Moluccan Cockatoo

The Moluccan or Salmon-Crested Cockatoo is one of the most beautiful, intelligent and even tempered of Cockatoos.  But; as with any other parrot companion, do your homework and research before you whip out the credit card and say “I’ll take ’em”.  They are very affectionate and needy in the attention department. Some aficionados rank them right up there with the African Grey in intelligence. They are interactive and playful – just a joy to have around, if you know how to be a Moluccan pet.

Like most members of the Cockatoo family, they are very dusty with continual feather shaft powder flying off them at every scritch.  It is for this reason that the Moluccan should be offered bathing time or shower time whenever they seem to want it.  This helps to keep the allergens down and there is nothing they enjoy more than a good bath or shower.  Without proper bathing the Moluccan can tend toward over-preening and develop plucking and self-mutilation disorders.  Never bathe a bird prior to night sleep because they do not have time to properly preen and dry their feathers, which can lead to illness and an unhappy bird.

The Moluccan hales from The Moluccas Island Group and are listed as a threatened, in the wild, C.I.T.E.S bird.  Loss of habitat due to logging, farming, and human inhabitation of their home lands are mainly responsible for their dwindling numbers in the wild.  A good balanced diet of a salad type morning feeding of carrots, alfalfa, orange, diced apple, pear, banana, and other seasonal fruits and vegetables on the safe food list should be given in a separate cup in the morning and a good pellet diet for day long foraging in a separate cup.  It is risky, due to spoilage, to leave the fresh mixture in the cage for more than 2-2.5 hours.

At night, they like to dine on a mixture of dried nuts, cooked beans or a few seeds.  Moluccans are very large parrots that grow up to 20-22 inches in length and weigh up to 38 or so ounces.  They need to have a good strong-barred cage with both vertical bars for stability, horizontal bars for climbing.  All cockatoos are masters of the art of escape and good non-toxic locks need to be applied to all doors and other potential escape routes.  I have watched several videos of these little mischief makers unlocking their own cage and then freeing all of the other birds in an aviary – never underestimate their intelligence.  They need plenty of out-of-cage time when you are home; but, when you are away and they must be inside their cage.