I had my first contact with Goffin’s cockatoos in the mid 1970’s, while working for a bird importer. At that time, they were among the least expensive of the parrots, and for this reason were branded as a poor choice for a pet. Yet even in the importer’s chaotic holding rooms, amid thousands of other birds, I noticed that they stood out somehow – calm and, if given a chance, eager to engage with people.
As it turned out, these Indonesian natives have proven to be among the most gentle, and easily trained of the cockatoos. These qualities, combined with their small size and quiet tendencies (“quiet”, in that they are less likely to let loose with the “ear-bleeding” screams of their larger relatives) render the Goffin’s an ideal “first cockatoo”.
Enclosure and Physical Environment
Cockatoos are among the most active of the parrots, expressing themselves more with body and beak than with sound, and the Goffin’s is no exception. Your Goffin’s cockatoo will require a larger cage than other birds of a similar size.
The smallest cage I would recommend is the A&E Bird Dometop Cage (36″ x 28″ x 65″), but a macaw-sized model (i.e. A&E Bird Stainless Steel Bird Cage) is preferable. When choosing your pet’s cage, bear in mind that it will likely spend most of its time therein – more so than other parrots, cockatoos are liable to get into trouble if left out unsupervised. They are just too inquisitive and athletic to be given the run of a room unless carefully watched.
Your Goffin’s cage should be outfitted with a wide variety of perches of various materials and thicknesses….rope perches are especially appreciated and will give rise to all sorts of acrobatic performances. Your bird’s feet should extend ¾ of the way around the perch upon which it spends most of its time. Please see my article Choosing the Proper Perch for Pet Parrots, Finches, Canaries and other Birds for more detailed information.
Goffin’s cockatoos must be kept occupied when left alone. Provide your pet with a rotating supply of heavy duty parrot toys, especially models that can be dismantled. I’ve had great feedback on the Fetch It Pets Fill Your Own Piñata – your Goffin’s should have a ball with that one.