How it started:
Hello my name is Erick, and I just recently bought a Cockatoo from a local pet store very recently. The reason I bought him was because when I went to the gym very late at night (anywhere from 1AM- 4AM) I would past a pet store and see him all alone in a cage and I have to say, it broke my heart. Over a month went by as I kept walking past the pet store, stopping to look at him until recently, I decided to visit him. The pet store owners allowed me to see him and pet him through a small opening on the cage. He stuck his head out, craving for a petting. The pet store owner informed me that he was 3 years old and his previous owner kept locked up in his cage at all times. This is caused the Cockatoo (Peanut) to pluck his feathers from is chest and under his wings. Currently, he is bald on his chest, but feathers are starting to grow back because the pet store owners at least interacted with him. I felt that I had to save him. So, I bought him, on impulse, without doing my research...
First day Home:
I brought him home and the first thing I wanted to do was let him out of the cage. He got out and climbed on top of his very large cage I bought for him. I put him and the cage in room where I played my instruments. He would say "Hello" and Peek-a-Boo" to me and my Grandmother. We would laugh and Peanut would mimic our laugh which brought us a moment of joy. He allowed me to pet him and hand feed him, but he was hesitant on getting on my arm or shoulder. My Grandmother tried petting him and he instantly got onto her shoulder. His nails were hurting my Grandmother so she became tense and scared, which did not go well with Peanut. It only made him hold on harder. As she attempted to get him off, he bit her very hard which caused her to bleed a lot. As I tried to remove him, he bit me as well, but not as hard. We put him into the cage and went to take care of her small wound. I then returned to let him out because I knew it had to be something we did wrong. I continued to interact with him as he climbed around the cage. He eventually climbed back inside. I locked the cage and put a blanket over because it was getting late. We closed the door and he started to scream, but for less than 10 minutes. After, he was quiet for the rest of the night.
***I must note that what probably lead to him biting was me petting him the wrong way. I would go from the head down to his back, which I learned can be sexual and lead to aggression.***
Second day Home:
I spent all night doing research and learning what I did wrong on the first day. I went the room early (around 7AM) to let him out. I had a few toys for him and some nice relaxing music playing in the background as I continued to interact with him. I watched a few taming videos, so my goal that day was to earn a little of his trust. He would stand on top of the cage as I invited him onto my arm (which I know was a mistake because he should be below shoulder level) and after a few hours, he stepped onto my arm. I was shocked. He wanted to get on, seemed unsure if he should do so. I spend quite some time standing, allowing him on my arm. Eventually I sat down with him. He eventually sat on my lap, cuddling with my legs and hands. He bit me a few times, but it was nothing serious. When he bit me, I would place him on our empty dresser with his toys. I stood with him from the morning to about 1PM. He started to get excited and display happiness as his crest was up and wings were spread. He would make noises, but nothing near screaming. I would play "Peek-a-Boo" with him which he enjoyed. I had arrangements that day, so I left with my Grandmother there. According to her, he was screaming at first, but later calmed down. My mother came by to visit him and he also allowed her and my Grandmother to pet him. She described him as "gentle." I came home and he was asleep. My Grandmother said he remained quiet and he went into his cage by himself.
:Third day Home:
I had the day off so I spent my entire day with Peanut, 7AM till 8PM. I continued to do I was doing on the previous day and decided to take him to my room. I placed him on my bed and he seemed happy and excited, running around the bed saying "Peek-a-Boo!" I put on the T.V and continue to talk and pet him. I would lay on the bed and Peanut would come to me to cuddle while seeking me to pet him. He was click his beak together which I learned it's a positive thing. I gave him toys and played with him. He then took my belt and started to wave it back and forth in his mouth. He looked like he was having so much fun! He came to me with the belt and due to excitement, accidentally bit me trying to get the belt. He quickly dropped the belt and started to cuddle. As he continued he got overly excite, he came to me and started to hit me with the belt as he waved it back and forth. I tried to get him off my chest as I was laying down and get up from the bed and he instantly bit me hard. Perhaps he was just overly excited. Later I took a blanket and started to pet him while I placed it around him to put him back into his cage since it was bed time.
Fourth Day Home:
This happened on 5/30/17, so it is very recently. I worked from 7AM - 3PM. When I got home around 3:40PM, he was excited to see me. My Grandmother told me that he didn't talk and he was in his cage (opened) with music playing all day. He played with some toys, but for the most part he was quiet and calm in his cage. When he saw me, he started to talk, his crest went up and seemed happy. For 2 hours, I took him into my room and we played and it was fun! We played tug of war, peek-a-boo, and had some cuddle time, but I kept it to a minimum. I made games a priority. I would also take my pillows and lightly surround him with them as he would let out a muffled "Peek-a-Boo" which I thought was cute.
Here is where I had an issue.
First off I forgot to mention that I attempted to tame him with sticks, but it was a no-go. He is absolutely scared of the sticks. He runs away the first chance he gets. I tried help him overcome, but he was just too frightened. I assume that the previous owner took a similar object and banged it in attempt to quiet him down due to the owner keeping him in the cage all the time. I also forgot to mention that it took a long time for him to get out of the cage. It seems he's inexperienced when it comes to flying. It seem to be one of those rare times where he actually was given the chance to explore outside of his cage. During the fourth day of fun games and quality time, he got onto my shoulder and because aggressive. I attempted to adjust my hoodie, which gave him the wrong message which cause him to bite me. I slowly and calmly tried to place him on my bed. He started to hiss at me and when I would try to pet, he attempted to bite me. I have never yelled at him and I try to make the bite pains less obvious for his sake. I placed him into the cage and took a 15min break. When I went in, I let him out of his cage and as he climbed to the top, he started to shake ( he as been doing that since day 1) he would take his toy and put pieces of it into his feathers, but at the same time, he started to pluck. I felt helpless. I felt like I was failing him. I didn't understand how he went from being so happy and playful, to being very aggressive towards me. I felt like we were moving backwards. I got a little emotional because I started to have regret. I asked myself why didn't I research first and also asked, what if I can't help him. I had recently lost a beloved Beagle so I started to cry and my Pandora playing for Peanut in the background started playing a sad song which didn't help. He watched me on top of the cage and started to hiss at me. He did not allow me to grab him to place him in the cage for bed time. I had to leave him and wait on his own freewill.
I know it's only been a few days and I need to give him a lot more time to adjust to me, my Grandmother, and his environment, but I can't help but feel that I made a mistake buying him. I have no experience with birds, especially birds with a troubled past. I look at his bald chest and it breaks my heart. I tell myself, I can't give up on him. I have to keep trying, but I feel so discouraged. I've purchase more toys and books to further educate myself with him, but I am having doubt. It is causing me stress. Any word of advice with be greatly appreciated and I thank you to those who took the time to read. I will probably continue updating on this thread.
All the best to you and your fellow bird friends,