Capturing and handling your cockatoo

January 31, 2023 0 Comments

If you have to bring a cockatiel home, or even move it to another location, here are some tips on how to catch and handle it without causing it any harm.

If you want to trap a cockatiel in a cage, the easiest way to do it is to place one hand on the back of the bird, using your thumb and little finger to hold the wings together. Hold the cockatiel’s head gently between your thumb and forefinger and be careful not to squeeze too hard or you could pinch the windpipe and suffocate the cockatiel.

Once the cockatiel is restrained in this way, it will usually stop struggling, but be careful, it could still bite your fingers, so you may want to wear a pair of gloves to protect yourself.

Catching a particular cockatoo in an avairy is much more challenging as they fly fast and change position a lot. Some prefer to use a net to catch individual birds, but make sure it is well padded around the edge, or you could stun or kill the cockatoo. Appropriate catching nets are available from pet stores or specialty pet suppliers.

If you want to trap a cockatiel in an aviary, first remove all the perches so they don’t obstruct your movement. The birds will then fly over the mesh, hold on with their talons and it will be easier to catch them this way. The nets are usually deep, so you can restrain the bird by holding the material just below the edge for a few seconds. Rest the edge of the netting on the floor of the aviary, and then you can use both hands to transfer the cockatiel. First hold its head as described above, then use your free hand to disengage the claws from the net.

When a cockatiel is caught, it will always press its feet into any available surface to hold on to, so be careful when you let go.

It is a good idea for any bird owner to invest in a wooden travel box. You can buy it at your pet store or build one for yourself. A travel box is usually shallow, which prevents the cockatiel from flying up and getting hurt. Some people use cardboard boxes to transport cockatiels, but be careful as they are not escape proof. Cockatoos could forcefully fly into the flippers and escape, or simply chew through a hole in the box with their sharp beaks. Support the bottom of the box, or it could fall open under the cockatiel’s weight.

If you are traveling in a car with your cockatiel, make sure you never leave him in a hot car or trunk, as this could prove fatal. Cockatoos are very sensitive to carbon monoxide fumes, so the trunk is not the place for them. If you are going to be traveling for a long time, be sure to provide your cockatiel with food and water for the trip.

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