Wondering if you can guide me on care of my umbrella cockatoo.

umbrella cockatoo on mans back
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Wondering if you can guide me with the care of my umbrella. Her vet is away on sick leave for a few months. I am her third owner.

I live in a two-room 35 ft camper trailer with six dogs and the bird. She likes to be around them – in her cage – and when they get treats she expects ( and gets) her own. They are her flock.

She has been a feather shredder since long before she came to me, about three years ago. She is also very indifferent to food. Her owner before me cared for her well and tried her hardest to get her to fresh fruit and veg. Her primary diet is Zupreem fruit blend, though specific preference is the pink. But she isn’t even very interested in eating.

Most times, if I soak till soft I can hand feed her 6 or so large pink Zupreem half moon shaped pellets. If I am around she may eat a couple of dry ones and cashews. She has no interest in peanuts or almonds in the shell or sunflower seeds.

Birds in the aviary I volunteer out at hang out eagerly for their food, with nuts being the greatest treat. She will eat food I have chewed up, and after many attempts, I have got her to eat smidgins of chewed banana, apple, and red kidney beans. My vet told me to stop feeding her from my mouth; this was after she laid her first egg. She does get sexy with me sometimes.

She has laid a total of five eggs over the last eighteen months. I have just been reading your blog about lighting, cage set up and toys. I do cover her cage, but the timing of this is extremely erratic, due to my life schedule. I sometimes leave in the morning and don’t get home til midnight or later. Or I come home briefly at between five and six to feed dogs and go. In her previous home she was always covered at 9 pm and uncovered 10-11 am.

We all inhabit the main room, which has cage, kitchen, desk and bed in it. The other room does have a second cage in it, but until recently I had an ailing senior dog in there. It is the room I use as the main entry and exit in winter, as it is much cooler and I try to preserve the heat in the or her room, and the only one with a dog door. I will be putting a washing machine in there soon.

Her current cage has a dome bird light I purchased from you., that gets turned on and off when I cover (with sheets) and uncover. But the timing of such is all over the place. I clearly also don’t have enough toys for her, or not enough new ones.

I noticed the other day her lower beak is flaking and chipping in the little-finger- sized area closest to the tip. Is this calcium deficiency?

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