Cockatoo behavior changes

by Divina
(Mission Viejo, CA)

I have an umbrella cockatoo who recently has been squawking more than usual. It seems to escalate more each time I give him attention. It's as if he's being bratty and wants more. Anyone who starts to give the attention (cuddle or petted) he will squawked more when they come around. The worsted part is his refusal to return into his cage after cuddling him for a time. He gets aggressive and seems to want to bite. So I'm becoming fearful, very stressed at his continual squawking and aggressive behavior changes.

Comments for Cockatoo behavior changes

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Dec 19, 2012
cockatoo behaviour
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry but I disagree with Linda. Changes in behaviour does not always mean they are ill. I have experience with cockatoos for several years now and this is the breeding season for cockatoos, which will make them squawk more, want more attention and also may become aggressive.

This time of year the cockatoos need between 12 and 14 hours sleep.

To the owner, you should have done research before purchasing a cockatoo or any parrot. The cockatoos are known as velcro birds because they demand more attention than other birds.

Start with giving more sleep time and be sure it has lots of foraging toys and the right kinds of food.

If you show fear, it will make the situation worse. Be patient, and just don't be ready to pass it on to another home.

Dec 19, 2012
Cockatoo behavior changes
by: Linda

Anytime you see sudden changes in behavior, it indicates a good possibility bird is ill or becoming ill. You will have to take him to an Avian Vet ONLY in your driving area to have him tested for infections both bacterial and viral. Also have some basic bloodwork done to see if his organs are functioning properly. If he's on an all seed diet, it is time to think about changing him over to a high quality 100% nutrition diet like Harrisons' organic pellets found here. All seed diets with or without vitamin supplements are starvation diets that cause fatty liver disease. The liver will heal itself once bird is on a high quality diet though it does take time.

Below is a link on how to go about the change, because it takes time and effort on your part. Make NO changes until your bird has been examined by an Avian Vet because dietary changes are stressful and a sick bird does not need extra stress.

As for biting, all parrots bite at some time or another. What is going on now though sounds a lot like a sick bird wanting to be held all the time. When they feel bad, they want to be held because it feels secure, safe and warm. Get him to an Avian Vet right away.

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Thanks for writing and let us know what avian vet has to say about your bird and how it's going there.


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