Cockatoo is a loving bird that develops an adoring relationship not only with its master but with its mate too. However developing a loving relationship with the mate is a difficult process and does not always work; Cockatoos can prove to be aggressive towards their mate; in several cases Cockatoos have injured or even killed their mates because they are possessive about their land, space and food. Therefore special care is required during the Cockatoo breeding season; males can be trained to reduce their aggressiveness.
Preparation for Mating
Cockatoos are exquisite in nature and need a specially prepared environment for mating. A large area needs to be prepared, with a soft base covering, where the two birds will be kept together.
The Male Cockatoo might behave aggressively and violently towards female since he may feel territorial possession over the large area, selecting a completely new area for the mating is highly recommend as he will be more possessive about his own space. Male Cockatoos are even like to badly injure or kill the female thus careful observation is essential. Adjusting takes time, soon the birds get used to each other and develop a friendship. Later the male Cockatoo approaches the female and on getting approval, the process of mating begins.
Cockatoos breeding season starts during the most enchanting and romantic days of year i.e. December to March. This is an amazing set up of nature since during this spell, vegetation is at its peak and plenty of ready food is available.
Cockatoos mature very slowly, the larger the sub breed is, the longer it takes to reach maturity. Cockatoos breeding age varies from 3 to eight years where the smaller Cockatoos are mature by the time they are 3 to 4 while an Umbrella will be mature by the age of 8 to 10 years and a Mollucan will take even longer.
Courtship and Mating
Courtship displays of Cockatoos are extremely fascinating; they range from fanning of the feathers, clicking of the beak, raising the crest and hopping movements which may seem like an interesting dance.
Once the female has accepted the male he approaches her and they may touch each other or rub against one another as a sign of acceptance and affection. Soon the male will mount the female and their cloacae will touch marking the cloacal kiss; lasting only a few seconds.
Cockatoos are loyal birds and develop a strong relationship with their partner. Cockatoos should not be separated after mating as they need to establish a family in the same way as us humans. If separated, they might show signs of stress and depression by raising their crests high or attacking things and people.
The male and female Cockatoos both share the responsibility of incubating the eggs which is for about 25 to 30 days. Usually there are two eggs while only one chick is raised.
Which Cockatoos are Ideal for Mating?
Cockatoo behaviors vary according to their species and genders. A careful understanding of the Cockatoo is required for inexperienced owners to ensure better and successful mating.
- Avoid loud and screaming Cockatoos. They might scare their mate or develop a competitive relationship with them.
- The individual temperament of a Cockatoo describes his ability of becoming a good mate. One should know about the behavioral problems of Cockatoo and train it accordingly.
- It is not actually the specie of Cockatoo but its training that decides the type of mate it would grow up to be. However, Sulfur Crested and Umbrella Cockatoos are considered to develop better mating relations.
- Goffins are found to be great mates. However, Goffins develop good mating relations with Goffins only.
- It is also said that a well-groomed Cockatoo having a trimmed beak and feathers has lesser chances of attacking its mate and therefore easily develops a friendly relation.
- Friendly Cockatoos prove to be great mates however, it is important to know if both the Cockatoos are friendly or not. One aggressive partner can harm the friendly one.
Reproduction, as other living beings, is a system shuffling process for Cockatoos too. They undergo several behavioral, social and physical problems which can be:
- Increased constipation and fecal problems as the digestive system might malfunction while Cockatoo’s breeding. However; well-handled Cockatoos very seldom fall ill. Soft meals and digestible items are recommended to be given while Cockatoo is about to undergo mating or female Cockatoo is going to lay eggs.
- Intestinal infections might be caused by breeding.
- Both the Cockatoos who are going to mate each other should be well-checked by the veteran since diseases can transfer from one Cockatoo to another.
- Cockatoos undergo systematic changes during maturity and develop a need for mating. They might get depressed or stressed and develop unhealthy habits such as picking feathers, biting people or screaming etc.
- Cockatoos might have lesser interactive ability with owners while the need for mating is at its peak.
Tips to Avoid Breeding Hazards
Cockatoos are not only delicate but also hazardous. They can not only injure people around them but can also injure their own families. Following tips should be followed to avoid breading hazards:
- Beginners should avoid cockatoos breeding since they are very moody birds, experienced guidance is necessary.
- The mating process should never be interrupted.
- Cockatoos are best known for their deceiving nature. They might show that they are undergoing mating however; it may be a notorious act only. It needs to be made sure that they have undergone mating before taking them out from the mating space.
- Owners must train their male Cockatoo to reduce his violent behavior before introducing him to a female Cockatoo. Aggressive Cockatoos should be avoided for mating purposes.
- Cockatoos might show an attitude at times. They might ignore owners when they get their mate. One has to have a large heart while selecting a mate for them and be prepared to be ignored by their Cockatoo.
- Artificial Breeding and Cross Breeding
- The sheer danger of Cockatoos to become extinct has switched scientists to think of artificial and cross breeding. Though the process is so far painless Cockatoos possess complex behavior and have shown reluctance to artificial breeding.
- Cross breeding is carried out to produce a Cockatoo specie that is less endangered and can produce more offspring’s naturally.
- These processes are still under research.