New to Cockatoos and now an owner

Posted By: AmyK

New to Cockatoos and now an owner - 10/26/16 03:13 AM

My friend adopted a male Cockatoo from our local humane society several months ago. Yesterday, she told me that her boyfriend was going to take him back because of behaviors. I couldn't let that happen and we took him in to our home today. The local bird guy knows him, as he used to trim his nails and beak and they stopped coming because Caesar has seizures and would have them when he was going to be trimmed. When my friend picked him up from the humane society, he seized in her truck(she was never told that he had a seizure disorder). He was a plucker in his prior home and has a naked chest, but now has fluffy down on the sides (he will never grow feathers on his chest/legs).
He has been having behavior issues and screaming at night (or barking at 2am to be exact). He was also pacing on top of his cage and beeping. So, here I am.
He's been here for about 5 hours and is being quiet now (was told he didn't like to be covered at night, but I did it any way and he is good).
He is in my Dining room, in the dark and covered for the night, but when uncovered will be able to see us(I plan to leave him there for 3 days and then move him in to our living room).
I think my friend allowed him too much and I need to fix it. Like, if you're drinking a beer, he wants some (not going to happen). Like feeding him what you're eating because he demands it..
NOPE! She also was insistent on screaming his name when she came home (swears it stopped his behavior).
We run a rescue and have 6 dogs of our own and at this moment, a blind dog and an 8 week old puppy that we are fostering. We also have 3 cats. Our home is busy.
Would love some advice on giving Caesar a good home and how to introduce him properly to our home. He is sweet and knows how to whisper and say many phrases. He was pacing and screaming earlier, but I covered him and said "Goodnight Caesar". Of course, this is the honeymoon period and I would just like some advice on how to keep him happy and not screaming at night.
Feel like I've bitten off more than I can chew and want to do right by this poor bird.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: New to Cockatoos and now an owner - 10/26/16 12:53 PM

Welcome to Mytoos. The most important thing for you to do first for Caesar is get him to an avian vet. Beaks should only ever be trimmed by a vet. I know a lot of different people will say that they can trim a beak but if not done properly it can wear badly. His seizures need to be addressed. Seizures can be caused by a number of different things from liver disease disease to heavy metal poisoning. If your friend was letting him drink alcohol and eat whatever he wanted it may have played into his seizure disorder.
For sleeping at night you may want to try him in a sleep cage. This can be any small cage, even a hard pet carrier can be used. Find a dark, very quiet area of the house away from the sounds of the rest of the animals, people, tv and house sounds like the washing machine. Cover him and be sure that he is getting at least 10-12 hours of undisturbed sleep per night.
What type of cockatoo is Caesar? What is his diet right now? How close are the dogs and cats able to get to him? Not a good mix if they are able to get close. Caesar is capable of inflicting severe bites to them, even if he is a small cockatoo like the goffins. Also remember one bite from a dog can end his life in a second.
Good luck more people will come on with additional advise.
Posted By: AmyK

Re: New to Cockatoos and now an owner - 10/26/16 11:35 PM

Thank you so much Nancy!! I will definitely get Caesar to my avian vet. So, the thing about his seizures, it is only when he is stressed. He had one on the way home from the humane society and then none in my friend's home. He had one yesterday after he was transported to my home. They are basically a focal seizure and not grand mal. He used to have them when placed in a small carrier to go to the vet and I'm sure a sleeping cage would not be appropriate for him but I will definitely try a small airline carrier and see. Caesar is a Moluccan.
His diet is some seeds/nuts and fresh fruit. He also likes chicken(is this okay in moderation?).
The dogs can walk up to his cage but are bird savvy and steer clear. The cats want nothing to do with him. He will never be loose with the dogs/cats around even though he is dog friendly I won't take that chance.
Caesar is so very sweet, just think he was allowed to get away with quite a bit in his first three homes (I am his 5th home in 21 years). I'd really like for this to work out for him. I think it's sad that he's had 4 homes and that he keeps getting dumped. Not quite sure my home is the most ideal, but time will tell. If not, I think he might do well in a home with other birds as he lived with them in his first two homes and actually came from a sanctuary to his second home.
Posted By: AmyK

Re: New to Cockatoos and now an owner - 10/26/16 11:50 PM

Oops, sorry. Caesar is a mix of Umbrella and Moluccan.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: New to Cockatoos and now an owner - 10/27/16 12:30 AM

His diet will need a major over haul. Hope you have patience. Try to find a good pellet that he will eat and begin to introduce vegetables and greens. A small amount of seeds per day is ok and a couple of nuts. Fruit is ok in moderation. Too much fruit can lead to very loose droppings. I give Cassie two tablespoons of seeds, couple of nuts, teaspoon of pine nuts, teaspoon of raw pumpkin seeds and some raw pasta nightly at dinner time. She eats dinner with us as a family. She also gets a separate dish with our dinner that is ok for her, most of this gets thrown on the floor or the trash. Cassie is a very picky eater. What ever is left over of the mix gets thrown outside for the wild ones. A small bit of chicken once in awhile is ok. Right now before you try to change his diet try to see what his favorite thing to eat is. It will come in handy training him. Write a list of his favorite foods, seeds or nuts to use as reinforcers.
Posted By: AmyK

Re: New to Cockatoos and now an owner - 10/27/16 08:25 PM

He ate some beets last evening and some romaine lettuce. He really doesn't like seeds/nuts but has a few in a dish. He won't touch the pellets, but I am going to continue trying.
I so appreciate everyone's advice!
Posted By: AmyK

Re: New to Cockatoos and now an owner - 10/28/16 01:31 AM

I have yet another question. I think his cage is way too big. It is 73" high and 30x40". I don't mind the 30x40", but I am not a fan of the 73" high. Did a shut down of two days in another room and moved him into the living room. He so wanted to be with me and I kept opening the door to pet him and tell him he was a good boy. He is desperate to be out of his cage. As soon as he comes out, he tries to go to the top of the cage. I have not allowed this, as he gets fake aggressive. He was not happy. He does not use most of the cage and does not utilize any of the toys yet. What is an appropriate size for a Moluccan Cockatoo? The cage he came with is bigger than I had imagined and I had to take 3 parts of our leather couch out of the living room to accommodate it. If this is appropriate, we will keep it I just don't think he needs this size cage.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: New to Cockatoos and now an owner - 10/28/16 12:51 PM

Cage size and height sounds good. I've had Cassie in all sizes of cages over the years. The one she is in now seems to be what works for both of us. It's a play top cage. It's still tall at the perch but doable and gives her room to play up there or sit and chill. I'm a bit height deprived so the tall cages where difficult for me. I bought a folding step stool that I kept close by so that I could clean the top or retrieve the princess. The key is finding a large enough cage for him for when he does start utilizing it. Something else to think about is he going to be in the cage all day while everyone is at school or work or will he spend the majority of his day out and about in the house? Everyone at my house works. There are some days that Cassie is locked into her cage for 8 hours. She has enough room to move around, play with numerous toys, nap and eat comfortably. She is in front of a large window to watch the birds and critters outside and has the television on music channels. Her cage is about the same size but she is only half the size of your big guy.
Posted By: RC's Mom

Re: New to Cockatoos and now an owner - 01/06/17 10:51 PM

Our cockatoo spends the day when we are at work on a hanging perch with lots of toys, then when we get home we let him climb ON his cage and play there and have some seeds as a treat. He climbs up and down the outside of his 72" high cage to get lots of exercise. He hates being in the cage unless we have company. But I want to repeat the caution about pets. Two of my poodles have been bitten to blood just because they were within reach. One when she was sleeping on the couch. He climbed down his cage and then bit her toe hard. The other was wagging his tail when his tail got nailed. But our boy is a biter and yours may not be. Just be careful!
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