Cockatoo biting

by Arlene Naputi
(tacoma, washington)

I got my bird from a co-worker yesterday and when she sat on your shoulder she will just sit there and not pick on your shirt or neck, today she is doing that.

Comments for Cockatoo biting

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Nov 13, 2009
Cockatoo biting
by: Linda

Hi Arlene and thanks for writing. FIRST OF ALL GET THE BIRD OFF YOUR SHOULDER AND KEEP HER OFF. There are many reasons to keep birds off shoulders, and it is important to start training her to stay down lower on your arm or hand. Birds allowed on shoulders can give some nasty bites to the face, ears, neck and have even put people's eyes out. Your bird is a wild animal in that parrots are not domesticated and won't be for hundreds of years to come.Keep bird's perches eye level with you as once they are higher than eye level, you lose some control over them.

Basically, when bird starts to go up on your shoulder, drop your arm gently so as to not drop the bird, and take bird and put him/her on the other hand. It will take some time to retrain your bird to stay off shoulder, and it is imperative you do so. They are too high up on a shoulder, and the higher a bird is, the more in control they think they are. There are some training materials out here, so use some of the links and check them out.

Your new bird is going to need some time to adjust to you and his new home, so give bird some space for this. Cockatoos need escape proof cages as they are the Houdini's of the bird world. Make sure cage is very large and roomy with nice large perches made from tree branches. There is a link to safe woods here as well. You can also buy them already made in stores and at many places on the internet.

Food is your next issue, and if bird is eating all seed diet must be changed to an organic, high quality pelleted diet like Harrisons. Here is a link to explain how to make this change safely and without a lot of stress:
Switching Birds to Pellets article.

If your new bird has not seen an Avian Vet in more than a year, it would be a great idea to make sure he is healthy and not harboring any infection and/or parasites. You also need to get hold of as much information about your bird and how to care for him as possible. Tracie carries some books here, and the internet is full of information about the correct way to do everything with your bird. They have special needs, are highly developed mentally/emotionally roughly level of 4-5 year old human child, and need highly nutritious foods in order to stay healthy.

Many Blessings, and we never stop learning about birds no matter how many years we've had them, so enjoy your journey of learning about and with your new friend! Keep us posted on how your bird does and feel free to write anytime, post pictures or just chat as we're always here to help support other bird lovers.


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