Baby Umbrella

Casper223

Supporting Member
Apr 27, 2019
327
2
Gulf Coast, Louisiana/Mississippi State Line S/E
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo "Zoey"
Hi, I’m Allen, and I wanted to introduce myself, and give you a little background of why I’m here. I grew up with a Moluccan Cockatoo in our home, He belonged to my mom. My brother and I never handled him as children, as he bonded to our mother. Brother and I grew up as regular kids, pushing and hitting on each other every time we thought mom wasn’t watching, but “Sunny” the Moluccan always seemed to get in on the fun, just about the time we weren’t paying attention, he would take a swipe with that beak close to an ear, and holler as we heard the wind from his miss bite, and of course time to time as growing boys we would toss a stuffed toy at him. It was all in fun, but we were both afraid of his beak. Sunny would throw his tantrums, have his loud moments, talk up a storm, and cuddle with my Mom at every opportunity.

When my mother passed, I inherited Sonny….. and for quite some time I found myself starring at Sonny as he starred at me both of us grieving her passing. Sonny allowed me to handle him, Meaning he would step up on my hand most of the time, or get on my shoulder. Allow me to shower him in the shower, feed him, clean his cage, But I knew he was grieving the loss of my Mom. Although we were friendly towards each other, he never bonded with me. Time to time he would cuddle, other days he was snippy, The life just seemed to have left out of him. Sunny was 55 when he passed away. I was attached to him as a family member, even though we never really bonded. I sold off his cage, and got rid of everything that reminded me of him over time. It’s been almost 5 years.

Over the last 5 years, I’ve had opportunity to Re-home a cockatoo, but I passed, figuring I would be taking on someone else problem, or a bird who would never bond to me.

Last week, I couldn’t take it anymore, missing the bond I seen my mother having with Sonny for so many years. I adopted a baby umbrella. I’m in the process of getting everything I need gathered together and set up for when I pick him up in a few weeks.

So far I have two cages, One for the living/dining room which is 32”x40”x72” wrought iron and about a year old with perches and bowls which housed a McCaw The 2nd cage is for the outdoor patio, when I’m outside in the yard, it’s also wrought iron, and 30”x36”x60” New. I’ve also got a real nice tree type perch for inside, and I’ve not put together any toys for him yet.

Although I’ve been raised with a cockatoo all my life in our home, I was to young to see how the relationship and trust between Sonny actually began, how they originally bonded. I’m familiar with an adult well behaved Moluccan, But I’m here to learn starting techniques, Techniques with baby’s, Do’s and don’t to establish his training, and get him a good start. So I’m wanting to learn from as many of you as possible with this species of bird, to get a good head start with this new baby. Thank You for allowing me the opportunity to learn from experience.
 

Scott

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Aug 21, 2010
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San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Parrots
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.
Welcome aboard, Allen. Touching introduction, my condolences for the passing of your Mom and Sunny. It can take time to process the losses and choose to welcome a similar species into your heart and home.

I'm assuming the time delay is to allow proper weaning from a breeder? Or is it a young bird on at least a second home? Have you already visited with the bird, and if so did it "choose" you?

Reason for the questions is umbrellas are among the more challenging of cockatoos. Of course your lengthy experience with a moluccan places you at head of the class! Cage sizes are superb, and you can choose a variety of toys and determine which types are preferred.

Hopefully your umbrella is well socialized. Upon arrival the "honeymoon" period begins with at least a month or so of discovery process. This thread shares excellent methods of establishing trust and bonding: http://www.parrotforums.com/general-parrot-information/49144-tips-bonding-building-trust.html Most helpful is to spend time, lots of time and allow the bird to progress at a comfortable rate.
If biting is an early issue: http://www.parrotforums.com/training/63988-bite-pressure-training.html
Later, target training can be beneficial: http://www.parrotforums.com/training/60435-clicker-target-training.html

Good luck, feel free to ask questions as needed!
 

Ellie777Australia

New member
Apr 12, 2019
1,280
67
Queensland, Australia
Parrots
SI Eclectus Female, Ellie; RS/SI Eclectus Male, Bertie (both adopted as rescue/re-home)
Welcome Allen.



You have joined the perfect community to receive the support that you need. Scott has already guided you in the right direction for a great start...:)


Looking forward to hearing much more from you and also seeing pictures as the relationship with your new companion progresses.



Cheers for now,
Debbie:red1:
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
341
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Welcome!

I am sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing! It's great that you have previous experience with cockatoos!!! (Thank goodness).



In terms of things to focus on with your young bird :
Assuming your bird is young but weaned, stick to petting on the head and neck. You don't want to set a cuddle precedent that will lead to sexual behavior later on...I am a broken record in this department, but if you start it, you will inevitably have to cut if off which will present new issues in terms of behavior (because the bird will expect it to continue). I am not saying that you can never lift a wing for clinical reasons---and yes, you should be able to touch your bird quickly for medical purposes, BUT, don't assume your "clinical" intentions will matter lol.

For example, my 11-year-old U2 doesn't like the vet and she tries to avoid getting toweled to the best of her ability---HOWEVER, once she is in the towel (for her nails and beak)...she gets super sexual (despite her resistance to toweling). It is awkward because the technicians seem to think she is just shaking out of fear..which causes them to baby her more..Early on (post-puberty), a doctor actually thought she was having a stroke/seizure and put her down-- Noodles immediately stopped shaking, stepped up on the doctor, said "come here!" and chomped around on the towel..Needless to say, it was NOT a seizure or a stroke...

I believe strongly that U2's desire to cuddle is closely linked to their through-the-roof re-homing rates (people just don't see how damaging it is and it is VERY hard to say no to a sweet cockatoos who wants snuggles)... They also tend to be quiet and quite docile for the first few years of life, so people just don't see it coming.
If you start snuggles and lots of physical contact when the bird is young, your bird will continue to expect it later (sexual maturity=around 6 years but hormones can rev up before then). SOO many videos on Youtube videos show these birds cuddling with people or people wrapping them up like babies in towels because they seem to like it. Yes, they do look sweet, but it doesn't usually end that way and it's unfair to them. Umbrella's want nothing more than to attach themselves to your hip and stay there forever.
Even before it is sexual, it needs to be kept in serious check because they crave it and they have no maximum attention/tactility threshold....

I am not saying your bird cant stand on your shoulder of back while you watch TV, but standing is the key word (not nestled in your lap or resting against your chest for more than a few seconds).

I have heard people on the internet (not necessarily here) say, "Well I snuggle with my bird all of the time and it's fine..."
When people say things like this, one or more of the following statements typically apply:
A. They don't have a U2.
B. Their U2 hasn't hit puberty (meaning, they may have done it for many years, but until the bird reaches 6-7, they may not see the damage).
C. Their U2 hasn't been living with them long enough for them to know.
D. Their U2 is extremely hormonal but they (the owners) just attribute nesting behavior, screaming, biting, feather barbering, and laying eggs to "normal" cockatoo behavior.
E. The owner enjoys cuddling their U2 so much, that they refuse to live without cuddles (denying that their is anything sexual about it).
F. The U2 may be sweet to the owner but poorly behaved around others...and some people who live alone have issues with that.

In order to teach healthy boundaries, I would keep "cuddles" very short (like 20 seconds of their head on your chest)--no watching TV with your bird nestled on your lap like a nest, no hanging out under covers etc, no stroking down the back and no petting under the wings...They are very much like someone with an addictive personality and what seems innocent can quickly backfire.

Just remember, a needy cockatoo can self-destruct when it feels its needs are not being met (it doesn't matter whether it is rational or whether its needs are attainable). When raising a Too from a baby, you set the precedent to which future interactions will be compared.

Remember that your bird will also get much louder etc as it matures, so if you hear an annoying sound, ignore it (while praising those that you can tolerate).

Do not spend more time with your bird now than you will be able to sustain for his/her lifetime.

Praise independence and expose to toys and harnesses early on...reward for playing with toys and staying quiet when you walk away.

Ignore screams for attention and do not return to the room until it stops for a solid 5-10 seconds (increasing this duration over time) and make sure you allow your bird to learn to be alone at times.

Expose your bird to lots of vegetables etc and don't feed junk food-- do not share your spit with the bird and avoid feeding directly off of your plate (it is easy to create a monster this way, and saliva contains germs that can harm your bird).

Routine can help these birds settle in, but if the routine is too regimented, they can become very insistent upon things staying exactly as they are--consequently, when raising your baby, change things up (not major changes to sleep or meals), but other stuff...While you want them to know what to expect in general, you don't want their world falling apart if you do tasks in a different order or come home an hour later than usual, or take out the trash before opening their cage one day.

I am a strong believer in talking about what I am doing with my bird--e.g., "I'm taking out the trash" every time I take out the trash, vs. "I'm going to work", vs. "I am going to the store".

When your bird gets a bit older, make sure that you work on target training-- I can walk out of the room and my cockatoo will generally stay put (granted, I never really trust her, but she doesn't get to just fly all over and follow me around 24/7--there are some boundaries). Again, it isn't fool-proof but if I put her somewhere, I can be generally certain that she will stay there for a bit (I am not always within her line of sight either and she does okay with this now)... I will say, I once went to take a shower at my parents' house and when I got out, I saw her trotting right down the hall towards me from across the house...She had never climbed down to go get me before- it was cute, but scary eek (safety hazards in a 100+ year old home)...so, while target training helps, it isn't fool-proof.
 
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EllenD

New member
Aug 20, 2016
3,979
15
State College, PA
Parrots
Senegal Parrot named "Kane"; Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure named "Bowie"; Blue Quaker Parrot named "Lita Ford"; Cockatiel named "Duff"; 8 American/English Budgie Hybrids; Ringneck Dove named "Dylan"
Welcome to the Community! And I too am sorry for your losses..

I'm assuming that you're not actually "adopting" this baby U2, but actually buying it from a breeder? I don't mean that as a knock or to be rude, if it sounds that way, but as Scott already asked you, I'm hoping if that is the situation that you are in-fact waiting for the baby to be totally and fully Abundance-Weaned before you even think about bringing him home...

***Scott made an excellent and very important point to you that was the first thing that popped into my head when I read "baby" U2, and "waiting a few weeks before he can come home"..Not only have I been working at a large, private Avian Rescue for about 8.5 years, but I also bred and hand-raised different parrot species for just over 20 years, from the age of 16...And Scott is our resident Cockatoo expert and owner of many different species of Cockatoos who he actually did adopt as adult birds from Rescues, their prior owners, etc...And though I have never owned a Cockatoo, I have worked with at least hundreds of adult Cockatoos at the Rescue over the years, probably over a thousand if I had kept track I wouldn't be at all surprised with that because there are more Cockatoos in the Avian Rescue/Shelter system in the US and around the entire world than any other type of parrot, in the thousands right at this minute...And the same goes for the parrot species with the most up for "Re-Homing" by the on websites like Craigslist, there are probably tens of thousands needing homes on Craigslist.Easily.
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
341
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Here's a link to a video that sums up what I was saying about the cuddles.
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTnlQTs0HGQ&t=173s"]Cockatoos and Cuddling | BEWARE - YouTube[/ame]
 
OP
Casper223

Casper223

Supporting Member
Apr 27, 2019
327
2
Gulf Coast, Louisiana/Mississippi State Line S/E
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo "Zoey"
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Scott, He hatched the end of December, spent 3 weeks with his parents before being pulled, and is at the point of pushing back on his hand feedings now, leaving the breeder to say 2-3 weeks, he should be ready (No Guarantee though) 50% Deposits have been handled, acquiring cages, and a stand up perch. I have a couple of pet stores in town, and of course a Petco and Petsmart. For my English Bulldog, I use Chewy.com for his food, and purchase a premium blend of Blue Buffalo, and of course his Scooby snacks which are duck biscuits. I'm a Prime Club member, and use Amazon a good bit. They keep a fairly large selection of toys and equipment I may need. Plus they deliver to my door. I'm hoping to find suggestions of favorite toys for umbrella's and start stocking his cage. He may start off in his cage a good bit to start with, but like Sonny, I want hime not to be caged up when I'm home. I know he will need plenty to keep him busy, and I do understand the rotation of toys, but I would like to get a list of favorites others have used.

The breeder is 1000 miles from me, and so therefore I haven't met him yet. Mother had a 2 egg clutch, and I was given first opportunity. The breeder also had a store front, and as she explained, the other won't spend a week in her store before he's adopted, but as of now he's not ready, although he is getting socialized with many folks. I did research the breeder, and read many reviews/references, and just as I thought I would call and interview this young lady, I found "I" was the one being interviewed. She's young, newlywed, no children yet, but the birds are her life. So far she certainly seems to be successful. We've talked several times. When the time is right, my baby will fly Delta Pet services to me. I'm more concerned with this than anything. But I hear awesome things about Delta Pet Services transportation.

Scott, I attempted to interview a breeder in your area last month, that had Major Mitchell's. A beautiful breed of Cockatoo. In researching this breeder, I called the Police Dept, BBB, Consumer Affairs, Humane Society, Rescue Services, Pet Stores, and not one person had ever heard of the breeder, Leaving me to sadly pass on the opportunity. The Breeder said they had been in business since 2008-2009, and yet I couldn't find a single review, either good or bad!! It just left be with a real unsure feeling, and finally I just walked away.

The breeder herself brought up several times the Term "Sexual Behavior Problem" You and Noodles123 have mentioned it. The umbrella is known as a love sponge by most. I told myself last week, I need to find out more about this, but also assured myself I had time. Noodles123 has Brough up some great points, and has enlightened me more now than ever I need to figure this sexual behavior problem out at jump street, as anything I do day one may start a presidence of what he comes to expect later. I guess Day one through the first 3 months will probably be the most important learning point in his life.

I'm very much looking foreword to learning all I can, and gathering lists of needed items to start off with. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated. Thank You. Just like my mother, I want to be a responsible Parent to my umbrella.
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
341
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Thanks!- I didn't want to freak you out totally, but it's hard to say no to a bird who is so so cute...and many people have no idea (especially with Umbrellas). That is why I feel like the cuddle warning is so important- what they want most is what they need least. I am not saying that your should ignore your bird ---They require a ton of attention etc etc, BUT, it's the way that people touch them that often becomes problematic. If you want to give a quick hug/snuggle to the baby, fine, but make it quick. They are a very physical bird, but you can meet that need for physicality through play and movement etc (instead cuddles).

So, think of an umbrella in the way that you would think of an overly clingy toddler on crack and you will be okay (e.g., just because a toddler wants you to carry them doesn't mean you should etc etc)..and remember, this bird will mature sexually (when a toddler never could).
 

Scott

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Aug 21, 2010
32,134
6,144
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Parrots
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.
Thanks, Allen! I share your concern for cargo-shipping of a bird, though most are transported safely. Time and money permitting, flying to the breeder location and returning your umbrella with carrier in cabin is an option. If you consider this, know at least one major airline does not permit cockatoos in the cabin. :(

You were wise to pass on an untraceable breeder. Feel free to PM me the name, might know the source. Though it is irrelevant atm!
 

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