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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Umbrella cockatoo (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mattmccoy
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Hey everyone,

I have been searching for an umbrella cockatoo. I am a college student in Myrtle Beach SC and have always wanted one as a companion more so than just as a prop for magic. I help produce magic conventions now but don't really perform. Is anyone looking for an adoption father or selling some at a discounted rate. The price of them has always kept me away.....

thanks,

-Matt
Cyberqat
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Okay... first, I am going to discourage you...

(1) The cost of bird and cage is the LEAST of the costs of owning an exotic bird. If you can't afford those I am very concerned as to whether you can afford the upkeep. Vet bills for exotics are expensive. Figure any vet visit probably starts at $150 - $200 depending on your area and could go up... and that's just one area of cost.

(2) Be VERY aware of what you are getting into. Birds are psychologically different then dogs or cats. I recommend reading this book to start with:
http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Well-Behaved......6&sr=1-1

All large hook bills need serious emotional support to be happy and healthy. if you don't have time to devote to this bird you aren't a good fit.
Cockatoos are only *moreso* when it comes to attention. Macaws and many of the other large hookbills can be left to their own devices *some* of the time. Cocaktoos however
are very very very emotionally dependent on you. And if you arent there for them, they can become very self-destructive.

This is a life-long+ commitment. Large hookbills have basically human life spans, so consider whether you really want to take care of a permanent 3 year old for your entire life.
Consider carefully whether you would adopt an emotionally needy permanent three-year old. if not, this might not be for you.


Having said all that, if you still want to go ahead and you are willing to deal with the issues of a second-family bird then you should check out bird rescue groups in your area. You want the
kind who want to place birds in good homes. I've run into some "rescue" groups who believe that their job is to 'rescue" birds from ALL private owners and have the hubristic
belief that only they can properly care for them. Obviously avoid those.

Also, find a local bird specialty pet-store in your area (usually they handle birds, fish and maybe soem small reptiles). This has two purposes, first you will get to meet a lot of birds and bird owners first hand. Secondly, these stores sometimes have customers who, for life reasons, have to give up their bird. Let them know that you would be interested in such a situation. that's how our MAcaw, Pickles, came to be with us.

Do remember however that these guys have the brains and emotions of about a 3 year old, and that is old enough to feel the loss of a parent, which is what their first owner was to them. Taking in a second family bird really IS an adoption process and be prepared to work through bonding issues. Pickles has been with us 8 years and clearly loves us, but to this day he still gets excited when he sees a woman who looks like his first "mom". This is normal, natural, and expected.

Having a relationship with a large parrot is a wonderful thing... but it is like raising kids in that you will give at least as much as you get.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
sperris
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Don't' do it matt...get a cockatiel or smaller type parrot like sun conure instead

wait until you have established a regular job, more perminant physical home, etc for needed time and space for proper care, etc
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Cyberqat
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Cockatiels are lovely, friendly birds that take a lot less emotional support. They make excellent first-companion birds.
They live more like 25 years so while its still a commitment, its not a lifetime one.

Be aware of the vet bills etc though, those don't change that much...
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Cyberqat
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I should add that if you ARE thinking of doing magic with the bird, it takes a lot less expensive props to produce a cockatiel then it does to produce a large parrot Smile

Sunny, our cockatiel, appears from a dove pan Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
mattmccoy
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Dan,

How is it with your bird when you go away? I want it more for the companionship than magic.... guess I should wait until I leave college though. I'm not too sure where I'm going afterwards yet.

-Matt
Cyberqat
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Quote:
On 2011-01-28 16:52, mattmccoy wrote:
Dan,

How is it with your bird when you go away? I want it more for the companionship than magic.... guess I should wait until I leave college though. I'm not too sure where I'm going afterwards yet.

-Matt


All hookbills need daily care. Food refreshed, water cleaned (they tend to go poo in it). The smaller ones also should have their cages covered at night to avoid drafts and corresponding expensive vet bills or worse.

If you are going to be gone more then 24 hours you really need to either board or have a pet sitter come in. (One who knwos birds.)
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
sperris
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I change my cockatoo's water at least twice a day.

Sweep up after him at least twice a day (morning and evening)

Feed him his pellet food in the morning

Feed him his "treats" at night

Clean out his cage (try) once a week.

Replace toys at a minimum bill of average $40 every other week (I have a great supplier of natural and safe hand made toys in Vegas as opposed to over-priced ones from a pet store)

Then on top of that there is the daily "out of cage time" where I basically have to MAKE time and stop what I'm doing and just hang out with him outisde of his cage be it by giving him a shower, just holding him on my hand and talking to him while watching TV, etc. This needs to be for at least a few hours a day. You also need some major SPACE. The larger the cage the bettr, even though I have an umbrella cockatoo he lives in a huge macaw cage with many perches and toys all over. At night I cover him up around 10/11pm and do not uncover him until about 11 am. They are like children and need at least 12 hours of sleep time. You should also have maybe a play perch for it to climb on or some other space for it to spread its wings in the open.

And lastly the fun part...the biting and screaming. Although spike only bites me on average about once a year, you WILL get bitten by them be it on purpose or accident and they will break the skin. I don't have any scars - thankfully I've never been bitten that seriously - but this is a reality you need to be prepared for. Now Spike also isn't much of a screamer and I'm very very blessed to have been able to get that under control when he was younger, he still does scream from time to time and it is the most disgusting annoying sound ever. And it is HIGHLY likely your parrot will scream, its just what they do, its their nature like a dog that barks at the TV.

...When I'm on the road it is a different story....

If I'm gone for more than a "one nighter" I don't want to burden my wife with dealing with the issue so I have to have a parrot sitter - THESE ARE HARD TO COME BY. Because with a bird like this their minds are so fragile you cannot leave them with a neighbor or buddy to come over and change food/water - they still need that attention and it needs to be with someone they are comfortable with. LUCKILY, I have a great relationship with a parrot boarding place in town and they only charge me $5/day - HOWEVER, that is very uncommon. I used to pay about $35/day.

For a college student I seriously do not believe a money pit like a large parrot is a good idea at this time. Believe me if and when you are ever ready for one they are awesome as a companion but start small before investing the minimum roughly $2,500 off the bat to get properly set up with a cockatoo plus the ongoing monthly maintenence bills you will come by.
DANSPERRY.COM
Kyle^Ravin
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I've always wanted to perform with the bigger birds. Still, like cyberqat mentioned, you can do much more out of a cockatiel. Sometimes we just gotta understand that we might not have the capability to handle these birds, in a welfare sense. I'm sure people like Dan and Dave, Sperry and Womach I mean * ahaha, are very dedicated and this dedication doesn't come easy. Still there are a handful that do take care of their pets but cant perform with parrots for nuts. Make the right choice Matt! Good luck!
Skip Way
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I love my 'Too and she is a major cuddler. She'd nest in my arms for hours if I let her. I also spend about 30-minutes each day prepping fresh fruits, veggies and bird bread for her forage-pods. But, I can't travel with her - even to hotels that allow pets. I'm very self-conscious about her noise levels. When she plays in the early morning and late evening hours she screams LOUDLY. When she craves attention, she screams LOUDLY. I've trained her to do a variety of tricks, but I can't seem to train the screaming out of her.

She's also a one-person critter - she is is bonded to me. My wife can pet and feed her, but if she tries to pick her up, she get's bitten - Hard. IF my wife sits too close to me during the 'Too's out-of-cage time (which is pretty much whenever I'm home) then the Too attacks and chases her away from me. We've been working on that and BubJo is slowly becoming a bit more tolerant - but, it's a slow process.

I attended a four-day conference this past week and my wife changed her water and forage-pods twice daily - but, BubJo just sat in her cage and moped until I returned yesterday. She hasn't left my arms or shoulder since.

I love my cockatoo dearly and enjoy her company as much as she loves mine. But, she is a hand full and far more demanding than any other female I've ever had in my life. It IS a commitment.

Check online for a local bird club or a list of local exotic bird owners. Try to find a Too owner and ask to to visit to get a first-hand look at the commitment you're considering. I belong to the local Caged Bird Society and thank heaven for their guidance and support!

Finally, pay a visit to Phoenix Landing (phoenixlanding.org). They're an exotic bird rescue and adoption agency. You have to complete an in-depth 3-day hands-on training program to certify. Once you do, you're eligible to adopt rescued birds from them. Interestingly, one of their most common rescue birds are Cockatoos - because novice families can't handle their constant need for attention and noise levels.

Good luck!!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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igr8mgkman
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Cockatoo's like others have mentioned are very much emotionally that of a 3 yr old child! they require a lot of attention. If they do not get this constant attention they will become pluckers and be very neurotic. improper diet can have this affect as well. they are also screamers when they don't get the attention they need so if you are in an apt its not a good idea. they can be very loud even when not screaming. they also can be a one person bird if not properly socialized. they also require a lot of stimulation, large cage foraging toys etc cockatoo's also have a long life span which must be thought of when getting a bird of this type! Our African Grey will out live us. which is why we made preparations for her care in case of an emergency and neither one of us can care for her. foods for these birds are a pelleted diet and daily fruits and vegetables. I strongly suggest you do a lot of research read books on cockatoo's.
bwarren3
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Hi Matt,
I pretty much echo everything everybody above has already said but let me add a couple of things.....if you're going to stay with eventually getting a cockatoo, make it a Sulphur-Crested too instead of an Umbrella, easier to manage and require a lot less one on one time with you. They are like little engineers, they love to figure stuff out all by themselves...
Definitely go with a parrot rescue group.
join a local club and attend their meetings before you get any parrot.
Try looking at either a budgie or maybe even an Amazon or African Grey for your first parrot, not sure I would recommend a Too as your first.
Hope that helps...
Bill
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