Cockatoos are extremely friendly, sociable and cuddly birds, but they they demand more attention than any other parrot breed.
In fact lack of attention will make them so neuritic that they will start plucking out their feathers.
If you aren't prepared to spend the better part of your day with your bird, then you might be better off looking at one of the less demanding parrots.
Most cockatoos are white, but there are some that are pink, gray, black and one species that is blue.
All cockatoo birds have a distinctive crest that rises when they are excited or alarmed. The crests are part of a cockatoo's body language and you can tell a lot about it's mood just from the way the crest is displayed.
Cockatoos range in size from the Goffins Cockatoo at 12 inches to the Palm Cockatoo that can be as much as 29 inches.
Although they can talk they aren't as good at it as some other parrots.
They make up for their lesser talking ability by how great they are at learning tricks and that they love performing.
Cockatoo bird care
Your cockatoo needs a variety of foods to supply it with all the proteins minerals and vitamins it needs.
Seeds and nut are a favorite food with cockatoos, unfortunately they don't contain all the vitamins and minerals they need and they are too high in fat for any but the most active of parrots.
A better choice is to use unflavored pellets as a base and supplement them with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Save the seeds and nuts for special treats.
Cockatoos are able to crack open nuts with their beaks and giving them whole nuts is a great treat for your bird. Just don't overdo it or you will end up with a fat, unhealthy bird.
Make sure to always have fresh, clean water available for your pet parrot,
Cockatoo bird cages
When buying a cage for your cockatoo keep in mind that they have powerful beaks, and will destroy a plastic cage in minutes.
Be careful with coated or painted cages. Zinc and other metals are poisonous, and so are some paints.
Cockatoo birds are excellent at solving puzzles and can escape from almost anywhere, so be sure that the latch on your cage has a good lock.
Also avoid the type of door that slides up, they are an accident waiting to happen. Sooner or later your bird will get the door open and it could cause serious injury if it falls on it.
Cockatoos need a lot of room to move about so you need at cage that is at least 3 feet X 2.5 feet across and 3 feet high.
These birds like to climb so try to avoid cages that come to a peak. A flat or domed roof is best.
The bars should be no more than ½ inch apart to keep it from getting it's head stuck.
In addition to the cage you will need some very durable toys for your parrot.
Cockatoos love to chew and have powerful beaks that are designed to break open nuts. Try to find the kind of toys that can stand up to them.
They should also have a variety of wood objects to chew on, such as tree limbs. Be careful some types of trees are poisonous.
You should have a variety of different sized perches in the cage as well.
Things to consider before you buy a cockatoo.
These birds are very dusty due to the powder down they produce for preening. This should be a consideration if you are prone to allergies.
Cockatoos also tend to be messy. They will chew on everything and they toss their food every where.
They are very loud birds and can be extremely noisy. Especially when left alone for too long which doesn't make them ideal for apartment living.
Some cockatoos can live up to 120 years.
Cockatoos demand a lot of attention.
Cockatoos birds are considered the most loyal and cuddly of all the parrots, and in the hands of someone who is equally dedicated to the bird as it is to it's owner is a fantastic lifelong friend.
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