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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Lesser Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

These small sized gorgeous cockatoos originate from Indonesia, not Australia as a lot of people think.

Trapping and smuggling these cockatoos, although illegal - still sadly happens.  Often the smuggling is internal within Indonesia itself but there is an ongoing trade in wild caught cockatoos throughout the rest of the world.

Birds are frequently smuggled out to Europe.

If you are considering purchasing a cockatoo as a pet, please think carefully.  They are SO difficult to keep happy and healthy, they are NOT the same under any circumstances as parrots such as African Greys or Amazon Parrots.

Plus you must take into consideration that many cockatoos, including the Lesser Sulphur Crested or now known as Yellow Crested are CITES Appendix 1 species, meaning they are critically endangered in the wild and as such require an Article 10 certificate accompanying them on purchase to prove they are captive bred from captive bred parents, and NOT wild caught.

Below is a photo of a Lesser Sulphur or Yellow Crested Cockatoo.  This photo was taken in a market in Indonesia, you can see the bird is sadly chained to a stand.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Feather Plucking In Parrots

Feather plucking in parrrots is nothing new unfortunately, and occurs mainly and usually only in captive bred hand reared pet birds.

Less occasionally in captive bred aviary birds and rarely in original wild caught parrots.

Feather plucking and/or self mutilation can be caused by any one or many of the following reasons:

Poor diet
Poor environment (small cage or aviary)
Lack of exercise
Feather mites
Internal illness

Quite often it is many of the above reasons.

Parrots in their natural environment do not have the time to pull their own feathers.  Their days are full just surviving, looking for food and caring for their young.

Parrots on the other hand in captivity spend many hours of the day alone in their cage or aviary, their food is usually available 24/7 so no need to go hunting or searching for food, no predators to be wary of (except maybe the family cat or dog), too little a space to fly and exercise in and maybe to top it all off a mate they are saddled with for the rest of their lives with no say in the matter!

How would you feel if you were a parrot?

Parrots are highly intelligent sensitive creatures it is simply not enough to purchase a cage (even though it may be a large cage) and put your bird in there with some seed and water, the odd perch and toy and think that is adequate and pat yourself on the back for doing a good job.

Keeping a parrot should be thought of as on the lines as having a child, although this child won't ever grow up and leave home!

Diet is such an important part of the wellbeing of any parrot, as is its environment and social interaction with humans.

Poor diet lacking in variety and nourishment, lack of freedom out of the cage environment and little or no social interaction can all cause major problems which may lead to feather plucking.

There is no quick fix answer as to why parrots self mutilate and short term measures such as adding vitamains to the diet on a temporary basis once the problem has started, is not the answer.

We should all take a step back and re-evaluate the lives of our birds and ask ourselves the question - if I were a parrot would I be happy?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A Cockatoo Is For Life

Thinking Of Purchasing A Cockatoo?

Cockatoos are THE most sensitive, hyperactive and difficult of all the parrots to keep healthy and happy.  

Often purchased on a whim because they look so cute and cuddly when babies.  They are a warm, soft cuddly bunch of silky feathers with no vices. 

Fast forward a couple of years and that lovely cuddly bunch of silky feathers might now have become a monster, so messy and destructive, a finger biter with an extremely LOUD voice.  Hey not the fault of the bird at all, it never is. 

The blame has to lie solely at your feet. 

Cockatoos need CONSTANT attention, lots of freedom to fly - yes fly around your home, they also need a varied diet with a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables and other tit bits, clean water every day and their cage cleaned regularly. 

If you go out to work for any length of time during the day and the bird will be left alone, a cockatoo IS NOT FOR YOU. 

They need basic ground rules and routine, much the same as a child.  Having a Cockatoo in your home is like having a 5 year old child which NEVER grows up and NEVER leaves home.

Are you still interested?

Please re-visit we are updating with various other aspects of keeping Cockatoos such as diet, feather plucking, disease, breeding and sadly rescue.