Umbrella Cockatoo Care

Cages, toys, and food oh my! How do you make sure you’re incredibly demanding Umbrella Cockatoo is happy? Happy enough to co-habitat with you, welcome training sessions, and remain snuggly and loyal?

Make sure they have the type of food and environment that will allow them to thrive. Here are 20 dos and don’ts for proper Umbrella Cockatoo care.


1. Don’t buy a plastic or painted cage. Umbrella cockatoos have extremely strong beaks and will be out of their cage faster than you can say “pretty bird.”

2. Always pick stainless steel. Stainless Steel cages coated with a non-toxic paint that is durable and won’t chip off are okay too. Your Cockatoo will chew on the cage bars and you don’t want them eating the paint.

Many metals like zinc are toxic to your Cockatoo and many paints are too. Take extreme caution in choosing a cage for your very pricey and very wonderful bird.

3. Don’t make the cage too small. Cockatoos need room to roam and while they definitely prefer to be outside of their cage they can be comfy in their cage too if it fits them.

4. Do choose a cage that is large enough to accommodate your companion. The minimum cage size should be at least 3 ft. x 2.5 ft. x 3 ft. high.

5. Don’t buy a round or ornamental cage for your Umbrella Cockatoo. They will be unhappy in a pretty little cage, guaranteed!

6. Do choose a rectangular cage. Your Cockatoo will explore up and if the cage is round then it will be tapered at the top. This will limit your bird’s ability to explore. A rectangle cage with a dome top is okay too.

7. Don’t buy a cage with bars that are too far apart.

8. Do choose a cage where the bars are a maximum of half an inch apart.

9. Don’t choose a cage with a guillotine door. Doors that open up like a guillotine are extremely dangerous, especially for the incredibly intelligent Umbrella Cockatoo who will most certainly try to escape

10. Do choose a cage with a door that opens to the side or down like a drawbridge over a moat. This type of door eliminates any kind of accident that might happen and it makes it easy for you to retrieve your Cockatoo from its cage.

11. Don’t choose a cage without a bottom tray that is removable.

12. Do choose a cage that is easy to clean. Including a bottom tray that is removable, make sure your cage bottom has a wire grating so that waste and dropped food can fall through and be easily cleaned up.

13. Do consider choosing a cage with wheels. Why? Because it will make it easier for you to relocate your bird when he needs to sleep or to place him in a room when he is screeching.


14. Do make sure you stock that cage with plenty of toys that will keep your cockatoo busy when you’re not around. We’re talking about serious toys that can endure the very fierce beak of your beloved Cockatoo and keep his intelligent mind busy.

15. Do not feed your Umbrella Cockatoo nuts and seeds! They’re full of fat and can literally kill your Cockatoo, if not make him incredibly grumpy, which inevitably leads to destruction and aggressive behavior.

16. Do make sure your Cockatoo has a healthy diet based on organic, not colored, pellets. Skip the colored pellets because they’re full of sugar your Cockatoo doesn’t need.

Plain, brown organic pellets have the foundation of nutrients your bird needs every day.

17. Don’t feed your Cockatoo alcohol, avocado, chocolate, coffee, and salt.

18. Do make sure your Cockatoo gets plenty of fruits and veggies every day. They need fresh fruits and veggies every day. Apples, bananas, oranges, melon, spinach, broccoli, peas, celery, etc…

19. Do make sure both water and food are kept clean and fresh. This not only helps make sure your cockatoo stays healthy; it keeps the fruit flies away.

20. Do make sure you spend plenty of time with your Umbrella Cockatoo outside of his cage and make sure his cage is placed in a location where he feels both safe and a part of the family. Trick training is a great way to spend time with your Umbrella Cockatoo that is going to benefit you both greatly.

Taking care of your Umbrella Cockatoo is extremely important. Give them the nutrition and environment they need to thrive and you’ll be one step ahead of any potential problems, including health and behavior problems, that might occur down the road. Check out the rest of our information on umbrella cockatoo behavior.

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