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Cockatoo Care Tips

Thursday, December 30, 2010

To help keep your parrot healthy and happy, you need to know how to care for him/her.

Housing - The bigger the cage, the better, but there are some general guidelines for cages. For a smaller cockatoo, its cage should be no smaller than 30" wide by 20" deep by 43" deep. For larger cockatoos (such as umbrella cockatoos), the cage should be no smaller than 40" wide by 30" deep by 50" tall, but no matter what size the bird, the cage must be made strong enough for a cockatoo to hang onto when (s)he climbs around, and can withstand a cockatoo's powerful beak. The bars of the cage shouldn't be any farther apart than 1".

Buddy the Umbrella Cockatoo by Jim Lynch
Just as important for parrot care, would be toys. Toys should be made from very hard plastic or wood and should be brightly colored, zinc/lead free, and sturdy enough to withstand the great force of a cockatoo's strong beak.

Bells are also a wonderful toys for cockatoos, but make sure that the bell is made of a non-toxic metal. Stainless steel is safe for birds, however, be sure to get a bell for large birds. Bells that are too small can be easily taken apart, and small pieces can be swallowed, resulting in some real problems, even death.

A safe play gym, whether it is free standing, or mounts on the top of the cage is sure to bring plenty of fun.

Food is one of the most important things for good parrot care. A combination of a pelleted food and daily fresh fruits and vegetables will help to ensure a parrot's good health. Cockatoos can even have meats, however, beef and pork should be kept to a minimum, while more chicken and turkey is recommended. Cockatoos are not fussy eaters; however, do not give your cockatoo avocados, chocolate, or alcohol in any form. Deep fried should never be given to a cockatoo, nor should salted treats such as potato chips, pretzels that have salt, and saltines that have been salted. Diary products are safe for a Cockatoo; however, this too must be limited. Too much dairy product can cause diarrhea and dehydration from the diarrhea.

Good Cockatoo care also consists of time - your time. Cockatoos are very loving birds, and they are known for being 'cuddly' and they are demanding of their owners' time. They love to sit and have dinner with the family and at the same time they love their quiet time with their owner(s).

If a Cockatoo doesn't get the attention and love that it needs, (s)he can become quite loud and develop bad habits.

Many people who get cockatoos do not realize how demanding a cockatoo is, and soon become frustrated with them, leading up to the people either getting rid of the cockatoo or neglecting the cockatoo.

Medical care for a cockatoo should be done by a Certified Avian Veterinarian or an Exotic Animal Veterinarian. Many vets do not work with birds because this is a 'specialty field', and many vets do not know enough about birds.

So if you decide to get a Cockatoo, remember that they do require a lot of time, love, the right cages, toys, vet care, and food for the best cockatoo care that can be provided.

About the Author
For information on parrot care, please click here. Danny Learton publishes an online newsletter at where you can find killer tips and techniques that will help you turn your naughty bird into a well-mannered and well-behaved pet.

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