Cockatoo unwanted breeding behavior
by Laurie Mahling
(Pierz, MN USA)
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?