Are cockatoos ALWAYS cuddly?
Short answer..... NO! As a matter of fact they
be quite dangerous at times to you, kids, or visitors.
"But I've had mine for almost 2 years and its
such a sweet baby!"
Short answer.... You haven't had your 'Too long enough...
Here's the long answer:
Like many of natures babies, young cockatoos
sweetest most lovable creatures of all the birds.
in particular seem to possess a sweetness that no
or animal can achieve. They snuggle, want to
sit in your
lap, want to to be preened or scratched, love
to be hand
fed, want to be talked to, even play games.
(Mine loved to
chase a small ball and toss it back to me).
wonderful times and its no wonder that people fall
with them! Problem is, these times will not
As a matter of fact, 2 years is the
first magic number. Just like children,
I'm talking about Moluccans and Umbrellas here)
through the "terrible 2s". Its about this time
"baby" you so enjoyed is becoming a "child".
is different . He is brave enough now to explore
and all the wonderful things it has to offer without
YOU around all the time. This means that you
your back on him for a minute! He's now
(It also is the start of having problems getting him back in his
Like a 2 year old, he will be into everything
he can find to
either taste or destroy. If you leave him alone
to talk on the
phone for 5 minutes... dont be surprised to find half
woodwork missing from around your window, or
expensive couch missing an arm or pillow shredded.
not doing it to make you mad, he's doing it because
programmed him to do this. More importantly,
start to challenge your authority. THIS is where
meets the road! Its during this time that many
control of their 'Toos. (see my Behavior
Page near the
bottom for some insight) Ok, lets say
you make it through
the terrible 2s...
Your 'Too is now about 6 - 7 years old. So far
managed to keep him out of trouble and you out of
emergency room. ( while playing, my male bit
completely through the inside of my nose. It was so
perfect that the emergency room doctor asked me if
I'd like to keep it for a future nose ring... I declined)
Your "boy" is now a "man" and has reached maturity.
His hormones are making him act and do things that
you never expected. He is really pushing for
in the pecking order now! Question is , are
enough to handle it?
He's getting REALLY aggressive now and out of
He's impossible to get back in his cage and seems
be in the least, afraid of you. He may
even attack other
people or children. You start searching for
a new owner
Are all cockatoos like this? No.
Are most like this? Yes.
Some 'Toos show little signs of this behavior, while
are complete terrors. Keep in mind that quite
often its the
'Toos owner or handlers that can make the difference
a frustrated / aggressive 'Too and one thats just
more cocky at some times than at others. Yes,
varibles of these creatures can be as different as
What can you do? All situations are different,
answer is much too long to post here, but there IS
answer! Ask around, visit our message board
boards. Just dont fall for some simplistic "pet
answer because its much more complicated than that.
Look people, I'm not saying that you cant have
companion... (if you insist on getting one)... I'm
you'd better know up front exactly what to expect
"cuddles" in the long run. And if you cant handle
all of these
changes, then you'd be much better off without him
first place. The rescue's are FULL of
cockatoos in this age
range. And I personally think it's a shame!
Just TRY to get HALF your money back if you decide
sell him! You'll find that 'Toos (or any large
bird) are not
exactly hot commodities everyday!
One more thing, altho I think that females are less
than males, they still get pretty cranky when the
flow. (Dont you?..... of course you do)
So be prepared.
I will add more to this saga as my time permits.
Till then, lets be careful out there :)