Cockatoo parrots are sweet, loving, and charming. Affection and snuggles is the highlight of their day. They are very social parrots and require a large amount of daily attention. Their plumage consist mainly of a single color, with the exception of a few species.
Cockatoos are known for their erectile crests, the crest feathers on the top of the head that move upright. They can become good talkers but are popular for their affectionate disposition. Cockatoos have adopted the nickname the "Powder Puff or Down Bird" because of the large amount of feather dander they produce. This is a healthy sign that the birds feathers are in working order.
Anyone that has ever handled a cockatoo will know that they feel silky soft and the dander will leave a white powdery coat on the hand or clothes. Those with severe allergies will want to reconsider this type of parrot for their home.
Cockatoo parrots originate from areas of Australia and Indonesia. There are 18 species of cockatoo parrots and several subspecies. In the wild they live together in flocks. They are considered pest in their natural land because of the crop damage they impose on farmers. For the rest of us, we absolutely adore them!
A cockatoo's diet consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and a good quality pelleted parrot food. They are very eager to eat fresh corn on the cob, low sodium pasta and rice, and foods high in vitamin A such as cooked sweet potatoes.
Each cockatoo is an individual and will have a preference of favorite fruits and vegetables. Parrots in general have very good eye sight, bright colored foods can either be a favorite or a down-right protest! Make sure not to feed foods that have been treated with food dyes. Check out the fresh foods you should be feeding your parrot on our fresh food list.
The cockatoo breeding season begins in winter through spring. Maturity age is between three to eight years old. The female cockatoo will lay between 2 to 3 eggs. The incubation period is between 25 to 30 days depending on the species.
Babies can be pulled from the nest for handfeeding at 2 to 3 weeks of age. They will become completely feathered between 60 and 100 days. The weaning process will take place by four to five months of age.
When young are being handfed by human caretakers, the weaning process should not be rushed and may take up to 6 months to complete. They are just like human babies and need positive food experiences. Offering fresh foods will help encourage the weaning process.
When cared for properly, cockatoos can thrive very well in captivity. Handfed babies make endearing companions. Their loving and affectionate nature makes them a priviledged joy to be around.
This also means that they are needy most of the time and can develop serious emotional and physical problems if they are neglected. Many cockatoos are victims of poor nutrition and neglect, causing this child like parrot to self-mutilate and feather pluck.
A cockatoo should be housed in a cage at least 30 x 30 x 39, depending on the species. The cage should be placed near the family area where daily interaction occurs. We highly recommend purchasing an acrylic cage or your bird to be housed in. Most of the cockatoo species are extremely loud, this is their natural calling, and must be accepted by anyone making the decision to purchase a cockatoo.
A parrot must be allowed to be a parrot in our homes. Those that are considering purchasing a cockatoo should research this beautiful species throughly. Cockatoos require daily time outside of the cage, preferably 2 hours or more a day.
They require several large, somewhat expensive toys to play and chew on. With being a bigger bird, the poop is bigger! They are very emotional and will need ALOT of attention. Screaming in the home is gauranteed to be a daily occurance whether out of happiness or neglect. Some species such as the Umbrella or Molluccan Cockatoo are louder and more demanding than other cockatoo species.
Families that are gone all day should reconsider purchasing or adopting a cockatoo. It is likely to be a disappointing experience to the owner and devastating to the cockatoo due to long hours of being home alone. As with children, there is a give and take in developing a healthy bond relationship with cockatoo parrots.
Recommended for those experienced with parrots or those without small children or extremely busy schedules.