Can a Cockatoo and an Amazon have chicks (Part - 2)

by Bob D
(Bayville, NJ)

I would like to thank Dr.B, Linda, and ?? for your comments on the subject. I understand that the two birds will not have chicks But some of the advice raised a few questions.

Dr.B wrote "Do not allow the two birds to have physical contact. No matter how cute and sweet you think it is now, eventually one is going to hurt the other." and Linda wrote "the Cockatoo is likely to kill the Amazon in time. You said the Too is larger than the Amazon and at one time or another, Cockatoos can and do turn on the object of their affection (does that include people) and can either badly injure the other bird, and this includes other Toos, or kill it outright."

Both birds came from homes that had multiple birds.I have seen more then one bird in a cage at zoos, and pet stores. Is the problem based on behavior habits, or is the problem one bird is a Cockatoo and WILL KILL the smaller bird. Linda also said "What you are going to have to do is decide which bird you want to keep and find a good home for the other one." But then said "kept either in separate cages or a large Macaw cage with a panel in the middle". This totally perplexed me. Why have only one bird in the home ? Isn't having a "Macaw cage with a panel in the middle" the same as having two cages in the same room.

The last question I have is about leting the birds eat people food. I get a 50 / 50 opinion on this, some folks say, let the birds eat anything they like. Others say only feed them organic pellets. We have been feeding both birds Grapes, Apples, other fruits and veggies, the amazon loves broccoli. We were thinking this was a good way for the birds to get vitamins. Please explain, I don't want to harm the birds by feeding them something that will do them harm.
Thank for your time.
Bob D

Comments for Can a Cockatoo and an Amazon have chicks (Part - 2)

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Mar 28, 2011
Keeping an Amazon and Cockatoo together
by: The Avian Vet

Yes, birds do live together in many situations. The best situation is when the birds are of the same species. This is true not only in zoos but in breeding facilities and other exhibits. However, in most of these cases the birds are in large enclosures and are able to fly. If they are threatened or bullied, they have a way to escape by flying and the have a place to go, another tree or branch.

Breeding pairs are different in that they are bonded and they have no reason to exhibit territorial aggression. The one exception to the rule is cage cockatoo pairs will often exhibit mate aggression where the male attacks the female, many times causing her death. So, in the case of your pair of birds, they are locked in a small enclosure, unable to retreat by flying and no place to retreat to. The space is small, even if you include the entire house as a territory, it is small in a bird?s mind, and , they are not only completely different species, they are from completely different continents. They cannot understand each other?s communications (body language, vocalizations, displays, etc). So if one displays to the other that they are intruding on territory, they will not know that it is a threat and not retreat or react.

For clarification, I don?t even recommend keeping two birds of the same species together in a cage in a pet situation. IF they do get along, they often eventually become more interested in the other bird than the owner.

And to answer your question directly, it is both a problem based on behaviors, and the fact that one is a cockatoo, and he will eventually harm your other bird.

The recommended way to feed a bird (by avian veterinarians) is a diet of 80% pellets, 20% treats. Treats are any food that is not pellets. Fresh fruits and vegetables should make up a large percentage of the treats, but you can feed anything you want except: chocolate, avocado, sugar, salt, fat, onions, garlic, alcohol, and caffeine. The balanced and complete nutrition is going to come from the pellets. I do recommend organic pellet, especially Harrison's, but there are some all natural pellets that are good too, including Roudybush. I do not recommend feeding colored pellets or pellets that have sucrose.

Mar 28, 2011
Can a Cockatoo and an Amazon have chicks (Part - 2)
by: Linda

Hello again Bob and welcome back! I'll try and be more clear. First, both your birds and all parrots are exotic wild animals and under stressors of various kinds will exhibit wild behaviors. Parrots are not domestic pets who have left all their wildness behind, they are still very much tame, wild birds.

You may keep both birds, and you can either keep them in two cages or one large one with divider in middle. What I was trying to explain is that until the Too gets over his attraction to the Amazon, he will be a threat to the smaller bird. No, Toos, are not man killers, but they are wild animals when it comes to things like breeding, their cages and other possessions. If you've never had a Too before, please do lots of study about them because any large parrot can become dangerous under the right circumstances. What I was explaining about killing other birds, is some of the mounting behavior you are seeing is for dominance, not love. Dogs do this when dominating a younger pup in a pack, so is quite normal behavior within a pack or flock of birds. It can come to blows when and if the smaller bird decides it has had enough, so keep them separated. Training is harder with two birds, and if these are already somewhat trained, your job just became easier.

You mentioned pet stores, please do not base anything you do on what you've seen in these places because they do not normally know what they are doing. You will NEVER see different species of larger birds caged together unless you are dealing with very ignorant pet store managers. Smaller birds, like finches are housed together though the larger species are usually housed separately.

So, to sum up, you do not have to re-home either bird. Your Too will become one of your best friends if you will do your homework and understand what having a big bird means in terms of handling, respect and so on. All parrots are exotic wild animals and are apt to behave in some unpredictable ways. Your Amazon is also an exotic wild animal. All parrots can inflict severe injuries, and if you handle a parrot correctly, you are less likely to be badly hurt or hurt at all.

Hope this helps, and if not, write back as I want to be crystal clear on all points. Open your heart to your birds and allow them to teach you about who they really are. Protect the smaller one as any parent would do.


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