How Not To Fail in Being a Moluccan Cockatoo Owner

June 4, 2018

How Not To Fail in Being a Moluccan Cockatoo Owner

(Yes, You Read It Right)

Have you ever been to a pet shop? Probably yes but anyway, you have been to the pet birds section right? You might be overwhelmed by the assortments of pet birds on display: there are colorful ones, big ones, smaller ones, that crazy bird on the corner that always scream and also that one small bird that intensely looking at you like you’re the one that killed it’s family.

But out of all the dainty birds in that shop, there is that one specific bird that makes your heart capitulates to its cuteness and heart-melting charm. That bird stood there on its enclosure and bewitched you by some mystic force, guiding you towards it.

Those seductive features enraptures your heart: white feathers gleaming on the artificial light, beady eyes yet full of character that stares directly into your soul, majestic form that only victors and champions only posses, and mimicking the things people say that this bird seems mock your very existence. My friend, what you have just experience is the magical charm of the Mollucan Cockatoo.

I mean, just take a look at it!

And of course you eventually buy it, and on the spot, you have christened him “Polly”, because why not, right? But man I tell you, you are about to make the biggest mistake you have ever made.

But don’t worry; it’s not too late yet to rectify your shortcomings. While you are driving home together with your new buddy who is very excitedly playing skipping around its cage on the backseat, let me enumerate first the things that you have missed:

Owning a bird (especially a Moluccan Cockatoo) can cost a lot of money. You need to think of its basic necessities like food, bird toys (check out online store like aviariesdepot.com.au for your bird’s basic needs), a bigger bird cage probably, and also future vet visits and checkups, and with the vet visit, do you know any avian vet around your area? (normal vets for basic pets such as cats and dogs won’t work, lol)

Just like a kid in his first day of school, most birds go through a period of adjustment. They might bite you or ultimately avoid you.

Are you ready to stretch your patience string to the point that it will almost break? Let me tell you, some birds, especially those ones with PTSD due to a past event where they were abused, may take a long time to adjust to you.
These birds can live up somewhere around 10 to 90 years, and yes you read it right, 90 freaking years (there is also a chance that Polly might outlive you). These guys can be a pet for life, so are you ready for this? And what will you feel if after a long time, something bad will happen to Polly and may cause his death?

What if you need to be away from home for a long time, who will take care of Polly? Remember that not all people will take that responsibility. What if Polly decides to escape and flies away from home, never to be seen again? Will you find him? And can your heart handle that?

Will you have ample time dedicated for Polly? Will you be able to play with Polly everyday and fill that void in his heart that for so long he endures? Does your house have enough space on where Polly can stretch its wings and fly harmlessly? Does Polly even have the freedom to get out of its cage every now and then?

Can you lend a room big enough to accommodate a pet bird aviary? And of course, since you will be feeding Polly, can you look after the droppings left here and there? Would you care to have minor damage around your home especially damages done on furniture and curtains? Or worse, would you mind major damages that Polly can inflict on your home?
Are you allergic to Polly’s feathers or bird powder? Is there anyone on your house that is allergic to it? Would you mind dusting away bird powder on your furniture such as the couch or on the carpet?
Do you have other pets in your house?If so, then will your other pets cope well with their new housemate? (That’s Polly, of course)… And if you have a pet cat, remember that sometimes your cat’s saliva can be deadly to Polly. So how can you work that out?

Normally, Parrots (especially cockatoos) are very shy of small children and most parrot experts do not recommend giving large parrots to small children. If you are planning to give Polly as a present for a child, will you handle the responsibility in case something bad will happen to the child due to Polly’s fault? (man, it is not Polly’s fault, for it will be your fault if that happens)

Common pet logic used for cats or dogs does not apply to pet birds, especially to Polly. Common pet birds are known to be just as emotional as humans. (Sometimes even more)… So can you handle this? If you are single right now, just imagine of suddenly having a wife or a kid together with the responsibilities you need to fill. Can you handle that?

Do you think I’m discouraging you to get yourself a Mollucan Cockatoo?

Actually, no. I am just concerned about the bird’s life if you are not the type of person who is willing to do such things for his welfare. As listed above, there is a ton of responsibilities you need to put on your shoulders and I tell you, if you are not prepared, those responsibilities will hit you like a truck.

Remember that earlier I have compared having a Mollucan Cockatoo to having an instant family right? Because having both things are pretty the same in terms of the responsibilities tied with them. Not providing Polly the things he needs is like torture for him.

Cockatoos are very affectionate and emotional birds, to a point that sometimes it is almost human-like. And knowing that you can’t provide the needs of a creature with such human like characteristic is like committing a capital sin, and your conscience can’t handle that heavy burden. If you think you can’t handle it all, then don’t bother to buy one.

If you have already re-evaluated your life choices and told yourself “I can handle this, I am willing to do everything for precious Polly, and I will take care of him like what a human child deserves.” Then my friend, you have passed the initial part of the initial test!

Don’t worry;I’ll help you out on how to properly take care of Polly and to be the best partner Polly will ever have. But first, we need to start somewhere right? Where did we left off the last time? OH yeah, you are driving with Polly on the backseat. So let’s start right away after you get home…




Cage Placement and Cage Quality

Once you arrive at your house, look for a place where you can put Polly’s cage. It is a good idea if you put in the quieter side of the living room which has a clear view of the entire room. And speaking of the cage, It is much better if you have a rectangular bird cage around three feet by three feet by three feet (91cm by 91cm by 91cm), with plenty of space for your cockatoo to climb and flap his wings, and a bar spacing no more than half an inch.

The cage should ideally be made of stainless steel with a strong lock, as Moluccans have a penchant for escaping, and braking less weakly built cages. See also: Lock Me Up and Getting The Best Birdcage And Aviary articles, for some ideas in picking the right cage for your Polly.

Since our plan is to have Polly to freely play inside your house and only have his cage as a sleeping quarters or where to put him whenever there are visitors or other people that he is not familiar with around, make sure that the doors leading to the outside is always closed (or use self closing Door hinge) to avoid Polly from escaping.

Before you sleep at night, make sure to put Polly inside his cage and cover the cage with dark fabric for Polly and other birds are very sensitive to light and may get startled makes noise if you turn the living room lights in the middle of the night. (Believe me, you and your neighbors doesn’t want that to happen)

Placing bird cage accessories will greatly help in keeping Polly active even inside the cage. Accessories include bird cage swings, bird perches/platforms and hammock swings (Affordable and pet-friendly accessories are offered at aviariesdepot.com.au) which are a very popular choice among pet parrot owners. Visit Bird Care for more helpful ideas in taking care of your Mollucan Cockatoo.


Polly Want a toy! Polly Want a toy!


You should include plenty of bird toys but not to the point that the cage is too restricted for Polly to move around and stretch it’s wings.

There are a lot of bird toys available for different kinds of birds online, such as the ones at aviariesdepot.com.au which are made of high quality materials, ensuring that the toy you bought for Polly is safe and non-toxic.










Clipping Polly’s Wings


It may sound cruel but listen to this, clipping is perfectly safe for Polly and it will limit him from flying near dangerous things and areas around the house, like near electric fans, closed windows, the kitchen or other household dangers.

There is a possibility too that Polly might fly away if you bring him outside even after clipping his wings. Always remember, never take Polly outside without a harness or if he is not in his carrier or cage.

And also be careful not to over clip his wings to the point that he looks like a glorified chicken. Flight feathers have blood vessels in them so you need to be very careful not to over clip them, or you’ll end up like a scene on a low-budget horror B movie, complete with a bloody mess and a totally angry bird.


Polly Want a cracker! Polly Want a cracker!

Yep, it is totally fine to provide Polly a cracker, and often can eat the same food that you eat too. Sometimes, other parrots and cockatoos will prefer such food prepared by their owners than the ones that are commercially made for them. (And it can be healthy for them too)

Seeds, on the other hand, is not a suitable diet for Polly (what I mean is like a staple diet), even though seeds are delicious for them, and preferentially sought after but nutritionally they are like giving candy to a child.

Polly’s diet should comprise of 60 percent formulated, non-dyed pellets. Veggies and fruits are also an important part of their diet. Check out Bird Nutrition for more information regarding your Polly’s proper and healthy diet.

Such fruits and veggies are very healthy for Polly and may include apples, cherries (not the pit), pears, apricots, peas, asparagus, banana (my favorite), corn, pineapple, beans (cooked), cucumbers, potatoes, lentil, lima beans, grapes, raspberry, rice (brown), soy, kale, spinach, blueberries, melons, cabbages, tomatoes and carrots.

They also eat table foods such as eggs (cooked), cooked meats, cheese, and so on. Food should act as mental stimulation as well as nutrition, so introduce new foods as a means of chewing, play, and curiosity fulfillment.

There are some food products that are very toxic for Polly and that may include:

If you think That Polly is acting strange and is showing signs of a possible illness or disease, Always ask for an advice from an Avian Veterinarian so that you could identify what’s wrong with Polly and to give immediate medical attention if needed. And also don’t forget Polly’s regular visit to the vet for a check-up.

And lastly, what I think is the most important one, is always giving Polly all the love and attention he needs. Always play with Polly like teaching him how to mimic specific words like “I love you”, “Polly want a cracker”. “You are freaking handsome”, “feed me mortal” and so on. And also, don’t forget to Praise Polly every time he executes your given task perfectly. Once you bond with Polly, you’ll realize that you and him are pretty much the same when it comes to needing attention and affection, and this is one of the secrets to successfully raise an awesome companion that will last for a lot of years to come.

You may also check this: Foods and Treats For Bird


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