Cockatoo

There are 21 species of cockatoos, most of which are in the genus. Most are colored mainly in white, but others come in grays and pinks, blacks, and in the Palm's case, deep blue. Their origin is Australia and the surrounding islands. Most of the cockatoos are about 12 - 13 inch long. Cockatoos are very loving, affectionate birds, they are known for their personalities, Cockatoos aren't top talkers.

Talking ability:

Cockatoo is excellent talkers.

Life span:

You can expect a healthy Cockatoo to live around 40-60 years or even longer with good nutrition and care.

Sexing:

Most cockatoo species are easily sexed. The lesser sulphur-crested, greater sulphur-crested, umbrella, Goffin's, rose-breasted and Philippine cockatoos have a red-brown, brown, or chestnut-brown iris in the female after about two years of age. The Mollucan is basically the same except the female iris is dark brown so it can be difficult to distinguish from the slightly darker iris of the male.

Both sexes of the bare-eyed cockatoo have the dark iris, but the male is a larger bird and the female has more feathering around the eye than the male. Sometimes with the Bare-eyed and the Mollucan you can only be certain if you have them sexed by DNA test, or a chromosomal analysis.

The Incubation Period:

The cockatoo female will lay between 2 to 3 eggs. Brooding, depending on which species is between 25 to 30 days. The young are naked and blind when hatched and don't open their eyes for several weeks. Hatching take between 60 and 100 days to become fully plumed and at that time they will begin to explore outside of the nest. However they will still be dependent for another two to three weeks before ready leave the nest for good.

Breeding:

To breed Cockatoo, you will need to acquire a true pair and identify the sex of your birds before you set them up. You can do this with DNA sexing. All breeding birds should be DNA sexed.

Food:

Seed, soaked or sprouted seed: We suggest seeds & soaked or sprouted seed for successful breeding.
Tree Branches: Leafy live branches from non-toxic native trees and shrubs can be placed into the aviary for the birds to chew. When available, nectar filled flowers on the plants will be appreciated by the birds. Natural branches of various diameters, and placed at various angles, can be used for perches. Branches can be placed in a near vertical position and many of the birds will practice their acrobatic acts on these near vertical branches and ropes. These natural perches may be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly.

Calcium:

Calcium supplements are available in liquid and powder form and added to the wet feed mixture, as required especially prior to breeding season. Veterinary advice should be obtained to ascertain if your birds require mineral and or vitamin supplements, and this includes calcium, as excess levels can be detrimental to a bird's health. Adding extra calcium to a bird's diet may be of little or no value unless the bird does daily flying or exercise. Calcium is usually absorbed in response to a physical demand such as exercise or lots of flying.

For a hen to absorb an adequate amount of calcium prior to breeding, it is preferable to give the breeding bird access to an aviary prior to the start of the breeding season. The aviary should give the birds the exercise required to obtain optimal fitness for a good breeding season.

Water:

Clean fresh water must be available at all times. Some birds bathe in the drinking water. Others like Asiatic parrots will not bathe in their drinking water so provision may have to be made for a second water bowl. There are a number of automatic and semi-automatic watering systems now on the market as well as "home made" systems that are used successfully both in outdoor aviaries and indoor rooms. When the dry mix is not mixed with water and is fed as a separate dry food, the birds will then drink from the water bowl and leave some of the food in the water. Regular thorough cleaning of the water bowl is essential.

Sunlight & Vitamin D:

With aviaries having fully covered roofs, care must be taken to ensure no deficiency occurs.

Mineral & vitamin supplements (including calcium):

Keep in mind with supplements, the correct dose rate you should get good results, but, if more than the prescribed dose is administered, it could be toxic or even fatal to the bird's and or the babies. Seek advice from a veterinarian before adding these items to a bird's diet.