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Advice Needed: My Cockatoo Hates Baths and Other Things

SnowJiLui

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I just got a cockatoo a few months ago. His name is Snowball and he is a sweetie. He has a few small issues, that I'm curious on how to fix.

The first is what I posted this for initially. Snowball HATES bathing. He wasnt that well taken care of, and for 23 years at that. When we got him, I noted he had a lot of dust buildup, and his feathers were fraying/splaying out. So I tried easing him into the shower with me, similar to how I got my rescue conure into bathing. I started with him outside the shower, then slowly bringing him in. He tolerated it, but he had to be right against me. I do this from time to time when he really needs it, but I dont want to scar him! I also tried filling a sink but be didnt go in. His least favorite is the mister, which was odd because many people I've spoke to and read on this forum had good luck with misters. Im weary of gettibg a shower perch because he is very bonded to me already and I dont want him to think he is being punished. I dont even know if he was punished with a spray bottle or was just rarely bathed...

Another is, he isnt used to other birds, as stated previously I have a conure. Two actually. I have a green cheek and a sun. He tolerates the green cheek more than the sun conure, but he opens his beak and flicks his tongue and hisses when Ji, the green cheek, comes toward his face. He is okay with Ji coming from behind and preening him, but i always do this under close supervision.
Sadly, recently Snowball opened his cage and got out, and somehow made his way to my Sun's (Lui) cage. When I came home after work, I came in and greeted them each as usual. But Snowball was on top of Lui's cage. I chuckled and put him away, so I could feed them all, and when i got to Lui I noticed he had a blood coated feather on his face. It was very small, and i cant see the wound either. Lui is acting fine and I have an appt with the vet. I'm not even 100% if it was Snow. But Lui and Snow have been standoffish since I introduced them. Lui was the first and does get easiiy jealous. After this incident, Lui puffs up when he sees him and tries to advance toward him. Snow puts his crest up and gets bigger and hisses when he sees Lui, and this is way different than he acts with Ji. I dont have them out at the same time anymore, I'm just not sure what to do because Snowball and Lui are terriorial of me and my boyfriend a lot. Advice would be very appreciated! I'm just not sure what to.do because I've never rescued a bird this matured.
 

sunnysmom

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Welcome to the forum. What kind of cockatoo do you have? I mist my 'too but it took a few months after we first got him before he would let me. Now, he loves it. I started by letting him see my misting my hand/arm. I pick a "bath' song to sing. (Silly, I know but this way he knows we're having fun- that he's not being punished somehow. I used to do the same thing for my cockatiel.) Then I spray up in the air so the water mists down on him. Make sure the water is warm enough. If it doesn't look like he likes it. I immediately stop. I might try again like 10 minutes later and if he still doesn't like it, I put the spray bottle away. After many tries, he finally got it and decided he liked it. Now, when he sees the spray bottle he gets very excited because he now loves getting misted.
 

SnowJiLui

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Welcome to the forum. What kind of cockatoo do you have? I mist my 'too but it took a few months after we first got him before he would let me. Now, he loves it. I started by letting him see my misting my hand/arm. I pick a "bath' song to sing. (Silly, I know but this way he knows we're having fun- that he's not being punished somehow. I used to do the same thing for my cockatiel.) Then I spray up in the air so the water mists down on him. Make sure the water is warm enough. If it doesn't look like he likes it. I immediately stop. I might try again like 10 minutes later and if he still doesn't like it, I put the spray bottle away. After many tries, he finally got it and decided he liked it. Now, when he sees the spray bottle he gets very excited because he now loves getting misted.
He's an umbrella. Thank you for your suggestion!
 

JLcribber

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When we got him, I noted he had a lot of dust buildup,
That is actually a good thing. A dusty cockatoo is a healthy cockatoo. Bathing will not diminish the dust. It will actually promote it.

You are going to need a Hepa air filter for everyone's health.
 

SnowJiLui

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That is actually a good thing. A dusty cockatoo is a healthy cockatoo. Bathing will not diminish the dust. It will actually promote it.

You are going to need a Hepa air filter for everyone's health.
I know that dust is very healthy, but when we got him, he had like matted, gunky buildup in his underfluff. It was the texture of chewed up gum, and it took me FOREVER to get it out. I could tell it bothered him because he kept trying to get it, but it was just a bit awkward of a position and it was very stuck to him.
 

Sylvester

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You may never get Snow use to water. When I got Fred, I was told by his previous owner that water bottles were used as a disciplinary tool to quiet him down. I also found out that a lot of people use it on their cockatoos. :(

I finally got a kiddie pool for Fred and filled it up with warm water. He could tolerate this.
 

SnowJiLui

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You may never get Snow use to water. When I got Fred, I was told by his previous owner that water bottles were used as a disciplinary tool to quiet him down. I also found out that a lot of people use it on their cockatoos. :(

I finally got a kiddie pool for Fred and filled it up with warm water. He could tolerate this.
It sad! A lot of cockatoos ive encountered love them, and I tried with Snowball. I'm gonna try like once or twice a week to introduce him to the shower. He is okay with showering as long as he's huddled against me in some way, and it just shows how neglected he was with his previous owner. I just hope one day he can learn to be a little more comfortable with more things.
 

Sylvester

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It sad! A lot of cockatoos ive encountered love them, and I tried with Snowball. I'm gonna try like once or twice a week to introduce him to the shower. He is okay with showering as long as he's huddled against me in some way, and it just shows how neglected he was with his previous owner. I just hope one day he can learn to be a little more comfortable with more things.
I tried that with Fred and he turned around and hot footed it right out of the bathroom. I hope you have more success.
 

Fia Baby

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If he tolerates showering with you, keep doing that. Make it fun and silly, go at his pace, give him drinks off of your fingers, let him see you enjoy it, and I think he'll eventually start to like it too. Mine always showers with me. Sometimes she's not in the mood and I respect that, but when she's into the idea she LOVES the shower. Give him time - sounds like it's all new to him. Showers will definitely help improve the look of his feathers!
 

Lady Jane

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Snowball HATES bathing.

Birds do not hate as humans do. You are speaking for this bird. How do you prepare the bird for bathing? Have you gently introduced water and in what way? Perhaps this bird just does not want a bath and it is you that want him to have a bath. Go easy on your bird.
 

iamwhoiam

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Congrats on getting Snowball. Post some photos when you get a chance. Also if he is letting himself out of the cage then you need to put locks on the doors. You don't want him getting out again and injuring another bird or himself or destroying your possessions or parts of your home.
 

lexalayne

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My U2 must have been locked in a bathroom by previous owners. It took me a long time to be able to take her into one without her trembling and gliding away. Showers with her will probably always be on my shoulder with me.
 

macawpower58

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Yep, vacumn cleaner often stimulates bathing action.
Also with your mister, go far above, like a soft rain falling.
 
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