Hi Mj, I’m sorry to hear you are considering giving up a cockatoo to a rescue. ?Do you mind if I ask why you are doing this? Perhaps it is a problem we could help you solve if it is due to behavior.
First of all, I would not look for a “rescue” unless you feel the bird can never live in a loving home with people. Rescues only take birds and keep them, sometimes using them for breeding but they do not rehome them even though there are people out there that willingly take in problem or even handicapped birds and turn them into loving companions through the use of steady, unconditional love, patience, often medical care, a good diet and housing situation and everything the bird needs to be happy.
If the cockatoo can live in a home, even if it is a plucker or screamer, I would try to place it in a bird adoption center. In these centers, they get the bird in good health if it isn’t, take care of its needs, and when it is accessed as adoptable, place it onto the adoption list which usually has a rehoming charge but much less than the bird would be if bought in a store or from a breeder. Every bird deserves a loving home and even if the bird is not happy living with you or is not tame, someone with the time and patience may be able to teach the cockatoo to be a loving companion. These centers screen the prospective adoptive homes to ensure the bird will have space and a healthy living situation. They also pay follow-up visits to check on the bird during the first year or two.
You could also place a listing on Craigslist for a free Cockatoo and provide an honest description of him/her including whatever problems are causing you to give the bird up.. Do screen the responders carefully to be sure they aren’t going to sell the bird and will really give it a loving home. Ask about their knowledge of caring for birds, housing, diet, etc., and a turn away anyone that doesn’t sound as if they are going to care for the bird. If they don’t understand what caring for a big, often loud, messy bird is like, they shouldn’t get yours.
Never argue with an umbrella cockatoo
But many birds find great homes this way. If you read my articles about getting Kiwi, he was listed on Craigslist and the lady had received many calls but when she asked the people what they planned to do with the bird, many said they wanted to sell it. I called and said I wanted to give him a good home and didn’t not plan to use him as a breeder unless he indicated that was what he wanted, so I got Kiwi. Screening thoroughly is important because someone might take your bird for free and sell it for quite a bit of money.
I do not know where you live, but to locate a bird adoption center or, if you must, a bird rescue center, simply perform a search with “cockatoo adoption center <your city and state>” and you will likely get a large list in the return. Do visit the center, whichever type you choose, and be sure the birds are well cared for and the people care for them properly.
Search for a l local Cockatoo owners club, easily found on facebook or by search engine because these people already know about ‘toos and would likely want the bird or know someone with bird knowledge that would want him. If you were near me in FL, I would love to take a cockatoo but I doubt you are in FL.
Also, if your local zoo has a free flight aviary, they often accept donations of birds. But first I’d try to locate an adoption center.
Sorry this email is so long, but I do hate to see someone have to give up their bird but if they must, iit deserves the chance to have a good home unless it can’t possibly live with people, and very few birds fit into this category.
Let me know what happens, please.
first off, thanks so much for all the valuable information. i wish i were a better keyboarder and I would try to get to you as fast as [possible all about this bird.
First and foremost, i would NEVER say “Lovie” (which should have been HANNIBAL) is not fit to live with a family; she can be very loving, very funny and she is so intuitive.
She was purchased, originally, for a five yr. old girl and we know how that went and then she was moved around to about 3 or 4 homes before i met her at my neighbors house. My neighbor had a macaw and Lovie in her own cage just sat there like a lump. as soon as i walked in she brightened and i commented that she looked depressed. the neighbor just asked me if i wanted her, told me her story and i ent hoe and rad about cockatoos and their neediness and came back a week later and there she was sitting like a lump,,which she does…and i said no, i thought she would be too much for me; Ive been fostering rabbits and guinea pigs for yrs and i asked her what she would do with her…she said she would probably sent her to a breeder, and that was the magic word, because IVE SEEN SO MUCH MISERY FROM THE BACK YARD BREEDERS AND at the shelters where i have volunteered so much, i see the remnants.
I have had as many as 17 rabbits in this house at one time and they were all spayed as neutered as well as 7 guinea pigs…every cat i have ever had has been fixed; even the ferals i had to trap.!! I feel VERY strongly about unplanned animals coming into this world….so i just said, let me get a decent cage and I’ll take her. the breeding thing and the many moves in her young life just didnt seem right.
So fast forward to today…..she plucks, she bites and she screams..altho i have probably had the most success with the screaming by using behavior modification…I recently took her in for bloodwork to make sure the plucking was behavior..undoubtedly boredom. she is is very healthy, her bloodwork was perfect, her wt was perfect ..but even my vet commented how anxious and nervous she is….he prescribed valium and an antihistamine for the plucking…which i had compounded and was only able to get it into her maybe 5 times; then we’re done with that…it WAS helping..I was able to work with her alittle more than usual,thinking NOW was the time.
I had another flavor compounded but it sits in the fridge. she has NEVER been treat or food oriented…she could care less.
she bites when she is scared (duh) but you never KNOW what will scare her; it could be a band-aid on your finger or a three quarter length t-shirt. i have had a brace prescribed from my dr. for my thumb joint to prevent further erosion of the thumb joint till i have surgery, i CANNOT wear it anywhere around her…she’ll attack me.
It took me almost 3 yrs to get her OFF seeds; over 2 yrs to get her eat bananas (fruit) and the same with an apple slice. she is like a pit-bull. she seemed MUCH happier when there was so much chaos with all the buns and the piggies and you would think she would have been jealous.
She may have just found the very entertaining, as they were.
Do i love her??? I adore her!!!! the reason i have kept her about 5 yrs longer than I should have is because I didnt want her going to be a breeder or to be SOLD!!
But the reality is I am obviously NOT a good bird person. I reinforce the wrong things…and ignore the right things,most likely..i really want my life back I AM EXHAUSTED OF BEING CONTROLLED BY A BIRD!! she WELL be naked if she doesnt stop picking…im tired of being bit…i have worked 47 yrs with the developmentally disabled and work in the skilled nursing aspect of the facility…(that alone should give you a hint as to my patience in certain areas) I just cant go i with bite wounds because of the types of bacteria there….besides the fact it hurts like heck!!
I think she may just require so much MORE that I have to give her anymore…its too much.!!
I DO NOT work full-time, I am semi-retired now so i work 10 days a month and the rest i am home. she is out of her cage every day;unless she’s a butt then she goes back in for 10 min or so and then out again. i AM NOT one of those people who would put her in the basement and I DO HAVE ONE….or lock her away in another room far away…..thats abuse…but im kinda at my wits end.
I live in Sonoma county, northern California. I DO DO C.L. but not FAcebook…and people LIE!! people lie about their intentions with animals…i have seen it so many times in the shelters where I have volunteered..my biggest fear is I would get someone and it would be the wrong person and she would be moved again. I KNOW enuff to know you cant move birds around like that!!
So..what do you think? Marti
to redmagnet, Mitch, Catherine
You are welcome MJ, unfortunately, we have not been able to come up with a viable solution to your situation. In some cases surrendering the bird for adoption really is the best thing for them. I wish I could give you a magic solution but there simply isn’t one for Lovie and you. I know you will do the best thing for her and find a good facility for her.
Written and Approved by the Windy City Parrot Content Team