Am I doing something wrong?

Derpology

New member
Jun 22, 2021
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13
USA east coast
Parrots
Rascal aprox 37 yr Cockatoo
I'm not sure if I should be worried but I am. I guess its some sort of new Parrot parent anxiety. those of you I have talked with know I have a rescue 37yr old male umbrella Cockatoo from a neglectful situation. I came into this wanting to improve his quality of life and give him the best I can. I keep reading and trying to learn as much as I can but I have a nervous thought I cant shake.

I've given him a variety of toy types, foot toys, rattles, puzzles, chews and foraging toys. I give him paper towels rolls old books lots and lots of cardboard. all he seems interested in is shredding what he can. I've gotten foot toys for him to play with but he prefers to tear them up. I know its a natural behavior but thats all he wants to do. I try to make little puzzles showing him how to get the food and he will just walk away to chew on his wooden blocks. I've shown him how to use the foraging toys I've made/gotten and he doesn't express interest. I offer different shredding and chewing opportunities but he just really likes his wooden blocks. has a routine with them too, he breaks off a chunk walks with it to his corner and tears it to slivers.

I feel like I'm just overthinking and blowing this up way bigger than it is but I'm worried and want to give him the best. I've read that destructive behavior can be from lack of attention but does this even qualify as destructive behavior? or is he just picky with his toys? he hasn't been plucking any since I got him and he seems happier I just feel like I'm doing something wrong.
 

GaleriaGila

Supporting Member
May 14, 2016
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Cleveland area
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The Rickeybird, 37-year-old Patagonian Conure
Well... WOW!
I have a 37 year old Patagonian Conure, whom I've had since he was a few months old.
My Rickeybird Scrapbook tells the tale in excruciating detail. I have had to limit some of his activities, provide more supervision, and establish a routine of heart medications.
In the last year, he has really begun to show his age. This forum, this Community, has been of invaluable help to me. My best and primary advice? Stick with us.
I'm so glad you're here.
BRAVO to you for your care and open-mindedness and overall goodness! Thank you for sharing your journey.
 

Skarila

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Apr 19, 2021
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
Hello and welcome!

Thank you for rescuing the 'too, it is no small feat to do it with such an old bird that came from a bad situation!

I'd say just let the bird be bird. I think destructive behaviour means when they start plucking or chewing up their feathers, as long they're chewing their toys, that's ok. Just let him shred, it's in their nature. Our little 10 year old senegal doesn't really play with her toys, she just shreds them to tiny pieces. Everything she can get a hold to ends up in a pile of dust, including our phone cases, key cases, key decoration, books, you name it. They have to do something with that big beak of theirs, I cannot imagine a 'too! And yeah, almost all birds can be picky with their toys, some are interesting to them, some are not. You might as well prepare to chop down an entire tree to make toys for your new companion!
 

wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Yeah, destroying wood blocks is, for parrots, playing with them, what else did you expect? Perfectly OK and MUCH preferable to plucking or doing nothing.. If he likes wood, give him plenty to work with. Cheap way is to go to Home Depot or other box store or a lumber yard and ask for the cut-offs or scrap wood, and cut those into manageable sizes for your 'too. NO TREATED LUMBER - very very important, cuz the chemical used is highly toxic. Most places will just give that stuff to you, they just throw it away. You can make the point that by giving that stuff to you, you save them the labor to throw it out, and save the space in the dumpster.
 

Scott

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Aug 21, 2010
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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Yeah, destroying wood blocks is, for parrots, playing with them, what else did you expect? Perfectly OK and MUCH preferable to plucking or doing nothing.. If he likes wood, give him plenty to work with. Cheap way is to go to Home Depot or other box store or a lumber yard and ask for the cut-offs or scrap wood, and cut those into manageable sizes for your 'too. NO TREATED LUMBER - very very important, cuz the chemical used is highly toxic. Most places will just give that stuff to you, they just throw it away. You can make the point that by giving that stuff to you, you save them the labor to throw it out, and save the space in the dumpster.
Most of my cockatoos cherish converting wood into toothpicks to the exclusion of all other toys except plastic (bird safe) plastic links. As wrench13 suggests, Big Box hardware stores often free/cheap source of untreated lumber scraps. If you cannot procure enough, consider purchasing an 8 or 10 foot section of 2 x 4 and cut into desired lengths. I keep it simple with 12 inch pieces, drill a hole, and string from cage top with stainless steel chain and C-clamp.
 

BirdAddictK

Member
Sep 26, 2021
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46
Look, it is important for birds to know both shredding and foraging, however if you have tried introducing foraging and your bird does not want anything to do with it, then it is perfectly alright, let your bird be the wood chopper he is!
 

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