‘Intelligent’, ‘excitable’, ‘playful’ and ‘unpredictable’; just some of the many adjectives used to describe the beautiful cockatoo.
Sometime receiving bad press as pet birds, there are of course many adored and well-behaved pets, but serious thought and careful training must be given if they are to reach their maximum potential.
Screeching, feather-plucking, biting cockatoos are often the result of hand-rearing singletons who can then become disoriented in their personality, not knowing whether they are parrot or human. These hand-reared babies – who, it must be said, are completely adorable – then go on to be spoilt by their new owners and shriek for attention when they don’t get it!
I try to ensure a good start for our cockatoos by leaving them to be reared by their parents wherever possible, or else by crèche-rearing – that is to say, as part of a small group – so that they can interact with each other and not come to over-depend on the human carer.
Once weaned, if the new owner continues to train and reward good behaviour from the cockatoo, you will have a delightful companion. A Citron Crested and Lesser Sulphur Crested which I bred are not only delightful companions for their new owner, but she ‘free flies’ them each day as a matter of course. A wonderful sight.