How to keep your goffins healthy and happy
Proper diet and lots of exercise is the key to raising a bird that is not only physically healthy but emotionally healthy as well. Only fairly recently science has recognized the role that depression plays in animal wellness. Causes of depression in parrots are poor health, brought on by malnutrition and lack of mobility, and boredom.
Birds are very active creatures. The need lots of room to play and they need a great diet to fuel their activity. The health of your goffins is entirely in your hands – it is up to you to make the best choices on his behalf.
The goffins cockatoo may be small compared to some of the other cockatoo species, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in energy. This is a bird that is always on the go and this fact makes it necessary to keep a goffins in a large and sturdy cage.
The minimum interior cage dimensions for a goffins cockatoo (this refers to only the area of the cage your bird has access to – not the additional inches noted for seed guards or legs) should be no less than approximately 4’(h) X 3’(w) X 2’(d). The bar spacing should be between ¾” and 1 ¼ “ apart.
The bar spacing in many of the cages intended for a much larger bird species is appropriate for a goffins cockatoo and we recommend that you get the very largest cage your budget and floor space will allow. This high energy species will use every inch of space you make available to him.
If there is one truth about all goffins cockatoos, it is that no bars can hold them. The goffins is more adept at breaking out the cage than just about any other parrot species. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because yours has not yet done freed itself. The probability is that your will come home one day to find your house in rubble and your goffins sleeping on the ceiling fan. Invest in pad locks.
Birds don’t have the luxury of coming home after a long day of foraging and stretching out on the recliner with a comfy pair of slippers. They are on their feet all day long – even while they sleep. Just about everything they do involves their feet, so it is important that we help care for them as best we can.
Think of your parrot’s perches in the same you do your own shoes. Women enjoy taking off the heels and stepping into a pair of flip-flops and men like to trade in their confining work shoes for a pair of sneakers, because the change is comfortable. It allows the feet to spread out and rest in a new position.
Perches provide the same type of comfortable change for your bird’s feet which is a key aspect to their overall foot health. In the cage, you should provide a variety of perches that offer different widths, textures and shapes. Shelf perches give your bird a flat surface to stand on if they so choose and are great places to play with foot toys.
Toys and foragers
The “goofins” cockatoo is hilarious when at play – they like to make up as their games they go along. Mine will slowly approach a favorite toy and suddenly toss it to the side and fly away in mock fear. When she reaches a “safe” place, she will pace and eye the foot toy suspiciously, waiting for it to make its move. Moments later, she will fly to the ground flip on her back and beat the toy senseless with her feet.
The goffins loves to climb and swing and hang upside down. This fact should tell you that a boing might be a well-loved addition to the cage.
Like all parrots, the goffins LOVES to chew and shred things, ANY things. If you value your furniture and curtains, you will provide your goffins plenty of outlets for this instinctive activity. Wooden toys, with pieces sized appropriately for a small goffins cockatoo, and lots of natural shreddable toys will keep the beak busy and satisfied.
Additionally, you will want toys that allow your caged bird to forage for food just like his wild cousins. This is an activity that takes up the largest portion of a wild bird’s day. Not only is it a workout for the body, but also the brain. Foraging toys come in different levels of difficulty to gain access to the food inside.
Cage Set Up
Just as important as the items you select to accessorize you bird’s cage is their place inside the cage. Many sympathetic parrot owners strive to make their bird’s life in captivity the best possible and they set things up for convenience and comfort.
However, this is not a good plan with a captive parrot that already has far fewer opportunities for exercise than their wild counterparts. Since life in a cage is a rather sedate one, we need to utilize every possibility to increase their mobility.
This means that things in the cage should be placed in ways that are NOT convenient and easily accessible. Keep food and water bowls at opposite ends of the cage, and never place a favorite toy near a perch. Along with using foragers, these tips will force your bird climb and reach and stretch in ways that a wild does every day in the natural course of its life.
Try to keep in mind, that “easy” may be your idea of luxury, but that does not apply to a bird. “Healthy” is a luxury for many captive birds, sadly.
The RIGHT Diet For The Goffins Cockatoo
As a parrot owner, you have to wear many hats. You are a janitor, a toy maker and even a psychologist in the hours when you are not at your actual job. Additionally, you are your bird’s nutritionist and chef – perhaps your most important duty.
The diet has a huge responsibility in that it reaches into every conceivable aspect of a parrot’s life; its willingness to play and socialize, its ability to get exercise, its general behavior and, of course, over-all health are all affected by diet. It is an area where you simply must not skimp.
The largest portion of the parrot diet should consist of vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fruits. Your bird must somehow, someway have its nutritional needs met every day, assisted by a good quality, organic pellet.
My experience is that most people are perfectly willing to feed their birds correctly, but feel insecure about how to go about it. If that sounds like you, click HERE to learn how to feed your bird properly (and get them to actually eat what you serve!)