Galah cockatoos, or rose-breasted cockatoos, are scientifically known as Eolophusroseicapilla. They are Australian exotic birds that are quite popular as pets. If you are in the market for an exotic pet, this pretty bird might be the companion you need.
Why do galahcockatoos make good pets? Well, a lot of people love having galah cockatoos as pets because they are highly intelligent. They also have good temperaments and an undeniably attractive appearance.
If you intend to keep a galah cockatoo as a pet, you have to know how to take care of it in the right way. Otherwise, you risk having a sad bird that will never be at peace in your home. This article will cover everything you need to know about galah cockatoos and what they need to help you give your pet the highest quality of life you can.
Their Origin, Colors, and Markings
This bird occurs naturally in mainland Australia but they might have self-introduced to the Tasmanian region. The name galah means ‘clown’ in a native Australian language Yuwaalaraay despite the bird’s high intelligence. The bird got the name because of its noisiness.
Galah cockatoos are very brightly-colored, one of the reasons they are adored by bird owners. They have bright pink feathers on their chests, stomachs, and the bottom part of their faces, right below the mouth. They have pink-white crests and their wings, tail, and back have gray feathers. Their feet and beaks are also gray. The crest on top of the galah’s head opens up anytime the cockatoo gets scared or excited.
The eye color of a galah cockatoo can tell you its gender. Males have brown irises and females have pinkish irises. You can also tell the two apart by other qualities: the male cockatoo is more talkative and the females rest on the perch with their feet spread wider.
The galah cockatoo can be termed as a docile pet thanks to their friendliness. Unlike the umbrella cockatoo, they do not love to cuddle, but this may vary from bird to bird but they respond well to handling.
The galah loves to play and is very energetic. They also enjoy the attention and spending time with their owners. Since they naturally live in flocks, if you don’t spend enough time with it, it can get sad, depressed, and destructive. Your cockatoo will feel more comfortable if you get another one as a companion.
Galah Cockatoos Cost
The galah cockatoo is relatively easy to breed. This is why they are cheaper than other species of cockatoos. In the US, you can get a galah cockatoo for anywhere between $700 and $2200. Here are a few factors that determine the price of a galah cockatoo:
A baby cockatoo is usually cheaper since a lot goes into raising one. A baby cockatoo needs more time and work and they are more likely to get sick.
A young adult is the most expensive galah cockatoo. This is because they are recently weaned and they are happier and more energetic.
As they grow older, the price gets lower since they become nosier and more stubborn. A cockatoo of breeding age might get more expensive if a breeder is interested in buying it.
Temperament and health
In some cases, the seller might give you a pretty good deal on the cockatoo. Although they might be doing this only to ensure that the bird gets a nice home, sometimes it is because the bird has some behavioral problems.
You can avoid such a situation by paying the buyer and the bird a few visits (at least two). This way, you can observe the bird in its setting and see whether it has some problems like anxiety, screaming, and aggression.
If you doubt that the bird is of good health, you can ask the buyer for a written declaration of health.
What to Feed Galah Cockatoos
Galahs feed mainly on seeds in the wild so their diet in captivity should have them. A proper diet for a galah cockatoo in captivity would consist of a mix of seeds and pellets. Pellets are created with all the cockatoo’s nutritional requirements in mind.
A parrot mix or a fruit and nut mix is okay for your cockatoo but you should give the sunflower seeds sparingly. Sunflower seeds have a high-fat content that is likely to fatten your cockatoo and give it health problems. Ensure you don’t give more than 20 seeds in a day.
They also need vitamins and minerals and since these are not present in seeds, you will need to add fresh fruits and vegetables to their diet. You can feed them apple, carrot, beans, or spinach. Avocados are potentially toxic to cockatoos so you should never feed them to yours. Lettuce also has minimal nutritional value so you should also avoid it.
You can also feed the galah vitamin supplements by adding them to its drinking water. The water should always be present and changed daily.
Average Lifespan & Health Issues
Galahs can live for 60 to 80 years in captivity if they are fed and taken care of responsibly. Their long lifespan makes them perfect lifetime companions.
Galahs are less prone to bird diseases but they are still susceptible to some of the health issues that affect cockatoos. One of the most common health issues that face galah cockatoos is obesity. It is usually a result of a diet with too much fat combined with little activity. Ensure that you don’t include too much fat in the diet and allow your bird to exercise often. Too much fat also causes fatty liver disease and fatty tumors.
They are also prone to psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) and self- mutilation if you don’t give enough attention.
Poor hygiene can also cause the galah to have bacterial infections, so you should ensure your bird and its habitat are always clean.
You should talk to your local vet if your bird shows any signs of illness or if you are worried about its well-being.
A fully grown galah cockatoo is 12 to 15 inches long and weighs about 15 ounces. Their small size makes it easier to provide a big enough cage for them.
Galahs are hyperactive birds and they need a lot of exercises to stay in good shape. You should ensure that the bird gets 3 to 4 hours of active time per day.
Their beaks and jaws also need exercise. This together with their natural need to chew makes a chew toy a necessity. Ensure it is made out of a safe material like leather and there are no hazards for the bird.
You can change out the toys often to keep the galah interested and also to encourage them to play by themselves.
Living Conditions for Galah Cockatoos
When it comes to creating the perfect habitat for your new friend, you could choose to use a cage or an aviary. An aviary is like a large cage that is partly indoors to protect the birds from the elements. Here are a few factors you should consider when setting up the enclosure.
Galah cockatoos are very active and they love to fly around so a big cage will make them happier and more comfortable. A large cage also makes it easier to set up perches and toys in the cage. There is a rule that can help you decide if the cage is too small:
Your bird should be able to stand upright and spread its wings and they should not touch the cage itself.
At least, the cage should be 40 x 30 x 65 inches big. This way the chances of your cockatoo getting hurt while exercising is lower. Aviaries have no minimum size requirement but if you are planning on keeping multiple birds, ensure they have enough space to stay alone.
Toys and Perches
You need to put a few things in the cage before your galah can call it home. A perch is one of such essentials. The perch should be made from wood and not metal since wood isn’t cold and the cockatoo can chew on it.
Perches also help your bird to trim their nails and strengthen their feet. You might have to install multiple perches, all with different diameters, for this reason.
When choosing a perch, get one such that when your cockatoo is perched on, its front and back toes don’t touch. Throughout your time as a galah owner, you will have to buy multiple perches since the bird will spoil them when they chew on them.
Cockatoos get bored easily so you will need some toys for your galah. They love to play with anything they can tear apart such as wood and cardboard boxes. Whatever toys you choose, ensure they are safe, and don’t have bits that could choke your bird.
Finding the right spot to set up your galah’s habitat is important for its happiness and comfort. they enjoy being part of a family so placing the cage in a shared space like the living room would be nice.
Place the cage against a wall or in a corner. This gives the cockatoo a safe spot since it can’t be approached from that end. The kitchen is not a good idea since the fumes from Teflon pans are harmful to galah cockatoos.
Are Galah Cockatoos Good Pets?
A galah cockatoo can be considered to be a nice pet. Their small size makes creating a habitat much easier. They can also be taught to repeat a few phrases.
Besides, you can teach a galah cockatoo tricks like rolling over, shaking hands, and playing dead. Fun, right?
They are also less likely to catch avian diseases so you will have fewer trips to the vet.
Galahs also have a long lifespan which means if you take care of yours properly, you are guaranteed years of solid friendship and companionship.
How to Take Care of Baby Galah Cockatoo
Baby galahs have a lot of requirements to ensure they stay healthy. Ensure the cage is placed in an environment where the baby can see the family. It should also be silent since they need a lot of sleep. Ensure the cage has food, water, toys, and a padded bottom before you put the bird in.
Feed the baby galah parrot pellets and tiny cut fruits and vegetables. You don’t want to stress the little guy so ensure the food is reachable by the bird.
You should also create and follow a routine for waking up, eating, and sleeping. This will help the bird to ease into the new environment easily.
Where Do Galah Cockatoos Live?
Galah cockatoos are found all over Australia but they stay away from the thick forests. They have become popular in recent years and more people are choosing to import them and keep them as pets.
Galah Cockatoo Facts
Here are a few facts about the galah cockatoo:
- The word galah is a derogatory Australian slang term for an idiot.
- Since they feed mainly on seeds, they help in seed dispersal.
- Galahs do not enjoy staying in high temperatures.
- Galahs have been bred with other species of cockatoos like cockatiels successfully
Galah Cockatoo Talking Ability
The galah is an intelligent bird with the ability to imitate voices that it hears but compared to sulfur-crested cockatoos, they are at a lower level. Male galah cockatoos have a higher talking ability than females.
When threatened or playing, galahs make a screeching sound. They can also mimic sounds made by household objects like a telephone or a whistle.
Galah Cockatoo Molting
When a bird sheds its feathers to allow for new ones to grow, it is called molting. Galah cockatoos molt once a year over 3 to 4 months usually after breeding. Molting is usually dependent on the change in seasons, so staying in the house might alter your galah’s molting timeline.
When your cockatoo is molting, ensure that it eats a balanced diet, and add some supplements. Also, ensure there is no cold since the bird is missing feathers in some places.
Are Galah Cockatoos Loud?
All cockatoos are loud, but galah cockatoos are not as loud as the others. It is noisiest early in the morning and early in the evening. This could be as a result of seeing the sun rising and setting.
You can create a dark and quiet environment for the bird to stay in by draping a cloth over the bird’s cage. This has been found to give them security.
Galah Cockatoos Breeding Age
Galahs are ready to breed by the time they are 4 years old. They are known to stick to one partner throughout their lives unless the partner dies.
Galahs begin mating between February and July in the north and between July and December in the south.
Galah Cockatoo Eggs
A mature female cockatoo lays 2 to 5 white eggs in an instance. They have a 4 weeks incubation period which the parents share. Once they are hatched, they are fully dependent on their parents for 3 weeks but by the time they are 8 weeks old, they are independent.