Categories | Bird Breeders | Cockatoo Breeders
If you’re after a pet bird that is intelligent and will bond closely with you, then a cockatoo may be ideal. While they are not the best birds for the novice owner, they can provide many rewards if you have the experience and time to devote to them. Here’s what you need to know.
About the Cockatoo
The cockatoo most commonly kept as a pet is the sulphur-crested cockatoo, which has the instantly recognised white body and distinctive yellow crest. Other species that can be kept as pets include the bare eyed cockatoo, the Moluccan cockatoo, the Goffin’s cockatoo, and the umbrella cockatoo. They are around 50cm length and weigh around 750 – 900 grams. Aviary raised cockatoos are harder to find than wild caught young cockatoos.
The cockatoo is a highly intelligent bird that needs plenty of stimulation to keep them from getting bored. This means plenty of toys and attention from their owner. Generally speaking, they are not noisy, apart from in the early morning and evening, and both males and females can become good talkers (although the males may be somewhat better). Cockatoos tend to bond most strongly to just one person and they can actually become aggressive to other people.
Caring for a Cockatoo
If you wish to keep a cockatoo as a pet, you will need to have an aviary or cage that is at least 5 metres long, 1.2 metres wide, and 2 metres high. The larger the cage or aviary, the better. As cockatoos are known for their chewing, you will need to construct the aviary or cage of strong materials that can withstand this. It is a very good idea to provide your cockatoo with an appropriately sized hollow nesting log as well as fresh branches of eucalyptus and other native trees in order to keep them occupied. Plenty of chewable toys are also a must.
The diet of a cockatoo is important and you can feed them on a variety of seeds as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also beneficial to give your cockatoo animal protein in the form of chicken bones, mealworms or other grubs. As with any other bird, they need a constant supply of fresh water.
It is very important to note that a cockatoo can live from 40 to 80 years depending on their species so they can actually become an “inheritance” when the original owner dies. This is something to keep in mind as owning a cockatoo as a pet is by no means a short term undertaking.
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