowdy 4th grader could attend Harvard and become a doctor, whereas a straight A 3rd grader could end up flunking out of High school.

Short term- Kids aren't really themselves until at least half-way through the year. As a teacher, I often think I know, but it isn't until they are comfortable that you start to notice new things (good/bad/random).

My point is, sweet and tame now could be crazy tomorrow, followed by sweet and tame again. I don't truly believe I knew mine fully until about 8 months in...and sometimes I am still surprised by her. Not because she is mean (although cockatoo bites HURT), but because of all of the random quirks and moods etc and her need for activities and novelty while fearing the unknown lol. I LOVE THAT YOU LOVE YOUR BIRD AND THAT YOUR EXPERIENCES HAVE BEEN POSITIVE THUS FAR!

Last edited by noodles123; 11-26-2018 at 08:56 PM.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2018, 09:31 PM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

I just realized I didn't really address the original questions in specifics. I realize you are interested in a Goffins and most of my experience has been with Umbrellas. Although Umbrellas are a bit more notorious, all cockatoos have a reputation (and with good reason). The following paragraphs were written based on my experiences with my or other people's Umbrella Cockatoos and I am not focusing on the positives, as the negatives are the reasons these birds get re-homed. SOOOO, yes, people can and do own these birds. Here is what I wish I had understood better-

Any large parrot is going to bite etc. Getting over a large cockatoo bite and learning not to react was VERY hard (the instinct is to jerk or say No! etc, but that tends to make it worse). U2s have a unique 3-prong bite which has bone-breaking force when used with purpose. That is hard to get over, but that is true of most large parrots (minus the 3 prongs). They will tune into your reactions and use them to manipulate situations. ^This is the EASIEST part of having a cockatoo, but if you can't get over it, it will ruin your ability to care for one properly.

The emotional complications and potential for manipulation, neuroticism, self-mutilation etc is HIGH in these birds. They have an insatiable need for attention and their energy levels are through the roof. They are VERY smart and EXTREMELY emotional but in a very ego-centric way. I have to over-think every detail of my life now (including placement of things like Christmas trees etc which may cause my Too to fly into a wall out of fear). I am very glad that I have an extensive background in Autism studies and behaviors because there is a lot of overlap at times.

The problem is, you cannot rationalize with a cockatoo and they are smart enough to think/feel many things ( in reality, although their visuo-spatial reasoning may be the same as a 4-year-old, their empathy/communication skills are not the same as those of a human child).

If they feel that they need 100% of you attention and you don't give it to them, then unless you follow a plan and are very well-versed in behavioral theory, then you could end up with a self-mutilating screamer. Sure, they should know better and sure, their expectations may be random and unprecedented, but they feel what they feel and it can be very hard to keep them happy while keeping them from attaching themselves to your hip.

They will want to latch on and you have to do a very complicated dance between indulging and ignoring...So, there are just lots of random and complicated scenarios..They are super sexual in a cute/cuddly way which means that in 90% of videos where these birds are looking cute, they are actually mid-mating ritual lol. Only pet on the head and do not allow lap cuddles or any sort of blankets/pillows/cave-like nesting hang-outs. A bird who is hormonal may become aggressive toward others, egg-bound, or worse.

Let's say you get a bird who can't stand being in a cage without constant noise/people/other birds. You go to work for 5 hours (short day). The bird compulsively bobs and screams when you return (but perhaps while you are gone as well). You get home and obviously you can't attend to the screaming or you feed the behavior, but at the same time, you know it would stop if you let the bird out and you are losing your mind due to the endless noise..You feel guilty, you want to stand firm, you want the noise to stop, you want your baby to sleep in the other room etc...But again, your options are limited, because if you slip up and reinforce the behavior, you have strengthened the likelihood that it will be repeated in the future.

Or, more complicated, your bird starts plucking or over-preening due to some real or imagined injustice...This is upsetting and after a few broken feather or bald patches, you see the bird engaging in the behavior and run over to stop it...now you have a bird who plucks for attention (who was already plucking for other reasons prior to realizing that there were dual benefits)..At the same time, ignoring that sort of thing can be dangerous, so it is just a constant mental tight-rope of analysis and over-thinking in order to present the world in a way that is tolerable to both the owner and the bird...

I hope that was a little more specific. The psychological aspects of things are the worst for me. Waiting out behavior is rough so start learning about Applied Behavior Analysis now, but what is worse is when you are literally doing everything right and things continue to spiral.

My most recent issue was that I had to take a trip and the check-in time was past my U2s bedtime. She is a fine traveler (FINALLY LOL) but she needs time to adjust in a new environment and BEDTIME IS REAL. I ended up not being able to go because the risk of her falling to bits in an unfamiliar, sleep-deprived scenario was too risky...I couldn't have her slamming into cage-walls at night and not know a vet etc etc. Could things have worked out? Sure...But were the benefits worth the risks? Not for me...She is too important to me and, although she appears to be well-adjusted, she is secretly very high-strung and so its all about keeping her in a state where she can function without upsetting that balance too much (very easy to upset that balance when you have a life).

All-in-all, you have to alternate between having a poker-face and the persona of a crazy pre-school teacher at any given moment...and you need LOTS of energy, creativity, patience and a very scientific/experimental outlook on a day-to-day basis.

This is coming from someone with a U2 who, compared to many, is quite well-behaved (not that it couldn't change tomorrow lol). It takes all of my effort to keep her that way (and to do so without spoiling her or causing new/unhealthy expectations). Think bed-times every night, wake-ups every morning, daily cleaning before and after work, frequent cooking and LOTSSSS OF DUST. I spend a ton of my time planning/choreographing/worrying about schedules/her reactions/logistics etc just because she is so emotional---other (non-bird owners) do not get it...

Exp:

Non-bird owner: "BAH, she's fine! Look how happy and sweet she is!" *proceeds to move arm-chair a few feet*

Non-bird owner: "HELP! SHE JUST FLEW INTO THE DRESSER AND A BIG FEATHER BROKE OFF! WHY DID SHE DO THAT?! Now she is shaking! Why can't I pick her up?"

All birds are tough, but cockatoos are likely the toughest (if only based on re-homing rates).

Last edited by noodles123; 11-26-2018 at 10:18 PM.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2018, 05:11 AM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

I think/hope that in a few years most too's will be sold like they do now with certain species of aquarium fish:

"This is a group animal, minmal amount of being kept is 5 (preferably 10)"

on a note on the cage.


Of course this will also lead to a bucketload of casualties because they will be in too small an enclosure (agression during mating season etc.), but at least we will learn to give them a too-worthy life again.


=


If you think about it- what we do is really, really crazy: keeping herd/group animals in a solitary situation... just because they are so much fun to interact with for us....


(this is not meant as an attack, just food for thoughts I am just as guilty as the next person here)
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2018, 07:03 AM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

Quote: Originally Posted by ChristaNL View Post
I think/hope that in a few years most too's will be sold like they do now with certain species of aquarium fish:

"This is a group animal, minmal amount of being kept is 5 (preferably 10)"

on a note on the cage.


Of course this will also lead to a bucketload of casualties because they will be in too small an enclosure (agression during mating season etc.), but at least we will learn to give them a too-worthy life again.


=


If you think about it- what we do is really, really crazy: keeping herd/group animals in a solitary situation... just because they are so much fun to interact with for us....


(this is not meant as an attack, just food for thoughts I am just as guilty as the next person here)
Yep! I've been thinking along those lines myself for quite a while now. All cockatoo owners should be made to watch videos of wild flocks wheeling free in the sky and hobnobbing together in a stubblefield, interacting and yahooing about. That's what we deprive them of by caging them.

A wild flock of white cockies is such a beautiful thing, wheeling sharply white against the sky with the soft blush of lemon-yellow beneath their wings. They make a huge whooshing sound as they pass overhead and really remind me of a flight of angels as they swoop upward. That's a bit different from 'supervised flight' indoors, isn't it?
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2018, 07:14 AM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

Cockatoos: Think CAREFULLY before buying! - Mt Rushmore Birds

https://www.theguardian.com/science/...n-human-babies
Something to ponder!
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Last edited by Flboy; 11-27-2018 at 07:38 AM.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2018, 08:01 AM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

How true! Thanks David!


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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2018, 01:13 PM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

I love Goffins and could have a houseful! My flock numbers five: Two wild caught parents and their three handfed babies, now adults. This is our abbreviated story: My Goffins Family!

Goffins tend to be the less neurotic and frenetic than other toos, though variations exist. Best advice is to choose carefully, indeed let the prospective bird choose you. They are rather intuitive and have a sense of their parronts - what they can get away with and how closely they bond. Ideal environment is an oversized cage filled with toys, and playtop or nearby playpen for plenty of "out" time. So, you'll need to budget accordingly to afford more than the bird.

My opinion is cockatoos in general do best in pairs or mini-flocks. This is obviously not practical for everyone, but they do have an ability to bond together and with their humans. They need so much attention and affection this is perhaps the best captive situation. It is possible to "teach" a cockatoo to also be independent.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2018, 02:22 PM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

I think Noodles nailed this question, and you should take her advice very seriously and think long and hard about the commitment that all species of Cockatoos require BEFORE you bring one home...I can guarantee you that the #1 reason that there are literally thousands and thousands of large parrots in Rescues/Shelters and on Craigslist and other sites being "re-homed"/sold by their current owners has nothing at all to do with their size, strength, or beak-power, but is 99% because of what happens when they don't get both the direct-attention AND a large enough amount of mental stimulation to keep them from becoming bored, and most-all of these owners who are trying desperately to find new homes for their Cockatoos would tell you that they would NEVER have brought them home had they taken-seriously all of the warnings about just how much time and energy it takes to keep a Cockatoo happy and healthy,, and from becoming neurotic, usually due to sheer boredom.

So while you can go to bird-shops, Rescues, Shelters, etc. and overcome your fear of "big beaks" and the power/strength behind them, what you cannot at all even get a feel for is what is going to happen as soon as you get that new Cockatoo inside of your home. And it's not just all about them needing hours and hours every single day of "out-of-cage-time" and direct attention/affection from you, all of which is absolutely true and necessary but not the major issue most owners of Cockatoos have, but rather the task of trying to find them new and different activities and "jobs" to do every minute of the day that will keep their brains working and stimulated and that will prevent them from becoming at all bored...Because when a Cockatoo becomes bored or is not getting enough mental-stimulation, that's when the nightmare begins...And this applies to ALL species of Cockatoos, from Goffins to Bare-Eyeds to Sulphurs to Umbrellas to Moluccans...

They ALL have the brain of a 4-5 year-old human child, so if you think about it from that perspective you'll get the best overall picture of what this is going to be like for you...I don't know if you have any human children or maybe a much younger sibling, or a close friend or sibling that has a young child, but if you think about what is required of the parent of a human 4 year-old child, well, it's 24/7, 365 attention, stimulation, positive reinforcement, educating, teaching, and care. And whenever I try to get this point across to people looking to adopt a Cockatoo, and then I hear someone at the Rescue say "Well at least you can put a Cockatoo in their cage when you need a break,
you can't do that with a human 4 year-old child"
, my head nearly explodes, because they just don't get it at all, no matter how many time you try to tell them! Yes, legally you can put your Cockatoo inside of their cage "when you need a break", certainly if you did this with a human 4 year-old child you'd probably be reported and arrested, and you'd probably also lose custody of your child...But go ahead and put your Cockatoo inside of their cage "when you need a break" and see what happens, especially if you do it on a regular, daily basis...That's when the constant screaming starts, that's when they start bending the bars of the cage (or at least trying to), that's when their behavior becomes completely Neurotic and anxiety-ridden, and it's also the reason why the majority of pet Cockatoos exhibit Feather-Destructive Behaviors and Self-Mutilate...I main, I can't even keep my Senegal Parrot inside of his cage without at the very least a "foraging box", wooden puzzles, etc. to keep him from becoming bored, otherwise he'll be screaming for me non-stop and he'll start ripping his cage apart, throwing his toys and food all over the cage and outside of the cage, and just generally going nuts...So a bird with the brain of a 4 year-old human brings along with it the needs of a 4 year-old human...And as long as you think about adopting a Cockatoo from this perspective and approach every aspect of doing so from this perspective, that you're adopting a 4 year-old human, and you take that perspective completely seriously and don't even doubt that it's true, then you'll be okay..well, at least you'll not be surprised with what is to come like most people are.

It's great that you're spending as much time as you can handling the larger parrot species and becoming comfortable doing so, as that's very important...However, I'd put much more energy and effort into doing as much research and educating yourself as much as possible about what it's going to take to not simply own a Cockatoo and keep them alive, but to own and raise a happy, healthy Cockatoo, because there aren't too many of those out there unfortunately. Make sure you buy everything the Cockatoo will need BEFORE you buy the bird, and I'm not just talking about a massively large cage, a high-quality pellet diet, and tons and tons of "bird" toys, because while all of these are necessary and important, what is more important is that you go into this already knowing about all of the foraging activities, puzzles, large play-gyms, and all of the other necessities that it will take to keep a Cockatoo mentally stimulated and physically exercised every single day. Search for Cockatoo owner's groups online and look for the members who have had their Cockatoo for many, many years, and who's Cockatoos are extremely happy and healthy, and then seek the advice and ideas of these people out. Look at what toys, games, puzzles, activities, etc. that they have purchased and made themselves for their Cockatoos. Ask about their daily routines and schedules and what they have to do every single day, day in and day out to keep their birds healthy and happy. Ask as many questions as you possibly can of them, and ask the hard questions regarding "free time" to yourself, what they do with their Cockatoos when they want to do things like go on vacation, and also all about the "bad" and difficult situations that occur in their daily lives and how they handle them...Those are the people you need to be brutally honest with and ask direct questions like "What's the most difficult part of owning a Cockatoo?" to...And take what they tell you seriously....And if you see/hear anything that you aren't 100% certain that you're okay with, then it's okay to do the responsible thing and say "Maybe a cockatoo isn't right for me and my life", because it's always better the NOT make the mistake when it comes to a living creature, because then you have to deal with the fact that you're already built a bond with a bird that you can't properly care for, or that you don't have the drive to commit that much or yourself and your life to...There's no shame in that at all...
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2018, 02:38 PM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

I'd had small parrots for several years (Quakers, cockatiels, budgies) and a pigeon and starling before I saw Rocky on a rummage sale (!!!!) site on Facebook. I thought, a parrot's a parrot, right? (first mistake!!!) and went and got him. As I suspected, he wasn't being treated right by the people there and needed to be rescued. Here's a short list of what I didn't know:
1. The NOISE. I knew he'd be loud. I didn't know HOW loud. I didn't know he could sustain that decibel level indefinitely and NOTHING will make him stop if he doesn't want to. It absolutely shatters your nerves and I don't care if you're Gandhi, you will lose your temper, sooner or later. You will want to kill the bird. Obviously, I haven't done that but I've WANTED to. Just the unvarnished truth. And you may not believe it will drive you that crazy. I wouldn't have believed it before, either.

2. The neediness. I once thought he was so needy because he'd had a rough life and was so attached to us now that he has a home where he's loved. That's a part of it, yes, but cockatoos are just NEEDY. There are times my other birds go find something to do and don't care if I'm around or not. They want to eat or play or nap and I'm just furniture. NOT Rocky. He wants attention All. The. Time.

3. The destruction. Of me. My clothes. My house. My furniture. He's a 2 year old with power tools and you cannot imagine how fast he can make mincemeat of anything.

Those are the bad things. You have to start with the bad things. You have to take a good, hard, unblinking look at the bad things. Can you stand them? Long term? Every day? Never getting a break, EVER? People won't come to our house because of Rocky. They're afraid of a bite, they hate the noise, he dominates every conversation because if you don't pay attention to him, he screams and screams and screams. Nobody wants to put up with that.

There's good stuff, too, but the bad stuff is important to know FIRST.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2018, 07:15 PM
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Re: what do you wish you knew?

My Umbrella Cockatoo CRACKS ME UP and I love her (I feel the need to keep saying that, as my honest opinion sounds so negative)...BUT......

To sum it up, it is like caring for (BEING OWNED BY lol) a clingy and phobic (but simultaneously outgoing) 2-year old who is non-verbal but gifted (great with spatial reasoning, TERRIBLE at empathy, or "no" )..Mixed with the personality of a mopey/"emo" 16-year old who is prone to extremely erratic and destructive behavior when depressed.

There are many people in the world who are "scared" of babysitting a 2-year-old human (due to the tantrum potential) but a 2-4 year old child can use sentences and has a better grasp of social concepts. A cockatoo is like a PERPETUALLY FRUSTRATED toddler who wants to be with you 24/7...and sure, they learn phrases....but they can't say "i'm sad" or "my tummy hurts", or "I hate ____!!!" ..SIDE-NOTE: One of my Too's VERY FAVORITE sayings is: "COME HERE!"...and while a kid might say it 20 times and give up....a cokatoo's will is made of sterner stuff haha! "COME BACK!" is another of my "Too's" greatest hits...she has YELLED it for over an hour before...

It is ME ME ME all day long (much like a 2-year old) but there is no reasoning with one (e.g., "if you eat your peas, then you get a cookie)...even though academically, they have beaten toddlers on IQ tests. They also can spot patterns and tricks a mile away (unlike human children...this makes it difficult to outsmart them). Despite their lack of empathy in certain scenarios, they can totally sense tension/fear/moods, which complicates things further.

Then, add the beak, the power of flight, energy far beyond a human toddler and a noise potential similar (no joke) to a jet engine at take-off. A cockatoo at full volume can be heard 3 miles away. Oh, and the endless environmental threats (Teflon, cleaners, other pets, other people, foods etc etc).

So think back to the last time you saw a toddler screaming and kicking his//her mother at the store, but amplify the volume by 100 and add a beak instead of feet. LOL..and a strategic plan...

Last edited by noodles123; 11-27-2018 at 07:24 PM.
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