Posted By: snowwhite10

my - 12/17/04 07:37 AM

I just got a 10 year old u2 from a frind of mine that has had her for only two months. she got her from a lady that had from about 1 year old until 2 months ago. I found out that up until 2 monthes ago she was let out of her cage only once a week for cleaning. My friend left her cage door open all the time until bed time, as do I. She will come out of her cage and sit on the top of the door but she wont go up to her play area nor will she play with her toys. She will try to bite me every time I try to touch her and every other time my husband trys to touch her. She can and does talk to us. She knoes her name ( snowwhite) and can say it well. She will laugh if we laugh at something and she is eating well. I have never owned a u2 and my concern is that she is to old now to learn to trust us enough to let us touch, play, hold or bath her. Can anyone help? I love her so much and I want her to know she is loved by me touching her and playing with her. I will not give her up even if it means me just being able to talk to her and every now and again pet her. She is a wonderful little girl and very sweet, I just feel like she has been mistreated and thinks I will be the same way. Thank you so much for any help anyone can give.
Posted By: WaGuy82

Re: my - 12/17/04 11:28 AM


I think the most important thing right now is to just let him know that he can trust you. I wouldn't try touching him anytime soon. After all, you're his second him in 2 months. It's never too old to work with a cockatoo. I would suggest reading some books. I'd recommend Guide to a Well Mannered Parrot by Mattie Sue Athan. There's a tremendous amount of parrot behavior information you need to be familiar with to be successful. Another book would be The Second Hand Parrot, co-authored by Mattie Sue Athan.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: my - 12/17/04 03:19 PM

Snow White is going to need time to acclimate to her new home. Because your her 3rd home (recently) trust is probably a big issue with her. If she's biting when you try to touch her, that's her way of telling you she wants her space. When she *wants* to be skritched, held, loved, she'll let you know. Right now she's probably happy sitting back and just observing things. Individual birds vary, but I think a good general timeframe for acclimation is usually a few months. Just be very patient and try to read her body language. Don't rush things trying to hold her. I know they're adorable, but until she's ready to be loved on just let her have her space.

Posted By: Michael

Re: my - 12/17/04 03:33 PM

With one of our Cockatoos we were able to cuddle from day one. With the other it took six months before she wanted to be held. I would stand at the opposite end on the cage with my hand on the cage. After some period of time (weeks) she started coming closer and closer. Until one day she reached out with one toe and touched my hand, then ran back to the other side of the cage. Well it has progressed well beyond that and now she demands my attention.

Just take your time. Give it another couple of months just sitting near her cage. Then you can slowly move closer.
Posted By: Marie & Peaches

Re: my - 12/17/04 03:52 PM

....and continue to talk to her sweetly. Watch her eyes and you will see them soften as she starts to trust you.
Posted By: GeriDoc

Re: my - 12/17/04 04:16 PM

We had similar problems with a CAG we rehomed. Our solution was to sit by the cage and read aloud -anything. It could be the newspaper, a book, or the TV Guide. After a time she came to sit in her cage by the reader, and eventually she became friendly. Patience!
Posted By: Candee

Re: my - 12/17/04 07:09 PM

I'm very new here myself, and a relatively new 'too owner (6months). Ootie is 5 and we're her second and final destination. She loved my son immediately, but it's only in the last 2 months that she won't bite me. And my suggestion is that you'll learn more on this site than in any darn book you can read. Everyone is helpful with solid, real time advice. Good luck!
Posted By: alaska_toos

Re: my - 12/17/04 07:47 PM

I understand your wanting to have a relationship with Snow White where you can touch her. But at the same time you also stated that it was not important to you.

The best thing that you can do at this time is to sit quietly and read to her, sing songs, or just talk to her until she becomes accustomed to your voice and her new surroundings. I would also avoid direct eye contact as this can make her feel uneasy. Since she has been re-homed many times and has gone through 2 homes in the last couple months she has no reason to trust you. It is very hard on a bird being re-homed and this alone can cause issues when it comes to trusting people. Have you tried offering her favorite foods if you know what it is? Even if it means the bird seeing you putting the treat in their dish (they kind of remind me of men at this point because their stomach is the way to their hearts LOL). IMHO the key here is to make sure that the bird does not see you as a threat and may require you keeping your distance until they become more comfortable with their new home and yourself.

Although he is not a too, I have a CAG that was abused and very misunderstood. I have had him at my house for about 2 ½ years and I still cannot love on him. It took months before he would come out of his cage after he came here (which didn’t make cleaning his cage an easy task). I found out that his favorite food was almonds and although I didn’t try handing them to him for a very long time, I would put one on top of his cage and leave my hand a foot or so away from it. I gradually moved my hand closer to the almond and he will now take them from my hand. Jacqo will also allow me to hold out my fingers and he will come over and touch his beak on them. I understand that there is a world of difference between Too’s and CAG’s but the point that I am trying to make here is that you must allow the bird to advance at their own pace, they will let you know when they are ready to advance to another level. Take your time, after all you have nothing but time to enjoy your new household member.

I forgot to mention that Jacqo is probably in his early 30's. Never too old to learn wink
Posted By: Mikki

Re: my - 12/17/04 08:27 PM

I would also avoid direct eye contact as this can make her feel uneasy
I'm not disagreeing with you in any way but I'm surprised to hear this as I have always used direct eye contact as a way to connect with birds. I especially do it with abused birds, watching for pinning and other aggression cues.

The only time I've ever had a bad experience was with a huge macaw who must have gotten the wrong signals from me. I walked up to him, looked him in the eye and gave him a big smile. The next thing I knew, this massive bird jumped on my shoulder and would not get off me. He wasn't agressive, just stubborn and aparantly in love LOL.

I guess I learned something today smile
Posted By: Charlie

Re: my - 12/17/04 09:22 PM

Sounds like Snowwhite is a great bird. You have gotten excellent advice here, just kick back and enjoy your beautiful Too. She'll come around and you will have a wonderful relationship, just don't try to force anything. smile
Posted By: alaska_toos

Re: my - 12/18/04 06:36 PM


Why would you want to cause a bird undue stress by starring into their eyes? They are already uncomfortable as this is a new home, but to be starred down by insisting that they look into your eyes is another story. It’s kinda like being the new kid on the block, you go to school and all the kids do in class is stare at you the entire time your there for the first week or so. Wouldn’t this make you terribly nervous? It’s alright to make some eye contact (it doesn't have to be direct), but until the bird is more comfortable in it’s new surroundings why do this to the bird? All birds are different and handle things in their own ways as they are all unique individuals, but why cause a bird that may not be able to handle it more stress than is necessary from the time they enter your home?

There is always the dominance issue to be addressed as well. One would want to make sure they have their position in the flock established from the time the bird enters the home, but IMHO I believe it would cause more damage than good to stare the bird down into it’s position when the bird can simply be kept at a lower eye level or held (if you can) on your lap or forearm. Remember that a wild animal when cornered or it feels threatened will attack the person or animal that is making it feel this way, these birds are far from being domesticated and are definitely wild animals.

One of the birds that I have had here for years still cannot handle direct eye contact. He knows my place in the flock and has never tried to challenge it. Everyone will handle their own birds differently, but I DO not believe in causing a bird stress when it is not necessary or there is a valid reason for it.
Posted By: Mikki

Re: my - 12/18/04 08:23 PM

Good grief.

Why would you want to cause a bird undue stress by starring into their eyes?
I believe it would cause more damage than good to stare the bird down
I didn't say anything about "staring" at birds. I said that I make eye contact. There is a big difference.

Pinning is a very good indicator of a bird's mood and you can't tell if they're doing it if you aren't looking.

If it appeared to cause stress I would avert my eyes and watch for other cues.
Posted By: WaGuy82

Re: my - 12/19/04 11:39 AM

The reason why you sohuld stare at a bird is because they are prety animals. Having a set of eyes staring at them can cause them to panic as it is similiar to a predator's. If your bird is more shy, what you can do is look at your bird, but also be able to close your eyes so it knows that you don't mean any harm. If your bird is able to look at you and blink it's a good sign that it's starting to no longer think you're trying to harm it.
Posted By: alaska_toos

Re: my - 12/19/04 01:55 PM

Let us make note here that we are in the General Cockatoo Discussion. I brought my first cockatoo home over 7 years ago, and I now provide a home to 5 cockatoos. Of all the years I have shared my home with them I never once seen any of them pin their eyes, it could be that their eyes are too dark to see this. It is important to watch for body language and let the bird settle into it’s new home as easily as possible and stress free.
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/23/04 08:15 PM

This is the husband(Derrick) I have more time and thus,more of a relationship with Snow White. She will let me touch her,kiss me,play with my teeth.She won't do this with anyone else in the family. Update on Snow 8..she gives what I call sugar..kissing the lips,or beak to this safe for her? I know it's not safe for me...she even goes inside and licks my this normal? what's she doing?
From reading here,I'm not gonna keep trying to force her on my arm..she will let me pet her and almost any touch I want to,just not off the cage.
I have my recliner(chair) right beside her cage.She has come out and into my lap twice,but if I try to get up,she's gone... In the weeks before we got this wonderful little girl,I questioned all of you guys sanity about loving a bird....well,now I can see how they can get to your heart faster than a puppy !!!
I hope I didn't offend anyone,but until you have a adopted U2,you don't know how muh you can love one.At least I didn't.
Thanks to everyone on any and all advise.
Posted By: Lrex

Re: my - 12/23/04 08:34 PM

I am glad you have fallen so in love with Snow White. smile You should be a careful, as I think you already know, having her close to your face. Especially at this time of the year - breeding season. Especially since you are clearly her chosen one. She might unexpectedly bite you in an effort to make you run away from a perceived danger (ie: some other family member walking into the room). Although having her chose you as her favorite is not unusual or bad, IMHO all members of your family need to develop some type of relationship with her. She also needs to know in no uncertain terms that those other family members are IMPORTANT to YOU. Otherwise, as your love affair develops wink she may become agressive with them. Not a good way to have a Too stay in a new home. shocked One last thing, there is dangerous bacteria in our mouths that should not be introduced to our birds. Don't let her root around in your mouth and keep your kisses dry. Two of my guys try to slip my the tongue every time I kiss them. I do kiss my Toos even though I have had my lip pierced. eek So, be careful. If you get bitten, don't blame the bird. <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/23/04 08:41 PM

Lrex...educate me please,what is IMOH? I see it on here alot,but don't know what it means...and no,I wouldn't blame Snow White for ripping my lip off.
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/23/04 08:44 PM

Also,is there a way I could put a picture of Snow White beside me instead of this other bird?
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/23/04 08:49 PM

another question for you smarter than me...which at this point is everyone..LOL
Snow White is loosing her Plum(head feathers) is this normal?
Posted By: Charlie

Re: my - 12/23/04 08:55 PM

Snowwhite, to address you're 3 posts:

1)IMHO = in my humble opinion

2)Michael may be able to get your picture of Snowwhite onto your profile. Those small pictures are called avatars. See this post:;f=20;t=000349

3)Loss of plume feathers happens periodically during the molting process. My Too (Greater Sulpher Crest) losses one every 2-3 weeks, never all at once.

Hope this helps! smile
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/23/04 08:57 PM

Charlie...thanks so all are so good to us.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: my - 12/23/04 09:04 PM

We are you! wink
Posted By: Lrex

Re: my - 12/23/04 09:12 PM

Wow Charlie - such quick answers!! smile Derrick, so glad you are asking questions. Keep it up and don't be shy wink
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/23/04 09:18 PM

Never shy..I go by the trade of ,the only dumb question is the unasked question...
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/24/04 04:39 AM

Question for all,Snow White has some bad words,over time,will those go away and she pick up our,"I love you's?" Someone taught her "dirty bird" I hate that! I wonder if they understand it? If they do,it could be hurtful to her image of herself.I'm trying,when she says dirty bird to say Pretty Bird. I'm not sure if she told you,but her first and longest owner,(she had her for 5 years,kept her outside in a dog kennal!! She only fed her,no contact.Is it legal to kill people like this? Hahaha
Oh,I rememebered the question I had,her cae has traveled with her.It's a nice big cage,but needs painting.What could I paint it with? Or should I just forget it?
They never gave Snow White chew toys,and she only chews her steel cage.She's runs from wood toys,I'm sure time will cure that ill,but can it hurt her to chew the cage?
Again,thanks to all you great people...
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/24/04 04:47 AM

bananas and apples are the only fruit she'll eat at present time,she won't touch the stuff I made her from the recipe page.I guess a little work is needed.How often can she have these fresh fruits? They make her poo watery... and yes,they had her on all seed diet,I'm hoping to change that over time.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: my - 12/24/04 05:19 AM

Rust is definately not good, here is a good discussion of paints and powder coats:;f=1;t=000010
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/24/04 06:12 AM

Iliked that article...I went searching and realized,that,I will paint this spring or summer...or if my rich uncle kicks the bucket..hahaha
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/24/04 06:16 AM

another question...wife says they use crisco or lard to keep wrought iron pans form rusting...would crisco hurt Snow White?
Posted By: Ron Pack

Re: my - 12/24/04 06:19 AM

Let me ask a dumb question here... laugh Has Snowwhite been to an avian vet lately?
The reason I ask is because dog kennals and old cages are both reason enough to be concerned about heavy metal poisoning (lead and/or zinc) especially with a bird that is a heavy cage chewer. Also, birds that have been kept outdoors for any length of time should be checked for worms it's possible that she just doesn't feel well enough to play with her toys... eek
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/24/04 06:30 AM

yes...she was checked out,but I don't know how good this vet is with birds...our friend says real good
Posted By: alaska_toos

Re: my - 12/24/04 06:32 AM

IMHO birds do not know what they are saying for the most part. They usually say what they have heard and/or go for the reaction that they get when it is said. I find it easier to ignore what they are saying if it is too offensive or say something that is very similar to what the undesired word is. My kids when they were younger and living at home thought it would be funny to teach my YNA to swear. Tasha (YNA) would say “What the *uck” and I would repeat “What a truck” when the undesired words were said. If this does not work it is best to show no reaction to what the bird is saying and eventually they will not say it as much as they are not getting any response from you. I do have to say though that I have heard my birds say things that have not been said in months or something that has only been said once but months ago. These birds are very intelligent and continue to amaze me.

Have you tried playing with the toys that you are wanting to have Snow White play with? When you do so have them be the best toys that you have ever played with, toos cannot resist the temptation of having someone having more fun than they are. You may even want to try chewing on a similar toy to show them that it is alright. It may be that your bird does not know how to play with toys.

I do not feed fruits to my birds but a couple of times a week. They are very high in sugar. I do however offer veggies on a regular basis. If your bird seems to show no interest in them I would keep offering them, you never know when they will change their mind. My birds will all eat something one day and will not touch it again for weeks. This may include you eating the veggies with the bird and have it be the best thing you have ever eaten. They are much like us when it comes to being in the mood for certain things at times.
Posted By: Lrex

Re: my - 12/24/04 07:26 PM

If your bird is chewing the cage it actually could kill her - depending on what it has been painted with or what it was made from to start with. I don't have that problem with my birds - thankfully. In that type of situation, probably only stainless steel would be safe for her. However, those cages are very, very expensive.

Over time you may be ablel to divert her attention to chewing more appropriate items. I would suggest getting your hands on some natural branches, like willow for example. Introduce them to her and put some in her cage. Make sure that they are clean and not sprayed with anything.

Regarding the "bad words"...One of our boys, Simon, came to us with a bad case of potty mouth. The "F" word and others. Fortunately, over time his use of those words and phrases has diminished. The only time he uses it now is when there is tension or loud voices. I think he originally learned the bad stuff by witnessing his original owners fighting. I am pleased to tell you that he is now saying things like "pretty bird" and "I love you". Simon is an amazing talker though and will repeat any word you say to him - if he likes it. All birds are different. Answering them back when they talk to you or repeating back what they are saying or trying to say does help, in my experience. Patience in this area as with in all manners of problems or behaviours is what really works. smile
Posted By: happybirds

Re: my - 12/25/04 02:47 AM

Since no one has responded to Derrick concerning the bird in his mouth.

Please do not allow Snow White to pick your teeth or go into your mouth. First the obvious reason - she could cause GREAT dammage if she decides to hold on. But secondly, and really most importantly, we have bacteria in our mouths that is harmful to birds. You could make her quite ill by allowing this behavior.

And to complete the topic, cat saliva as well as dog saliva is quite dangerous to them as well.

So, no swapping body fluid with the bird

The no direct eye contact is also quite important for all the reasons set forth.

Also, this may or may not happen. I have 7 Cockatoos. Some of them are exactly who they are from the day they come to you. Others are sweet hearts for about a month, and then start challenging you. If this happens it is most important to maintain your flock position - if it happens we can talk about it then. Anyway, at about 6 months, most of them start to settle down into their place in the flock, and the individual that they are (for the most part) going to be, and by one year you usually have the "finished product" as far as who this individual is.

Oh, one last thing - not everyone here is in agreement with this, but I strongly believe that Cockatoos do not belong on the floor. I have found that they get to wired up, and often become agressive chasing and biting feet, and sometimes becoming a little unpredictable. If you choose to play with your bird on the floor, I would suggest using a quilt to set boundries on where they can go and play. Sit with the bird, with toys, and the bird will learn that this area is for running and jumping, and displaying and just being wound up.
Posted By: A Handful

Re: my - 12/25/04 05:36 PM

so little time so many questions eek
i to am the owner of a U2 (=- 6 yrs old) - (not really sure how many previous homes - think i am number 3)
PLEASE be very careful of the kissing - they can send you to the casulty ward in the wink of an eye - been there done that twice shocked
I would suggest that unsless you can guarantee that the paint is lead free and that there will be no blobs in the corners which will be chewed and swallowed that you rather buy new (i think stainless steel is the best for cleaning)
As far as the toys go - lots of wooded toys and harmless tree branchs - hang thenm on the outside of the cage first (they seem to be less fearfull due to the bars seperating them and the toy)and expect them to be sawdust in a short time but them thats what happens in nature.
natural rawhide is also very good.
i find toys that give and can be destroyed are much better than toys that are "indestructable" as they tend to get bored when it does not go their way.
I also speant a lot of time and money on treats until i found out what the most enjoyable was - be prepared for wasteage laugh
i also like the idea of sitting in a chair reading or even just sitting (and having a nap) but as mentioned by others earlier it is important that the whole family develops a relationship with the bird

best of luck
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 12/27/04 04:39 AM

Great advice folks..thanks you all are the greatest..
Posted By: snowwhite10

Re: my - 01/20/05 09:05 PM

can someone tell me how to read Snow Whites bracelett?
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