Cockatoo unwanted breeding behavior

by Laurie Mahling
(Pierz, MN USA)

Citron Cockatoo with e-collar

Citron Cockatoo with e-collar

Three weeks ago I adopted an 8 year old citron cockatoo with feather plucking/self mutilation issues. She was the sweetest bird for the first week, and I was unwittingly encouraging breeding behavior by petting and cuddling her. Then she started all the textbook behaviors... attacking my husband, wanting to be with me every waking moment, moody, aggressive,etc.

I've done a lot of reading since, and know what I'm supposed to do and not do. She is having to spend more time in her cage than I'd like because she won't stay ON her cage or stand. I let her sit on me until she starts exhibiting unacceptable behavior.

She wears an e-collar, which I remove for awhile each day, keeping an eye on her preening to make sure she's not plucking, but I'm expecting molt time to come soon, so the poor bird will have that to deal with too. I feel bad that she's having all of these stressful changes going on at once. How can I help her and how long can I expect her broody behavior to last?

Comments for Cockatoo unwanted breeding behavior

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Jul 06, 2011
dear anonymous
by: Anonymous

I would love to talk to you. I have a plucked too. I have some questions

Feb 23, 2011
by: Anonymous

Would love to talk to you about your bird. I have a medium sulfer creasted that goes through the same thing. It is part of there cycle and you find ways to deal with it. DO NOT give the bird a tux cut. Email me and I will tel you the horror stories of a year long with blood feathers. Lok forward to hearing from you.

Editor's note: I do not post email addresses on my website. You are welcome to post your advice here. (Been burned by someone wanting to offer more than help...)

Mar 22, 2008
citron cockatoo w/e-collar
by: Win

Hi Laurie.

1st off.. congrats on adopting your very beautiful cockatoo. I am owned by a goffin too and 3 other birds.
The 1st week was a honeymoon period. Usually it takes a month for them to settle in.

Mating season varies with local climate, but is usually from August to January. When she starts with the mating behavior while with you. Stop immediately and put her on her cage. If she come down to come after you put her in her cage. That will stop 2 things in one blow. Teaching her that she cannot get off her cage and that you will not mate with her.

As for the attacking.. Your husband needs to talk to her calmly while she is in the cage. Feed her treats that she likes thru the bars.

You may want an avian vet to clip her wings back so that she cannot fly. This will also help to calm her down.

She needs at least 12 hours of a quiet dark sleep. You may want to also get her a sleep cage to help with this.

I hope this helps you.

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