|Palm Cockatoo - Jurong BirdPark, Singapore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The first thing you must do before even thinking about getting a cockatoo is to consider cockatoos to be like children. You would not leave a child alone all day. Cockatoos also cannot be kept alone all day. They need plenty of interaction. If no one is going to be at your house during the day, then I would not recommend getting one of these birds. The cockatoo is the most emotional bird species and needs human interaction every day.
Another thing you must realize is that cockatoos live for a very long time. They can live to be 100 years old! You will be taking care of this bird probably for the rest of your life. This is also a very expensive bird. The bird, cage, and accessories really cost a lot!
Cockatoos need a very large cage. Many people even suggest you keep them in an aviary! The minimum cage size for these birds is 36 inches long by 36 inches wide by 48 inches tall. Inside the cage, they will need perches, toys, food, and water.
Toys are something that your bird must have. If they do not have toys then they will not get the mental activity they need. This can lead to serious health problems. You also have to change the toys at least once a month. Birds get bored if they have the same toys all the time.
For your bird's diet, you cannot just feed seeds. A little bit of seeds is okay but buy a food that is mostly pellets. You will also need to prepare fruits and vegetables every day. Take out any fresh foods once they have been in the cage for a while.
Cockatoos have dust in their feathers and must be given weekly baths or showers to prevent dust accumulation. If you have allergies, this bird is not recommended for you. Also, the wings, beak, and claws need to be kept trimmed.
Every day you will need to clean out the food and water dishes and also wipe off feather dust from the cage bars and perches. Twice a week you need to clean the bottom tray of the cage. Once a week you will need to clean the whole cage and all accessories.
Cockatoos do not do well with small children. Some birds have even been known to attack small children for no reason. If you have small children, never leave them alone with the bird.
Cockatoos develop very strong bonds with their owners. They are extremely lovable and affectionate. However, they are very much like small children and will demand your attention. If you aren't giving them attention then they will scream, knock things over, or even bite to get your attention. Someone needs to be home most of the time with this bird.
If you give lots of attention to your bird, you will be greatly rewarded with a very sweet, lovable bird. Just be sure you have enough time to spend with the bird. These birds can cause serious problems if they aren't given enough attention. Many people buy these birds not knowing what they are getting themselves into and then end up having to give them away.