adopting abused cockatoo

by Virginia

Dear Sirs or Madame;
I have a dear friend whom adopted a cockatoo from a woman who didn't have the time to spend with her. Apparently this bird had been somewhat tormented earlier in life by the X spouse as well as a subsequent male child. Upon adoption, this bird went from a lonley setting to a home with Mom, Dad, four kids as well as many other friends etc. My friend (the adopted mother of this bird) said to me, "this bird hates me". Yes, at that moment I knew she got this creature without first spending time with her.
The day I met Lacey, she stood on my shoulder, presented her head for petting and spoke her entire vocabulary into my ear. I was told, "she never speaks or puts her head like that for anyone else." I felt very at ease with her and she with me.
It has been approx two weeks since I have seen her. From what I understand, she has begun screaming and showing aggressive behavior and they are thinking of giving her back to the woman who had no time for her.
I am a single mom, I live in a house in N.C. with my two teenage sons and my five year old daughter. All of my children respect animals. However even though the bird lives with a multitude of dogs now (5or more), I have two neutered male cats as well as an eight year old female who is spayed. Also there is a VERY Docile Rottie, who was also a rescue and thinks she is nanny to the kids and cats. I am home 85% of the time, cooking cleaning ...... life of a domestic engineer!
I have only thought to myself about what a joy it would be to have her. However I wouldn't want to entertain this option if for some reason I wouldn't be good for her, or she for me. My youngest starts school in the fall. I will be alone most days, taking classes online. Please tell me your honest opinion with regards to this beautiful creature and if I could be of help to her in anyway. I thank you for your time and consideration on my and Laceys behalf.

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Jun 12, 2011
adopting abused cockatoo, part 2
by: Linda

Keep her off your shoulder because of something called "displaced aggression". It means that if she does not like someone, and they come near you while she on your shoulder, she can bite you severely. Kind of like if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with except this is about biting. Shoulders are dangerous places for any parrots because of closeness to face, eyes, ears and neck.

Tracie owns this site, and please give her your email address, and then she can give you mine. I live in Limestone, TN so you are not far from me, and I'd LOVE to be here for you during Lacey's transition into your family. She needs you, and this can work for you. If money is a large consideration, understand that she needs an exam with an avian vet right away and then when ill or injured. We recommend once a year well-bird checkups to make sure birds are not hiding illness as they tend to do. The organic pellets may seem a high cost, but you will save literally hundreds and hundreds of dollars feeding her high quality foods, so it all works out for the good of our pocketbooks!

Please write to me soon as Tracie gives you my email so we can establish contact because you will need a friend once Lacey is in your home. Please do not allow present owners to give her back to that terrible woman who allowed husband and son to abuse this bird! She is not fit to have children much less animals. Make a commitment to this bird who obviously already likes you. Trust takes a while especially with an abused bird, so take everything slow and sure.

Many Blessing and Much Love to You and Family from Ours!

Here is the link to give Tracie your email address, she doesn't answer bird questions at this address, but she said she would pass along your email addy to me.
Contact Tracie

Jun 12, 2011
adopting abused cockatoo, part 1
by: Linda

GET THIS BIRD INTO YOUR HOME AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN!!! Below will be some major considerations if you are to become a Cockatoo Mom.

First, this bird will need to be checked out by an Avian(bird) vet in your driving area. You can look up avian vets in your local phone book to see if there is one close to you. This bird has been neglected and traumatized, so she needs a complete physical exam before beginning any dietary changes or training if needed. Please understand that a physically or mentally damaged Cockatoo can be a handful, and don't be surprised if she does some acting out once she is with you.

I am limited on space here to write you and I have a LOT to say. I've been raising and training parrots for most of my life and have dealt with many neglected/abused birds. She needs to be on a high quality organic pelleted diet like Harrison's, carried here for a decent price. The changeover from seeds takes time and here is link to article written by Avian Vet on how to go about it. Make no changes until Lacey has been examined by Avian Vet and either given clean bill of health or given meds to get her over any infections she may have:

Switching Birds to Pellets article

As for your dogs and cats, make sure when she is out of cage that you are right there to make sure all is well. Dogs can come to love the birds, but until they are used to her, do not allow them close to her and do not allow her out of cage without your supervision. Same for your 5 year old and other children. They have to learn how to handle her or risk being bitten. The larger birds have big beaks, cats usually leave them alone unless cats have learned to hunt. If they have hunted, they will torment her, so she'll need a safe place to be where they cannot get to her and this includes climbing cage. She will bite them if they climb her cage and this may result in bad injuries to cats, so keep an eye out. When you have to go some where, put Lacey's cage in another room where door can close and keep cats/dogs out. If cats have never hunted, they are normally afraid of the larger parrots though even they will take a shot at hurting her if given the opportunity. I've had both dogs and cats in same house with numerous parrots large and small. Neither of my cats had ever hunted, so left them alone. Dogs are dangerous if bird is left outside cage while you are not there. Toos are escape artists, so make sure your cage has a decent closing mechanism. She'll need a large cage with natural wood branch perches as these provide the kind of graduating diameter sizes that is good for parrot's feed and legs.

Please read the rest of my answer in the next post, part 2.

Jun 11, 2011
by: Barbara Whelan

Yes take the bird it is very relaxed and comfortable with you birds pick people if they like them if they dont like you they will not have any or very little contact with you on what you wrote it likes you very much i have 3 birds of my own and do rescue also i would rather a bird choose who it likes rather than me think i know it better i have rehomed many to people who already have and know about birds try get yourself some info about these birds they are and can be very hard work they demand a lot of company they are like little children and are also naughty but all birds can be like that from time to time you will have noticed they have a very loud scream they like to be petted a lot make sure yr doors and windows are closed if the bird can fly u can get there wings clipped and it will stop it flying away they can then only flutter down to the ground they are a one to one bird as well and will prefer someone all the time they are gorgeous creatures be careful of yr dog when bird is out even very docile dogs can attack a bird and they make a mess if they do with being such a big dog birds do not like or should not be caged at all times my birds are out of ccages most of the day they get up and down of there cages and walk round if they want one of them is usually sat on my shoulder they all have turns some i can clean up with others i do other things with but they all like to be with me make sure you cover the bird at night usually around roosting time and like to be up around the same time they roughly need about 10 to 12 hrs a night so if you put it to bed at 7 or 8 same time in the morning hope this helps and buy some vitamins to put in with food if you ahve any probs just contact me and i will see if i can help you xx

Editor's note: Do NOT put vitamins in the food or water, it can kill your bird. I know from killing my bird by following this advice. Only add a specific vitamin or blend if prescribed by an avian vet, so you don't give the bird too much of something and cause their kidneys to fail. Following instructions on the bottle, can kill your bird. If your bird is eating a healthy pellet diet, it doesn't need vitamins anyway. Switching Birds to Pellets article

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