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Outdoor aviary for my Moluccan Cockatoo

Expert Question

I’m moving to a house where I can have an outdoor aviary for my Moluccan Cockatoo. Space is about 6 feet wide by 8 feet long. What kind should I get? Any recommendations?


Expert Answer

Kim, For a cockatoo you need to get very strong caging wire. Twelve or ten gauge twilweld from England is one of the best. Smaller the opening like half inch by three means less likelihood of rodents passing in and out. We normally do not put an extra safety space on the door area of smaller cages, since it takes up what the cockatoo would have as play space. They need the ground of course and lots of plants in pots or planted in the ground or cut branches hung from the ceiling. I would say it should be at least eght to ten feet high—at least on one end so the bird can experience perching up above human heads. Partially roofed for shade and open for sun and rain on the other side. A big food and water station, toys and logs and stuff to chew on, swinging ropes perhaps, or log on a chain. Some privacy boards in one corner for a place to hide out and nap if wished. Natural wood perches. Maybe a misting system for hot days.

Good luck, EB

EB Cravens
About EB Cravens

“If we TRULY believe our captive-raised hookbills are important to world parrot conservation, we must work ceaselessly to ensure that these same psittacines retain as much of their wild instinctual behavior as is possible,” affirms avicultural writer and hobby breeder EB Cravens, from his small organic farm on the slopes of the Big Island Hawaii.

“Our goal is to birth and raise only a few baby parrots who know that they are parrots, but choose to befriend humans, because humans are nice to them… feed them… and are fun to be with!”

EB has bred, trained, raised, kept and rehabilitated more than 75 species of psittacines during the past twenty plus years both at his home and while managing the notable exotic bird shoppe, Feathered Friends of Santa Fe, New Mexico. His emphasis on natural environments for birds, the urging of babies to fully fledge during the extended weaning process, and the leaving of chicks for many weeks inside the nest box with their parents in order that they may learn the many intangibles of their species, have succeeded in changing for the better the lives of so many captive parrots.

A science writer by training, he was for years a regular contributor for AFA’s Watchbird Magazine and the Companion Parrot Quarterly. EB currently writes a monthly column entitled “The Complete Psittacine” in PARROTS Magazine out of England; and another, “The Hookbill Hobbyist” down under in the well-regarded Australian Birdkeeper. His monthly series of articles “Birdkeeping Naturally,” is sent out to bird clubs and individuals around the U.S.

“As devastating pressures continue upon avian species in the wilds,” he says, “it is critical that those keeping birds in captivity do so with responsibility and foresight.”