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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly about Small Cockatoos

moonchild

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The attributes listed in this thread are the experiences of each individual and your experiences may differ with your individual bird.

Galahs: These guys are a bit different from other toos, so I figure they deserved their own thread. :)

The Good: Adorable, hilarious, clownish, FUN, potentially affectionate (mine is not, but we've only been together a month), can be very good talkers, usually not "one person birds" if properly socialized, not as prone to screaming, plucking, or mutilating as other toos. They also have less damaging bites.
Not to mention they're PINK. :D

The Bad: Can be nippy (in a playful way, not aggressively), very mischievous, destructive, and high-energy. Many need constant supervision. Dusty, like all toos. Have a high-pitched "scream" that can be irritating to some people (though I don't find it too bad). Can be less "Velcro" and cuddly than other toos, which can viewed as a good or a bad thing.
Prone to obesity and fatty tumors, so special attention needs to be paid to their diet.
They can also become phobic if not properly socialized, so it's important to try to keep introducing new things to them while they're young and impressionable. They do much better fully-flighted than clipped, for their confidence as well as their health.

The Ugly: Don't have anything to say on that topic...maybe others can weigh in.
 
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Saemma

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Thank you. That was great. Would you know whether gentle nippiness is common in most cockatoos?
 

Cynthia & Percy

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Thank you. That was great. Would you know whether gentle nippiness is common in most cockatoos?
i have had 3 g2s and 2 were nippy and then some
 

Saemma

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Thanks Cyntia. :)
 

HelenVanessaDavies

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I got Percy from a breeder when he was a bubba and he has had some medical issues due to not being weaned properly, he turns 2 in April!

Good: He's hilarious, silly, smart, witty, abit weird and quirky, can be cuddly. He loves me the most but he'll sit on knees of other people quite happily and he chats and plays with other people, recently he's taken a shine to my Dad and my little brother. He's super chatty and playful. Mischeivious.

Bad: Can be quite nippy and loud, has days where he's a little sod but then equally I'm not a ray of sunshine all the time so he's allowed to have his moments :lol:

Nothin' ugly about Percy!
 

Merlie

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I often wonder if females RB2s are very different in personality from males.

My Jazzy <female> is rather quiet, and can often be a borderline "perch potato". Jen <TNT Toys> and I often compare notes on our two, and her boy is so completely different from my Jazz. He's a nut, a bit on the hyper side, extremely inquisitive and a little bit of a trouble maker.

I do think RB2s can have some phobic tendencies .. lol .. just weird little quirks. My Jazz won't go back into her cage just "normal" .. she must first fly to Mojo's cage, walk across the top of it, stand on the edge and only then will she step up to go back in her cage. It's like clock work, she won't go back into her own cage unless she walks across his first.

I think, like other's have said, they are very "beaky/nippy" birds. Extremely tactile. Jazzy is usually gentle, but if she gets excited/worked up, her nips can sting.

I've read that you have to watch carefully what you feed RB2s, as they are prone to fatty tumors/chubbiness.

My Jazz is fairly quite, but .. lol .. I've heard Jen's Kishie in the background while talking, so I know they have the potential to make quite the racket.

I do believe they tend to be fairly social, Jazz will go to just about anyone, unlike some of my other birds who think a new person is a monster out to eat them.

I don't have a lot of negatives to share, but I may very well have an unusual RB2. She was a rehome and had an odd beginning to her life. I often wonder if that's why she's very reserved for a Too.
 

bicmeister

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just something to add: i spoke to scott lewis about galahs, and he told me that galahs are not prone to phobic behaviors. again that is from his experience, and i'm assuming that if properly socialized, they don't suffer from phobias. (i have no ability to gauge the validity of his comment...just passing on his experiences)
 

jmfleish

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And I have Kishie! A male RB2 that I've had since he was 5 months old. He'll be three in April and is a little imp! Like many of the others have said, he's a total clown and one heck of a talker. He talks just to hear himself talk I swear. He's picking up new words and phrases every day it seems and he seems to use them in context. His favorite is "Really?" in the form of a question and he's always questioning us! He's always been fully flighted, so I don't worry too much about his weight. He's an absolute riot most of the time. He's not cuddly like the white 'toos but loves to sit on us and get head and neck scritches and will let us pet his body, just no true cuddles. He's also very independent and can play in his cage by himself for hours on end without whining about it. He loves, loves, loves to fly around...I can't even imagine him not being able to fly. He is destructive and can get into trouble if you aren't paying attention. He loves to cause trouble, be it throwing all the Linnie's toys on the floor (we keep them in a bucket on their playgym above the TV) or getting into things he knows he shouldn't be getting into. He's a non stop Energizer Bunny and will go from one place to the next creating havoc. He is starting to go through his first hormonal season and can be a bit of a Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde but we go with the flow. He loves anyone who will give him food and/or attention and isn't really afraid of anyone or anything but I have seen some of the "phobic" tendencies in him. I think this is a species that is going to do much better fully flighted to give them as much confidence as possible. Make sure that they know how to play independently, and I think you're in for the time of your life. They can be loud on occasion but it isn't the norm. Expect a slightly demanding but funny little imp of a bird who can entertain you or him/herself for hours at a time and you won't be disappointed.
 

jmfleish

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just something to add: i spoke to scott lewis about galahs, and he told me that galahs are not prone to phobic behaviors. again that is from his experience, and i'm assuming that if properly socialized, they don't suffer from phobias. (i have no ability to gauge the validity of his comment...just passing on his experiences)
I belong to two Galah groups on Yahoo and every member on them has had nothing but trouble with extremely phobic behaviors that seem to crop up right around puberty. I've read article after article on this problem as well, stating that they're three times more likely to become phobic than their white counterparts. Every bird is going to be an individual and I think you can avoid phobic behavior a great deal by leaving them fully flighted and teaching them to be incredibly self confident. Kishka is a spit fire and I've seen a bit of the phobic side of him...I can see how easily it could happen and once it does, I've heard from others that it's very hard to get them back. It's just something to consider with this species.
 

Tangle Elf

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I only have Kobra Kai to base my Galah knowledge on.
Good: Playful, cuddly, DSC00880.jpg social, super cute little voice, independent (this may be just her. She has never once screamed for attention)

Bad: Nippy. It's a playful nippiness. She gnaws on me while she's stepping up or putting her head down for scritches. Loud. It doesn't bother me but she does sound like a super loud squeak toy being tortured. She only does it while playing, which is frequently. Destructive. This isn't really bad, just something to be aware of. The cork toy (which looks like a bunch of rope) and the perch have only been in her cage for a week. The actual destruction was probably from one day of that. They need stuff to destroy and lots of it. IMAG1200.jpg IMAG1205.jpg Dust. Lots and lost of it. I have an Austin Air Filter and still have a coating of dust over everything. The purple chain in her cage has only been in there for a week. IMAG1202.jpg They like the floor. Some people say that you should not allow birds, especially toos on the floor. Galahs are ground foragers. They spend a lot of their time in the wild on the ground and they really like being on the floor. If you absolutely can't make your home safe for a floor bird, a galah may not be the bird for you. IMAG1206.jpg Kobra Kai has a strong preference for my husband but our relationship is getting better. All living things gravitate toward him so I don't think this is a galah trait so much as my husband is just awesome. The last thing is that their outgoingness can be a little much for more subdued birds. Korbin Dallas likes Kobra Kai's antics but Judy will not tolerate them. They also need lots and lots of room to play. If you can't have them out during all waking hours, get the most gianormous cage you possibly can. I think Kobra Kai could easily make use of a double macaw cage all on her own. IMAG1207.jpg She has no boundaries. This is her standing on one of Korbin Dallas's toys in order to chew on another.
There really is no ugly. You just cannot unerestimate their ability to find trouble. All of these pictures (except the cuddling) were taken while I was writing this and none were staged. She's just that busy. During this time she also found a pile of cat vomit and bit into a power cord. Each time I had taken my eye off of her for literally 5 seconds. I didn't even know the cat had vomitted. Glad I have someone to point that out for me.

And while I wrote the very last part, she pulled ad handful of stuffing out of a cushion.
 
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moonchild

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I guess the "ugly" about Boris would be the mess he leaves in his wake. My apartment constantly looks like it hasn't been cleaned in weeks, even though I vacuum every other day or so. Since he's such a busy-body and constantly needs to be playing with stuff, there are shredded pieces of paper, plastic, etc. everywhere. Not to mention he poops constantly. Of course the messiness is not unique to galahs or toos, but I imagine less active birds who were more content to stay in one place would at least leave a more contained mess. Non bird people who value cleanliness and neatness would probably think I was nuts for putting up with it. I like cleanliness too, but I do what I can and as for the rest I've given up. I like Boris better than I liked my living room clean. ;)
 

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Goffin's Cockatoos.

I've shared a good chunk of my life with Cherry, my rehome. She is the light that gets me through most days(shhh, don't tell the hubby I said that). But it hasn't all been sunshine and sweetness.



THE GOOD
: In the wide array of cockatoos available, there aren't many as clownish as the Goffins. My family has had the white Australian 'toos, Umbrellas-- but none had the same playful, impish nature as the Goffin. They're smart, chatty, and incredibly affectionate. Cherry isn't as velcro as an M2 or U2, and can play on her own and keep herself busy-- but in the same breath, if we INVITE her over, she'll turn into a down-right cuddleslut.
Most Goffin's are AWESOME family birds. While Cherry is undoubtedly mine and bonded to me, she will go to and play with anyone. Even complete strangers!

THE BAD
: Goffin's are prone to being afraid of the dark. I don't know what this is-- but many people and even two vets mentioned it to me. And, it was true with Cherry through her early years. Every time a light turned off, she'd cry for upto an hour. This was not because of a cage-- she's never been caged in our home except when we leave for extended periods. It was just discomfort and fear in the dark.
Another downside: TOO SMART! They are master escape-artists! We just came from Ol' Miss, to Portland via plane-- and if it hadn't been for zip-ties, Cherry would have let herself out of the carrier on the plane. It was incredibly close! Likewise, we had to have the feeder-doors welded shut on her rarely-used cage because she would open them. I originally wrapped them in chain and used a pad-lock, but then she unscrewed the doors from their hinges. :eek:

THE UGLY: Goffin's Cockatoos can be nippy. Cherry isn't bad, until she gets really excited. When she's hormonal and excited, HOO BOY! Today, she got me right in the nostril! OW!
These awesome little 'Toos are also some of the worst pluckers and mutilators; especially when their sharp little minds aren't stimulated. Most people seem to think that only the large cockatoos suffer this, but two of the worst mutilators I've ever seen were Goffins. Cherry was a plucker before she came to me, and still barbers -- but it's way better than what it was. They have to be kept busy and mentally occupied or they really seem to self-destruct.
 

Vickiesbirds

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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Goffin's Cockatoos.

Kudos to you for this incredibly accurate representation!!

Lily is definitely afraid of the dark. She does about a half dozen loud squawks after being covered at night.
She is super cuddly and affectionate with ALL people, but bonded a lot to my Dad.
And she is a master escape artist, needed pad locks on one of her previous cages. She can also untie knots in about two minutes flat.
 

Lyzzi

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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Goffin's Cockatoos.

Thanks. I hope some others will chime in with their experiences.
 

Ashling

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The good: Playful, trainable, silly, entertaining, personable, affectionate, gorgeous!

The bad: They chew EVERYTHING. My walls, skirtings, door stops, furniture, laptop, medication... you must ensure everything chewable is put away out of sight or covered up! You have to supervise them constantly when they're out because they get into so much mischief. Charlie likes to throw things around as well so anything on tabletops is piffed over the edge. They need a lot of toys to shred and destroy, and foraging opportunities. They need a large cage which takes up lots of room. They can be nippy if it gets them what they want but Charlie was pretty easy to curb that behaviour into moving away or pecking (tapping his beak on my hand if he's uncomfortable). Charlie can be loud but he doesn't screech very often- usually when I leave the room and only one to three times and that's it.

The ugly: Galahs are prone to fatty lymphomas and other related conditions. My boy was on a bad diet most of his life and has high cholesterol and an enlarged liver. They must be kept flighted and exercised regularly to maintain a healthy weight and fitness. You must ensure they don't just pick out their favourite foods- it helps to give them a mash of blended veggies and sprouts with wholegrains, herbs and spices. I recommend low-fat pellets over seed.
 
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Lovebird Lady

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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Goffin's Cockatoos.

Very balanced and informative summary. Thanks for sharing. Are male Goffins as aggressive in comparison to male M2s of U2s when hormonal? It would be interesting to know if gender plays as much a significant role in hormonal behaviour with the smaller Too's in comparison to the larger species within the genus.
 

Mare

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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Goffin's Cockatoos.

My Goffin's doesn't like a night light, she does prefer to have her cage covered at night. Sassy and Amigo, (U2), sleep in the same room, he I don't cover. When she first came to us, I would turn on a night light and she screamed until I turned it off! Go figure...
 

moonchild

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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Goffin's Cockatoos.

Thanks for this. :) I have more or less decided that my next and final larger bird will be a Goffins (when the time is right). It's good to know what I have to prepare for.
 

Lyzzi

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Re: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Goffin's Cockatoos.

Very balanced and informative summary. Thanks for sharing. Are male Goffins as aggressive in comparison to male M2s of U2s when hormonal? It would be interesting to know if gender plays as much a significant role in hormonal behaviour with the smaller Too's in comparison to the larger species within the genus.
No! Not by a long shot! They're sassy little studmuffins, but they don't have the "Janus" complex that people attribute to the U2/M2s.
 

KatherineI

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Oh small Too's, how I love thee...

My Sugar is a little whitish pink ball of fluffy energy and demands. And I ADORE her!!!

The Good: She's very loving. She loves to give kisses, makes the silly Too kissy sound by moving her beak and clicking her tongue, while rubbing her head up against your cheek/chin. She loves to take naps on you, but loves to play just as much. She can entertain herself with her toys - if she wants to (more on that in the bad). Her screamies are nowhere near the capacity of my M2, which makes her a better candidate for apartment living. She's not aggressive, nor is she extremely moody. She's very goofy, she talks up a storm (although her actual word vocabulary is very limited, but I think that's her choice as I know she can say more than what she does), and she absolutely loves playing with balls and bells :laughing12:

The Bad: She's scared of everything. Granted, this could just be her own personality, or leftovers from her previous home (not be exposed or having bad experiences). She dislikes shadows, the dark, her reflection in glass (but not in mirrors :rolleyes:), peanut butter :confused:, new toys, and definitely new people. It took my friend, a Too owner, 4 hours before Sugar willingly jumped ON to her, but my friend still couldn't touch her or even look at her. She seems to like my friend and neighbor, but still won't go on to her, or let my friend touch her and she sees that person almost every day! She loves to chew on toes, so if she can reach them, she'll go for them. She's a picky eater. It took a few months to figure out that she likes to have a combination and that sometimes she'll eat more of one particular pellet or another, then switch the next day, or go several days favoring one before switching. She won't eat anything fresh, despite it being offered, even if we've eaten it ourselves right in front of her. She screams at night when it's time for bed, but hates to not be covered. She screams for less time if she's covered. Left uncovered, she screams indefinitely until you go in, and cover her. She doesn't like a white night light, but the red light from the bearded dragon that shares the bird room seems to be just fine.

The Ugly: Her nippiness. While she can't do anywhere near the damage that an M2/U2/LS2/any large Too can do, her tiny beak seems to find all the nerve spots. She nibbles fingers, lips, ears. She does it playfully, but like I said, seems to find all the sensitive spots easily. I'd also put her food pickiness in the ugly category, as it's very wasteful and frustrating, to me. Honestly though, if that's as ugly as it gets... she's a dream bird.

I've already told Hubs that when we finally own our own place, and after we've dwindled down a bit (we have 3 reptiles and a dog on top of the 3 birds), our last bird will be a Galah.
 
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