Goffin's Cockatoo Species Profile: Life Span, Diet, and Care
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Cacatua goffini

Goffin's CockatooThe Goffin's Cockatoo can be a charming, playful and affectionate companion. It is the smallest of the cockatoos, which can be a plus for people who may not have adequate space for one of the larger cockatoos.

The Goffin Cockatoo has a shorter crest on the head than other cockatoos; the crest stands up when they are frightened or get excited during play. Goffin Cockatoos love people and like to cuddle, although they are usually less dependent than other cockatoos. They are very active, and need extended periods of time outside of the cage as well as a variety of toys to prevent stress that could lead to feather-picking and destructive behavior. Examples of good toys include foraging toys, soft wood toys, tree branches and rope toys for chewing, braided or knotted toys for undoing, bells and noisemaker toys, and brightly-colored acrylic toys.

Like other cockatoos, Goffins can be loud screechers, especially if they do not receive adequate attention or have things to keep them busy. Although they are not known for their talking ability, some Goffin Cockatoos can be taught to say quite a few words. Most Goffins respond to music and love to dance. They are very bright, love to play, and may quickly learn to open the cage door. This bird is small in size, but big in personality! If you are able to provide the time and stimulating environment they need, a Goffin's Cockatoo can be a delightful companion for years to come.

Quick Stats:   Goffin's Cockatoo
Family: Cacatuidae
Origin: Indonesia (Tanimbar Islands)
Size: 23-30 cm (9-12 inches), 300-400 grams
Coloration: White, with salmon-pink highlights in front of the eyes and on the breast. The underside of the flight feathers and the tail have a yellow tint, as do the ear coverts.
Diet: 65-80% high-quality commercial diet (pellets, crumbles or nuggets). The rest of the diet should consist of 15-30% vegetables and 5% fresh fruits. See Basic Nutrition for Psittacines (Parrot Family).
Cage Size: 2' L x 3' W minimum
Grooming: Trim flight feathers, beak, and nails as needed
Compatibility/Disposition: Active, inquisitive, playful, affectionate; love human attention, but usually not as demanding as other cockatoos
Vocalization: Some do a lot of screeching, especially if bored, so provide adequate attention, toys, and time outside of the cage. Talking ability is variable.
Playfulness: Usually love to play; like music and love to dance; like to climb; need considerable mental and physical exercise, including time outside of the cage
Life Span: 40+ years with good care; probably much longer in the wild
Age at Maturity: 2-3 years
Nesting Sites in the Wild: Tree hollows
Sexing: Adult females have a reddish-brown iris, males have a dark brown or black iris
Special: Need large variety of toys and a good deal of attention to prevent feather-picking, excessive screaming, or destructive behavior. Very intelligent; can be escape artists.

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