Rehoming a Umbrella Cockatoo and dander

by Donna

I am considering fostering/rehoming an Umbrella Cockatoo from the Phoenix Landing Organization rescue for parrots. I was wondering if there is a difference in the dander given off depending on the type of Cockatoo? I have allergies and am wondering if I should consider a smaller Cockatoo or another parrot altogether?

I love the affection of Too's and I currently have a Blue front Amazon.

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Jun 27, 2012
Rehoming a Umbrella Cockatoo and dander
by: Linda

The dander you are referring to is called "powder down" and aggravates any kind of allergies. I think that if you understand how important it is to keep cage and room and bird clean, you may not have that much trouble. The African Greys and Cockatiels also have this kind of powder down featering which can cause problems with people with breathing disorders like COPD or other breathing difficulties.

When I say keep the bird clean, use only filtered warm water a few times a week to mist bird as this helps to keep the down washed away. Once cage and area is wet, it is much easier to clean all the dusty material up. I have allergies, and have two Amazons. Before cleaning cage or room, I use a plant sprayer filled with filtered warm water to clean birds, cage and area around cage. If I don't do this, I will become short of breath. I also have COPD so dust of any kind presents problems and I find the spraying down birds, cage and immediate area keeps me from having problems.

I would not discourage you from taking in this bird, and do make sure you have as much history about the bird as is possible. A lot of these shelter birds have been abused and/or neglected to a large or small degree. While they may appear friendly at the shelter, they may not be so friendly once home. They have been sent to a shelter as a last resort, so know who you are getting and be prepared for some problems. What happens with parrots who have been systematically abused/neglected or who have behavioral problems is that they are constantly moved from home to home instead of people addressing these problems. Parrots, especially the Toos, can become mentally ill when enough time is spent either being abused or neglected or moving around from home to home.

I'm not trying to discourage you, and do want you to be informed about the fact that this bird may need special care. I also highly recommend a good all over examination by an Avian Vet before bringing bird home to your other bird. If the shelter can show you a recent exam and the results, that will work too. You don't want to bring any infections or other physical problems home to your Amazon.

Good luck and keep us informed as to how this is going!


Jun 27, 2012
cockatoo dander
by: Anonymous

No there is no difference except that the larger cockatoos might give off more dander as they are larger. But all cockatoos give off dander. I have 5 goffins and they give off just as much dander as my citron cockatoo.

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