In case you consider purchasing a cockatoo you should take your time and read the following notes:


Cockatoos are expensive. They cost at least 800 Euros. Since a cockatoo cannot live alone, you should buy a pair. If you buy a pair from an acknowledged breeder, you should be prepared for a price of about 2.500 Euros.
In addition about 400 Euros must be spent on accessories, such as metal dishes, perches, and the like.

Aviary / Cage

In order to offer the animals acceptable living conditions you need an aviary. In addition you will need a big cage for a temporary stay of your cockatoos whenever you have to go with them to a vet or during the repair of the aviary, for example. Even if you construct the aviary yourself, the price for it alone will still be about 1.000 Euros.

Toys and accessories

Cockatoos need a lot of entertainment and variety, especially as far as toys are concerned. As cockatoos like finding out about things, that is to say chopping things up with their beaks, a toy usually exists for only a few days. The birds will quickly be bored by toys which cannot be demolished. The consequence is that each month new toys for about 50 Euros are needed, which will sum up to about 600 Euros per year.


If your cockatoo falls ill, curing the disease will often require more than 500 Euros, especially if you have two and the second cockatoo must at least undergo an examination or even be treated as well. In case your budget for the animals is already exhausted by the purchase of the birds and the necessary equipment, your calculation has been incorrect. You ought to be prepared to spend about 500 Euros for the vet each year.
By the way, do you happen to know where exactly the nearest vet who is really an expert on cockatoos is located? Who is his substitute in case of his absence and where does he have his practice? How far is it away from your home? Will you get there quickly enough in case of an emergency?


Cockatoos are spendthrifts as far as food is concerned because they waste a good deal. They must be offered fresh grains and vegetables every day so the costs for food will sum up to about 300 Euros a year.
Cockatoos are choosy and may not even be satisfied with a variety of nourishment. What they normally like to eat may not be available in even the seventh shop you go to, or may be just sold out, or your cockatoo may now dislike the food that it has been so crazy about until yesterday.

Settling down and relating to a person

Months may pass by before cockatoos really feel at home in your house. Either you and your family will simply be ignored, or even worse, you may be seriously bitten — which will be extremely painful.
There is no guarantee at all that your cockatoos will like you, your partner or your children — regardless of what the breeder or former owner may have promised you. In most cases birds kept alone in a cage choose only one person they relate to. This choice is up to the bird and cannot be manipulated by man. The cockatoo defends its master, so it may attack another members of the family who come close to its person.
This relating to a single human being is only a less-than-ideal solution, chosen by a cockatoo that has no natural partner. It would be much better if you kept your pet with another one of its kind. This is in your own interest because otherwise you will not have single a moment of rest — you will have to be the substitute for another cockatoo which would otherwise make him company all day long.
It may even happen that your cockatoo does not fall for you but for your partner, who may not be as enthusiastic about birds as you are. Or your cockatoo will perhaps attack you whenever you come close to your partner. How would you react in this case?

Young animals

In case you buy a young bird, you may get a surprise after a few years. When the cockatoo becomes sexually mature it is no longer as sweet as it was before and it develops an individual character, which may be quite different from the former one.
Most birds that are handed in by their owners are four to five years old and have just grown sexually mature. Mostly the reason their owners give is that they do no longer get along well with their pet.


Grown-up cockatoos have a bad reputation for their sudden changes of temper. Although you cuddled it just a minute ago, you may have to see to a wound seriously bleeding a second later. If you are lucky it is only your hand or arm that is injured but there are also other parts of your body which may be hit. Beeing the person the cockatoo relates to doesn't protect you from those insuries.
Birds may express their affection to you by tenderly nibbling your fingers, ear lobe or nose. But what may be tender caressing from a cockatoo's point of view might even make grown-up men cry.
Sometimes it just happens that the bird plays and caresses its master enthusiastically but may overdo it. This is not caused by aggressiveness — but is in no way less painful.
The bird may lose its grip when climbing and tries to hold onto something. For this it uses its claws and beak — tools which are very helpful when climbing in the trees, but unfortunately man is not made of wood.
Birds can be frightened easily. If you go up to it too quickly, or somebody else is just entering the room, this may cause the bird to bite you seriously because you are just the one who is within reach.

Noise level

A cockatoo is a really noisy animal. Its screeches can be heard more than hundreds of metres away. You should be aware of the fact that your neighbours are usually quite closer ...
Since your pet loves you more than anything, it wants to spend every minute with you. And unless you live with it together in its aviary, the time you spend together with it is always too short. As soon as you are within its reach, it will call for you until you give it your whole attention again.
Your pet may have had enough of your attention after already ten minutes or no sooner than after several hours. But in general you have other things to do before it shows signs that it has had enough of your care.

Space requirements

Regular times of flying outside their cages are necessary for cockatoos — especially if they are kept in homes. Once it is outside its cage it does not want to get back in too soon — if at all. Furthermore, it is keen on discovering your flat and of taking possession of it, since it is its own territory now.
We find out about our environment by means of our hands — birds use their beak instead, which they use for all sorts of purposes. For a cockatoo everything around it is its environment. It doesn't distinguish between decorative elements and wood. It will always find out about things — usually by finding out how to chop them up.
You will find that some of your friends or acquaintances will no longer wish to see you at your home after having sat on or put their hands in bird droppings or after having slipped on a handful of birdseed. Your home will never be the same as before — and your circle of acquaintances will not, either.

Time requirements

You must spend about one hour each day to meet the indispensable needs of your birds, such as cleaning the cage, preparing bird food etc. Once a week you will surely need longer because there will always be some extra work to be done.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy of cockatoos is about seventy years — how old are you? How will your birds be cared for if you should fall ill or have an accident, let alone if you should die before your pets?


Who are the persons who are expert enough to look after your birds during your holidays? Will your cockatoos accept those people? Do they have enough expertise to take the bird to a vet fast enough in case of an emergency? And above all: Are these persons really available when you need them?
You better forget about "holidays" and "travelling" to spare yourself being disappointed.


Does anybody of your family suffer from an allergy to dust or bird feathers or any other allergy? Before purchasing a cockatoo every member of the family should undergo an allergy test. But this does not exclude the possibility that an allergy will occur months or years later. Where can the birds live then after they have just grown accustomed to you? Do you want to or have to give them away?
Moreover, there is a danger for the bird's health because the humidity in a house is usually much too low. The danger exists that they will get a disease of their lungs, unless appropriate technical equipment increases the humidity so that it is sufficient for the birds. But in the long run, such high humidity will hardly suit you.

Other pets

Other pets like cats or dogs may permanently or at times frighten your birds. This means great stress for the cockatoos, a permanent stress that they cannot avoid. The hunting instinct may arise even in the laziest cat or a well-behaved dog. Usually the bird will lose this fight which does not mean that the cat or dog may not be seriously injured as well.
Animals that have been living in the household before, regard the new bird as an intruder into their territory. A struggle for power may develop — which may also result in the cat leaving its home forever and looking for a new home.


Children are often worse than other pets because they frighten the shy birds by means of sudden movements, romping around and shouting out loud. The probability of birds biting a human increases immensely if children are involved.
Because of their obstinate character, cockatoos are completely unsuitable for children because they are no pets you can cuddle. The disappointment of the children will be great if the longed-for bird is not at all interested in children or worse still, feels threatened and bites. Consequently, the bird is neglected and the animal suffers from this lack of contact. A child is not able to look after the cockatoo as intensively as necessary for more than few days.
Frequently children, especially small children, are inadvertently attacked by cockatoos although the former did neither harass the birds nor do anything wrong. The cause may be a fit of jealousy or defence of territory. Anyway the consequences may be fatal.
Grown-ups, too, may run the same risk but children, especially small ones, are made excessive demands upon in such a situation and are unable to realize what is going on and what danger they are in. Unless there is a grown-up to help them in this situation, the consequences may be terrible for the child.

Talent for speaking

Only few cockatoos are able to speak and if they can, they have a command over hardly more than few words. There are birds that are much more talented at speaking than cockatoos. You sooner learn to fly than a cockatoo learns to speak.
Now, after you've read all that — are you still sure that you really want to have a cockatoo?
In that case please follow this link - but beware, reading this could mke you lose your composure!

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