Need help with our cockatoo

Dave200817

New member
Oct 11, 2023
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3
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Cockatoo
Hi we have just rescued a 8 year old male cockatoo we believe he has not had a good start to life we know of his last five week he has been pushed from pillar to post by having 4 different homes out of 5 week his last home where we rescued him from he was shut in a dark room on his own and the owners didn't want him I'm just woundering how we go about gaining his trust again we have him out of his cage all day he has started to go to bed himself now but we just want to make things Wright with him so he can trust us any help please thanks
 

Free as a bird

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2023
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2 cockatiels
Hi we have just rescued a 8 year old male cockatoo we believe he has not had a good start to life we know of his last five week he has been pushed from pillar to post by having 4 different homes out of 5 week his last home where we rescued him from he was shut in a dark room on his own and the owners didn't want him I'm just woundering how we go about gaining his trust again we have him out of his cage all day he has started to go to bed himself now but we just want to make things Wright with him so he can trust us any help please thanks
Hi that's good of you to take in this bird. My experience is more with smaller birds but here are some tips that I have found helpful.
- Feed it directly from your hand. This will help it not to fear your hand.
- Talk to it. Birds love being spoken to and if your lucky it might repeat some of those words.
- Partially clip the wings. This will make it more dependant on you and help it trust you. You can always let them grow back.
- Try give it some head scratches many parrots love this.
- Handle it as much as you can. This includes letting it hang out on your shoulder while you do things like watch TV, clean the house, etc

I hope this helps, all the best
 
Last edited:

hiriki

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Oct 19, 2014
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(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
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I would agree with most of the above, but would not recommend a clip at this time. Larger birds are less likely to take flight inside as it is, they're heavier so it takes more effort to fly and there's usually just not as much room for them to fly in a typical home. I feel that the stress of putting him in a carrier to have the wings clipped would far outweigh any potential benefit, and I certainly wouldn't recommend clipping his wings on your own... you're likely to either give him an uneven clip, clip too much, or clip a blood feather (worst case).

I would say sharing food from your plate (unseasoned food! Grains and veggies, maybe fish, not red meat) would be great. Eating is a social activity for flock animals and if you eat the same meal together, or even different foods but at the same time, he'll see you as a flock member. Just be careful you don't turn him into a junk food junkie by taking this advice too far and sharing all of your food with him.

Training is a great starter activity too. Check out youtube videos on target training. I haven't seen this particular video, but BirdTricks is a really commonly recommended channel and they came up when I searched target training, it's probably worth a watch:

When training you want to use high value treats that aren't part of your birds regular diet, and which are very small and quick to eat. Common training treats include pine nuts, safflower/sunflower seeds, almond slivers, crushed pieces of walnut, etc. Experiment, see what he likes!

And above all, work at his pace. He's been through a lot. Keep an eye on his body language and the moment he seems uncomfortable, freeze and take a step back. You want to communicate to him with your own body language that you care about his comfort. There is NOTHING to gain by pushing his boundaries. Especially given that you're working with a cockatoo.

If he's your first cockatoo and you're not super familiar with cockatoo body language, you should probably prepare yourself to be bit. Birds almost always warn us before a bite, but the signs can be very subtle, and my experience with cockatoos is that sometimes bites can seem truly random. But if you work at his pace, respect his boundaries, and take a few steps back when he goes into those crazy excited cockatoo phases (lol) you'll probably avoid most bites.

Thanks so much for giving him a loving home, I hope it works out ❤️
 

Birdgirl24

Well-known member
Dec 2, 2021
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North Dakota
Parrots
I have 1 budgie, He is a male both. I have been looking into getting an Eclectus Parrot tho.
Again, I agree with everybody except a partial clip there's no need for that in fact based on my experience that'll make him trust you less. Spend some time in his room singing to him softly. Maybe offer him some bird tea (with no caffeine obviously) offer him some seeds or walnuts or anything to encourage him to come out of the cage to chill with you. You will likely get bit probably even a couple of times in the first week don't let that discourage you though. If he likes baths id offer him one. Maybe hand feed him some veg if he likes veg. Offer head scritches but don't force them also make sure the room is a comfortable temp for him. And last but not least never force him back into his cage that's the easiest way (in my experience) to break a trust bond and the FASTEST way is always to coax them back in. Cg on the new family member :)
 

wrench13

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Aside from the tips above, its more of a mind set. Parrots are all about trust. You think of it like a bank. Everything you do with, about or for the parrot has to keep in mind -"Is this making a deposit in the Trust bank, or will it make a withdrawal.". Always telling the parrot you are approaching and maybe what you want - that makes a deposit. Have a schedule and sticking to it - deposit!
Chasing the parrot to get him back in his cage - BIG withdrawal.
 

Keet_Krazy

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2023
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Budgies:
Obsidian (M), Snowflake (F), Sunbeam (F), Emelia (F, English), Winston (M, English)
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I would create a care routine and let him decide the pace. It was months before I touched my Galah, now I can't keep him off me. Took 6 months before my Parakeet (not a budgie!) took a treat from me. I've found with my Galah that what I want to achieve is often too soon for him, I couldn't get him to step up especially onto my bare skin. When I stopped trying he eventually wanted to be with me and whenever he did I'd offer my hand/arm as a way to get to me.
Especially for a big bird I would never invade his personal space for things like treats or head scratches. Treats can be placed in a bowl and step away. Scratches are a later thing. Just being present and talking will do wonders :)
You have a bird that very well could be with you for 40+ years, take the time and use the patience to create an incredible bond with him now. What does it matter if it takes a year or more?
 

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