Sally Blanchard Cockatoo Book


In describing the various companion cockatoos, I have tried to refrain from massive generalizations but I have to make some in order to describe the various cockatoo species. There is no doubt that the smaller cockatoos such as the corellas and the rose-breast have different behaviors than the larger ones. However the lesser sulfur-crest is an exception to that statement and are behaviorally much more like the larger 'toos. I have worked with or talked with dozens of people about their cockatoos, but you may have a bird that does not fit the following descriptions. With some species my experience is quite limited because they are either fairly rare, breeders have not been breeding them that long, or are just starting to raise them or they aren't that popular as companions.. 

I have also included cockatoos that are not common in U.S. aviculture and those that are rare and endangered with basic information about them.

From my extensive experience dealing with companion cockatoos and their caregivers, I don't believe that cockatoos do well on a pelleted diet if it is more than 20 to 30% of their diet. This is especially true of the highly processed pellets with synthetic nutrients, soy, corn, wheat, Menadiond and artificial food coloring.  I believe that cockatoos do best on as natural a diet as possible. This includes fresh foods such as veggies, greens, cooked quinoa, and whole grains. The only pellet I recommend for cockatoos is Totally Organics. While occasional seeds and nuts are OK as treats, it seems that all cockatoos have problems with too much fat in their diets. 




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