Cockatoo Seems to be Scratching with Seeds

by Dave

My well adjusted Triton, who I have had for 15 years, has recently started the oddest behavior. She goes in her cage gets sunflower seeds or pellets and comes out to stand on the open hatch door. Once she gets on the door, she begins grooming under her wings with the seed in her mouth, but seems to be using it for something because within a few seconds she drops it. Then she goes back in the cage and gets another couple of seeds. She''l do this for awhile, and aside from the slightly greater mess she makes, it's not a big deal. I was just curious. Anyone have an idea what the heck she is doing?


Comments for Cockatoo Seems to be Scratching with Seeds

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Aug 31, 2012
Cockatoo seems to be scratching with seeds
by: Anonymous

Your bird is fine. My birds sometimes run around with food in their mouths.

Some birds just pick up odd habbits.

However. I do suggest taking your bird to an AVIAN vet to get her examined. Just bc birds should see an AVIAN vet once a year. Also ask the vet to give you some sunshine factor vitamins. If her main source of food is seeds, then she will need some vitamins to help supplament her diet. Especially during molting season.

Editor's note: If the bird is eating mostly seeds, it needs to have it's diet changed. You can purchase organic red palm oil, Sunshine Factor at this link.

Aug 30, 2012
Cockatoo Seems to be Scratching with Seeds
by: Linda

Well, the obvious is that she may have a skin condition that requires her to be examined by an Avian Vet ONLY. This is not normal behavior, and she is using the seeds to scratch with. Also, examine her under her wings because you may see some wet ooze that you've not noticed. She may be getting fresh scratching seeds once used ones are soaked in pus, so make sure you check her out.

I'd get her to an Avian Vet right away because she either has a skin infection or a parasite, and you cannot see mites on birds as they are too small. They drain the blood out of a bird similar to ticks on dogs, so have her examined.

Diet should not have sunflower seeds because they are extremely high in fat with little else to redeem them. Harrisons pellets are a mixture of differnt organically grown seeds and Harrisons own base mix and are 100% complete diets for parrots. Your bird would eat the course grind size, and you can buy Harrison's here. I've fed it for over 20 years and have no problems related to bird's health. Below is article, written by avian vet on how to go about the change. You say she already eats some pellets, and if they are the junk pellets like Zuprem or Lafaebers, then begin to change her to Harrisons soon as possible. There are all kinds of dangerous chemicals in the junk pellets, and birds eating sunflower seed tend to eat only that and create a dangerous dietary imbalance.

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Have her examined by avian vet to make sure she is not sick or has some kind of skin problem then begin to change her over to the Harrisons. Feed only 10-15% of total diet in Harrisons' recommendations for fruit and veggies, follow directions in article for getting her completely off seeds because the Harrisons has these in a better form with a highly nutritious base. Food is cold extruded leaving in all vitamins and minerals unlike foods using heat extraction.You can find out more about Harrisons by going to their web site at can find the food here, and a visit to their site will be very beneficial for you and your bird.

Thanks for writing and keep us posted.


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