By Gideon Scheepers
The little Goffins Cockatoo from Tanimbar Island in Indonesia, are the smallest of the White cockatoos measuring about 32 cm. They are white with a pink underwash and a white helmet crest. The beak is horn coloured and periorbital skin is white with a little bit of pink in the lores with the feet and legs being light grey. Male and female can be told apart by the eye colour which is black in the male and brown in the hen, but sexing is recommended as the eye colour can be deceiving.
These parrots are very nice aviary birds and make great pets , the will talk and do tricks , they are proper little extroverts , they just love showing off, strutting around on the perch to peering out of the nest box.
They have become endangered mostly due to deforestation and encroachment on their natural habitat. They are inexpensive little parrots, and are very underrated, they breed fairly well are not overly noisy and will entertain you for hours.
Housing in Aviculture
We keep our pairs in suspended aviaries. They have been producing for the last couple of years with no problems. Goffins also love to shower in the rain, often hanging upside down with wings spread in a thundershower. I supply them with a nest box in the front and one at the rear of the aviary so that they may choose. I have a gate in the front, as well as the feeding hatch for food and water, and two sturdy non-poisonous branches, one at the rear and one towards the front at different height so that they can fly up towards the back perch. Goffins as well as other parrots will always choose the highest perch on which to roost at night, so the back one is placed higher and is under shelter so that they will roost there at night. I also provide them with old pieces of wood on the floor of the suspended aviary so that they destroy that instead of the perches.
They are not generally as noisy as other cockatoos, they do however tend to call at night and most certainly if a stray cat is lurking around. My pairs do attack the aviary wire, as well as the woodwork, nests, perches etc.
Breeding in Aviculture
Goffins are not prolific breeders laying on average between 1 and 2 eggs. We take babies away at 10 days old if it is the first clutch of the season and all other clutches are left with the parents for 4 weeks before being taken for handrearing.
Nestboxes for all cockatoos should be made of thick wooden planks or nesting logs which will also be destroyed in time. We use boxes 30cm x 30cm x 60cm deep either vertical or slanted, some with side entrances and others with top entrances, let them decide. They also need sturdy perches for successful mating, no wonky ones as this can result in unfertilized eggs and a waste of a breeding season.
I supply my Goffins fresh eucalyptus leaves and branches before and during the breeding season, These cockatoos are early nesters (early spring, late winter) and usually lay before the other cockatoos.
They are usually sexually mature at 3 years old. The younger they are the more the chances of problems occurring are, as the are inexperienced, so you could end up with, infertile or broken eggs, or they may not incubate or feed properly.
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