Don't buy a Cockatoo
Before you buy a cockatoo ask yourself these questions and then view real life injuries that parrot people have suffered from cockatoos and other parrot - available for downloading from our Leaflet page.
- Caring for a bird can cost money. Food, toys, and vets' fees can soon add up: even simple treatment can cost £50 - £100 in the UK while surgery will cost you as much as the equivalent private medical treatment for a human. Put bluntly, can you afford this and do you have a specialised avian vet in your area?
- Many birds go through a period of adjustment. They may bite, or just avoid you altogether. Do you have the patience to deal with this without getting discouraged? It can take a long time if the bird has been abused.
- A parrot can live from 10 to 90 years. It can be a life time companion. Are you ready for this? And what will happen to the bird when you die?
- When you go away on holiday, who will care for the bird ? Many people are afraid of large parrots. What if the bird gets out of its cage by accident ? If you are away from home for more than a day, then you will need a carer who can confidently get the bird out of the cage and give it supervised daily exercise and freedom - and this means often throughout the day!
- Do you have the time to devote to the bird? In return for its affection, a cockatoo will expect hours of quality time with you every day: will you be able to play with it each and every day....and let it fly? Will the bird have more room than just its cage? Be aware however, T-stands and cockatoos don't mix. You will need to provide strong sturdy structures of thick natural branches for stimulation and occupational therapy, including hemp rope, parrot swing and, yes, toys your bird can destroy, in addition to a cage!
- Do you have room for a very large cage? And what about the droppings here and there or slimy wet down your clothes ? Do you mind a little (or a lot of) damage now and then to things in your home? It will happen.
- Is anyone in your family allergic to feathers and in the case of cockatoos, lots of dust? (How do you think they stay so white?)
- Do you have other pets in the house? Will they get along with your bird and vice versa? Cats and parrots do not mix: a cat can kill a bird just with its saliva. Cockatoos like to be dominant and can be a problem if you already have a smaller bird.
- I don't recommend giving large parrots to small children. But if you do give a child a bird, are you willing to take responsibility if the child gets bitten or gets gets tired of the bird?
- Forget everything you know about pets when it comes to parrots. Many parrots are just as emotional as humans, and cockatoos perhaps more so than any other parrot. Can you deal with this?
- Food: with cockatoos (and other kinds of parrot too) you can't just pour seed or nuts out of a packet. Cockatoos need lots of fruit and vegetable (and an abundance of other healthy foods) which you have to cook. That's right, you cook for them!
Please view real life injuries from cockatoos and other large parrots, reminding us that parrots are not domesticated pets but are, in essence, wild creatures with an unpredictable nature.