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Life With Cockatoos

Are you considering adopting a cockatoo? Perhaps you saw a funny video of one of these cute birds talking or dancing, and were completely charmed by Polly’s silly antics. Or, maybe you just love animals, and want to give one lucky bird a loving home. In this article, a Glendale, AZ vet offers some insight on living with cockatoos.

Basics

Cockatoos grow to about 12 to 27 inches long, depending on the species. They are also very long-lived, with average lifespans ranging between 40 and 80 years. This is definitely something to keep in mind. Cockatoos get very attached to their owners, and often have a hard time adjusting to new homes. Before adopting one of these pretty birds, make sure you are committed to caring for your pet for their entire life!

Temperament

Cuddly, affectionate, and often absolutely hilarious, these lovable birds will keep you laughing. Polly does need a lot of attention, however. In fact, cockatoos get depressed and lonely if they feel too isolated. This can lead to problematic behavior, such as screaming and feather pulling.

Vocalizations/Speech

Cockatoos can make many different noises. Some, as you may know, are quite loud. Noise levels will vary depending on the bird, though. As with people, some birds are simply more talkative than others are.

Toys

Cockatoos are mischievous, active, and playful, and need lots of toys. Choose safe, durable playthings that can stand up to your pet’s antics. Polly often destroys her belongings, so don’t be surprised if she goes through toys very quickly. Hanging toys are always a good bet. You’ll also want to offer playthings your pet can pick up with her claws. Safety is very important here. Avoid anything with sharp edges or small parts. Thin or soft plastic items are also a no-no, as they can break off into dangerous shards. Ask your vet for more information.

Tips

One thing potential cockatoo owners should know is that these pretty birds produce a fine powder, which is called feather dust. This can bother people with allergies. It’s also important to realize that Polly can be, well, a bit messy. As with any other pet, think carefully before adopting. That said, you may find that adopting your winged pal is the best decision you’ve ever made!

Do you have questions about your bird’s health or care? Call us, your local Glendale, AZ vet clinic!

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