Getting a Cockatoo - what are the must knows?
Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:09 PM
I have had Macaws, African Greys, and Cockatiels so I am not a stranger birds, but as every breed is SO different I am still nervous.
I moved from the UK to the USA almost 3years ago and I was forced to leave my babies behind in the UK with family as I didn't want to put them through the stresses of moving to another country - It was the hardest choice of my life and I have only just gotten over their loss.
I have met someone who is needing to get rid of their bird, a Cockatoo, 15 years old, well loved, but their owners just cannot take care of her anymore. (need to both have full time jobs and therefore cannot be home enough to tend to the birds needs)
I am a stay at home parent with a little girl (they also have a young child so the bird is used to children) - So I am able to give this 'Too plenty of attention! And we're financially very stable and able to give the bird all the basics.
But is there anything I should look out for when adopting this bird, perhaps huge tell-tale signs that the bird might actually be sick, or might hate my guts (other than trying to eat me alive) just any must-knows so that I know I am getting a new companion for life instead of a bird who might just hate my guts and only want me for the food?
Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:58 PM
Cockatoos, especially the big guys, can be on either side of the extremes... you could have a very sweet and loving bird who enjoys handling by anyone, or you could have a bird that wont allow anyone to get close and will draw blood. Heck, I've heard of some 'toos who can be sweet and cuddly one moment and leaving a wound that requires stitches the next.
Probably the best you can do is to go and interact with her and get to know her first before bringing her home, but keep in mind that once she's in your home, her behavior may change. It may change immediately or it may be a few weeks before her behavior changes, so it's hard to say what she'll be like until you get her. If she was raised and socialized well, then she may make the transition smoothly!
Sickness would include droopy eyes, loss of weight, droppings stuck to vent, abnormal droppings, etc. Sometimes it's hard to tell for sure what's going on without getting a thorough vet check (blood work and fecals, I'm sure you are aware?).
Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:45 AM
This is the first time I've ever taken an older bird, every other bird i have had I had from nest (I was part of the handfeeding process) so I had quite a strong bond so this is TRULY new to me.
I will be taking her to the vet within a week of bringing her home (If I do bring her home, obviously if we meet and she hates my guts I wont be bringing her home, can't help it if she doesn't like me), just to make sure she's all Okay and
I have been told that she used to belong to the current owners father- who became too sick to take care of her,
Apparantly she's quite sociable now, and is very friendly, but as I said over and over, they're all fulltime working now and want her to go to someone who can give her lots of TLC - And as a stay at home parent who has far too much time
on her hands I can supply a lot of love and attention (Especially considering having another baby isn't going to be happening ) - But I'll happily take a feather-baby
Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:27 AM
I did forget to mention that cockatoos can be quite dusty birds, although with having cockatiels and greys previously, you may be aware some of what the dust may be like. Don't know if it's an issue or not, but frequent bathes, lightly spraying cage papers prior to cleaning and getting an air cleaner (without the ionizer function, true HEPA) can help to keep the dust down.
Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:28 PM
My major concern is it is clear her old owners were HEAVY smokers, her cage, toys, and she STINKS of smoke, I have tried giving her a quick wash (she's not a fan of getting wet) but the smell remains,
I've never had this issue before (never smoked, nor has my family) and ideas on how to freshen her up?
Already got a leg on the plucking, got her lots of chew toys and giving her lots of love I bet it wont be long until she's drop deadgorgeous again
Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:46 PM
As for her, well.... plain water over a long time is best. You can buy "cockatoo shampoo", however shampoo is not good for their skin or feathers in the long run.
Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:45 AM
The smoke smell, and dingy feathers will both fade with time. Lots of misting will help feather quality. If she doesn't like being sprayed, make the mist very fine, point it up in the air, and let it drift slowly over her. Given time and patience, she'll most likely learn to tolerate (if not love) it.
It'll be fun to see her as she blossoms under your care.
Becky.....Where Fur and Feather Meet.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:37 PM
Chi (As she is named) Is blossoming in only a few short days, I honestly don't know why her owners didn't love her, she IS a little moodswingy, but I am 100% chalking that up to the birdie hormonal time, she's the right age for her first, so changed up her diet (no more endless seeds, nuh uh!)
Spent most if not all of my husbands money on purchasing toys for her, plus made tons of my own foraging toys - and I even gave her a twilight book to destroy (best thing that book has ever been able to do)
She isn't a shower fan but she did get in the shower with me and got a little clean so now she's less stinky
Otherwise it's going great, no idea what their problem was, if I had to pick out a dislike i'd say she squawks when I leave the room, but what bird doesn't? And even then she doesn't squawk much, maybe once.
Taking her to the vet on monday
Am mildly jealous that she definitely likes my husband more
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