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The Good the Bad and the Ugly about Large Cockatoos

Love My Zons

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I just can't say there is really any ugly with our U2. The bad is the shriek when she wants someone to get her. The shrieking shrill if you might say. Once she's with one of us on us she's a happy and quiet little Girl.

I might be a lucky one because she never bites.
 

Birdlover42

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I have been thinking about purchasing a Cockatoo for several years and have decided on adoption if I decide to have one. This forum definitely helps and there is so much to consider. I have a lot to think about!
 

Sylvester

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I understand. If there was a way for people who want to get a parrot to peer into a crystal ball and see the actual future of their decision and see the reality instead of the "vision" of what the future would be like, a great many of them would come to the same conclusion. I might include myself.
Thank you for understanding. I have wrestle between the love and the hate I feel towards this animal, something I have never experience towards any other animal companion.
 

Madi8416

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I rescued my Charles, a goffins cockatoo, from a family who didn't know anything about him. He was abused before this family. He is missing toes and we just bought some new medication to try for his continuous plucking. He lived with an older lady after this, but she could not keep taking care of him so he went to live with the family. He would sleep in bed with the old lady and had become accustomed to this treatment.

He has a problem when my family members are around, but he is a complete baby when it's only me and him. He rolls around like a dog when I enter the room, and occasionally rolls off the bed. We dance together and play his favorite songs -- he eats off of my plate and he usually sleeps in bed with me too. (He doesn't sleep otherwise and just cries, he mimics exactly what a baby does all night, so we have figured out a way to keep him safe and happy)

Although he is a little baby around me, when I'm not around he turns into a little devil. He will attack other people, chew through doors to get out of our room, and rip the paint off of the walls. He terrorizes the other birds and had caused us to have to rehome our blue and gold macaw. I could not simply deal with rehoming him as its taken a long time for him to trust me. Snapchat-739564090.jpg Snapchat-2068010090.jpg
 

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cassiesdad

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Welcome to you and Charles. :)

Normally I wouldn't recommend to have your bird sleep with you...but in you and Charles case , it sounds like you have little choice in the matter.

I know you are, but please, please be careful...
 

Madi8416

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Oh yes!! I am super careful. I have a king size bed and he usually sticks to one side and I'm to the other side. We have been mastering this sleeping arrangement for nearly a year now. Sometimes at night he snuggles up to me and sleeps on my head or something like that, which wakes me up if I feel him.
 

JLcribber

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Oh yes!! I am super careful. I have a king size bed and he usually sticks to one side and I'm to the other side. We have been mastering this sleeping arrangement for nearly a year now. Sometimes at night he snuggles up to me and sleeps on my head or something like that, which wakes me up if I feel him.
Someday this will come back to haunt you. It’s not if something will happen. It’s when. Very scary.
 

Madi8416

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Yes I know there is a lot of bad outcomes that could potentially occur. I have talked it over with my local avian vet because at first I was very cautious about this as well. We had talked it over and over again but we decided it would benefit Charles if he were to sleep on the bed with me. Most of the time he is on my head, or chest, or on the pillows. I have tried many many other things such as a small cage on my nightstand, covering his cage, letting him sit on his stand at night -- which did not work because he climbed up onto the bed -- and i tried sleeping in a different room. He was sleeping in bed with someone for a little over two years and had become accustomed to that.. if you leave him alone at night he starts screaming, plucking out all of his feathers and crying like a baby.
 

Bokkapooh

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You must be a light sleeper. I slept with my birds no problem and even my child from newborn to now. I've always been a very light sleeper. However most people are not and shouldn't sleep with babies or even pets. If you feel it benefits him then you do what feels best.
 

ChirpyMacaw

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does anyone here have black cockatoos(ie red taileds, palms, yellow taileds, etc) and are willing on sharing the good, bad and ugly about them in their experience?
 

expressmailtome

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does anyone here have black cockatoos(ie red taileds, palms, yellow taileds, etc) and are willing on sharing the good, bad and ugly about them in their experience?
There was a member here who had a beautiful red tailed black cockatoo, named Harvey, but she has not posted in quite a while. You could search for some of her threads and read what she had posted.
 

Budgiebuds

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I have a female umbrella cockatoo named winter and she is such a cutie! She loves to cuddle and play and sing and dance! But if I don't cuddle her when she wants me to or I don't give her enough cuddles she'll push me with her head or she'll nip me and she'll scream if I put her down. She has "tantrums" if I put her to bed too early or when she dosent want to go to bed/back in her cage. She also leaves dust all around the house buy I've gotten used to it haha.
 

Sylvester

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I have a female umbrella cockatoo named winter and she is such a cutie! She loves to cuddle and play and sing and dance! But if I don't cuddle her when she wants me to or I don't give her enough cuddles she'll push me with her head or she'll nip me and she'll scream if I put her down. She has "tantrums" if I put her to bed too early or when she dosent want to go to bed/back in her cage. She also leaves dust all around the house buy I've gotten used to it haha.

She sounds adorable.
 

PufF

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I am owned by Umbrella the female U2.She is turning 7 this year.
The good:
Sensitive to your feelings and would love a cuddle sometimes.Brightens up your days and will do anything for a lil' headrub.Sticks to you like velcro and bonds tight and quick ( a bad too but a good to me).Rather honest when it comes to questions like 'Did you chew the sofa again?'.Trustworthy in the sense that you can tell her to not do something and she won't but if you don't...hehe.Also if you consider this a good then here it is-->They are GREAT TALKERS!!!!! You can communicate to them easily as they pick up words and THEIR MEANINGS rather quickly.

The bad:
Chews any and everything.From your beloved sofa to beds to those expensive wooden toys and sometimes,you and your clothes.Give you a free experience of dust raining everywhere and anyday.Seriously,they are the dustiest among ALL parrots due to their colour( how do you expect them to be so white?) and if you or whoever you are living with have dust allergies,DON'T GET ONE.

The UGLY:
Will bite hard and nips.One bite has the power of opening coconuts and thus,your skin and bones and getting you a trip to the E.R. Terrible 2 is not something that you would like to go through ( I baby-sitted a lesser-sulphur crested Too once ) .On the ground they feel like they can do anything and attacks like a desperate soldier.If you are unlucky your other birds WILL be HARMED.Also they are good fliers and can fly away from your sight easily and quickly.
 

PufF

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And did I forget the screams? Get a rock and roll song and put it to full volume then TIMES 2,that is how loud their scream is.
 

Xoetix

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Xoetix

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The good, bad, and ugly - From a new owner.

I'm sitting here with Isadora in my lap and figured, hey, it's been a year. So, I wanted to add in what I've learned in a year of having a cockatoo. Obviously, your mileage may vary, and this is all from adopting a 15 year old (so already adult) triton SC2.

The Good:

I've never had an animal bring me such joy. She's wildly intelligent, sassy, funny, and sweet. I am her person that she's bonded to, and while she'll tolerate others, I am her safe space, and there's nothing quite like feeling that trust. I can cup both hands around her face, check every feather on her, manipulate her wings, play with her beak and toes - She allows me all of this, which is a feeling of wonder. Likewise I can trust her to preen my eyelashes, hold my fingers in her beak without worry of pain, and let her hang on my shoulder and play with my earrings. Most of this she didn't allow or do with her previous owners, who had her from 12 weeks old until I got her at 15 years, which is so mind blowing. She's emotionally intelligent as well, and empathetic. She knows when I'm having a bad day, she knows when I need to laugh. Watching her being purposely goofy because I laugh is amazing, and then she'll mimic my laugh which just makes me laugh harder. She likes puzzles, and watching her work through a toy is crazy. I stop probably stop there, I could go on forever.

The Bad:

  • Are you sad? Anxious? Angry? Any "negative" emotion? THEY KNOW. They're sensitive, and while sometimes that's great, holy crap can it be insane. Particularly anxiety - and I have general anxiety disorder. She knows when it's bad, because her feather barbering gets worse. All birds are sensitive, but I swear cockatoos are 13 year old girls in both the intensity of emotion, and the speed with which they can swing from one extreme to the other (and I say that with having been that 13 year old girl once upon a time).
  • Another thing to consider: The Dander. Oh my gosh. She shakes and it's like a snow storm some days. She gets regular baths to mitigate it, and it does help, but there's no way to stop it. If you have asthma or other breathing conditions, be super aware. I have two air filters in the bird room and they have to get vacuumed out once a week (admittedly there are also two cockatiels and two budgies as well). Cockatoos produce A LOT of dust. If you wear a lot of black, prepare to look like you've been in a flour fight.
  • Everything is expensive. Big bird? Big cage? Big toys? Big bag of food? BIG. MONEY.
  • A cockatoo will destroy anything and everything. Furniture, clothing, plastic stuff, things you really thought it couldn't reach.
  • Poop. It's really big poop. Like REALLY big poop. Biiiiiiig poop.

The Ugly:

  • The more people I talk to people who want a cockatoo, the more I realize they only know cockatoos can be "noisy." While her noise doesn't necessarily bother me - it's not grating to me like a conure's pitch - It's L O U D. I can hear Isadora across the street and behind the neighbors house. That's 100ft+/- with a house as an obstacle in between me and her. I can hear her over a lawn mower. I can hear her over the crappy Honda Civic with an exhaust tip that lives two doors down (if you know, you know). She's not screaming constantly, but if I'm not in the room? Oh man.
  • Which brings me to a connected point - Separation anxiety. She's insane about being "alone," and by alone, I mean being wherever I am not. She's with me rougly 7 hours a day, but if I have to do something and she can't come with me? Immediate screaming.
  • Jealousy. I cannot have my son near her. We've gotten to a point that they can be in the same room, but if he's in reach, she's lunging for him. On bad days, she'll actually climb down to the floor to chase him. On good days she ignores him entirely. Will they ever get to a point where he can hold her? Will it be better in ten years? Twenty? No telling, but I'm not betting on it.

To add a neutral point:

She is going to live a loooooong time. She's only 16 now, average lifespan is anywhere from 40 to 80 years, but some SC2s have lived even longer. I don't consider this a bad thing, I'm thrilled she's going to be with me the rest of my life, *however* I am very aware that a contingency plan has to be in place in case she out lives me.

Honestly, to me, the good outweighs the bad and ugly. BUT, that said, I've also wanted a cockatoo since I was wee, so I knew a lot of this beforehand. I wouldn't trade her for the world.
 

Pixiebeak

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The good, bad, and ugly - From a new owner.

I'm sitting here with Isadora in my lap and figured, hey, it's been a year. So, I wanted to add in what I've learned in a year of having a cockatoo. Obviously, your mileage may vary, and this is all from adopting a 15 year old (so already adult) triton SC2.

The Good:

I've never had an animal bring me such joy. She's wildly intelligent, sassy, funny, and sweet. I am her person that she's bonded to, and while she'll tolerate others, I am her safe space, and there's nothing quite like feeling that trust. I can cup both hands around her face, check every feather on her, manipulate her wings, play with her beak and toes - She allows me all of this, which is a feeling of wonder. Likewise I can trust her to preen my eyelashes, hold my fingers in her beak without worry of pain, and let her hang on my shoulder and play with my earrings. Most of this she didn't allow or do with her previous owners, who had her from 12 weeks old until I got her at 15 years, which is so mind blowing. She's emotionally intelligent as well, and empathetic. She knows when I'm having a bad day, she knows when I need to laugh. Watching her being purposely goofy because I laugh is amazing, and then she'll mimic my laugh which just makes me laugh harder. She likes puzzles, and watching her work through a toy is crazy. I stop probably stop there, I could go on forever.

The Bad:

  • Are you sad? Anxious? Angry? Any "negative" emotion? THEY KNOW. They're sensitive, and while sometimes that's great, holy crap can it be insane. Particularly anxiety - and I have general anxiety disorder. She knows when it's bad, because her feather barbering gets worse. All birds are sensitive, but I swear cockatoos are 13 year old girls in both the intensity of emotion, and the speed with which they can swing from one extreme to the other (and I say that with having been that 13 year old girl once upon a time).
  • Another thing to consider: The Dander. Oh my gosh. She shakes and it's like a snow storm some days. She gets regular baths to mitigate it, and it does help, but there's no way to stop it. If you have asthma or other breathing conditions, be super aware. I have two air filters in the bird room and they have to get vacuumed out once a week (admittedly there are also two cockatiels and two budgies as well). Cockatoos produce A LOT of dust. If you wear a lot of black, prepare to look like you've been in a flour fight.
  • Everything is expensive. Big bird? Big cage? Big toys? Big bag of food? BIG. MONEY.
  • A cockatoo will destroy anything and everything. Furniture, clothing, plastic stuff, things you really thought it couldn't reach.
  • Poop. It's really big poop. Like REALLY big poop. Biiiiiiig poop.

The Ugly:

  • The more people I talk to people who want a cockatoo, the more I realize they only know cockatoos can be "noisy." While her noise doesn't necessarily bother me - it's not grating to me like a conure's pitch - It's L O U D. I can hear Isadora across the street and behind the neighbors house. That's 100ft+/- with a house as an obstacle in between me and her. I can hear her over a lawn mower. I can hear her over the crappy Honda Civic with an exhaust tip that lives two doors down (if you know, you know). She's not screaming constantly, but if I'm not in the room? Oh man.
  • Which brings me to a connected point - Separation anxiety. She's insane about being "alone," and by alone, I mean being wherever I am not. She's with me rougly 7 hours a day, but if I have to do something and she can't come with me? Immediate screaming.
  • Jealousy. I cannot have my son near her. We've gotten to a point that they can be in the same room, but if he's in reach, she's lunging for him. On bad days, she'll actually climb down to the floor to chase him. On good days she ignores him entirely. Will they ever get to a point where he can hold her? Will it be better in ten years? Twenty? No telling, but I'm not betting on it.

To add a neutral point:

She is going to live a loooooong time. She's only 16 now, average lifespan is anywhere from 40 to 80 years, but some SC2s have lived even longer. I don't consider this a bad thing, I'm thrilled she's going to be with me the rest of my life, *however* I am very aware that a contingency plan has to be in place in case she out lives me.

Honestly, to me, the good outweighs the bad and ugly. BUT, that said, I've also wanted a cockatoo since I was wee, so I knew a lot of this beforehand. I wouldn't trade her for the world.
Excellent!
Big noise, big destruction , big money,big big time commitment
 

Xoetix

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Excellent!
Big noise, big destruction , big money,big big time commitment
I was reading through the older replies, and a few said there should be more than one - I'd like to add that I think that really really depends on the first bird. I wouldn't get a second, because I don't believe for a moment Isadora would handle that well.
 
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