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Thinking of getting a Too

Faun

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Faun
I am a relatively new bird owner and although I decided previously after reading about cockatoo clingyness and other things they were definitely not the bird for me..however years later and many visits to the local bird store seems to indicate cockatoos are my "bird match". I am leaning towards a Galah or Goffins but have unfortunately not been able to interact with either of those. There is a Moluccan that a rescue site was trying to talk me into but I am not comfortable with that as I have little experience with birds. I am on a waiting list for a Goffins from the bird store where I got my tiel Ive read lots about them but is there any first hand information from anyone that owns one? Also any information from Galah owners?
 

JLcribber

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Well I can tell you this. A cockatoo is a cockatoo is a cockatoo. It's just various degrees of chaos. You can have the sweetest Moluccan or a terrorist Galah/Goffins so your "reason" for. picking them doesn't hold any water. Every bird is an individual (especially cockatoos) just like people. You can not predict how they will be until you meet them.

There is a cockatoo already in your world that you have a chance to save who "needs someone like you" with a passion. Have you met and interacted with this bird? If not that should be the first step in your game plan for a number of reasons. This is an adult bird. What you see is what you will get. It will not change much. Baby birds grow up and "do" change and quite often it is to the detriment of the owner.

It's wonderful that you want give a home to a cockatoo. As a new bird owner you have just began to take swimming lessons. You are now going to jump into the deep end of the swimming pool. This species is very difficult to look after even for seasoned parrot owners. Not a decision to make lightly. Go meet that bird and take it from there.
 

Love My Zons

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I have a very sweet, non biting, loving Female Umbrella Cockatoo that will be 22 in May.

I have a perpetual 2 year old that wants me, my attention ALL the time. Screams when she wants her way. Screams to be with me if I am across the room! One bird like this requires alot of time, attention.

There are days I am happy to leave the house to go the the store lol! It's constant doting and just being with her.

If you are prepared to dedicate yourself to a bird that requires alot, great. They take a special someone, ear plugs should be included! ;)
 

Love My Zons

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Moluccans are just stunning! I will say I love them. We loved the Moluccan Teddy at the rescue. He was not an adoptable bird, he's an advocate bird. Beautiful feathers, sweet temperament.

I will say even having Amazons, a Moluccan such as him was too much bird for me. He was huge, endearing suave eyes. But even that, I yearned for a sweet Girl. We had lost our previous Girl at 27 to a lung tumor.

Worst loss ever for us. You connect with a Cockatoo in ways you will never connect with a cat or dog.

They can be the most awesome thing to own. They are expensive to supply with proper toys. Some are wood chewers worse then beavers! Cages need to be very large, and foods have to be diverse, cooked, fresh, commercial pellets, to good organic nuts, fruits etc.

It's a ride that I love to be on, but it's daily, and constant doting, cleaning and giving attention to.

Cockatoos end up owning you. :)
 

TikkiTembo

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We got our first bird, a cockatiel, last April. Then by September, we had a 30 year old Umbrella cockatoo. We interacted with him a few times at the rescue, then brought him home. It took about 3 days before he did a 360 from who he was at the rescue. Suddenly, he was biting my husband badly enough to leave scars and screaming loudly enough that we wondered what the heck we did! Our entire lives have changed since getting him. We have to plan any future vacations very carefully. I am conscious of his needs when I take odd jobs that pull me away for the whole day. And we've spent well over $200 on behaviorist training, which has helped immensely. He eats like no other, and destroys toys in seconds.
I will never regret him, he's a wonderful, kind, smart, funny, amazing animal. BUT there are days where I long for the quiet little cockatiel on my shoulder for 8+ hours a day. My little birds now spend the majority of their time together in a bird safe room. I can't leave Chipper unattended like that. The little ones get turns out with us. But it's a juggling act.
I hope you get to meet some cockatoos and I hope you commit to rescuing one when the time is right... I personally know of at least 5 that need a home, and that's just in one little rescue in Michigan!
 

macawpower58

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You now have a sweet Cockatiel that you're just getting to know.
Find a room for that little one somewhere in your home, because it won't be safe living next to a Too.
Even a Goffin, or other small Too in a mood would be extremely dangerous for it.
Now you'll have 2 rooms completely dedicated to birds.
It's doable, but not always fun, size differences make it a life long act of spending time with each bird in their place.
The bird in a room by themselves, is going to feel lonely and isolated.
This means flock calling. Sometimes for hours on end.
You'll probably end up wanting a 3rd bird to keep the loneliest one company.
Are you sure you're ready for this?
I'd suggest you're jumping way to fast into this world.
Go slowly, a decision made too quickly, is always way worse for the bird, than it is for you.
 

JLcribber

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You now have a sweet Cockatiel that you're just getting to know.
Well this changes the entire thread. That cockatiel needs your time and attention. Getting a cockatoo will leave this little bird in the dust. You won't have time for him because the cockatoo is going to take all the time and effort you've got.
 

Love My Zons

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Well this changes the entire thread. That cockatiel needs your time and attention. Getting a cockatoo will leave this little bird in the dust. You won't have time for him because the cockatoo is going to take all the time and effort you've got.
And with this being said, I was very lucky that my two Amazons were here years before the Toos were. Very lucky the two boys are pals and hang out with each other for hours on end. Happy they are a species happy to be independent with one another.

If they weren't, I'd be in trouble when it comes to all out of their cages at the same time. Both boys are in a room safe from her. Cockatoos seem to have no fear!

She already went after one one time and bit his toe. Safety is a must with these guys living with other birds.

A bonded Cockatoo to their Person can be a jealous being with other animals in the house. Our Girl can't stand it when I give the dogs attention she gets very jealous! I feel like a lifeguard without a pool!
 

KhanKrazy

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You’ve gotten some amazing advice already so I’ll try not to reiterate too much.

I think you’re crazy for wanting a Cockatoo. Anyone who is owned by one is. You have to be. It’s a permanent 2 year old for the rest of your life, and then some! Just because a ‘too is smaller doesn’t mean it’s easier to deal with. Be mindful of your other bird(s) because a Cockatoo WILL demand all of your attention. Many people have multiple birds so I’m not saying it’s impossible by any means, but most people who do have years and years of experience and knowledge to help support them through it. I at one time owned 4 demanding birds at once and it is beyond any exhaustion I’ve ever known. Only way it worked for me was because I got to bring my kids to work whenever I wanted and we had a whole aviary there for them to play in, socialize, and destroy.

Definitely meet the kid before you make a decision. Multiple times. Get to know all it’s moods. See if it’s something you can realistically handle.
 

sunnysmom

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First, I would strongly urge you to consider adopting. Even if you have to wait a bit. There are SO many cockatoos out there in need of good homes. Why? Because 'toos are challenging and not for everyone. I have a goffin that I adopted. He is amazing. And he dominates my life. He is smart, funny, loud and destructive. He easily destroys a toy a day. A pretty sizeable expense. He loves shooting food and toys out of his cage. So the mess is huge. He has bitten my fiancé pretty badly- to the point that he now won't let Elvis, my 'too, out on his own. He can escape from his cage. Has chewed my door frames, cupboards, etc (and that's even with me watching him - he's that fast). He is basically a ball of energy 24/7. All that said, I completely love him. He and I get along very well. I don't mind revolving my schedule around him. I don't mind cleaning up the constant mess. I adore those few minutes a day that I actually get to give him scratches- the rest of the time he's too busy.

I also have 2 cockatiels. It wasn't exactly planned. I was asked to foster Scooter, a tiel, for our rescue and ended up adopting him. Shortly after, I was asked to foster Rosie, another tiel. Honestly, I do feel bad that the tiels don't get more out of the cage time- but they can't with my work schedule and Elvis. I had a cockatiel prior to Elvis and he basically lived cage free. With Elvis, I can't have him and the tiels out at the same time. I don't think he'd hurt them on purpose but the size difference is too great to risk it. I even have to be careful that the tiels don't fly over to Elvis's cage so that he doesn't nip any toes. So my day goes a little like this- I get Elvis out in the morning and let him fly and play. I put him in his cage. Then get the tiels. They come out and play (if they want- Rosie doesn't always). Then I leave for work. I come home. Make dinner. Then let the tiels out. Put them to bed. Let Elvis out. Put him to bed. And then I go to bed. So between the 3 birds, I basically have no time to myself during the week. And I don't mind. That was my choice. But having different birds of different sizes does require a lot more time and coordination.

That said, I never want to discourage a good bird owner from getting a cockatoo. They are great birds. And as I said, there are so many in need of a good home. I just want the person to have a realistic view of what it's like to have a cockatoo. They are wonderful. But are they easy? No. Easy is owning a cockatiel.....
 

Hankmacaw

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The parrot sanctuary that I volunteered at only took in birds and took in only the worst of the worst. None of the birds would taken in to the sanctuary would ever be appropriate to be in a home as a pet. FULLY 1/3 OF THE 350 BIRDS (AT THAT TIME) IN THE SANCTUARY WERE COCKATOOS. All different species of cockatoos. That should give you a hint as to just how difficult cockatoos can be.
 

Tiel Feathers

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Well this changes the entire thread. That cockatiel needs your time and attention. Getting a cockatoo will leave this little bird in the dust. You won't have time for him because the cockatoo is going to take all the time and effort you've got.
This is exactly what I was thinking. That little bird is going get less attention and will probably dislike and be fearful of the cockatoo’s loud calls.
 

MnGuy

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Focus on your new cockatiel and wait a year before deciding on a cockatoo. There will always be a cockatoo in need of a home. There’s no reason to rush the decision now.

You and your cockatiel need time to bond, grow, etc. with each other.

Good luck.
 

Kimberla

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I have 3 tooz. A moluccan, an umbrella and a citron. They are as different as day & night. The pic on my posts is of Leo (M2). He is huge and a gentle giant. He is close to 40 give or take and I have had him for 11 years. It was a fight when I got him to see who was going to be the boss. With some gentle persuasion, he is a great bird. The Umbie is 12 years old, in the peak of his breeding age and a huge pain in my behind. He is on high alert all the time and willing to take a big piece of my body whenever I try to take him from his cage (especially at this time of the year). The citron has been with me for 8 years and he hates me with a passion. No idea why, but we came to an agreement. I open his cage. He goes to the back and I clean and change it with him in it. He had given me a few very bad bites. He will still play peek a boo with me and will take a treat out of my hand gently when he is in the mood. They are great and beautiful birds and I spend at least 3 hours making new toys, cleaning and prepping food every day for them. I wouldn't have it any other way and they probably will all outlive me. Taking on a "too" is a big undertaking.
 

Wthensler

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Here’s how smart these birds are.......we are having family over for Valentine’s Day dinner. We’re marinating rack of lamb, which Miss Coco spotted (she doesn‘t miss a trick).

She now knows she’ll get lamb bones for dinner, and is hopping up a storm! All sweetness and light, even coming to me for scritches and attention. Watching a really happy ‘too is one of the joys of life....
 

tka

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Focus on your new cockatiel and wait a year before deciding on a cockatoo. There will always be a cockatoo in need of a home. There’s no reason to rush the decision now.

You and your cockatiel need time to bond, grow, etc. with each other.

Good luck.
This is really good advice. You've just got your first bird - you need to focus on them for now. You need to become friends with them, see them through a hormonal period, experience the rough parts along with the smooth. Cockatoos are intense and all-consuming - a cockatoo will happily take all the attention you have to offer and more. There's a real risk that a smaller, meeker, more laid back bird can end up in a too's shadow. There's also safety issues: a cockatoo's beak is many times that of a tiel, and a too can kill a tiel alarmingly easily. Were you to get a too, you will need to think very carefully about dividing your space and time so they don't have contact with each other.

Sadly, cockatoos end up in rescues A LOT. They are a lot more than most people can handle - they're smart, dextrous, manipulative, loud and, without careful guidance and behavioural work, aggressive and unpredictable. This is a blogpost by someone who did end up rescuing a too, realising that this bird had issues that meant that he couldn't safely live with people, and rehoming him to a sanctuary where he could have more space and work up to living with other toos in a small flock: Concerning Cockatoos and Other Pet Parrots.

The writer is not unfamiliar with birds, or even unfamiliar with aggressive, hormonal birds. A cockatoo was still impossible to keep safely and happily in a home environment.
 

Faun

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Thanks for all the advice I really appreciate it. I think Ill probably wait a little longer and handle more birds. I dont want to make a bad decision for Athena we do everything together these days even eat dinner. I want a bird that fits with us. Waiting is probably best.
 

KhanKrazy

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Thanks for all the advice I really appreciate it. I think Ill probably wait a little longer and handle more birds. I dont want to make a bad decision for Athena we do everything together these days even eat dinner. I want a bird that fits with us. Waiting is probably best.
You have an awesome heart and the fact that you want to adopt a Cockatoo is so, so, so special. I don't think you're making a bad call at all though. As someone previously has said, there will (unfortunately...) always be a Cockatoo in need of adopting. But this time you have now, with your Athena and with your life in general, should be celebrated and looked at with fun and excitement! I don't want you to feel like a Cockatoo is out of the question forever though, if your heart is truly set on it and you're ready and willing to understand all that'd you'd be sacrificing.
 
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