Guidelines for Raising a Moluccan Cockatoo
Birds can be affectionate and fun pets to have, especially when that bird is a Moluccan cockatoo. Not only are these birds intelligent and entertaining, but they are also quite beautiful to behold. These lovely birds do have certain needs and characteristics, however, which should be well known before making the decision to bring them into your home.
Cockatoos are members of the parrot family, with most of the species originating from Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia. They can range in size from 12 inches long to 20 inches from tip to tail. In most species, the female is generally larger than the male. Different species of cockatoos also have great coloration variances, with some of them on the plain side while others display extremely vibrant coloration. One feature that they all share is likely the most recognizable; the tall, showy crest of feathers on the foreheads of the bird that can be raised erect when the bird wishes.
The diet of cockatoos consists mainly of seeds, fruits, flowers, insects and tuber plants when in the wild. Pet birds will benefit from a similar diet; although they will want to partake of any food that their humans are having, feeding these birds junk food or greasy foods can only do them harm. Cockatoos are very social birds, enjoying the interaction of other birds in their species or that of their humans.
Cockatoos as pets
Not all of the cockatoo species are pet material. Many people take these birds as pets without becoming fully knowledgeable about their care and needs, which can be overwhelming. Certain cockatoos actually do make great pets for the right owners; one in particular is the Moluccan cockatoo. Beautiful hues of salmon and pink adorn the feathers of this bird, which is actually the largest in the species of cockatoos. It should be noted, however, that this bird is considered to be a threatened species in its natural habitat of South Moluccas in Indonesia, largely due to loss of its habitat and illegal trapping. With this fact in mind, be sure to only obtain birds from reputable breeders.
Hand trained cockatoos make the best pets. By nature, these birds are quite affectionate; enjoying a cuddle with their owner for sometimes up to an hour. Because of this need for contact, this type of bird should never be left alone for extensive periods of time. Even left to their own devices for an hour or two could result in ear piercing shrieks or worse, episodes of the bird plucking its own feathers in anxiety. Those who wish to have a cockatoo for a pet must ensure that someone will be home with the bird for the majority of the time.
A well trained bird with plenty of attention generally does not display behavioral issues. However, birds as well as any pet must be trained well to avoid issues. Specific types of common behavioral problems with the Moluccan cockatoo include biting, excessive chewing and screaming. An owner should be cognizant of the tendency for these behaviors and counteract them by being trained themselves in discouraging these potentially dangerous traits. There are numerous sources on-line and through breeders that can help a first time cockatoo owner to learn tips on curbing these.
Life long pets
Cockatoos live a long life; sometimes over 100 years. Since they bond with their human, it is important to socialize the bird with other family members who can take over their care in the event something happens to the owner.
If it sounds as though raising a Moluccan cockatoo is remarkably similar to raising a child, then you understand the challenge of having one of these large, lovely birds as a pet. For the right person, they do make great pets, as long as their high maintenance needs are met.