Can I give something to my Cockatoo to calm him down?

by Randy
(Libby, MT)

Our Cockatoo screams non-stop sometimes. I understand that they like to scream, and, he is a great cuddler, but, sometimes we can't stand it anymore. He's a great bird but we can't hold him 24 hours a day. If we try to get some things done around the house and walk out of the room he screams continuously.

We used to have horses and we would give something to our Thoroughbred to calm him down if we planned on riding him. Is there anything safe we can give to him to sort of calm him down? We don't want to get rid of him but sometimes we can't take it anymore.

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Jul 07, 2018
Cockatiel behavior
by: Anonymous

Our male pied grey cockatiel (about 10 y/o) has always been a kind of hyper... climbs back and forth on the side of the cage. But, for several weeks, this has become excessive and he's added a lot of loud MOST of the time. He has a clean cage, a "social" location of the house, food & water. His cage mate (28 y/o) recently became frail and passed away. Could he be exhibiting this behavior in response to his cage mate passing? If so, how can he be comforted … calmed down? The excessing hyper chirping is pretty overwhelming. Thx.

May 02, 2018
Calming my cockatoo
by: Anonymous

Can I give calming drops to calm my cockatoo so I can hold her and interact more with her?

Editor's note: If they are approved for birds, yes. Call your avian vet or breeder to check with them.

Dec 08, 2017
by: Anonymous

Biting is the only way he has to tell you something is wrong with his environment or health. I have taken in birds that bit or plucked and it stopped the day I got them. They will give clues that they are ready to bite. pinpointing his eyes and fan tail feathers. It can be hormones and mating weather also. They will get mean during mating time. you need to find out what is wrong in your home.

Apr 21, 2017
Biting gray
by: Anonymous

I have a Congo African gray and he can bite me to the bone draw blood for no reason I could just put food in his cup and if he's upset for some reason he'll just go after me sometimes I can Pet and kiss him but I don't trust him. I'm even too fearful of getting bit to even try to train him he's freaky on anything different. He has even chased me trying to bit. Giving him hemp seed or rescue remedy make him more friendly and not freaky or mean ?

Editor's note: Please visit for training help.

Dec 26, 2016
Cockatoo help
by: Anonymous

I have a rehome too my grandkids came to live with me were all ne to this but I can't get her out if they r home I need help I love my birds like my kids I have a mcaw to my too doesn't like him either

Jan 26, 2016
hemp seeds
by: Rita

How long does the hemp seed to start to work andhow much do iI give him?

Jan 20, 2016
Rescue Remedy works wonders
by: Anonymous

I have a Greenwing Macaw who has separation anxiety. She does not scream like yours but she will start fluttering her wings, biting her ankle, and chewing her feathers when I leave the room.

My food supplier breeds all kinds of birds and recommended I try Rescue Remedy. OMG what a difference! She became the most loving, cuddly parrot almost overnight. She still has separation anxiety but it's nothing like it was before.

You will have to adjust the dose for your cockatoo but I give my greenwing 6-8 drops in a fresh bowl of water everyday. She somehow seems to know how to self medicate on it when she needs a little bit more help from it but if it caused any change in her water intake, it only increased how much she drinks (in a very good way!).

I wish you all the best. :)

Feb 20, 2012
soothing a cockatoo
by: Anonymous

I agree with Linda 100%. I just got a cockatoo myself, and she does the same thing. I'm glad that you asked this question. I do want to break her of this habit also. I really don't know what to do, but what Linda is saying makes alot of sense. I wouldn't even think of getting rid of her at this point. There are a lot of people out there that are monsters, and I don't want that to happen to her. Thank you Linda for your answer. It's greatly appreciated.

Jan 07, 2011
Agree to disagree
by: Jesse

This goes out to Linda first... Your reply is "ok" but you only made one good point before lecturing Randy about getting rid of the parrot which he specifically said they don't want to get rid of the parrot!

Randy... I was at the flea market the other day and was talking with one of central Florida's top avian trainers and breeders.. He told me that Hemp seed calms them down a great deal, even enough to train them.. Now I don't disagree with Linda 100% about maybe its screaming because it hurts somewhere BUT you also have to remember that parrots travel in Flocks and you my friend are part of your birds flock.. I can tell you right now that its not in pain and you probably don't have to waste money for the vet because of what you said "when your in the room in quite but when you leave it screams" that's what we call separation anxiety. Since your part of your parrots flock and you leave it wants to go too, so it screams to call for you... now that's what happens first, since parrots are really good at developing bad habits the screaming grows on the parrot and now it has a screaming habit for every time you leave..

I myself have a sun Conure that is screaming right now but all I have to do is say something like "Im still here" kinda like your calling back to it, and it will eventually work its way back to a non screaming habit.. gotta be patient though!.. good luck!
Oh and the "hemp seed" I talk about it legal because it can't actually grow.. I buy it at the flea market I go to here in Orlando.. I wish you luck my friend, training birds out of bad habits has been the hardest thing Ive trained other than my fish................ .. .... ... . . . . lol

Sep 21, 2010
Can I give something to my Cockatoo to calm him down?
by: Linda

Your bird is in desperate need of training not tranquilizers. There are parrot training materials Parrot Training page and people to help you, and you can also look around for parrot behaviorists in your area to help you with this. This is a complicated problem brought on by spoiling a young bird. Once the bird gets used to being held too much as a baby, they want the same attention as an adult and will get the attention any way they can much like a spoiled human child.

Cockatoos are very emotionally dependent and have to be trained to be more self sufficient. BEFORE beginning any training, take your bird to an Avian Vet for a thorough examination to make sure some of this is not caused by physical problems.

When you mention "getting rid of bird", I see red because if you don't try and help this bird, what do you think will happen to him? He will end up in an abusive/neglectful home and be tortured for the rest of his life is what happens to thousands of parrots. Getting rid of birds with problems is not the solution. Getting help is the answer to the problems. If this was a helpless child, you would not even consider "getting rid of it", but would take child to doctor and get help from a psychologist if it appeared problems were emotionally based. Same with birds who have rougly intelligence/emotional levels of 4-5 year old children. Yes, it will cost a bit of money to help your bird, and when you took him into your family, the commitment to his highest and best good was made. Parrots with problems need loving, committed people to help them, and throwing them away to the monsters out there who torture birds is not a part of that commitment.Please believe me, monsters are real, and they are where parrots with problems end up, and you can take that one to the bank.

Thanks for writing,

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