Keeping a cockatoo

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Updated: 4/17/2007 12:08 pm Published: 4/17/2007 12:08 pm

In the wild, you might find dozens, even hundreds, of cockatoos in a flock. It's this natural sociability that makes them bond so closely to their human owners. They're highly intelligent, and require lots of toys to play with or wood to chew up to keep themselves occupied when you're not around. They also need a lot of room. Get the biggest cage you can find. Like any pet bird, they need a varied diet. Seeds, nuts, and commercial pellets should be supplemented with chopped-up fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid fatty foods, especially chocolate or avocados. These can be deadly to birds. Some cockatoos can be taught to speak, but all of them are able to communicate. Your cockatoo will let you know, very loudly, if it needs something. Owning a cockatoo is a lifelong commitment. Some have been known to live eighty years or more, so pick your companion carefully.

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