Owning a cockatoo

Mudkips

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May 6, 2012
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Melbourne, Australia
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Birdy the Green Cheek Conure
I really appreciate this thread and its good intentions. I'd also like to point out that there's actually heaps of information out there regarding how difficult it can be to live with a 'too. It's just some people see only what they want to see.

I myself originally wanted to buy a U2, but snooping around online for information dispelled that dream. I went from 'all of my want' -to- 'sounds like a potential nightmare' within a couple of hours.
Even the info on this site was enough to scare me. Sometimes half the threads on the homepage are an owner asking for advice about their fid plucking, biting, being aggressive, screaming, or not liking other people. Anyone doing even a small amount of research will find this.
I'm always happy to see the hundreds of guests visiting this site. I always hope that most of them are responsible people considering their first companion bird and doing the appropriate research.

On the flip side, there were (and still are) heaps of worrying threads on conures as well. Thankfully Birdy has turned out much easier to look after then I had prepared myself for. :D
 

petiegirl

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Aug 18, 2012
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Hi, have just joined the forum, we have a huge problem with our pink and grey cocatoo. We have a 12 year old gallah female she has started to call whenever I leave the room, she starts within 1 minute and keeps on calling and calling, does not stop. Drives us mad!!!
Even when we cover her up she will carry on for hours. Please what can we do!! We are both retired and are home all the time.
Reading your very interesting article, I think the problem started when I used to rub her back and under her wings, this got her stimulated as you mention, now please.please, what can I do....my fault really. As we live in a retirement villa, cannot really let her keep on calling. Have been taking her everywhere, shower, toilet, workshop, just to keep her quiet...not the correct thing to:red: do really as she is now so spoilt.
Regards
Peter
 

paulhanlon

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Jun 10, 2012
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Newton aycliffe Co.Durham
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Jinx - Blue Fronted Amazon hatched 12.06.2012
Hi, have just joined the forum, we have a huge problem with our pink and grey cocatoo. We have a 12 year old gallah female she has started to call whenever I leave the room, she starts within 1 minute and keeps on calling and calling, does not stop. Drives us mad!!!
Even when we cover her up she will carry on for hours. Please what can we do!! We are both retired and are home all the time.
Reading your very interesting article, I think the problem started when I used to rub her back and under her wings, this got her stimulated as you mention, now please.please, what can I do....my fault really. As we live in a retirement villa, cannot really let her keep on calling. Have been taking her everywhere, shower, toilet, workshop, just to keep her quiet...not the correct thing to:red: do really as she is now so spoilt.
Regards
Peter

Hey peter welcome to the forums i think your problem when she screams is you react to her and she knows when you go back to get her that she is getting her own way try leaving the room and when she starts screaming for you ignore her eventually she will learn she is not getting her own way so there for she will think well its not getting me any attention so I might aswell be quiet it will take time but it should work like a charm ;) hope this helps
 

petiegirl

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Aug 18, 2012
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Hi thanks very much, we are trying this now, and she called for 2 hours, we almost went nuts, very stressful. Covering her up for a while did help, it will be a slow painful process. Funny part is that she seems to like playing in the bottom of the cage when covered up, as soon as I take the cover off she climbs up onto her perch.
Cheers and thanks
Pete
 

petiegirl

New member
Aug 18, 2012
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Hi, very interesting thank you. Why when I scratch her neck does she start shaking her wings slightly open and give out little sounds. She wants cuddles all the time and even nuzzles my hand for a scratch. Unfortunately she is so attached to me, just calls constantly, so hard to try and brake this habit, should I not even scratch her neck? so hard to ignore her, I am a softy I know. She is about 12 years old...perhaps puberty.
Petiegirl.
 

freedwithwings204

New member
Sep 2, 2012
40
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United States
Parrots
1 year old Cinnamon Turquoise Indian Ringneck and a 10 year old TAG. (RIP Sydney, my silly 60 year old TAG, we miss you dearly)
Wow, Shredded, I have to say that I'm really impressed. I work at a parrot sanctuary and rescue, and I have to say that Too's are the birds we get in the most (of varying species of Too's) and are the hardest to place. I started with Cockatoos, and I have to say that list is what I essentially tell people when they ask what kind of care goes into them. It's pretty strict. So when a Too does go home, (our adoption process is really strict as well) we dance for joy. (Majority of my bites have come from Too's I should add.) Thank you so much for posting this! :)
 

charliesmommy

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Mar 24, 2012
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Charlie:my blue Indian ring neck and Twiggy, a grey cockatiel.
thank you very much. I'm so excited because I'm getting an umbrella sometime next year and am learning everything I need to be the best TOO mommy I can be!!!!
I've been warned by many, that Umbrella Cockatoo's need lots and lots of attention.... but that is exactly what I am looking for. I NEED a bird that wants lots of love and attention <3
 
OP
ShreddedOakAviary

ShreddedOakAviary

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Jul 13, 2011
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M2's, U2's, G2's, RB2's, VOS, RLA's, BFA's, DYHA's, Dusky Pionus, Blue and Green Quakers, Meyers Parrots, VOS, GW Macaw's, Harlequin Macaws, Tiels, YNA, TAG's, CAG's, Blue Crown Conures, Red sided Ecl
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Over the past weekend I met Sally Blanchard and attended her presentation on constructive play, I discussed cockatoos with her at length, and since she has published a number of articles I would definately start with her material regarding behavoir since it's all already published and VERY informative amd helpful.
 

Thingamagigs

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Oct 13, 2012
627
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Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Parrots
Mana the manic female galah; yet to be named male corella
I just wanted to say a couple of things on this... based on my experience with small aussie 'toos.
Firstly it depends what you want to get out of your 'too. I understand what you are getting at with the food thing, however the small aussie species eat together always, feeding is a social event. So to me thats a matter of choice, but you will need to deal with the consequences associated with their social feeding behaviours either way. They are going to want to eat what you are eating, even if you haven't developed a routine where they eat when you eat. And this is probably true of a lot of parrot species.

Secondly, the small Australian 'toos need floor time. You can't take a species that has evolved to live half its life on the ground and make it perch for its entire life. If you can't provide it with safe ground time, then dont get one period. :) I dont know how this applies to larger 'toos, only commenting on what I have experience with.

I would also recommend mixing it up constantly... if you settle your 'too into a routine and life changes, it will not go down well with your bird. If you try to randomise feeding time, play time etc you will have a better adjusted bird. Again, this applies to a lot of other species especially conures.
 

Sonny

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Dec 8, 2012
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we just acquired a cocatoo a few days ago....he melded in really great in our bird room with other parrots.....however, today he is sitting on his food dish rim, and seems to be puffed up...when approched he seems to be shaking...my wife took him out of the cage for a few minutes and he seemed fine, but then she left the house and he started screaming for a few minutes, then returned to sitting on his food dish, puffed out again......is this normal, or should we worry and do something??
 

devid456

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Jul 3, 2013
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India
Parrots
no
Cocktoos are popular bird in aviculture but they needs are difficult to cater for.Cockatiel is the cackatoo species that is easiest care to for and is by far the most frequently kept in captivity.:blue1::red1::blue::red::rainbow1:
 

Wings

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Jun 14, 2013
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Ohio
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Budgie, "Julie"
Thanks so much for this info, really nice to know the TRUTH about these birds. :)
 

Sungazer

New member
Feb 14, 2013
35
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Australia
Parrots
Galah
Eclectus
Crimson Rosella
(I'm sure I'll catch a lot of crap for this) but why not take her out into your yard and allow her to peck around in the grass? Give her a different perspective of life as a bird...just my thoughts.


Ill join you in taking the crap. I live in Australia and a fair way out into the country areas. I let my galah have time outside to walk around and explore and do what he wants. He even has other galahs come down and join him. I keep a pretty close eye on him but he comes home and knocks on the door when he wants to come inside.

The other point I will take a lot of crap for is that parrots eat a lot of seeds and some greens. This obsession of a lot of people to give them pellets is strange.
 

Jayyj

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Apr 28, 2013
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UK
Parrots
Alice - Galah cockatoo
Isn't the pellets over seeds thing a necessary consequence of the unnatural lifestyle we impose on our companion birds though? A galah in the wild can eat a large amount of high fat foods and not gain weight due to the huge amount of energy used up in flight and foraging over large areas. Even with the most conscientious owner a companion bird will get nothing like the same amount of exercise, and so a diet specially formulated to give them the protein and vitamins they need without too high a fat content is a way of keeping a housebound bird healthy and happy. In her previous home my galah had been on a seed diet for years and she's now under vet's orders to get her weight down before it leads to any long term issues - so the seeds are now kept for occasional treats and pellets and greens are going to have to be the main source of food for her.
 

MikeyTN

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Feb 1, 2011
13,296
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Antioch, TN
Parrots
"Willie"&"Lola"B&G Macaw,
"Dixie"LSC2, and "Nico" Scarlet Macaw.
Sungazer,

IF all of us had the option of letting our birds fly free, then seeds isn't a bad option! When kept indoors, pellets is a more balanced diet that's less in fat content so they don't get over weight and get sick from being indoors all the time. I don't know if some of the wild birds there in Australia carry psittacosis like here in the states or not, plus numerous other things. But that is something you need to be aware of to take your bird in for avian check up once in awhile since you live out in the country side. Some of those diseases can be passed on to you or anyone in your household.
 

Betrisher

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2013
4,246
61
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Parrots
Dominic: Galah(RIP: 1981-2018); The Lovies: Four Blue Masked Lovebirds; Barney and Madge (The Beaks): Alexandrines; Miss Rosetta Stone: Little Corella
Hey Sungazer,

Yeah, I'm with you, at least as far as galahs go. They live on grass seeds and cereal seeds. I've never seen wild galahs eating fruits or veggies. I see you have a Crimson Rosella: what's that like to keep? Difficult? I had Rosellas many years ago (Crimson and Eastern), but they never thrived and eventually I allowed them to go to a local nature reserve where they did *much* better in a flock situation. I'm pretty sure I wasn't giving them a very well-balanced diet at the time and I've always thought I'd love to try again with Rosellas. They're gorgeous birds and the song is just beautiful, isn' t it? :)
 

Sungazer

New member
Feb 14, 2013
35
0
Australia
Parrots
Galah
Eclectus
Crimson Rosella
Yes the chance of getting a bird flu type disease is always something that could occur. Parrots in the wild do carry it. A very good friend of mine nearly died last year from it.They think he caught it when he was cutting the grass in his backyard (big) and under a tree where birds had been nesting stirred up enough poo into the air and some may have been infected.

So my friend who doesnt have birds nearly died from it. Could my parrot get it yes. Could I get it from the parrot yes could I get it from many other sources just as likely.

I keep an eye on my birds weight and make sure he gets plenty of exercise maybe smaller portions would also be option if he was getting fat.

The Rosella is my favorite bird as far as color goes and probably also because of the interaction with them in the wild from when I was kid through to this day. While they are pretty tame in the wild and never seem to bite. She has taken a long time and I have had a lot of long hard bites in taming her. She now never bites me hard. not yet a real companion bird that wants to hang out with you. (yet)

I do worry more about her diet than anything she goes through lots of moults and doesn't seem to thrive as well as the birds in the wild.

And yes I love her little song she doesnt sing every day and then some days you get to hear her call a few times. So much nicer than the galah who is ok when he is non stop just chattering or speaking but when he starts to rant and rave about something, Well we have a "time out" cage for him on the back porch.
 
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Kimmied

New member
Sep 7, 2013
123
0
PA
Parrots
I have one umbrella cockatoo. A female 3 years old named Mina.
Hi everyone I'm new to the board. I have a 1 year old U2. She is getting over being sick. Because of being sick I had to go back to hand feeding her due to the rack that she lost A Lot of weight and just plain wouldn't eat. I'm hoping I can wean her back onto Harrison's like the first time. I have real trouble getting her to eat veggies at all in fact I just ordered stuff called "just hot vegetables". I'm hoping she goes for these. Also she has her own bedroom due to my current dog situation. She plays all day in her room she has a huge cage a forage tree I built and her princess chair. (A fold out papasan chair shhhhh don't tell her though) .
She has free rein of the floor and she loves it. The only time she is aggressive is when I sit on the floor or she will get very aggressive with some of her toys. Roll around with them puff up hiss it's an all,out attack! When this happens I know not to pick her up. What I do do is put soft music on and distract her after a little bit with another toy. The bad toy is not allowed up on the bed cause I would be bit big time for sure. I've pretty much learned to Handle everything Mina can throw at me. Her diet is the worst. I just wish she would eat. I leave her alone for 2-3 hour intervals. Then we visit and play and sing, cuddle,and talk for about 2 to 3 hours then I let her play again. Then I pop back in to see her. Could that be what I am doing wrong to make her not eat? Maybe she sleeps too long. She goes to bed at 9:00pm and gets up at 11:30 am spring and summer because someone told me to decrease the amount of daylight they get. Winter8:30- 9:00 she does have a sun lamp. Any help is appreciated.
 

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