Desperately seeking advice on New Cockatoo...


10 Years
May 13, 2009
Burlington KS
Hi everyone, been busy with the chickens and now I have purchased a new Sulfer Crested Cockatoo.

Does any one own cockatoos ? I have a Umbrella Too 4 years now and have had a ball with her. I visit the pet store in KC often and have fallen in love with a Sulfer Crested Too who I just had to buy.
Now the questions..............
The real reason We bought her is to have a playmate for the Umbrella..she demands so much attention and is wearing us out but we wouldn't trade her for the world. We are hoping that the two get along and will have a peaceful, harmoneous life together. and to take the pressure off us from the Umbrella.
The Umbrella had five other birds in her home before we took her in and she was a mess. She is now content and has settled down and looks great.
How do we go about introducing them together so they will get along ?
We have two very large cages and they currently have their own housing. What we want to do is eventually combine them two in one cage so they can keep eachother company when we are at work.
Will they get along and what precations should we take ?
We are really excited about this new transition with two birds and want to do everything possible to make this work....any advice anyone ???

We just brought the new one home tonight and the two birds were not even phased with eathother....It was no big them.
so far, so good....
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Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
Western MA
I would keep their cages side by side for a while so they check each other out..
then let them each out on their OWN cages ....but keep the cages far enough no fights can happen... but they can still SEE and talk to each other..
Then after trying that for a while...
maybe put them on a neutral playstand together with lots of toys...... Neutral is very important...IMO... because birds can get VERY territoral over their cages..
then.... after the playstand works out for a while.. put them both together on ONE cage.(whichever cage that you'll want them to live in together...)... with the door they can go in and out at will....

Dont rush it...
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The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
Phoenix, AZ
First I would recommend putting the two cages side by side. Let them stay like that for a couple weeks or so. Then I would start by letting one out so it can go on top of the other bird's cage and check things out. Then let the other one out the next day and keep the previous one in it's cage. Go very slow and don't rush things, but when you think they are ready, you might want to try introducing them in a neutral place, like a play tree or play stand where they will have enough room to move away from each other, but they can also interact. Just keep a very close eye on them, but they should be fine unless they are out for blood! If this goes well, I would just let them walk on top of the cages with each other and see what happens. At the sanctuary where I used to work, we had good luck just letting the birds go into each other's cages on their own. Eventually they would just go into the same cage together. It will take time, but eventually you should be able to get them both in the same cage. Evey once in awhile we had two birds that just did not like each other no matter what, but you'll be able to tell that pretty quickly. Just be sure to give each an equal amount of attention, and perhaps a bit more to your first parrot. She might get a bit jealous of the new comer and sometimes I've seen them take it out on the other bird.

Hopefully that is not too confusing for you! Let me know if you have any other questions. I worked at a bird sanctuary for about four years.


13 Years
Mar 2, 2008
Statham, GA
I have two cockatoos and two conures. They all have their own separate cages at the moment. Eventually I plan to have a indoor outdoor enclosure on my barn for all of them. Of course the cockatoos will be kept separate from the conures.

I have a wild caught Major Mitchell and a hand raised Umbrella. Based off eye color I believe my MM2 is a female and my U2 is a male. I worry when I place them together that my U2 will injure my MM2. I have heard of hand raised cockatoos injuring other cockatoos because they are so attached to their humans. I hope you have no troubles with integrating your two but thought I should mention what I have heard.


10 Years
Mar 17, 2009
May I offer another resource? On the website is several different boards and one is 'Tooz talk, for cockatoo owners. I belong to macaw talk. There are some people with experience that goes back decades, and other people who are just looking into but don't have birds, and everything in between. You can go and just read and see if you are interested before posting, but I know its a tremendous place for help that is 'too specific.

Also, PLEASE consider the risk you take by not quarantining the new arrival - disease isn't just in chickens.

Regarding combining them, why? Cockatoos are known for being needy velcro birds, but don't have to be. By getting another you are quite possibly doubling or even tripling your workload as they attempt to compete with each other for you. It may not be the case, but there is the possibility.

The final, major, consideration is the possibility of them being opposite sexes and bonding and mating. While it is ultimately your personal choice, inter-breeding of species is usually frowned upon. Why? Because these birds can no longer (in most cases) be imported legally. The bloodlines that are here, are here and are limited. By diluting those lines you limit future possible generations of cockatoos. *I have more experience with macaws, conures, etc...but I'm guessing it is similar in 'toos that in a natural setting there is little if any inter-breeding among different species*

I'm sorry to be the voice of doom...I know its hard to give any large bird all that they need socially and while a friend is a great idea, I think that should be the happy side effect of bringing another bird into the house because YOU want the additional work and companionship...not the main reason. Too much is at stake...if it doesn't work and they start screaming or feather plucking then what? Again...sorry....just want to make sure you think of the potential reality.

Rusty Hills Farm

13 Years
Apr 3, 2008
Up at the barn
Regarding combining them, why? Cockatoos are known for being needy velcro birds, but don't have to be. By getting another you are quite possibly doubling or even tripling your workload as they attempt to compete with each other for you. It may not be the case, but there is the possibility.

This was our experience. Bobbie was velcro when we had only him and seemed to hate our other birds. We thought a friend would help. Nope. They screamed incessantly and began to pluck. Sadly I had to rehome the newer bird. Then Bobbie went downhill and screamed and plucked even more. Eventually we found someone with a female who wanted him. We did a trial with them and they bonded. Now I have just the African Greys and my Amazons. That seems to work out better for us. I guess they are a better fit for our lifestyle than Bobbie was. By the end, Bobbie was a miserable Tooz. I was sorry to lose him but he is SO much happier now. Sometimes you gotta do what is best for the bird.



10 Years
May 13, 2009
Burlington KS
Thanks people for the reply.......Hawkeye, the new bird is young. I don't know the sex or age yet since the previous owner sold him from consignment.
I will take him or her to our Vet and have it checked out and have it sexed. We have a awesome Vet we use and I trust him completely.
I will be getting a phone call soon from the first owners to update me on the bird.

Right now both birds are doing their own thing and seem content. Hawkeye is a Happy bird and just hangs out on top of the cage and says hello and bobs up and down. He LOVES to be handled.
Thank God for that.....He is'nt too keen on stepping up yet so I have my work cut out.
Audrey the U2 is chewing up her boards and dosn't even notice the new one yet....I'am excited and anxious @ the same time.

I have the cages side by side and the interaction is zero right screaming yet but the day is young.
The Sulfer is very calm. Is that the normal for those birds ? if so, I hit the jackpot.......


Jul 8, 2009
Eldersburg, Maryland
Congratulations on your new baby. I have a U2, Macaw and African Grey. All tolerate each other and talk back and forth. All were bought as babies, the Macaw being the last to come home with us. The U2 was here before the Macaw, so she thinks she is mother to her as far as preening her. The Macaw being bigger, so the U2 respects her size. They can sit on their tree together in their room with no problems. Everyone is housed separately for safety.

U2 is a cuddlebug for sure. She gets some cuddle time with me in the morning and then back up to her room with the Macaw for the rest of the day. We have a good pattern down were she is satisfied with that. I stay at home so we all talk back and forth throughout the day. It's like having feathered kids that never leave home.


10 Years
May 13, 2009
Burlington KS
Hey folks,
The kids are playing like crazy....I have the new one out and she is on top of the U2's cage. They are both busy intertaining eachother. No fighting or yelling.
It's amazing so far. This morning while I was on the computer, I heard this tiny "hello" and turned around and the new one was @ my feet and had crawled down from the cage to come say hello.
I put my hand down and said "step-up" and he jumped right up on my finger....I almost cried with excitement. as if he has known me for a long time....not afraid of me at all...
how cool is that ?
Does any one have any funny stories about their birds ? I would love to hear from you all....Thanks.
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