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Old 06-18-2019, 07:53 AM
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Re: Cockatoo treats

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
Sometimes if you moisten the pellets they will take to them more readily, but you shouldn't leave them out all day because they can become a bacterial hazard. Also- since they do contain added vitamins and minerals, if you find that Sunny really likes damp pellets, don't give him too many because they can get too much in the way of vitamins if they eat a ton of it (and when wet, the pellets take up less space, so they look like less food).
There are a variety of pellet brands---some are healthier than others, but individual birds often seem to prefer one type over another. I begrudgingly feed mine Zupreem fruitblend flavor because she came to me as a seed addict and that was the only one she showed any interest in, but there are many mixes that are way healthier (Zupreem has some junk in it that I would rather not feed her). Since he may be eating some seed, I would continue to provide him with a mix of pellets and seed---don't switch cold-turkey. Sometimes it is a matter of repeat exposure and time-- since yours is wild, he may be less picky (again, mine came to me after having eaten lots of unhealthy things).

Harrison's is probably the most highly recommended pellet. RowdyBush is another..There are others as well. Zupreem does sell a "natural" variety without all of the added sugar and colors but I don't know much about it.

My cockatoo likes spinach but in moderation (I don't give her a ton of it---a few leaves here and there-It binds with calcium, so you son't want to overdo it)...She isn't a huge veg eater (despite my attempts).
Thank you for the information noodles! I may look out for some good quality pellets to try him on. I doubt he will even try it as he is rather fussy! But Iíll try by mixing in with his seed like you suggested. Thanks!

My little Wild Sunny. The day is always brighter when he is around
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 06-18-2019, 09:28 AM
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Re: Cockatoo treats

Rosetta's probably not the best example to use because she's a stinker when it comes to veggies. Mind you, she was fed exclusively on 'Wild Bird Mix' (largely sunflower seed) when she arrived and I was pleasantly surprised when she switched voluntarily to an pellet diet with added fruit'n'veg. She'd rather eat fruit, quite frankly! However, our vet has recommended we limit her fruit intake because she was a bit stout when she first arrived. She'll have a bite or two of everything I offer her, but so far hasn't shown herself to be too partial to any veg.

I've tried beans, peas, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, carrot, parsnip, turnip, sweetcorn, capsicum and zucchini. Oh! Backspace a bit! She *loves* capsicum seeds and pumpkin seeds. Probably the one thing she really looks forward to is the seed heads off whatever grasses happen to be flowering in the yard. And sunflower seed, of course (she doesn't get that except for rewarding her during lessons). She likes to nibble at the stem of broccoli, but I've watched carefully and she doesn't swallow it: just turns it into confetti. Rats!

The only pellets I can get locally are Vetafarm. They're not all *that* expensive and the vet says they're 'quite adequate' (not sure what that means). So 'Setta eats mostly pellets with, say, half-a-handful of mixed seed, daily veg and the occasional fruit. She gets grass heads and native flowers when they're about as well as native wood to chew on and find grubs in. She *adores* having gumnuts to crack open and our vet has a Red-flowering Ironbark (huge nuts about two inches long) outside his office. I am allowed to harvest the nuts. I've also noticed the local funeral director has a veritable *grove* of the same trees, so I'm going to ask if I can harvest their nuts as well.

The other thing that 'Setta is extremely partial to is My Breakfast. Whether I have hot porridge with brown sugar or muesli and warm milk, 'Setta wants the lot! I *know* milk is not good for birds, but you try telling 'Setta that! I believe she'd dive in the bowl given half a chance. As it is, I do allow her a tiny spoonful of cooled cereal just for the purpose of bonding. I'm still working toward having her sit still on my wrist for a minute or two without flying or bouncing off like a Tasmanian Devil!
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:55 AM
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Re: Cockatoo treats

Quote: Originally Posted by JoaoFRF View Post
Hello everyone,
I've lived almost all my life around birds and after leaving my parents house I've been missing that.
I'm getting myself a cockatoo (I have experience around cockatoos). I think I know how to handle him, and if not, you'll soon hear me looking for help :P
I've researched all round and I've never seen my parents giving cockatoos treats, what kind of treats should I give a cockatoo as a "reward", are oatmeal a good choice? I know that a regular diet should contain seeds, fruit and vegies but I never understend what people give them, for e.g in youtube videos, as a treat.
What do you give yours?
Any other tips are appreciated
Thank you very much for your help guys!
Having extensive bird experience and an acquaintance with cockatoos places you at advantage. Many folks find the smaller species such as galah, goffins, bare-eyed to be less neurotic.

My opinion, though counterintuitive, is cockatoos are best kept in pairs or small flocks. They tend to readily bond with each other and their human servants. A well socialized cockatoo will appreciate play-time and self-entertainment. (all of that said, I realize it is impractical for many to have multiple cockatoos. However, the workload increase is incremental, not additive)

I offer treats including bits of almonds, walnuts, original plain Cheerios, pieces of 100% whole grain bread, "birdie bread," room-temperature cooked oatmeal, and a tiny piece of low-sodium string cheese weekly. The preceding separate from fresh vegetable and fruit "chop."
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:58 AM
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Re: Cockatoo treats

Quote: Originally Posted by HannahandSunny View Post
Donít want to hijack this thread but just wanted to ask a quick question while weíre on the topic, Since being on here (as never owning a bird before) Iíve come to realise pellets are much better than seed. Iíd love to have Sunny eating pellets instead of his seed.. which he seems uninterested in lately.. But with him being Ďwildí I doubt heíd eat it, heís very fussy! Do you think I should try? Iíve looked in the shops and itís quite expensive so just donít want to waste my money. He only gets about 1/3 of a cup of seed a day and he doesnít eat all of it anyway, so do you think itís okay for him to stay on seed considering that he does also eat a natural diet of grass seeds and roots and shots? I of course will try pellets if itís best for him just wondered what you guys think knowing his situation.
Also ..Iíve offered him veggies but he doesnít seem to like much, he did eat a bit of broccoli the other day which surprised me! What veggies are usually firm favourites for our cockatoos?

Thanks in advance
Sunny is a unique case study as he lives in two worlds! Samples of pellets, if available, are preferable to guessing wrong. Parrots are notoriously fussy about pellets and don't care at all about the nutrition - they are all about appearance, texture, flavor.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:00 PM
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Re: Cockatoo treats

Just chiming in to confuse the diet issue, but my very experienced certified avian vet is not very fond of pellets and doesn't recommend them as a staple food item. According to her, parrots primarily eat fruit, nuts and seeds in nature. Since our fruit is much more sugary than many natural fruits, veggies need to play a bigger role in the diet than fruit.

My birds diet (as prescribed by the vet after sustaining kidney damage from a severe infection) is Volkmans super hookbill seed mix (pick out the dyed peas and mangoes since he can't eat dye), nuts every day, veggies (no leafy greens as per vet), fruit (no citrus, as per vet) and freshly cooked grains (no frozen or even leftovers, as per vet). Due to his damaged kidney, he cannot have much in the way of eggs or beans, but even healthy birds don't need very much protein in their diets. He also gets Higgins Intune pellets, but the vet said not to feed him too many. I give him 10 a day, he typically only eats a couple so I think we're good there. He seems to be doing well, maintaining his weight, healthy plumage, no signs of the kidney issues flaring up again and still eating plenty of variety. My dad has a 40 y/o cockatoo he raised from a baby. He is in perfect health, never plucked, I can't remember a single time in my life (and I'm 30) that the cockatoo has ever had an infection or illness of any kind. Same with my moms amazon who's even older, never ill, still acts like a young bird. They eat pretty much what my vet recommends- nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies and a little human food. Variety and not too much of anything is key.

I am now reserving the nuts for my bird as treats, since he really likes them and the vet said he should be eating several nuts every day for his gizzard to grind up. I don't really do trick training, I just give them out when he's being especially good to let him know (I like offering random praise or encouraging my bird when he's doing something cute) and before bed. He likes pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts and hazelnuts but isn't fond of Brazil nuts or macadamia nuts. What any individual bird likes/dislikes will vary as they do have tastebuds and their own opinions on food.

Last edited by Kiwibird; 06-18-2019 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:28 PM
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Re: Cockatoo treats

Hello everyone! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with me!
I've read everyone's messages and I forgot to mention a few things.
He is already 13yo, and he's an umbrella cockatoo

He was plucking a lot, but now he's almost covered up everywhere like shown in the photo.
Dont worry! I didn't buy him! I'm getting him from a friend that went and rescue 3 cockatoos from a center that went bunkrupt and was desperate to home all the little birds.
I'll be getting him in 2 weeks more or less.
Yet again thank you all for your words, I hope I'll be able to take care of him like I want to and if not, I'll come ask for your knowledge on what to do
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