adopting a cockatoo

Posted By: Stefanie Sibert

adopting a cockatoo - 04/03/05 05:54 AM

i am new to this site and i would like to get some advise. i have been an avid animal lover all my life. i currently have 12 small birds - finches and canaries as well a reptiles. i have been offered a cockatoo from an elderly woman who cannot keep him anymore. i have read up on them and know they are difficult to take care of. i am not sure yet if i will take him or not. what i am asking is for cockatoo owners to please give me some information on their personal experience owning them. what the best thing is to feed them and the best toys etc. i have read so many bad things about them that it makes it seem that almost all cockatoos will get sick or pull feathers or constantly scream. i would like to know what others thought. it's not a matter of money or that i cannot take care of him. i strive to care for any and all animals that i come across. please email me with information at
Posted By: Charlie

Re: adopting a cockatoo - 04/08/05 12:50 PM

Hi, Stephanie. This whole site is, more or less, a giant testimony to the ups and downs of Cockatoos. Small birds cannot really give you any idea, it will be different.

My thought is that if the 'Too has been with this lady for some time, that they may have worked out a pretty good relationship. If you could work yourself gradually into that relationship, it might be better. Of course, the bird may take to you right off the bat.

Only you can make the final decision. If you do take him/her, try to get as much history as you can from the lady and try to start out on, roughly, the same daily routine that she has with the bird. It will make the transition easier for all.

Read all you can and thank you for caring about this 'Too! smile
Posted By: angie

Re: adopting a cockatoo - 04/08/05 02:55 PM

Hi Stephanie,
First of all let me say that it is great that you are considering this adoption. How long has the Too been with the lady?
Like Charlie, read, can't get enough knowledge regarding these birds...they are wires are crossed differantly than the others as my hubby says!!!
We have several nicknames for our Angel, she is a one year old U2 that was rescued from a family member....we call her Baby when she's sweet, Punky when she is being a brat, snuggles when she is laying on her back in your lap wanting love, and Toominator when she is destroying computer cables, remotes, tv cables, dvd's, toaster, blender and cofee grinder cords, (everything was unplugged), rugs get shredded, she climbs the formal curtains that I have between my dining room and formal living area...she has tried to get the bottom of the big screen tv that it upstairs.....this is just a start....
Now let me tell you about the positive side.....I wake up everymorning to "Hi Baby" she hasn't seen me in years.....she comes and crawls into bed with me and we snuggle....then we spend the day together going for walks, playing on the floor with foot toys, having really good treats, and just loving each other.
I have made a promise to Angel that as long as we both are healthy we are going to grow old together and wear red hats and sip tee in our 70's!!!
I would tell you to go for it....give it your best try. Be patient, set your mind to knowing that you are going to lose a few things and bird proofing your house is a good idea. We now keep all cords rapped and taped down with clear duck tape...the remotes stay on the tv and we are working on a software program for our home that is vioce recognized to turn off and on appliances. When I want toast I have to dig for the toaster because if I left it out she would be toast!!!lol
Read all you can here...there are very knowledgable members that have been here a long time to help you out with questions.
Yes, taking a too in is a huge responsability....but I wouldn't give Angel up for the world.
You should also know that I have a military macaw and an CAG that have never caused the amount of mass destruction that our little Angel has.
Best of luck to you,
Posted By: Sarahw

Re: adopting a cockatoo - 02/17/18 09:06 AM

Nice thought about bird proofing
Posted By: rb100

Re: adopting a cockatoo - 03/06/18 01:00 AM

I have been fostering a 27-year old lesser sulphur female for about a month now.

She's relatively easy compared to some of the birds I've read about. She's not a plucker. She's an incredibly affectionate cuddle-bug. She will crawl down from her cage, climb up into the bed, and snuggle with me. She is very responsive and mostly happy, making lots of contented little clucking and chirping R2D2 noises. Also she is incredibly smart. She seems to understand just about everything I say to her. She is also super cute. I love her little baby voice.

But it's not all good.

Here's the bad: if I am not in the same room, she shrieks like a wild banshee. I mean, pretty much any moment I am not in the same room. It's pretty loud. I don't know if this would go on for hours constantly because I usually come to her within 5 minutes. She does need constant supervision, too. Any cables or wires, anything wood, basically anything that she can destroy will be mincemeat unless I take pains to keep it from her. Already she has done damage to my bed, desk, closet doors, cables, keyboards, etc.

I would give her a lot of freedom to explore but I have large dogs. One of them is pretty chill with her. But I'm still not sure about the other two, so I am constantly on guard when they are in the same room. She is not afraid of them.

So I have her mostly on my shoulder when I am at home. This has changed my life. I don't feel like I have any freedom anymore. She always wants to be around. I can't really concentrate or prep for my job at home anymore (I have been leaving for work an hour early so that I get at least some prep work in).

I've never had children but it seems to me sort of like having a perpetual toddler around.

If you are up for that, go for it.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: adopting a cockatoo - 03/07/18 12:28 AM

Yes you have a perpetual toddler living with you. You are setting her and yourself up for failure. Cockatoos are not meant to be cuddle bugs. In the wild they would snuggle with their mate. In captivity they choose a perceived mate and snuggle with that person. You can not be a mate to this bird. Keep the petting to the neck and above, no snuggling in bed, petting under the wings, rubbing down her back etc.. You need to set limits on yourself and start to train her to not scream. You have allowed her to do more damage in your home in one month than Cassie has done in my home over the course of 13 years. You want to reinforce the quiet vocalizations and ignore the screaming. Letting her ride around on your shoulder to stop her from screaming is setting her up for failure. More than likely failure through out her life while being shuffled from home to home to home. If you really want to live with a too you need to help her learn. Are you ready? There are a number of people here who are more than willing to help you but you have to want to do this. If not bring her back to the rescue. This is strong and I realize this but you need to sit back and look at what is going on. Living with a too can be a wonderful experience but you need to be committed.
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