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Goffins with a grudge


Strolling the yard
Middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania
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Hi! So we have recently adopted a goffins cockatoo ('we' being me, my stepmother, and dad.) When Kiwi first came home the two of us instantly bonded. We were inseparable and she would often talk or do tricks (for example a previous owner taught her to give kisses) for me and only me, especially when others were around that wanted her attention. Unfortunately I leave from time to time to work (kids' summercamp) or go to my mother's. It only took two of these leaves for Kiwi to off me altogether. She now refuses to listen to me and sometimes even bites... hard! I know its because she's hurt but I have to leave from time to time and I always come back. Does anyone know how I can get through to her that I still love her and get my best friend back?


Walking the driveway
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Hey there!
First of all, if you are upset around your bird, they will know. And I’ve found they tend to feed off of our emotions. So even though she’s being aggressive towards you, try to stay calm.

How old is your Goffins? If she is going through puberty/ hormonal changes she may be lashing out solely because of that.

Also birds sort of go through a ‘honeymoon’ phase when you first get them. They’re on their best behavior. This can be a week to a few months. Then eventually you start to see their ‘true selves’. You might just be dealing with a parrot who’s asserting herself and seeing how far she can push her boundaries.

If you are the favorite, it is totally possible she’s upset that you leave. If you are her mate in her eyes, understand that their mates in the wild are almost always with them. They aren’t used to being apart from their mate.

This is just something you have to work through. She will learn your routine eventually. My cockatoo has gotten angry at me after not spending a lot time with him- he started divebomding me and ignoring me. I just let him be when I was with him. I gave him space. And eventually it just ended and one day he hopped on my lap for some pets and he’s fine now.

If she is biting , don’t try to touch her right now. Give her space, give her treats. Maybe try playing with her after she has started to calm. She’ll settle down eventually. Give her time. Give yourself time to learn her tics & quirks. You’ll figure it out :) Cockatoos are weird, difficult and tiring. Stuff like this happens.

A bit after I got my GCC, she “randomly” decided she hated me. I can assure you it has passed. It’s been years and now we have a great friendship!


Ripping up the road
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If you just got her, she is still adjusting to everything and everyone. I'm not sure what you mean by she won't listen to you. Parrots aren't like dogs and don't really take commands naturally. It takes training. And training takes trust. So you need to work on building her trust and then maybe work on teaching her target training or something like that so she'll be more manageable. Goffins are super smart. They can learn quickly- good and bad things. And what are you doing when she bites? It sounds super obvious but it's usually best to avoid the biting..... And when you're leaving, actually explain that you're leaving and you'll be back. They understand more than people often give them credit for. And I usually give my goffin a cashew (his favorite treat) when I leave to soften my leaving a little.