Rose Breasted Cockatoos

Galah Cockatoo
DEA/C.DANI-I.JESKE/Getty Images

Common Names:

Rose-Breasted Cockatoo, Pink and Gray Cockatoo, Galah Cockatoo, Roseate Cockatoo, Galah Parrot.

Scientific Name:

Cacatua roseicapilla.

Origin:

Australia.

Size:

Rose-Breasted Cockatoos are generally between 12-15 inches in length from the beak to the tip of the tail feathers.

Average Lifespan:

The Rose-Breasted Cockatoo can live for up to 70 years in captivity.

Temperament:

Affectionate and friendly, the Rose-Breasted Cockatoos have a reputation for being loving pets.

They are sensitive birds, however, and require quite a bit of attention and interaction from their owners. Those interested in owning a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo should make sure that they have plenty of free time to spend with their new pet.

Colors:

Rose-Breasted Cockatoos have bright pink feathers on their chests, bellies, and the lower half of their faces. They have pinkish-white crests and gray backs, wings, and tail feathers. They have gray feet and horn colored beaks.

Feeding:

Like all Cockatoos, Rose-Breasted Cockatoos are prone to weight gain, so owners should monitor their fat intake. A healthy diet for a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo companion bird should consist of a wide variety of leafy greens such as swiss chard, kale, Chinese cabbage and healthy lettuces such as romaine lettuce.  They require a broad spectrum of different vegetables such as root vegetables, peppers, zucchini, green beans and sprouts.

Fresh fruit is a good source of nutrition for them as well. Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and pecans can be used as a training treat and are very healthy for them. This diet should be supplemented by a high quality formulated spelled diet. Fresh water should be available at all times. 

Exercise:

Rose-Breasted Cockatoos are active birds, and need plenty of exercise to maintain their physical health.

Those who keep Rose-Breasted Cockatoos should allow their birds a minimum of 3 to 4 hours outside of the cage per day, so that the bird can play and stretch its muscles. Cockatoos have strong beaks and jaws, so it's important to provide plenty of safe toys made of wood or leather for them to exercise their jaw muscles on. Toys are an important part of enrichment for these birds and changing them out is important to keep them interested in playing as well as having them learn to play independently.  

Rose Breasted Cockatoos as Pets:

Their bold colors and friendly personalities have made Rose-Breasted Cockatoos increasingly popular as pets in recent years. While it can be tempting to rush out and buy a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo, potential owners should know that these are sensitive birds and are not right for everybody.

Sound sleep every night is very important for these wonderful birds. 10 to 12 hours is recommended in a quiet place that is not disturbed. Birds in the wild retreat to their roost for safety when it gets dark. This time in their roost allows them to rest in a quiet and dark environment and so should your companion bird. Covering your bird at night might be helpful in providing that dark environment.



If you want a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo as a companion bird, the first thing you should do is make sure that you have enough spare time to spend with it. Rose-Breasted Cockatoos are very social, and they require a lot of interaction in order to maintain their emotional health. Birds that are neglected may resort to screaming and destructive behavior, so it's important that Rose-Breasted Cockatoo owners devote as much time as possible to their pets. These are rather high maintenance birds but training them to play independently and entertain themselves is possible with positive reinforcement training. 

While they are among the smaller Cockatoo species, Rose-Breasted Cockatoos still need plenty of space to live in. The minimum cage size for a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo is 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 4 ft.  But of course as it always is with cages,  bigger is always better.



Before you bring a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo home, contact parrot adoption agencies nearest to you to see if you can spend some time with them and their birds. Getting to know someone that has experience raising Rose-Breasted Cockatoos will help you decide if they are indeed the right bird for you.

Edited By: Patricia Sund