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Old 11-30-2019, 12:28 AM
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New here

Hi,

My name is Walter and I have an Umbrella Cockatoo named Rocco. He's 15 years old, (I'm 61) and I got him when he was 4 months old. I'm semi retired now, and just taking on occasional contract work, so I spend a lot of time with him. His cage is open all day, and I only close it at his bedtime.

My relationship with Rocco has always been great. I'm concerned about his behavior lately though. He starts to act up when he sees I'm going to leave the house. Shopping is not too bad because I'm not wearing a suit, but if I'm heading out for a job interview he goes ballistic. He has attacked my suits several times. He hates my hats too.

He has never liked it when I go out, but it has really escalated in the last 4 weeks.

He has plenty of toys too, but mostly he mostly wants my stuff, like phones, TV remotes, and buttons. He loves to remove buttons from my clothes and break them in half. So I have my designated "Rocco clothes" that I wear around the house, consisting of T-shirts and sweatpants.

I have to go to a funeral tomorrow. I may have to sneak out the back door.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:56 PM
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Re: New here

Hello wfstecko,

Welcome to the PFs, glad you joined us. I'm not familiar with Cockatoos, but I'm sure you'll get some good advice.

When my Levi recently got nasty and aggressive, I had to give him a little tough love. He was also free all day and only caged at night for bedtime. After allowing his flight feathers to grow in, he got nasty. I curtailed his free (out of cage) time. I made a new routine and as his bad behavior simmered down and his sweetness returned, he got more out of cage time privilege. But, he had to earn it. I was lucky and it worked and I got my sweet boy back.

I would suggest starting a new routine, when you have to go out for whatever reason, cage Rocco before you put on your suit. This way he won't be able to attack you.

Sorry for your loss.

Best of luck to you both.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:50 PM
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Re: New here

Thank you Tami2. I'll start putting him in his cage at those times. It just hurts me to leave him caged for very long. Maybe I'm too indulgent.

I had his wings clipped by an avian vet a year after I got him, and Rocco then mutilated both of his wings afterward. All of the back feathers were chewed completely off, with 2 of them bleeding. I've never let anyone clip his wings since then. I don't let anyone touch his toenails either. When Rocco first sees me in the morning he likes to spin upside down on his perch. After an excessive nail trim he tried that and fell to the floor of his cage. Now I do it myself, making a bit of a game of it with him. He's learned to enjoy fighting with the nail file on my lap. (I used a grinder to round off the point of the file).

Walter
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:52 PM
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Re: New here

I have a nearly 12 year-old U2 and, extreme as it may sound, my advice would be to start wearing formal clothing more often and leave for short periods of time so that he doesn't associate that style with long absences (gradually increase those times). Also, use key words when you are leaving to increase predictability (short absence---"I am going to the store, I wil be right back", long absences, "I am going to work, I will see you this evening"). They also pick up on emotions and stress, so if whenever you wear these clothes you are "high-strung" or unhappy, that will make a huge difference (which is another reason to wear them more often when there is no real "event").

Make sure he has plenty to play with and praise the heck out of him for even touching toys when you are around--you need to build independence and make sure he feels secure at the same time.

Last edited by noodles123; 11-30-2019 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:37 PM
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Re: New here

Welcome Walter and Rocco, thanks for joining our family! But first, my condolences in recognition of an upcoming funeral.

Key to a long and happy relationship with cockatoos is balancing the deep bond with autonomy. I strive to spend sufficient time so they actually enjoy a bit of down time alone or with each other. A large cage filled with interesting toys is a welcome respite.

As prey animals, parrots are keen observers of their environment. Rocco knows the trigger for impending time alone. I faced similar challenge prior to retirement; would typically leave for 4 days followed by similar time off. Learned to say goodbye before changing into uniform and departing! Oh, they knew but at least did not have added stressors. (they were cared for by family in my absence)
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:52 AM
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Re: New here

Welcome and be welcomed. Not a too owner, but the advice above seems sound. When ever I leave the house when Salty is awake, I always tell him how long I will be gone for, by holding up fingers, 1, 2 or 3. Not that they represent a specific amount of time,but so he knows I will be a short time (1 finger) , or (for 3 fingers) a long time.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:18 AM
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Re: New here

Welcome , Rocco human assistance device
I read an article recently that parrots need something they can destroy every day. .
I hope to see some pictures!
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:18 AM
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Re: New here

If I put a suitcase on the bed, I’m dead!
A little more cage time is good, but don’t just associate it with going out!
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