Ask Lafeber


May 13, 2021

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Love you website. I just got a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo & we believe she is about 40 years old. Should we expect her to lay eggs? Also should we find her a “bf”? Thank you for your help.


Hi Maryam,

Congratulations on your new bird! At her age, she is capable of laying eggs, but it is best that she doesn’t. It’s very important when you handle her that you limit petting to her head and neck. If you pet her on the body, this can trigger her hormones and result in egg laying and behavioral issues. This is hard on her body, especially at her age, and some cockatoos can become chronic egg layers to the point that they need hormone treatment from a Vet. I would not recommend a companion or mate for her. She is too old to be breeding, and the Cockatoo mate dynamic is very complicated. For one thing, if she has a mate or another bird as a companion, she is likely to stop being tame or wanting human companionship. Also, while cockatoos mate for life, the pairs do not stay together year round. In captivity, if pairs are kept together outside of breeding season, the males are known for attacking and even killing the females. You are the companion for her, so enjoy her and give her plenty of attention and toys to keep her busy.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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