Ask Lafeber


January 28, 2020


our cockatoo died yesterday.had plenty of food but water bottle was empty, she was out of her cage two days before we found her dead and she looked fine and ate 3 or 4 almonds. do you think she died from lack of water


Hi Kevin,

I am SO sorry to hear about your cockatoo. A sudden loss like this is devastating and I know you are grieving. There could be many reasons why she died, and only taking her to an avian vet for a necropsy would provide a definitive answer. In order to educate other bird owners, I will say that yes, if she was out of water for even a day or two, this could have been the cause. Especially if she was still eating dry foods because these foods would  have impacted her digestive system without having the water to aid in digestion. I personally am not a fan of water bottles at all, and this is one of the reasons. We are human and we make mistakes, we have busy schedules and it’s easy to glance at a water bottle and think it is full. Some birds learn how to empty the bottles, and others have been known to stuff food into them and clog them up. Birds often go to their water bowl to eat and incorporate water into the food. The diets we feed do not have the moisture in them that most foods in the wild will have, so captive birds generally use more water than their wild counterparts. I realize none of this helps you now or changes the situation, but knowing this can help in the future should you decide to get another bird. Again, I am very sorry for your loss.

Take care,


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