Why a Cockatoo?

Posted By: GregM

Why a Cockatoo? - 04/19/09 06:26 PM

I was just wondering what attracts others to Cockatoos? Is it a general interest in birds? It is there appearance? Behavior? I know many of you have multiple birds and different species.

Strangly enough, as an impressionable youth my favorite TV show was "Baretta" and I fell in love with Fred, that "old rummy"... he was a very well trained bird and since ownership of a Cockatoo wasn't a reality I started with a parakeet and eventually stepped up to cockatiels.

I am sorry to say that back in the 1980s I made the mistake many people make and bought a MSC from a local pet store without really learning enough about them and made all the usual mistakes..."Fred" ultimately was sold to a breeder as I could not control him...but knowing now, what I did not know then, it was very much my own fault...I am still guilty about giving up on him...

I wanted another for decades but must admit I was a little afraid to try again...I almost adopted an M2...although I absolutely adore them and thnk they are magnificent, I do not think I could have handled him...then one day there was an ad in the local paper for someone who needed to sell a MSC and Buddy came into my life...

So...why a Cockatoo?
Posted By: Janny

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/19/09 06:40 PM

For me it was a pity purchase and an impulsive one at that...

Hubby and I were making a trip to the pet store to pick up some stuff for our cockatiel Kiki.Of course I had pondered having a larger species of parrot but never really put any thought into it really. I saw some kids poking straws into a cage with this scared white bird in there. The bird was scared and flailing around the cage. I could not contain myself.I rushed over and gave the kids heck for doing it and the staff came over to see what was wrong. I asked the staff about the bird in question and the answer I got was "You don't want that bird.That bird is a mess.It is going back to the breeder because it is no good". Well I stuck my finger in the cage anyway. This poor pathetic cockatoo came rushing over put his foot on my finger and licked my finger for a long time. That was it. Next thing I knew I was calling the manager over and begging to buy this bird at a discount price because it was going back anyway. She was amazed I could even touch him.

Knowing nothing about birds I did everything wrong. He was not quite 3 months old when I bought him as a force weaned baby chick. He was sitting in my home for months begging for hand feedings and I had no idea. I thought he just wanted attention. He turned very phobic and was nearly a year old when I got the help of an Avian Vet and this board. What life savers. It took a couple of years but Gabby did get allot better with his phobic beahviors. I was lucky he never got scared of me in the whole time. It was a connection him and I made right from day one and it never changed.

Cockatoo's hold a special place in my heart. I see the torment they live in captivity and it is so sad.Many of them end up abused and neglected because people just don't understand them.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/19/09 07:02 PM

I impulse purchased my first cockatoo - my M2, Echo. My beloved Quaker had passed away a few weeks earlier, and I went to the store I had gotten her to get another. When I walked in the door, there was Echo. I picked her up and she didn't leave my arms until we were home.
Two days later at her new-bird visit, my AV asked me if I realized what I had done. Chosen one, if not the most difficult of all parrots to live with. He explained to me the effects that captivity has on these birds and how many behavior problems can arise, from well-meaning, but uneducated caregivers. I made a vow that I was going to honor the commitment I had made the day I brought Echo home (come hell or high water). I followed my AV's advice and had a behavior consultant come into my home for 4 visits, purchased some books he recommended, hit the internet and found Mytoos.

Originally Posted By: Janny
Cockatoo's hold a special place in my heart. I see the torment they live in captivity and it is so sad.Many of them end up abused and neglected because people just don't understand them.

DITTO that!!
Posted By: Walter

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/19/09 08:16 PM

I had budgies and cockatiels in the past. After my marriage broke down I wanted companionship, but wasn't interested in getting involved in a "relationship" again. I considered a dog, but I thought a dog would be much more work than a bird. Obviously, I knew nothing about large parrots. I didn't know about the issues regarding pet stores, breeders, and the bird trade industry, or I never would have gone to a breeder, but that's exactly what I did. I went with the intention of purchasing an African Grey. After talking with the breeder for about an hour he first brought me an umbrella cockatoo, just to show me, and placed him on my lap.

I also watched Baretta regularly, and Fred was my favourite character.

He warned me not to start stroking the bird right away to avoid being bitten, but I'm not one to listen. I stroked the head and neck and didn't get bitten. The U2 looked at me with what seemed to be interest but uncertainty. He was only 4 months old, and his feathers were in very rough shape. (I was told he was 4 months old, but the numbers on his leg band could indicate that he was 9 years old at the time) I wondered if he was being picked on by other birds or otherwise mistreated.

I bought him, found this board a short time later, and have been learning ever since.

I believe this board has literally been a lifesaver for Rocco, because I was absolutely clueless when I brought him home. It was here that I learned how to stop bleeding with cornstarch, how to interpret much of Rocco's body language and behaviour, how to feed him, entertain him, and many other things.

This board is the single best one-stop-shop for cockatoo information and assistance. If it's not here, someone can point you in the right direction.
Posted By: whitewings56

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 12:33 AM

Hi GregM thats a good question but I honestly don't know what attracts me to Toos still haven't figured it out !!!!
I have 11 . I also started with 1 a U2 but I didn't know much about Toos. Then through the vet I met a lady who gave lots of advice on toys etc and she also told me to read Pet Bird Report and so I did and then I subscribed to it. Then I found this website way back in 2002.
Posted By: Ladyhutch

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 03:25 AM

I pity purchased my first M2 Charley. I went into a pet store to buy a new cage for my Nandy Conure I had just rescued. I saw this magnificant big white bird and was drawn to him. I went to talk to him and saw that he was living in filth. His food and water dishes sat on the bottom of the cage and were nasty with poop and slime. Charley looked at me and begged me to touch him. I put my finger in the cage and he grabbed it and put it in his mouth. Dumb me, I did not have any fear. I would NEVER put my finger in his mouth today!! I took 3 weeks to think it over. I could not justify leaving him there. He had been there a year and had only been out of the cage for a few times.
After we got him home and started our day to day living, I realized I did not know what I had gotten myself into. After a couple of months I came across My Toos and I must say, this site has probably saved Charley`s life. I have learned all I know about Cockatoos from the wonderful people here. God Bless you all.
The reason I chose a Cocckatoo? I did not chose Charley, he chose me. Getting a Cockatoo was the last thing on my mind when I went into that store. I could not in good conscious leave him there.
I pity purcahsed Sydnee also from a newspaper add.She came from a woman who bought her from a breeder that was going out of business. She has a lot of baggage, but she is one sweet little girl. In a month she will have been here 3 years. Thank goodness I have not come across any more Cockatoos needing a home, LOL
I made a comittment to these 2 Cockatoos. I will honor that comittment no matter how hard it gets.
Posted By: Chewy

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 05:19 AM

I too pity-purchased and impulsively purchased Chewy from a bird store. My reasoning back then was my caregiver wanted it and she couldn't afford it. Of course I didn't buy him for her, I bought him for me.
I could have left him there, and I should have. I dind't really want, or need another bird. But I can't imagine life without him. He goes most places with me.
Posted By: GregM

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 01:34 PM

"This board is the single best one-stop-shop for cockatoo information and assistance. If it's not here, someone can point you in the right direction."

I second that sentiment...I feel empowered by having such a resource avaiable to me and much more comfortable facing Too related issues.

And while I love every "pity purchase" story with a happy endning it just makes me sad that there are probably so many others still suffering...I go into a local pet store for fish food and some bird supplys and there is a MSC there that has been there for a while...fairly well cared for but exhibiting all the signs of being in a pet store too long..went home with someone and then was back shortly afterwards...the old "my daughter is allergic" story...Tritan is actuall a sweetheart and one of the friendliest "pet shop" birds I have ever met...everytime I go in to buy Buddy a new toy I buy one for her and hang it in her enclosure...the kids in the store think I am mad...the managment said they are going to move her to another store soon as they don't want her getting to attached to sad...I feel so bad for her and inquired if they would consider dropping the price to no avail...

I am going to look at Ophelia today...she is the subject of the post that brought me here under behavioral section...she has already been in 3 homes, I am told she is a plucker and a screamer and I fear this may be her last chance at a happy home...I was concerned with the potential negative impact she may have on Buddy, but from what I have read here they both may actually benefit from contact with another bird...

But is pity enough? They are an enourmous amount of work and I really do not desire multiple seems as though everyone here finds the strength to care for them in pity...and as for the forum member in Italy with 11...Amen, peasano : )
Posted By: Cleo's Mom

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 01:38 PM

This topic has given me so much hope. So many of you have gotten your toos without having any idea what you were getting into. Cleo was brought into my business as an adoptee for a friend. For some reason she instantly bonded to me - me, who had never even been close to any kind of bird. My friend asked me if I would like to have Cleo since she obviously loved me. So the adventure began and I think I have made every mistake possible. After 10 montths, things are beginning to improve a bit although there are still many problems and I swing back and forth between fear and discouragement. MyToos has definitely saved Cleo and I; there are not enough words to express my gratitude.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 02:06 PM

Pity purchasing is NOT something we advocate. Members have related their experiences in the past. If one buys a bird from a store or breeder, they are just part of the problem. If you really want to help cockatoos, stay out of stores. Visit a rescue.
Posted By: GregM

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 03:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Charlie
If you really want to help cockatoos, stay out of stores. Visit a rescue.

If I went to a rescue I would leave with 10 birds : (

And I agree with Cleo's mom...this site is an enouromous help to those who really do want to understand how to cohabit with their Too...before I found it I found Sam Foster's articles very insightful...
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 04:43 PM

Greg I deleted the link to the article. The site you found it on also has breeder information. We don't post any links with breeders or that are supported by breeders.
Posted By: Pete789

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 04:55 PM

I love cockatoos causwe they are soooo intelligent

Pete & Penny
Posted By: FeatheredAngels

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 05:13 PM

Cockatoos have a way of looking into your eyes, and touching your very soul. I grew up with many birds, my parents adopted every animal that came their way and many were parrots. While I loved them all, there was always a special place in my heart for the Too. After finding this site, my love and concern for them only grew stronger. We only have the one, but Ozzy is like our child. Everyday is scheduled around his care and happiness. To me they are angels from heaven, sent to test human kind. Sadly the world is failing them.

Anyone who can look into these wonderful creatures eyes and not feel the love they possess, just has no soul.

Why the Too........look into their eyes and you will find the answer.
Posted By: GregM

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 09:15 PM

Originally Posted By: FeatheredAngels
Why the Too........look into their eyes and you will find the answer.

Ahh, yes...Buddy has sweet eyes...I told him he was too pretty to be a boy...
Posted By: rhondarenee

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 10:16 PM

I dont think my birds were "pity purchases" but more selfish purchases. I mean how cool would it be too have a bird that talked???? HA! Although I grew up around birds at a distance (lived in same house, but never had more interest than an occasional head scratch or chat why passing by) I never ever thought about owning one myself... till ONE DAY with absolutely no premeditated thought at all.. We were at a Trade Days type place.. they had birds. I held a few but didnt make a connnection with any.. My boyfriend took their card to their store. He asked if i wanted to go by and thought.. hey, why not? Went to the store and left with a TAG on layaway.. over the next 2 months we visited regulary. During the last couple visits they had a very sweeet U2 that i had began holding.. I wanted him and boyfriend bought him. HOW MUCH MORE SELFISH can one person get? I didnt even have the TAG home yet and was on the bird #2. Once Casper the U2 was home.. I then decided to do some reaserch and found MyToos.. and felt like a complete idiot. No, I dont think idiot covers it.. i felt worse than that. I didnt look into it.. i didnt even think about adopting.. i had no business getting a bird to begin with and here my lovely boyfiend just bought me $2500 worth of birds and I had to tell him what a horrible thing we just did. Thankfully.. he understood!! Now, we are committed to seeing this through and giving them the best life possible and will never ever recommend buying a bird to anyone! And when accused of being a hipocrit.. i say yes i am.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/20/09 10:43 PM

Pity purchases make you feel good but the money that changes hands just ensures that another bird will suffer in it's place. Bird stores and breeders lie, they have to to stay in business. The will do anything in their power to "convince" you that the bird loves you like no one else. They will lie about it's age. They will lie about it's health and whether it was seen by a vet. They will lie about weaning. These are business people, not bird lovers! They may "like" birds but only because of what they can get out of them.

When you give them the money, they will beg, borrow, steal or buy another "cheap" bird to lie with. When you give them the money, you are enabling them and perpetuating the problem. All they want is a credit card, not a good home for any bird. Some cockatoos are going to suffer, for sure! Why make it more?

A Take on Pity Purchases - Jerry Waters, Mytoos
Posted By: Janny

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/21/09 12:08 AM

Good points Charlie and I guess I should have made myself clear on that fact that a pity purchase is not the way to go. It is a pity puchase because you feel so sorry for that bird but believe me...when I bought Gabby from that pet store...he wasn't the last to suffer in there. There has been many only I learned my lesson.There are many other birds out there in rescues needing help and homes and it is NOT lining the pocket of a breeder or pet store supplying the pet trade. Rescue is by far the way to go.
Posted By: Donnalee

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/21/09 12:25 AM

When you pity purchase one bird it is replaced by two!
Posted By: Ladyhutch

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/21/09 06:13 AM

I am pleased to say that Charley was never replaced with another Cockatoo. They did sell other birds though. They have since closed down. The economy in a college town is very low right now. YES!
Sydnee was purchased by a woman who knew nothing about birds at all. She had her a month and put her up for sale in the want ads. We felt we had to buy her to keep her out of the hands of someone else who did not knw squat about the needs of a Cockatoo. Believe me, she learned her lesson, she stated she would never ever own another large bird.
Today, I would never purchase a bird. I would visit a rescue and let my new companion choose me.
Posted By: Elliott

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 04/21/09 01:20 PM

My first Too purchase was impluse. The second was a good deal. $200 buck for a Moluccan that needed a stable home. The third was after some thought.

First was a Goffins. I was at my favorite petstore and they got in some G2's. This was about 1986. I had to get one.

Second was the Moluccan. I had worked with him at the zoo for about a year. He was a foundling by the zoo. They did a health check and found no problem, just a little hungry from being lost and had some old injuries that healed wrong. He live at the zoo in a off display area for about a year. The zoo ran several lost and found adds but no one claimed. They were going to try to find another zoo for a home. I made them an offer and they said sold. Tut still has issues but he lives in his forever home. That was in Spring 1988.

The thrid is an Umbrella. Got her in late 1988. Kyu was the last of a friends breeding. He was going to keep here but needed the cash for his divorce.

I just wish Mytoos was around in the 80's. Even though the M2 and the U2 are in their forever homes, I would not have ever bought them knowing what I know now. The G2 had to be rehomed 4 yours ago because of her killing two other birds. I rehomed her for her safety. She found a new home where she is a single bird and doing great.
Posted By: Greb256

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 05/23/09 09:02 PM

I was an exchange student in Australia in high school and when I saw the flocks of SC2 and the galahs I thought they were beautiful. 6 years later after graduating for college and reading several birds books I emailed a rescue in Arizona. I visited the rescue and still wanted one after listening to a M2 scream. I ended up buying my first too, an E2. She was and is very well behaved and friendly with everyone. She plays well alone and loves attention and meeting new people. She is out whenever I am home or in her room while I am at work.

From there I volunteered at a rescue and adopted my second too, G2. Third was a rehome (MM2) and the 4th a gift from my husband (D2).
Posted By: OogieBird

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 05/24/09 12:19 AM

When I was very young (10yrs old), there was a goffins in a pet store that just stole my heart. I would visit him whenever my mom would agree to let me go see him. He did the cutest "bunny hop" all over the bottom of the cage whenever he saw me and would cry every time I left. The owner saw how much I liked him, and actually offered to give us a $200 discount...who tries to sell a 10 year old a cockatoo??!!!
I really hope the little guy found a good loving home and is as happy as can be, though statistically I know this is improbable
Anyways, I have wanted one every since. I stumbled across an online ad for one that needed rehoming. Although I know the bird wasn't replaced and all the seller did was recover costs, I now feel horrible for not adopting, especially when I've seen several in rescues locally that need adopted.
Posted By: Janie

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 05/28/09 04:27 AM

I was goofing around online researching cockatoo's and stumbled upon an ad. I made contact just out of curiosity. I had met and handled a cockatoo while on a trip, and was curious about price etc. I was offered the opportunity to adopt the cockatoo mentioned in the add. We thought about it carefully, researched every book we could find, checked out a local parrot store, and were encouraged to purchase a chick. It just didn't feel right, the owner was too 'pushy'. We considered long and hard, then made the decision to go ahead with taking on the responsibility of providing for a cockatoo. I had not discovered Mytoos, or we may have changed our minds.

Every day is a new experience with a cockatoo. The depth of bonding they are capable of creating with a human is astounding. I attribute that to the high level of the bird's intelligence. This bird has trained to hand signals. She has so many levels of communication, body language, her own sounds, and the ability to request in human language many of her desires or needs. EX: "drink, nite-nite, I go outside, blanky".

My background in behavior modification has been invaluable. The bird loves to 'work'. Keeping her busy and challenged is a full time job.

This bird is extremely socialized, has been exposed to all manner of human daily living situations. She goes everywhere appropriate with us. She volunteers. With her little flight suit (bird diaper) on, and a color coordinated bow in her crest she gets lots of attention in public. This has become an opportunity to educate many people about cockatoos in captivity. OUR MESSAGE TO ALL THE HUMANS SHE MEETS IS: COCKATOOS ARE ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT CREATURES TO CARE FOR, AND AS A RESULT THEY ARE MOST OFTEN ABUSED, NEGLECTED AND BECOME UNWANTED. THEY REQUIRE A LIFETIME COMMITMENT OF TIME. MONEY, AND PATIENCE. A COCKATOO IS LIKE CARING FOR AN ETERNAL 2 YEAR OLD CHILD WHO HAS THE INTELLIGENCE OF A 6-8 YEAR OLD HUMAN COUPLED WITH BEHAVIORAL ISSUES.

Would we ever make such a deep commitment to an animal again? I doubt it, however there is that bond, that deep straight to your soul relating that makes the chewed on buffet, the extra cleaning, the hormonal surges, the expensive parrot food that the vacuum eats more of than the bird worth it. For better or worse. Janie & Kiwi U2
Posted By: MissYumYum

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 05/29/09 04:22 AM

Amen, Janie! Very well said!

Posted By: whitewings56

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 05/31/09 12:48 AM

Well from what I read on this message board there is certainly a big problem in the US in relation to Toos.
Fortunatly in Italy parrots and in particular Toos(other reason they are very expensive M2 4,000 euros or Major Mitchell 5-6000 euros), are not so popular and now with the avian flu and the documents required according to the CITES( appendix I species are real issue) even less ( I am sooo happy). Often the small local pet shops don't even have parakeets or canaries because of the avian flu let alone parrots - ( and I'm soo happy).
There are no rescues in Italy like in the US here( also because the number of parrots is so low that probably 1-2 rescues would be more than sufficient for all types of birds I think).
So its me and a few crazy parrot lovers tht play rescue; thats why I have 11
Posted By: toosmom

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 06/01/09 03:57 AM

How we got into 'toos? uhm .... well - it's a warped story actually. When I was growing up I had all the animals a kid generally has - but never once had a bird. I don't know if that was because my mom didnt like them or what but when I was a teenager, my dad had one. I would go for a visit and there he would be. His name was Charlie Chan - and for the life of me I can NOT remember the type of bird he was - all I remember is he was an amazonian bird.
My husband did grow up with birds, and knew how much work they were first hand. He was wanting to get a bird - a 'too actually - so that our kids could grow up with them. When I started researching, I told him he was nuts.
We rescued an aviary of lovebirds from a woman who had been breeding them and decided to get out of the business. she was just "dumping" them. We bought the aviary from her and she "threw in the birds" for free. She was going to sell the unweaned babies to a girl who 'wanted to try handraising' and decided to give them to us along with their parents instead.

After I researched a bit, we got involved with bird rescues because we felt that the ones in the shelters needed us more then the ones in the pet stores. We don't buy from the pet stores because 1) they charge to much money and 2) we find that being smart in what we give our birds not only gives us peace of mind (because we didnt know WHAT was in the toys in the shops!) but also helps us financially, because you would be surprised at what a bird will find interesting enough to play with (then again as most of you on here know, you might NOT be surprised!).

We don't regret the path we have taken, or the birds that have come our way. We went into it with our eyes wide open, knowing full well how hard it was going to be. Knowing that, we are constantly amazed at how good a relationship turns out with our lot - even the cranky 'too affectionately known as "el demon bird"!
Posted By: Sigstheman

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 08/21/09 03:00 PM

I guess, without really knowing the facts about these birds and their needs, I just would look at one and think WOW how, beautiful, how could anyone NOT want one!
Posted By: Brandy's mom

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 08/21/09 04:21 PM

THIS is my history. September 1958 my family had just driven across the country from Florescent, MO to Coronado, CA. On the drive I turned seven. About two weeks after, our Family had to go see the World Famous San Diego Zoo. That day I experienced the most beautiful creature Almighty God had placed on this planet. After all I knew beautiful birds, I had a parakeet. This angel was sitting on the arm of a man in a brown uniform. Behind them was a pond of pink (ha they don't even know what pink is) flamingos with several water spouts. With the sun reflecting off the pond and the water misting around, King Tut looked to be straight from Heaven. My parents had to pry me away and I made their day miserable until I got several more visits with King Tut. Jump ahead a few decades and in 1994 I had the opportunity to "purchase" one of King Tut's daughters. I had the love, time, money, I didn't have the right living conditions. That's why a cockatoo. It's the truth....
Posted By: Doubleyolk

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 08/21/09 05:43 PM

Why a Cockatoo? I keep asking myself that question! grin
Posted By: MissYumYum

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 08/21/09 05:56 PM

That's quite a story, Denise! Thanks for sharing! King Tut is quite the legend, and I can see why you fell in love! We know that feeling all too well around here. I had done my research and was going to settle on a hahn's macaw for the family pet 8 years ago (yes, of course, a baby - I had NO IDEA of the travesty that is the parrot breeding industry, sigh...). My husband was in PetSmart buying wild bird seed, saw they had an M2 for sale and came home with love in his eyes for the pink ball of fluff. I had absolutely no intention of buying from PetSmart, told him cockatoos were too big and complicated, etc., etc. One fateful day, I was driving the long way home and happened upon the new location of a long-time Dallas bird store. I thought to myself, "Hmmmm... we're still not settled on what kind of parrot to bring into our home with a young child (then 7), so I'll stop in and ask them some more questions." There was Isabella U2, 3 years old and just placed on consignment at the shop by her first owners because their daughter had developed asthma (so they said confused), and it was love at firsrt sight! When they placed her on my arm and she snuggled in to my chest, that was it - I was lost! A story like so many others, sigh...

My only regret is that I did not truly rescue her - had no idea about parrot overpopulation or specialty rescues. I found MyToos when Isabella turned 5 and I started having puberty issues with her. m Then, my eyes were opened!

Very insightful thread!

Posted By: YondoToo

Warning, this is long. - 10/15/09 10:22 PM

I got my fourth bird, a Meyers parrot, in 2003 - then I began wanting another a few years later. In january 2006, I saw a brown-headed parrot that was going to be rehomed. One year old, and still she was already going to her fourth home!

I wanted that bird so badly, but still, I live in northern Sweden, and that bird was as south as you could get. So it was not really possible. Then I (this was more than a year before I started questioning breeding birds) thought I could get a baby pionus by summer.

Only days after that, I started thinking of getting my dream bird, a Mealy amazon. (Now that I know more about birds, I know that amazons are not for me) I had read a bit earlier that month about cockatoos and I thought that NEVER would I have such a horrible (...), biting, unpredictable terror of a bird! I promised myself that, NEVER EVER would I have a cockatoo. But still, naive fourteen-year-old as I was, I could not take my eyes of the cockatoos beauty and started looking at mostly the Eleonora, and chose that instead of the Mealy amazon.

I read, read and read for... about half a year (not much at all, but for a fourteen/fifteen-year-old, it's a lot of time, especially when you're impatient and want everything to happen NOW!), especially here, but of course none of it stuck in my head.
If I hade not had a cockatoo by now, and come here and read, I believe that I would have realized - the aggression issues with cockatoos are probably too much for me. But as a fourteen/fifteen-year-old, I thought (like any teen) "I can make it - if they can, why can't I?" tired

I read threads here about other teens wanting to get toos, and when they were told not to, I thought "Yes, it's them... but I can handle it!" I didn't realize that all those that I read about had most likely thought the exact same thing.

I wanted to get a rehome, because I didn't really like this with breeding, but I was still miles away from the opinions I have today. So because I refused to wait more months, by june, I put a deposit on a cockatoo hatched at the end of march. His brother from the year before (and later, his siblings the year after) was parent-fed entirely, and I wanted "my" 'too to be parent-raised as well, but since I couldn't put the deposit soon enough, he was taken in to be hand-fed at two months of age.

I was to pick up the 'too (DNA-tested male) in the beginning of august because he was just supposed to have been weaned by then (I had read here about how long time these birds need to be fed, but I of course preferred to listen to the breeders here instead...cry), but instead I got a message in the beginning of july that now, he's weaned and has been eating by himself for almost a week. I didn't think that sounded good, but not so much that I would not buy the bird anyway.
(If that had been today - not that I buy from a breeder anyway - I would have demanded of him to feed the bird longer or let him have my deposit and I would not buy the bird, but that was not the case then)

I never started a thread here because I knew what sort of answers I would get, and I didn't see what that would lead to. I was dead set on a cockatoo, and no one could convince me otherwise.

It didn't take many months for me with the "little" 'too to understand that these birds really do not fit in our homes. So since then, I have been a clear opposer of breeding of all parrots - especially cockatoos and the other large parrots - and have self-proclaimed myself as Swedens Mytoos-ambassador. blush

I have done mistakes that I will never do again, and I try to convince as many as I can NOT to get a cockatoo, or if they do, definitely not feed the breeders. Few people wants to see cockatoos out of our living rooms as much as I do, but I often meet rather odd questions at that opinion.
"If you don't think parrots should be pets, then why are you at bird forums?"
"To say that cockatoos shouldn't be pets is b***shit when you have one yourself!" (Sais one of the countrys few "rescuers")
"If you don't think parrots should be pets, why do you have them yourself?"
Etcetera. Rather tiring. I mean, I can't release my birds, they are hand-fed and would never survive in the wild. frown

But if I was assured that they would live, be together with a flock of their own kind and "live happily ever after" in the wild, I would go to their respective homelands and set them free, no matter how much I would miss them. But of course, that's not possible.

I'm working on a site similiar to this and other sites with honest information (for some reason, people call me "overly negative" crazy), but in swedish. I read lots of english/american articles about parrot ownership and aviculture, but when I want others to read them, they say they'd love to but they don't want to waste energy when it's in english, they don't know the language that well, etc... so I'm making a site in swedish, since it's about time.

There is one swedish forum with opinions kind of similar to this - parrots shouldn't be in captivity - but that's about it, everywhere else there are fluff boards, breeder sites, etc. And of course, breeders (at least almost) always lie right up in your face.

My 'toos breeder for example, is a rather well-knowned person in swedish aviculture, definitely not seen as a "bad breeder", BUT - he sold a large cockatoo, an extremely intelligent, sensitive animal with high potential to be rehomed within the next months/years, to a fifteen-year-old girl (me) who he only asked whether she has a cage and if she knew that avocado is deadly to birds.
I could have been anyone who didn't even know that cockatoos were white birds, but why bother, I came over with the money first!

So, nowadays, I feel that parrot breeders (except those really breeding for conservation, release into the wild and only that) are amongst the scum of the earth... why?
Because they make money on wild animals. They steal the babies from their parents, raise them in totally unnatural environments to then force them to be on their own much too early, throw them out into a life where they are very likely to be thrown between many, many homes (the average parrots has about seven homes in its first ten years), never be able to act normally, never be able to exercise properly as in the wild, never get to know freedom... and they make money of it.
Posted By: Libby

Re: Warning, this is long. - 10/15/09 11:48 PM

My husband and I decided we wanted to adopt a bird after we decided we were not having kids and we would have the time and the patience. Doing the research, we quickly learned that cockatoos seemed to be the most in need so we had a preference for a cockatoo but were open to what ever bird chose us. Turned out we were chosen by two cockatoos and adopted them both. Now we have three, plus a mini-macaw. They're just such amazing and beautiful creatures. We both have a major soft spot for the 'toos. They can definately be difficult, but the great moments overshadow any doubt we ever have. They are now our family and you couldn't pry them away from us. smile
Posted By: brinstrong

Re: Warning, this is long. - 10/17/09 07:11 PM

For me I fell in love with their clownish behavior and personality, what silly birds they are.
Posted By: myna102

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 10/22/09 12:20 AM

eli wasn't a pity purchase, my son on his way back from up north found out about a animal rescue, and fostering, well 3 cat's later and 2 dogs, beagle, and basset hound, he had gotten a cat named tang years ago, from a former girl friend and she wasn't taking care of it, well he fattened up, and became a true garfield, came when you called him he would come like a dog, and if you walked by and said hi tang he look up and meow, the fun thing to say about him was ok i'll walk over to that stupid ball on that spring thing and knock it around a few time's and sleep the next 4 hours he just lost tank but he had a wonder easy life. my knew i was thinking of getting a bird, my girlfriend has a africal grey, he found a rescue on craigs list, we went and i fell in love, he's 11 years old and loves his crown pruned you just rub it forward and he buries his head in well your lap which makes some men uneasy lol, but he'll stay there turning his head so you get every spot. i often lay on the floor watching tv and he loves to nestle under my arm. i'm so glad i got him
Posted By: Chloe413

Re: Why a Cockatoo? - 10/26/09 08:42 PM

My parents had a cockatiel when I was growing up. In fact, Tiki is still alive and must be going on 16 or 17 years now. He is still squeaking and chirping up a storm as well as tormenting the dog (2nd one he has gotten to torment, he outlived the first) whenever I see him. I was always fascinated with the larger birds, and when I got out on my own after college I decided to buy one.

So here I am 7 years later with a 7.5 year old white chicken. It definitely was a bit of an impulse buy, and I do wish I would have found this site prior to purchasing the bird from the breeder (though I am not sure these people would really classify as 'breeders' they still sold a bird to a 22 year old guy and his girlfriend/now wife). Even though I had done a good bit of research prior to buying, I think I probably would have looked into adoption (or forwent bringing one home entirely) had I known what I know now. I really had no idea about these birds and what I was getting myself into.

Buying that chicken had to be both the best and worst decision I ever made. She is the second most important thing in my life - I have to give my wife the #1 spot because she might be reading this grin (she would no doubt say the same about the chicken) - but both of our lives revolves around her schedule now. I had no idea the commitment - a commitment I am happy to make - caring for a 'too would be. She drives me bonkers at times, but, still, I miss, think about her, wonder what she is doing, and cant wait to see her whenever I am not home. Even though she seems like such a happy little birdie, I cant help but think she deserves much more.

If/when I do this again, it will be with a rescue bird for sure. After all, a flock of 3 is barely a flock...
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