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Newish Cockatoo Owner

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Newish Cockatoo Owner

Postby Notgonnabeyourhero » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:41 pm

I didn't see the introduction forum until I realized it was at the very top of the list lol..

I just dived into the world of parrot ownership back in late December. My fiance's family and I picked up an umbrella cockatoo from a vet's house, where the dogs were proving to be dangerous around her. However, I speculate if that is the real reason or not seeing as she had an Amazon that she didn't seem interested in giving up. Maybe it's all the screaming haha

Whatever the reason, Molly the U2 has been with us for almost 4 months now and is opening up (more slowly to some than others). Some info on her. Definitely female. Her band indicates she is 21 years old, although the vet claimed she was 8. Confusing... Anyway, she's changed homes 4 times now, us being the 4th. Original owner was an elderly man who passed away, I empathize with her she probably misses him. I can tell she is used to being cuddled and babied, but her hormones are running high because of inappropriate petting so we've been less cuddly with her and careful not to work her up.

She has a painfully obvious preference and attraction to any guy. Very cute, very sweet, a bit sexual but overall a sweet bird. She knows how to say "hi pretty girl" but only to the guys, lol. She also does that two toned whistle, not sure how to describe. Like the whistle guys do when an attractive woman walks by, the guys taught her that. She doesn't respond aggressively to women, but she is very wary of them and not nearly as quick to trust. Sad for me. It took her a month and a half I think to get her to let me pet her head, with confidence that I won't be bitten. Now if she turns up her beak when I approach with my hand, I can freeze, say 'No don't do that' very firmly with a frown, she will lower it and usually oblige to a couple scritches. I don't force it, if she really seems like she doesn't want me to touch I'll back off, try again later.

Actually I feel like she and I have come a long way since we first brought her back, albeit I no longer allow her shoulder/arm time with me personally because of an incident in the past (I had at least 5 welts on my arm/shoulder/neck and am slow to trust her like that again). I do more hands off stuff with her and I still step her up to take her to and fro, as well as letting her sit in my lap to groom her, but I have to have one of the guys take her off my lap because she'll bite me if I try to. I do think it's because she just doesn't have the same trust in me as them. We actually made leaps of progress before the biting incident, where she would actually come to greet me and step up very nicely and was even starting to tell me I'm a pretty girl (lol), but somehow something happened to cause a bite frenzy one of those times and both her and I kind of went back to square one. I'm not sure what happened, I was hanging out with her sorta climbing back and forth from arm to shoulder in the kitchen with some of the family, and suddenly she just kinda went berserk on my arm. I guess it was a good enough reason to bite me, I just don't know what it was and that's why I'm wary. She's kind of phobic about a lot of stuff.

She is not very good at trying new foods, esp fruit or veggies. I realize she needs these things in her diet but I don't think she knows that. Any cockatoo owners out there who know of healthy foods she might enjoy as a picky eater? Or ways to get her to try new food?

OMG I wrote a novel, my apologies to you readers v.v
Call me Hero... or maybe not... ;P
Notgonnabeyourhero
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Types of Birds Owned: Umbrella Cockatoo
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Re: Newish Cockatoo Owner

Postby Bird woman » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:09 pm

We like books the more we know the more we can help. I have several rescued too's and believe me trying to get everyone on the same page eating a healthy diet is a maijor struggle . You have to keep offering it , let them eat with you and they will want it off your plate and keep trying it takes along time for them to recognize things as a food source that they are not familiar with. Some of my birds like things chopped some like a mash and others want the whole piece just like it grows or they won't eat it. Good recipes on here for chop. Tell me what she does eat and me or pajirta or Liz can help design a good recipe around the foods she is familiar with. Sounds like your an experienced bird owner and doing a great job. Nothing like bringing a cockatoo into the family. :shock: MY BIRD OF CHOICE :lol: BW. Oh if it makes you feel better I missed the intro part too when I first started :lol:
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Re: Newish Cockatoo Owner

Postby ParrotsForLife » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:32 pm

Bird woman wrote:We like books the more we know the more we can help. I have several rescued too's and believe me trying to get everyone on the same page eating a healthy diet is a maijor struggle . You have to keep offering it , let them eat with you and they will want it off your plate and keep trying it takes along time for them to recognize things as a food source that they are not familiar with. Some of my birds like things chopped some like a mash and others want the whole piece just like it grows or they won't eat it. Good recipes on here for chop. Tell me what she does eat and me or pajirta or Liz can help design a good recipe around the foods she is familiar with. Sounds like your an experienced bird owner and doing a great job. Nothing like bringing a cockatoo into the family. :shock: MY BIRD OF CHOICE :lol: BW. Oh if it makes you feel better I missed the intro part too when I first started :lol:

:lol: Had to laugh, When my mam calls me for Dinner Oscar is already eating off my plate before I can sit down and he already has his own bowl on the table which I have to direct him to all the time lol
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Re: Newish Cockatoo Owner

Postby Notgonnabeyourhero » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:08 pm

Bird woman wrote:We like books the more we know the more we can help. I have several rescued too's and believe me trying to get everyone on the same page eating a healthy diet is a maijor struggle . You have to keep offering it , let them eat with you and they will want it off your plate and keep trying it takes along time for them to recognize things as a food source that they are not familiar with. Some of my birds like things chopped some like a mash and others want the whole piece just like it grows or they won't eat it. Good recipes on here for chop. Tell me what she does eat and me or pajirta or Liz can help design a good recipe around the foods she is familiar with. Sounds like your an experienced bird owner and doing a great job. Nothing like bringing a cockatoo into the family. :shock: MY BIRD OF CHOICE :lol: BW. Oh if it makes you feel better I missed the intro part too when I first started :lol:


Hm I'll have to try different things, but I do think she prefers things whole. Sometimes she'll take them chopped, too though. Shrug! She really likes green grapes, I've discovered she likes mango, apples and maybe lettuce.. except I think she just liked tearing the leaves not actually eating them lol. She usually refuses any other stuff like oranges, strawberries, bananas. Never shows interest in any vegetables. Ohh I almost forgot she actually ate some cooked egg the other day, not much and that was the first time. I have read it's not healthy as a regular food, but she liked it.

Her favorites are walnuts and noodles but I try not to feed her too much of those. She's on a mostly pellet diet which she came with. It might be that that's how it's been her whole life and she's not used to eating fruits or veggies.

I am an experienced any-animal owner haha, be it dog, cat, bird, rodent, reptile. I don't discriminate haha. I'm newer to large birds but wow are they amazing! I plan on going into the veterinary field, and ever since getting Molly I've actually considered specializing in birds. They're really fascinating and SMART, and in my opinion there are not nearly enough avian vets around.
Call me Hero... or maybe not... ;P
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Re: Newish Cockatoo Owner

Postby Bird woman » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:05 am

Takes a lot of patients to introduce them to healthy foods , repetition, repetition , repetition that is the key . Try new things , make a log and don't get discouraged. Just because they won't like it today doesn't mean they won't try it tomorrow. You said pasta was a favorite , I give mine sometimes organic whole wheat pasta with a cold veggie purée sauce on it. They love it and injesting veggies while eating the noodles. BW. Oh and I make the puréed veggies out of fresh in my blender with a little tomato , a few pine nuts and a little nutritional yeast which gives it a cheesy flavor. Kinda like a birdie pesto. :lol: also I didn't address the behavior , well right now it's cockatoo frisky season at least over here and they are bitchey , demanding , unappreciative and unpredictable during this time. One thing your going to learn about too's pretty darn quick is you learn to live with them not the other way around. Somebody else removing her off your lap suggest to me that she either gets mad at you cause she doesn't want to leave or she's sitting on top you to insure you stay put and don't be where she doesn't want you to be. I'll write more later BW
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Re: Newish Cockatoo Owner

Postby Pajarita » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:28 am

Welcome to the forum, Nohero and Molly!

In my personal experience, cockatoos are excellent eaters and it just takes planning and persistence. Try feeding her ONLY healthy stuff in the morning (they are crepuscular feeders so they mainly eat two big meals a day, one at dawn and the other at dusk), eating in front of her (making yummy noises and pretending you don't want to give her any) and experiment with different presentations (whole, chopped, diced, in a skewer, stuck between bars, on a plate, in a bowl, etc). In the meantime, giving her healthy stuff disguised as not healthy (like BW suggests) will provide the healthy benefits a good diet would.

As to biting... well, all parrots bite and large birds will hurt you without even meaning to (not their fault we are such inadequate 'birds') but, also as BW mentioned, they are in breeding season right now and, if she has been kept at a human light schedule (versus a birdy one) and free-feed protein (pellets, seeds, nuts, avicakes, etc), she is, most likely, overly hormonal and cannot help herself. I keep my birds at a strict solar schedule with protein food measured and only for dinner in order to keep them not only healthy and happy but also not aggressive during breeding season.
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