Hey, Roary here... (even though none of you know me)
I'm sure you've all probably heard this sort of thing before. My family recently got a cockatoo without any prior research, she was free to a good home because the lady who had her just REALLY wanted to get rid of her I guess. That probably should've stopped us there, but it didn't. I was just a tag along anyhow, don't go pointing fingers at me - this decision was not MINE at all, but nevertheless I would like to do as much as I can to give this bird a good home. Now we're all experiencing our own difficulties with her, even though from a lot of stories I've read she is actually pretty well-behaved in most regards. Not as extreme as other cases I guess. However I feel that I am having the most difficult time of us all lol..
Her name is Molly, and frankly she is downright sexist - with a preference towards men. She only comes out of her shell when one of the guys is near (even if in another room, if she can hear him she will go nuts for him), but the men of the house are ALL way too busy to give her the attention she should be getting - so in my opinion she's a pretty unhappy avian right now. The only time she will accept my arm or any food from me is when I'm transporting her somewhere she wants to go, i.e. to a perch, to one of the guys, to her cage. (feeling so used lol) The thing about the guys is that they've been doing things like cuddling her and petting her on her no-no spots, even after telling them what it can cause. Though it seems they are giving her less of that kind of attention, she will actually still INSIST that they do it - she will crawl up their shirts stubbornly, or start trying to regurgitate food, and turn her butt up to them when they're just petting her on the head. Like... get a clue, Molly, they can't give you what you want ya weirdo! ><
Something I've been wondering about is her routine and setup. I feel like it may not be the best for her. Everyday at about 7-8ish she is usually let out of her cage unless I have to go somewhere that day or I need to give the dog some time about the house (she hates dogs, goes nuts... in a bad way). When she's let out of her cage, she's placed on a sort of rope perch that hangs from the ceiling and is really long, almost going down to the ground now that she's torn up the ends. Underneath it is a chair... which she has managed to almost completely tear apart over the span of her time her. Which, is fine by us - it's her chair now.
But the thing is... that's ALL she does until the guys get home at around 4-6ish and even then they're usually tuckered out from school/work, or have things they need to do.
I feel like if I was her I'd be pretty unhappy and frustrated, and trust me I have TRIED to get her to come over to me so I can play with her and give her that much-needed 4-5 hours of attention per day. But she just won't. She acts like I'm scary or something, she'll go all the way to the top of the rope so I can't even reach her to offer my hand to step up. And because I'm not usually the one who lets her out of her cage, I can't really control whether or not she's on the perch. But I don't think it's the rope, which was my previous theory, because she displays this behavior elsewhere unless she thinks I'm going to take her where she wants to go. But I can't let her use me like that, or else all I'll ever be to her is a stinking bus.
I'm also kind of hesitant to handle her anymore, because literally every time I HAVE managed to get her to spend some time with me (whether by manipulating her through the guys or by coaxing) she has bitten me - and very hard might I add. My shoulder is still sore and it's been a week. I know that there are supposed to be warning signs for biting, but... honestly, Molly doesn't give much warning to ME. In all the instances of her biting, it has been very quick, very sudden, and because it catches me so off guard and because I'm small and can't handle the amount of pain it causes, I can't help but to react. So I haven't handled her a lot since the last instance, because I think she just plain likes to bite me just to get that little 'ow!' out of me, and that's probably why there's not much warning.
I would like to give this bird what she needs, but seriously at this point I'm pretty fed up with her crap. She is the PERFECT "pretty girl" for the guys, but for girls she is an unpredictable b**** frankly.
I wish the lady who gave her to us had told us more about her rather than just trying to haul her off to the next family. Molly has "changed hands" a few times, according to this lady, and her original owner was an elderly man who passed away (explains the sexism). Other than that, I don't know anything about how she was treated, handled, etc. except that the lady who gave her to us would use a squirt bottle to punish her?? I have never heard of that method after all this research I've been doing, and trust me we aren't continuing with that. She has been getting nothing but love from us, but her behavior just keeps deteriorating over time
Now, I might have just registered, but I've seen the threads on this site. Please don't attack me about how everything we're doing is wrong, I've gathered that much by now. And please don't say 'poor Molly, she's just going to get passed around to the next home' or 'you should give her back' or something, because it's not up to me. I'm just the one who is home most of the time and I want to be able to have some form of a positive relationship with this bird.
Sorry, I know that's long, I just didn't want to leave anything out - but I still probably did, so if you need to know something or other just ask I guess. And I'm not sure how old she is. The band on her leg says she's 21, the lady who gave her to us said she's 8. \v.v/