Animal Stories - People Talking About Cockatoos


Animal-World info on Umbrella Cockatoo
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John Shelley Show - 2008-08-22
After all our kids moved out, we purchased our Aussie (umbrella cockatoo) when he was only 9 weeks old. Neither of us owned a large bird before (just small birds). HE IS THE BEST! He is 1 yrs old now. He doesn't say clear words yet but sure tries to say "good boy" and "Hi". We were amazed when we were able to potty train him in only a week. YEA. His wings are clipped but he walks all over the house as if he's the boss. When we get up and get ready for work, we bring Aussie out to keep us company and let him play while we get ready for work. Then when we have to leave we tell him we have to go to work and put him in his cage with the tv on and say "by-bye". He is in his cage during the day while we are at work which is a 72x36x48 loaded with toys, light/ceiling fan on, and a tv that is on while we are away (of course, cartoon network so he doesn't pick up anything bad). When we get home, we bring him out, he goes "potty", we applaud his good behavior and then he does whatever. He has a play gym in the living room that he can go on whenever he wants and a toy box loaded with all kinds of toys. He loves his balls he plays with that are soft rubber and some with little balls inside that he removes within seconds. He gets play time until 1 hour before bedtime and then we allow him to sit on our laps and get his nightly backrub/neckrub. He loves to be rubbed while he hides his head in a blanket or even our shirt. When he gets loud or out of control, we cover him with a blanket. If that doesn't work, then we have a "time-out" cage (36x36x48-his starter cage)in another separate room with a door. If he is naughty (perhaps bites), he gets "time-out". Usually only 10-15 min depending on the issue then we get him out and continue on as if nothing happened. He is a perfect angel when he comes out. He always tries to come to the one that put him in time out as if to say he's sorry---way awesome. He goes to bed at the same time every night-around 9pm. He is an awesome addition. Time out really works as it is in a different room from his normal cage and there is no toys and we leave the room dark. When he does good, we literally clap our hands and say "Aussie, good boy" and continue to reinforce that he is being a good boy. He knows commands such as: no, eat, potty, come, standup, stepdown, nite-nite and yes he can shake. We are looking forward to him talking, hopefully soon. He eats Zupreem fruits and veggies (pellet foods). He likes broccoli, carrots, king crab legs, shrimp, lobster and some fish. He also loves scrabbled egg beaters with me for breakfast. He eats raisens, soup crackers, animal cookies, peanuts and dry cereal. He likes to "chew" so we be sure to have things he can chew on everywhere so he won't chew on what he shouldn't. Oh yea, he loves to shower with us--this is a funny experience. He is quite at night and even when we sleep in on a weekend, he doesn't make a sound until we open his door and say "good morning".
These are awesome pets if you have space, time, compassion and lots of luv to give.

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  • vallerie - 2010-09-18
    My cockatoo is 12 weeks old. He"s had his first shower and loved it.
    He goes to bed at 9 also in the morning I say good morning and open the shade at the window so he can look around out side.. trying to talk almost there, 99%potty trained
    but when I want him to stay on his perch in the living room sometimes it just does not happen working progress (lol) jrakkar is a picky eater not much for human food but still only 12 weeks old....
  • vallerie akerblom - 2010-10-12
    Mine is 15weeks old he says hello-supper-wacka wacka - working on how are you ..his name is jrakkar he knows his name very well we go for walks he has also been on the channel news last week..could not imagine not having him very picky eater.
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Animal-World info on Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
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IAN WEBB - 2009-06-23
As a pet these are not a bad bird but can be nasty when cleaning out the cage etc. I have heard of people losing fingers, but in the wild these are Australia's second worst pest. They are the farmer's nightmare and a very very destructive devastating bird. Myself I rank them up with the Indian Myna and the Cane Toad as this country's worst pests. I hope that my view does not hurt but having been on the land myself. I see the damage this bird is doing to the man on the land, who is struggling with this and the worst drought in at least 100 years. The farmer has to make a living, thank you and have a nice day

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  • Ros Stiles - 2011-08-11
    Perhaps you need to remember that humans came and took over the cockatoos food source, felled their trees and cleared their forests. So if the poor birds actually dare to take some food from your trees when you have (your ancestors or previously land owner) raped their land took away their food and shelter etc. Perhaps you could plant a few trees for the birds to help them out instead of complaining about them. And I do understand - I come from a farming background.
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Animal-World info on Mollucan Cockatoo
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Anonymous - 2003-08-04
I also have aquired a wild caught Moluccan. I don't know his way back past, but he was in an animal training program here in Southern California for many years. I was assigned to his during one year there. During the teen years there he started mutilating his chest. I've had him for 9 years now. 6 of those years he wore a collar to prevent the mutilation.In the past 3 years I have been giving him Haloperidol, a human drug, 3 drops in the morning and that is it. He ceased mutilation and now lives beautifully collar free. I think of it as a miracle. He still plucks his chest a bit, but no mutilation. There is no change in his personality, it just removed the obsession he had with his chest. He is once again the pretty, fluffy, white bird I fell in love with....

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Animal-World info on Umbrella Cockatoo
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Tina - 2004-04-01
I have had my cockatoo since he was 5 months old. He is now not only a pet, but my best friend. He is so much fun to play with and even knows when you are having a bad day in which case he will snuggle more than usual. If you are thinking about getting a bird I would suggest an umbrella cockatoo if you want a bird that is sweet and kind.

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Animal-World info on Greater Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
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laurie - 2008-11-30
We acquired a Greater Crested Cockatoo at our store as a lady had him, Val'dore
for a week and he bit her. This lady had gotten him off another couple who used brooms to chase him and apparently the people before that threw stuff at his cage to shut him up. They have put him on drugs etc. He is now drug free and I have brought Valdore home. He has sat with me and talked with me but knowing he is not going to be chased by brooms things thrown at him I think he has a chance. I have let him out on his playtop and his cage is open for him to feel he is not enclosed and welcome to come down and sit with me when he so feels like it. This day is my first day other than visiting him at my store. We will just see how sychotic they say he is. I would be if people treated me that way, the thing is everyone want one of these lovely parrots but do not do their homework as cockatoos need a lot of love and attention and are not very independent in comparison to an African Grey or Blue and Gold (which I also have). Feel free to visit our website @ www.parrotparadise.ca.

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Animal-World info on Umbrella Cockatoo
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Lillie LeBlanc - 2012-01-21
We purchased our umbrella cockatoo - Abby for Christmas. She is 6 months old. She loves every toy we've either bought or made for her. We have no children & she is our only pet. I am a previous parrot owner - 12 yrs. and went 5 yrs. without one. Never owned an Umbrella Too. She is such a joy to have. Only problem so far is that she hates it when the TV is on. We watch it only at night & weekends. She ends up in her cage because she screeches & carries on so much we can't hear the TV!!! She actually doesn't mind going in her cage because she quiets down. Maybe I'll try leaving the TV on during the day....
No words yet but hopefully she will begin talking soon.

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  • Editor's Note - 2012-01-21
    What a fun addition to your family! Just like any 'new baby' you will see her little personality emerge as time goes on. Seems to me, possibly, that when she sees you watching TV, she is feeling like she is not the center of attention. After all, if you were a bird, and your humans became very still and didn't move and looked at a box in the room, you may be a little disturbed too! lol Maybe try petting her or having her sit with you when you watch TV. If that does not work, maybe she will grow out of it, like all little kids do! Enjoy and thanks for the information!
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-23
    I don't know for sure what is true - only what is real. My birds would go nuts and talk and jabber and make me crazy if I wanted to watch a movie. I bought them their own TV with DVD's and would set up their TV for them. Surf's Up, Little Mermaid, Ninja Turtles etc. They love their TV and they talk to it and they learned many of the words. I then realized they weren't so much 'pitching a fit' when the TV went on as they were communicating with it and also trying to compete with it for my attention. My Panama Memorized Ninja Turtles and a couple and their teens came over to the home and my Panama said clearly 'drop your drawers, I have a pistol'. If it is your little guys bedtime, sure put him to bed, but otherwise you might want to just let him watch TV - their are kids programs during the day.
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Animal-World info on Goffin Cockatoo
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Lily - 2013-05-22
I recently acquired a goffin's cockatoo. Rescue bird. The previous owner that had him, I heard, got evicted and went to jail for drugs. He is extremely afraid and plucks his feathers. I have had him for about 4 months. I got him a large cage. He previously had a small one. He has lots of toys and gets fed well. I have recently gotten him off seeds, which is what he was sent with, and on Harrisons as well as fresh foods. He is still pretty picky with eating but getting better. I have taken him to the vet and am still waiting on results to see if there are underlying issues for his feather picking before I do anything else. He is supposed to be approximately 3 years old. He sometimes makes a few noises but most of the time sits in one spot and doesn't seem interested to get to know me. I also have a sun conure, approximately 12 years old and their cages are right next to each other. My sun is more bonded to me, and humans, but my goffin seems to identify more with my conure. I have had mainly dogs all my life except for my conure and am not too familiar with cockatoos, which I understand need a lot of stimulation. My boyfriend has had birds his whole life, 3 amazons growing up and the last just recently passed a few years ago. Any information on goffins, feather picking, fearful birds (cockatoos) than anyone can give would be extremely helpful. He is gaining weight and looks healthy but his feather picking is getting worse and he has developed some abscesses under his wings from picking. I got an ecollar from the vet but Im worried that this will be damaging to his mental health because of how he already acts. I tried it on my conure because he can handle a lot of situations and he had a hard time with it and would only flop around. Any information on a feather picking (flight suit) would also be useful as I think I may want to try that first. Im in this too the end and would not think of rehoming this bird another time as I understand its very damaging. I am planning on trying the foraging bit as well as tv for entertainment while I am at work. Thanks again for any help!!!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-22
    It's so great that you're giving this bird a great home, and a chance to get normalized. Here's a few thoughts. Birds have incredibly long memories, so it will take a long time for him to get brave with his new world. Birds also prefer other birds over people, so it's no surprise he does best with the Sun Conure, and it's actually really great that you have a companion for him (and for the Sun, though they're not as needy). But don't give up,he's smart and he is watching, so he will learn about you from observing you and your conure interact. Something that can help with the plucking, besides all the normal stuff you'll read and hear about... try a soft cotton blanket in the cage with him, or covering one side where he can pull on it. We've had success with that. If he likes it, he will chew on it constantly and it will be destroyed, but it offers him a soft replacement for his feathers and can help keep him occupied. Good luck and all the best to both of you:)
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Denise Fisher - 2013-04-19
I have had my Cockatoo, a male for 22 years! Over the past year, he has become a biter! If I have people over, he will run towards me and start pecking at my ankles. A couple weeks ago, I let him out of the cage while a friend was over and he went right by my friend on the couch and attacked me. I quietly put him back into the cage were he bite me two more times, sending me to the hospital for a very serious bite. I am told he is hormonal and sees me as his 'mate.' I am petrified to let interact with him for any length of time. This was once a darling, bird, with excellent temperament. Now, obviously, I am aware I can't let him out with anyone home. But how can you build trust after this... He is unpredictable.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-04-19
    That's a challenge, but a 22 year relationship speaks of a good friendship. I would analyse the environment and all the things you are doing to see if there are any changes in your lifestyle that may be causing some sort of upset with your bird. Try to figure out what's become different (besides your bird's reactions) over the past year.
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Olivia - 2013-04-07
I am thinking of selling my goffin cockatoo he has became to much work for me. Between school and homework I don't have enough time for him. how would he do if I sell him? would he adapt well since I have had him for a few years?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-04-08
    You could sell him yourself, or consign him with your local pet store. In either case it helps to have the prospective owner spend some time with the bird. This helps them make sure they really want the bird, that the bird likes them, and that they are prepared to give it a proper home. The better the match, the easier it is for a bird to adjust.
  • Brent Trehern - 2013-04-17
    Cockatoos, especially Goffins, are a mystery unto themselves. How he was raised will greatly affect how he will adapt to a new home and owner. One of my Goffins (this is not the first home for all three of them), a male named Coconut by the previous owner, has something of an unknown past and is afraid of men. He will listen to me and step up, but is otherwise afraid of me (or any other man for that matter). However he will cuddle with my fiance...even though I've had him for a year and a half and she's been in my life for only a year. If you raised him from a baby (and I mean after he was fully weaned...not from when he was hatched, mind you), and he's a sweet bird you've introduced to various people over the years, then he should adapt well to any loving home. However there are cautionary notes to selling or rehoming your bird. First, if you choose to use a local pet store to consign, make sure of the store's reputation. A good example (I live in Phoenix, Arizona) would be a store we have around here called Cageworld. The last time I visited this bird store I knew much less about pet stores than I do now so I was ignorant of how horrible it was to house a dozen birds in a single large cage. Not only did they pack the birds in cages but there were more than a few reported incidents (which you can find online) of birds being boarded there who 'accidentally' got sold. So be sure the place you go to has a positive reputation from either word of mouth or multiple websites (reviews can be faked so...check around). Whether you consign or sell directly to an owner, as recommended, make sure you meet the potential new owner and ascertain their suitability. You don't want the bird going to a home for the wrong reasons such as for breeding, being a gift to a kid who will lose interest once the newest video game comes out, or someone who says they can't afford the price of a consigned bird (if they can't afford the bird from a shop then how are they going to pay for food, toys, and vet visits?) just to name a few. Finally check with family who may be able to home the bird for few months (or years) to give you time to either catch up with school or finish it. This would be the easiest on your heart, as you would not truly be parted from your companion...as long as someone agreed to it.
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Klitsie - 2013-04-02
Hi, I would just like to know at which age a Goffin Cockatoo would normally start talking?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-04-04
    I really can't give an exact age, but I do know that cockatoos in general are not known for great talking abilities. I've heard that it can take a few years for them to really say comprehensible words. If you work with them a lot as they are coming of age you might have better results.
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