To all medium/large parrot owners

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What are the differences between owning a small parrot and a big parrot?

I've only ever owned budgies and cockatiels. I've always dreamt about owning a large/medium bird but never owned one. I've thought about it for years and concluded that a rose breasted cockatoo would be a good fit for me.

Know as galahs they are a species of cockatoo native to my homeland. They are on the smaller end of the scale for a cocky at 300-350g. One of the big appeals is that they don't have the loud screetch that other cockatoo species are known for instead they make more quieter chirpy and whistly sounds.
I see wild ones here in all kinds of environments including bush and urban. Iv seen them in pairs, small or massive flocks of nearly 100 and I've observed their antics closely over the years.
I see them eating calmly on the side of the road well aware that the cars are not going to hit them but drive past only feet away at high speed. Not that many birds are that confident as to eat that close to fast traffic, crows are but not many others. I think it's a sign of intelligence, they basically know our road rules, lol, confident that cars won't cross that line.

So what are the differences in owning a large bird. I figure it's going to eat and poop more. Needs more space. Its beak has the potential to really do damage to my skin. Galahs can live for over 40 years so it's a life long commitment for me that I'm aware of.

Iv got a cockatiel and I'm hoping that they will get along. I read that generally speaking most Aussie parrots will tolerate other Aussie parrots, not always but of course. I'll need to keep them separate and let them play together under my watchful eye.

What else?
Is there any thing else that anyone can add?
Differences in owning a small to big parrot.
Your thoughts would be much appreciated
 

Inti's woman

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I was just thinking aboit the differences this morning.
There's a hugh difference between kinds.
With an Australian budgie or cockateel you never have to be scared you're life can change for the rest of your life into all you never ever wanted.
And that rosé cackatoo....that's a real challenge. Not for you then for partner, famillymembers, etc. I form yourself a lot!

A good indicator of searching for difficultieis the number of a kind you'll find dumped after a year. Their intelligence and emotional behaveour is so different.

(but I understand your wish, I'm still very interested in some, but when I see what can go wrong even when you're well prepared....I still don't dare a Cockatoo and think s cockateel will be far easier (when you have a life)
 

Keet_Krazy

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Considering you say you live in Aus what exactly do you mean by they don't have that loud screech? My experience they absolutely do. My galah is an outside aviary bird and he has woken me in the middle of the night before (well I believe it was him, either way I can hear him clear as day from my bed despite the considerable distance).
Trying to show their intelligent by the fact they eat by the road is not as flattering as you may think. I've seen many a cocky dead by the road and have picked up several severely injured ones.

My experience going from budgies to a galah is they are deep down nothing alike and you'll end up wasting trying to treat them the same. Making mistakes with bigger birds is about 5x more obviously whether that's because you received a bad bite crossing a boundary or something else.
Owning a bigger bird, at least for me, really pushed the fact that the relationship is nothing about you or what you can get from it.
You may want a bird that talks, one that does tricks or one that spends hours accepting scritches. But you may end up with a bird that never talks, one that's not food motivated, one that's too hormonal to touch or develops an unhealthy bond with you and screams for hours at a time for your undivided attention. You made a commitment to that bird either way and backing out shouldn't be anywhere near the top of your list when things get tough, if it is I'd say you're not ready.

I've read everything from Galahs are the easiest cockatoo to they are horrors when they hit maturity. Mine's still technically a baby and already keeps me on my toes.
 
OP
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Considering you say you live in Aus what exactly do you mean by they don't have that loud screech?
Well you took that out of context didn't you. I said they don't have the loud screetch that other cocky species do.

Sulphur crested cockatoo Is no comparison, neither is a corella, or umbrella or any black cocky. In fact I would say the galah has the lowest vocal decibel out of all the cocky species.

What other cockatoo species is quieter than the galah?
 
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OP
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Trying to show their intelligent by the fact they eat by the road is not as flattering as you may think. I've seen many a cocky dead by the road and have picked up several severely injured ones.
So their not so smart cos you have seen some dead. Ok lol. What is a marker of intelligence then in your opinion?
 
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OP
Free as a bird

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Owning a bigger bird, at least for me, really pushed the fact that the relationship is nothing about you or what you can get from it.
I never said that was what the relationship is it about. Your good at misrepresenting me
You may want a bird that talks, one that does tricks or one that spends hours accepting scritches. But you may end up with a bird that never talks, one that's not food motivated, one that's too hormonal to touch or develops an unhealthy bond with you and screams for hours at a time for your undivided attention.
Sounds like you had a big wish list that didn't come true cos I don't expect my bird to talk or do any tricks or anything like that, I accept it as it is.
You made a commitment to that bird either way and backing out shouldn't be anywhere near the top of your list when things get tough, if it is I'd say you're not ready.
Why arent i ready? Was I wrong about something? At least explain how one does become ready then if you actually know anything or point out what I'm wrong about then
I've read everything from Galahs are the easiest cockatoo to they are horrors when they hit maturity. Mine's still technically a baby and already keeps me on my toes.
All in all you just sound like a really negative grumpy person that speaks in a very condensing tone. Maybe because you have no experience or just jumped into your decision without any knowledge and werent ready instead of researching it and thinking about it for decades like I have. A genuine person would at least recommend another species of medium/large parrot if you say galah are so bad but you haven't given me anything at all 🤷🏻‍♂️
 
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Keet_Krazy

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Quail and Chickens
Well you took that out of context didn't you. I said they don't have the loud screetch that other cocky species do.

Sulphur crested cockatoo Is no comparison, neither is a corella, or umbrella or any black cocky. In fact I would say the galah has the lowest vocals out of all the cocky species.

What other cockatoo species is quieter than the galah?
I didn't take it out of context I read the whole sentence. Have you stood right next to a contact calling galah before? Maybe they don't have the exact same volume (They still have a lot of volume) but it's a piecing sound that goes straight into your head.
So their not so smart cos you have seen some dead. Ok lol
I didn't for a second say they're not smart. I said your comparison it's not the best way to show they are. And it's not a "few" it's quite a lot, I know many fellow Aussies who'd say the same.
Then what is it about in your opinion?
It's about caring for a wild (parrot are not domesticated and rather unsuited for captivity) animal in need of a loving understanding home to the best of our abilities. One that won't keep them in too small a space, with no enrichment, improper diet, no socialising, vet care etc. IMO it's better to think of ourselves as the carers for these animal not their owners.
Sounds like you had a big wish list cos I don't expect my bird to talk or do any tricks I accept it as it is.
All in all you just sound like a really negative grumpy person. Maybe because you just jumped into your decision without any knowledge and werent ready instead of thinking about it for years like I have
You're doing an awful lot of assuming about me. I had literally zero expectations of Quarter. In fact I never wanted a Galah, but took in a bird needing a home. I still hold no expectation of Q, we do any training 100% by his progress. Was months before he even stepped up, and I wouldn't have cared if he never muttered a word. I have no regrets getting my bird.
Why? At least explain how one does become ready if you can
I do not understand what you mean by this. My statement was that a parrot is a lifelong commitment and you need to be sure you have considered every aspect and possible outcome before you make that commitment.

I can see you took my comment (that you asked for when you titled your thread to ALL medium/large parrot owners) completely negatively. So I wish you luck in waiting for what seems to be very specific answers to your question, I don't enjoy spending time writing out long posts about my thoughts and experience only to find out after that they're clearly not wanted.
 
OP
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I didn't take it out of context I read the whole sentence. Have you stood right next to a contact calling galah before? Maybe they don't have the exact same volume (They still have a lot of volume) but it's a piecing sound that goes straight into your head.

I didn't for a second say they're not smart. I said your comparison it's not the best way to show they are. And it's not a "few" it's quite a lot, I know many fellow Aussies who'd say the same.

It's about caring for a wild (parrot are not domesticated and rather unsuited for captivity) animal in need of a loving understanding home to the best of our abilities. One that won't keep them in too small a space, with no enrichment, improper diet, no socialising, vet care etc. IMO it's better to think of ourselves as the carers for these animal not their owners.


You're doing an awful lot of assuming about me. I had literally zero expectations of Quarter. In fact I never wanted a Galah, but took in a bird needing a home. I still hold no expectation of Q, we do any training 100% by his progress. Was months before he even stepped up, and I wouldn't have cared if he never muttered a word. I have no regrets getting my bird.

I do not understand what you mean by this. My statement was that a parrot is a lifelong commitment and you need to be sure you have considered every aspect and possible outcome before you make that commitment.

I can see you took my comment (that you asked for when you titled your thread to ALL medium/large parrot owners) completely negatively. So I wish you luck in waiting for what seems to be very specific answers to your question, I don't enjoy spending time writing out long posts about my thoughts and experience only to find out after that they're clearly not wanted.
Thanks for being rude and unhelpful
 
OP
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Talk about being patronising 🤣
There will always be someone I guess all high and might
"your not ready, why, no reason your just not" 😂
 
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I was just thinking aboit the differences this morning.
There's a hugh difference between kinds.
With an Australian budgie or cockateel you never have to be scared you're life can change for the rest of your life into all you never ever wanted.
And that rosé cackatoo....that's a real challenge. Not for you then for partner, famillymembers, etc. I form yourself a lot!

A good indicator of searching for difficultieis the number of a kind you'll find dumped after a year. Their intelligence and emotional behaveour is so different.

(but I understand your wish, I'm still very interested in some, but when I see what can go wrong even when you're well prepared....I still don't dare a Cockatoo and think s cockateel will be far easier (when you have a life

Thanks for sharing
I forgot to mention that I live alone so there is no challenge to anyone else but me.
 

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If you let your birds fly around in the house a small bird is easier to loose track of than a medium sized bird.

you will likely find yourself spending more on toys.
bigger toys for bigger birds come with a bigger price tag.

The damage a medium sized bird can cause in a short time is greater.

noise has been covered somewhat but I would add that noise vs size isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to the annoyance factor.
There are small birds I would never want to own cuz their shriek is so ear peercing (like a sun Conure).

I have no real experience with cockatoo’s (except for my cockaTIELS)
 

DonnaBudgie

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What are the differences between owning a small parrot and a big parrot?

I've only ever owned budgies and cockatiels. I've always dreamt about owning a large/medium bird but never owned one. I've thought about it for years and concluded that a rose breasted cockatoo would be a good fit for me.

Know as galahs they are a species of cockatoo native to my homeland. They are on the smaller end of the scale for a cocky at 300-350g. One of the big appeals is that they don't have the loud screetch that other cockatoo species are known for instead they make more quieter chirpy and whistly sounds.
I see wild ones here in all kinds of environments including bush and urban. Iv seen them in pairs, small or massive flocks of nearly 100 and I've observed their antics closely over the years.
I see them eating calmly on the side of the road well aware that the cars are not going to hit them but drive past only feet away at high speed. Not that many birds are that confident as to eat that close to fast traffic, crows are but not many others. I think it's a sign of intelligence, they basically know our road rules, lol, confident that cars won't cross that line.

So what are the differences in owning a large bird. I figure it's going to eat and poop more. Needs more space. Its beak has the potential to really do damage to my skin. Galahs can live for over 40 years so it's a life long commitment for me that I'm aware of.

Iv got a cockatiel and I'm hoping that they will get along. I read that generally speaking most Aussie parrots will tolerate other Aussie parrots, not always but of course. I'll need to keep them separate and let them play together under my watchful eye.

What else?
Is there any thing else that anyone can add?
Differences in owning a small to big parrot.
Your thoughts would be much appreciated
Cockatoos in general can be extremely needy. I went from budgies and a tiel to a hand raised baby Goffin's cockatoo and it turned out to be a mistake for me. For the first couple years Casper was incredibly tame and loved nothing more than loads of attention and full body scritches! She was so fluffy and cuddly it was hard to resist giving her the full body massages she craved. But after a few years she would get very angry when I tried to stop. She would bite and scream and chase me around the house. She refused to sit on a perch stand- she would jump down and run up to me begging to be cuddled. She would scream if I tried to talk on the phone so I had to hide in the closet or bathroom. When I tried to blow dry my hair she would try to climb up my bare legs so I had to stand on the toilet.
When Casper was about four I finally rehomed her to a friend halfway across the country. My friend was terrific with birds and Casper liked her but Casper began to pluck herself and it broke my heart to hear about it. I realize that I made mistakes with Casper, namely cuddling her too much but I didn't realize I was creating a monster by indulging both of us. I tried taking her to an avian behavior specialist but Casper had become fearful of men and refused to let him handle her- she clinged to me to whole time.
I feel very guilty for having let Casper down.
 

Rico_Tiel

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Bigger birds (especially ‘toos) tend to be moodier (not always the case, since my tiel is a moody-butt) and their terrible twos tend to be WAY worse.

Cockatoos, from what I’ve read, are one of the needier birds who are more prone to feather plucking and self mutilation, behavioral problems, Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, and fatty liver disease. They are not for those sensitive to sounds, those without much patience, those who cannot put up with HOURS of nearly nonstop screaming, and they are more than a handful! They are maybe two armfuls and a bucket! And making mistakes with any larger bird is going to be a lot more painful, given that they all have bolt cutters on their faces and are more than capable of giving you stitches.

I’m not too well versed in cockatoos, so I cannot provide much on nutritional needs nor what their diet should look like, since I’m more knowledgeable on small South American parrots and small Australian parrots. However, I would recommend buying or crafting wooden toys often. Cockatoos, including galahs, are ginormous termites who scream and fly, so you’re gonna need a LOT of wooden toys, lest they eat your entire house (which will most likely happen regardless, but it’ll probably be at a slower rate).

In short, uhh cockatoos are hard to care for, they’re little flying, house-eating, shrieking hellspawns with baby faces equipped with biological bolt cutters, and they’re hard to manage.

Keep in mind, I have NEVER been around nor had a cockatoo in my life. This is all based on what I have read, researched, and seen before realizing a cockatoo (excluding cockatiels) would be a bad fit for me personally.
 
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If you let your birds fly around in the house a small bird is easier to loose track of than a medium sized bird.
They can't play hide and seek very well
you will likely find yourself spending more on toys.
bigger toys for bigger birds come with a bigger price tag.
True
The damage a medium sized bird can cause in a short time is greater.
They can make a bigger mess
noise has been covered somewhat but I would add that noise vs size isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to the annoyance factor.
There are small birds I would never want to own cuz their shriek is so ear peercing (like a sun Conure).
True
I have no real experience with cockatoo’s (except for my cockaTIELS)
I read somewhere that tiels are not part of the too family despite having many similarities.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments
 
OP
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Cockatoos in general can be extremely needy. I went from budgies and a tiel to a hand raised baby Goffin's cockatoo and it turned out to be a mistake for me. For the first couple years Casper was incredibly tame and loved nothing more than loads of attention and full body scritches! She was so fluffy and cuddly it was hard to resist giving her the full body massages she craved. But after a few years she would get very angry when I tried to stop. She would bite and scream and chase me around the house. She refused to sit on a perch stand- she would jump down and run up to me begging to be cuddled. She would scream if I tried to talk on the phone so I had to hide in the closet or bathroom. When I tried to blow dry my hair she would try to climb up my bare legs so I had to stand on the toilet.
When Casper was about four I finally rehomed her to a friend halfway across the country. My friend was terrific with birds and Casper liked her but Casper began to pluck herself and it broke my heart to hear about it. I realize that I made mistakes with Casper, namely cuddling her too much but I didn't realize I was creating a monster by indulging both of us. I tried taking her to an avian behavior specialist but Casper had become fearful of men and refused to let him handle her- she clinged to me to whole time.
I feel very guilty for having let Casper down.
That's so sad. It makes me think that I would need a back up plan in case the bird became unmanageable. There are bird shops that might take in an unwanted bird but besides that I know of an old wildlife sanctuary that takes in unwanted birds. I go there sometimes just to see their birds.
Thanks for sharing
 

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Small birds are more likely to use their wings. I’ve personally noticed bigger birds prefer to walk/climb more than they fly, if they can help it. So smaller birds can be a bit more flighty.

A scared budgie flies away.

A scared eclectus freezes

A scared cockatoo lunges
 

DonnaBudgie

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That's so sad. It makes me think that I would need a back up plan in case the bird became unmanageable. There are bird shops that might take in an unwanted bird but besides that I know of an old wildlife sanctuary that takes in unwanted birds. I go there sometimes just to see their birds.
Thanks for sharing
I think you can be smarter than I was and prevent my situation with Casper by not over cuddling her.
 

DonnaBudgie

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I think you can be smarter than I was and prevent my situation with Casper by not over cuddling her.
It really was very sad. I still feel bad when I think about how I let Casper down by not properly socializing her and having to give her up when she was so bonded to me. The friend I gave her to was far better equipped to handle her than I was but giving her up hurt her. I would get any cockatoo if I were you. They are so sensitive and are not well suited to being pets.
 

DonnaBudgie

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It really was very sad. I still feel bad when I think about how I let Casper down by not properly socializing her and having to give her up when she was so bonded to me. The friend I gave her to was far better equipped to handle her than I was but giving her up hurt her. I would get any cockatoo if I were you. They are so sensitive and are not well suited to being pets.
Error I would NOT get a cockatoo. Any back up plan is not sufficient. If you need a back up plan, you really should chose a different bird.
 
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Error I would NOT get a cockatoo. Any back up plan is not sufficient. If you need a back up plan, you really should chose a different bird.
Remember that not all cockys will behave like yours did and there are at least 10 species of them so trying to characterise all of them from one experience is totally unfair. They are individuals and if someone is getting one then it's a great idea to have a back up plan. It certainly helped you having somewhere to take that cocky. Iv seen many people come onto this forum with birds that have become unmanageable big birds and small so having such a plan is a great idea.

I love cockys my Godmother has always owned one my whole life but let's label them all unsuitable.

What then are some medium sized parrots that are more suitable?
Iv started a thread asking this same question so it will be interesting getting people's opinions
 
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