You probably already know that a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo demands a significant amount of your time and attention.
What you may not know is when you give them optimal care, which means an ideal caging environment and well-rounded nutrition, your little angel will live a long and happy life, a life with fewer behavior problems.
Let’s just start with the simple stuff. The daily, weekly, and monthly care your Sulphur Crested requires. Your cockatoo’s personal hygiene must include a weekly shower or bath to reduce the feather dust that collects and to keep their feathers clean.
The weekly shower or bath can be accomplished easily by placing a perch in your own shower and showering together. Trim the wings of your Cockatoo if you want to keep them from flying away. Also, trim their beaks and claws if they’re not being worn down from regular climbing and chewing.
Cage cleanings occur on a regular basis, including daily removal of soiled papers and weekly cleaning and sanitizing of the inside of the cage including the toys. Check toys, perches, and other items in the cage to make sure they’re in good, safe condition. Always provide fresh fruits and vegetables and water.
Speaking of fresh fruits and vegetables, let’s talk a bit about what your Sulphur Crested needs to eat to remain healthy and strong. The basis of your Cockatoo’s diet will be organic, non-colored, pellets. These are the best pellets for your Sulphur Crested because they’re free of pesticides and sugar and they provide optimal nutrition.
They don’t however provide everything and your Sulphur Crested Diet will need to be supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables daily. You can also give them the occasional healthy table scraps like chicken, fish, rice, and tofu, you get the picture.
You may have noticed that nuts and seeds have been left off the list. That isn’t because they aren’t a part of your Sulphur Cresteds diet, it’s because they’re only a very small part of your Sulphur Crested’s diet.
The high-fat content means they are to be left for treats, snacks, and training rewards. Too much fat in your Sulphur Crested Cockatoos diet will result in fatty liver disease and other avian medical conditions. Not much fun for either of you and is potentially deadly for your bird.
So what’s next? The first thing you’re likely to go out and buy before you buy your bird and quite possibly the most important feature of your Cockatoos daily life – the cage.
Sulfur-crested cockatoos are large cockatoos, which means they need large cages. The minimum requirements for an indoor cage are 27 x 27 inches and a height of 39 inches. The larger the cage you can provide your bird, the better. Height is important because they love to climb and enjoy getting that ‘bird’s eye view.’
Location is often the key to a content Sulphur Crested. Place the cage in a room that is often filled with family so they feel like a member of the family and not a display item. Look for a place that is at eye level.
A location that is away from any potential drafts and gets plenty of natural sunlight, to help in the development of vitamin K, is ideal. Lastly, look for a location that places your bird’s cage in a corner or against a wall so your bird feels secure and protected.
What else to look for in a cage? Horizontal bars are great because they give your cockatoo the opportunity to climb. However, it is important to make sure the cage is built of stainless steel or steel to ensure that your bird isn’t able to bend the bars with their beak or chew through them. Speaking of chewing, make sure if the cage is painted, that it is painted with a safe, non-toxic, non-chipping paint.
Look for a cage that has casters if you’re going to be moving it from room to room, for example, if your bird is going to sleep in a different room. Also look for a safe door, which opens down like a drawbridge or sideways like a door in your home. These types of doors are the safest for your bird.
Lastly, it is important to make sure you take your Sulphur Crested Cockatoo to the avian veterinarian for regular checkups. Optimal and regular care will prevent a variety of regular avian conditions and it will help to curb or eliminate any potential behavior problems that might creep up. Enjoy your beautiful Sulphur Crested Cockatoo and take great care of them!