The Cockatoo: who is he? Breeding tips and best practices

Recognizable by its pink, white, red, or yellow hut depending on the species, the cockatoo is a parrot that arouses the craze. Extremely intelligent, curious, he has a strong character.

Very affectionate, exclusive, he loves to be at the center of all attention and likes to take control over his surroundings. It is, therefore, better to have great availability to raise cockatoos, especially since with age, these birds tend to be more and more possessive and demanding. In any case, it is essential to offer them the best living conditions in captivity but also to have thought carefully before welcoming one home because it is not a pet that is suitable for beginners.

What cage or aviary for a cockatoo?

What cage or aviary for a cockatoo?

It is necessary to buy an aviary or a large solid stainless steel cage capable of withstanding the onslaught of this small companion with a powerful beak. On the other hand, toxic materials for a cockatoo, namely lead and zinc, are banned.

A sufficiently spacious model is chosen, the size of which must be adapted to the size of the parrot, knowing that it varies according to the species. For informational purposes, the rosaline cockatoo is the smallest of all with a length of 35 cm and a weight of 400 g maximum in adulthood. The red-hut cockatoo is the largest. It measures 50 cm in length and weighs 850 g. For example, a cage or aviary 2 m high, 3.50 to 4 m long, and about 1.60 m wide are recommended for a large cockatoo so that it can evolve at its ease without injury.

An easy-to-clean model is essential. It is necessary to ensure that this environment is always very clean so that the bird does not get sick. It is therefore daily that the droppings are removed and that we clean bowls and troughs.

The cage must be installed in a place sheltered from drafts and away from the windows so that it does not get too hot. Ideally, the living room is an area of the dwelling that allows the parrot to live within the family because loneliness does not suit him.

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Cockatoo character

Cockatoo character

Recognizable by its pink, white, red, or yellow hut depending on the species, the cockatoo is a parrot that arouses the craze. Extremely intelligent, curious, he has a strong character. Very affectionate, exclusive, he loves to be at the center of all attention and likes to take control over his surroundings. It is, therefore, better to have great availability to raise cockatoos, especially since with age, these birds tend to be more and more possessive and demanding. In any case, it is essential to offer them the best living conditions in captivity but also to have thought carefully before welcoming one home because it is not a pet that is suitable for beginners.

The cockatoo food

The cockatoo food


The food of the cockatoo must be balanced in order to meet the needs of its organism. Contrary to what one might think, this bird should only eat seeds occasionally in order not to become obese.

Two-thirds of its feed can be made up of specific foods presented in the form of balls that can be bought in pet stores. It also needs extremely fresh vegetables and fruits such as beans provided they are sufficiently cooked, spinach, cabbage, pear, and apple. You have to be careful about the choice of fruits and vegetables because many of them can be toxic to the cockatoo. Examples include avocado, tomato, onion, mushrooms, and raw beans.

To avoid any problems due to the colonization of bacteria, food residues should not be left in the aviary. What the parrot has not consumed within 3 or 4 hours must be removed.

Of course, fresh, clean water is de rigueur.

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Cockatoo-specific diseases

Cockatoo-specific diseases


To the extent that this bird enjoys a very good quality diet, perfectly balanced, and excellent living conditions in captivity, it can live several decades in good health. But it is particularly vulnerable to certain diseases, one of which is transmitted to humans. This is the case with chlamydia, also known as psittacosis. If not treated, the cockatoo is at risk of meningitis or pneumonia.

Other common conditions in these parrots are herpes or Pacheco, which degenerates into hepatitis and can be life-threatening and nervous disorders due to a virus (paramyxovirus). Finally, the most common disease encountered in farms is the French molt (polyomavirus) which can lead to internal bleeding in the most fragile subjects.

As for pterotillomania or pecking, which is of psychogenic origin, it is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that is found quite frequently in these parrots. It is as difficult to treat as it is easy to diagnose. The bird sings. It can therefore very quickly damage its feathers but also its skin by self-harm. But the cockatoo with this syndrome may as well be pecking at its congeners.

This parrot is a skin-to-skin animal that can’t handle the annoyance. The master is him. It is quite customary to sulk, and boredom is its worst scourge. For the balance of his mental health, he must always be busy and he must spend a lot of time in society, otherwise, the manias and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders await him. The socialization of a cockatoo, therefore, requires a great availability on the part of its master. This is absolutely essential for its adaptation to life in captivity to be as smooth as possible.

This beautiful bird is demanding is excessive at all levels, especially if it is a male, and its libido is no exception to the rule. It is, therefore, better to raise a couple rather than a single male and provided you buy the cockatoos from a serious breeder who holds all the permissions.