Feeding is done at the rear of each aviary in specially designed hoppers and all supplementary feed is done through swivel dishes at the front.
My birds main diet consists of a small parrot mix with extra sunflower added. This is replaced once a week.
This consists of mixed veggies, mixed beans, sprouted mung beans, corn, apple, pear, orange, chicken bones, chop bones, endive, and spinach. This is fed whenever and not as a routine so they are not dependent on it. It is also fed mixed differently depending on availability. I do not go out of my way to supply gum nut branches etc, but I supplement this with mixed nuts.
All my birds including the Gang Gangs have natural logs with inspection doors and these stay in the aviaries all year round. I use 1part potting mix (with peat moss) to 2parts wood shavings for their nesting material. I have found no problems with this mix and is replaced as needed or before the nesting season.
In captivity problems do occur with this cockatoo in feather plucking. I am fortunate not to have this problem with either of my pairs luckily they are in perfect feather. There have been lots of theories to this problem whether being stress related, boredom or diet related. My own feelings on this problem is that it is a combination of both stress and dietary, something they can get easily in the wild but is over looked in captivity. Some Gang Gangs adapt to an aviary diet better then others therefore do not stress out and don’t pluck because of it. But it is still only theory, if someone can prove the real reason I do believe they would make a lot of friends and a lot of Aviculturist very happy.
(in captivity) I have had Gang Gangs for years and have found them to be a most fascinating little cockatoo. They have a great character and with their very unusual sounds will be part of my collection I hope forever. Although not very common in captivity, (for reasons), I believe they are a bird we must try to breed up so they do not ever become extinct.
IN THE WILD:
The Gang-Gang Cockatoo is restricted to the south-eastern parts of Australia, (see map) from Victoria up to the Barrington Tops area in NSW. It has declined since European settlement but is now getting quite common in the southern highlands. Adult males are distinctive with a bright scarlet red head with a greyish body plumage touched with white. Females are relatively all greyish with salmon coloured chest parts. Both sexes have a beautiful feather duster type crest. In the wild they feed on eucalypt seeds, fruit and insects and are very fond of red berries and introduced tree species. Once located, a food source is usually exploited until finished. With the Gang-Gang being strongly arboreal they very rarely come to the ground, only to drink. They are very commonly seen in parks and gardens around Canberra and other such cities feeding in low trees and can easily be touched when doing so.
Whilst in Canberra attending a convention we were lucky enough to spot a group of Gang Gangs feeding in the trees just behind the cabins we were staying in.
There was a group of around 10 to 12 birds calling away to each other and to see and hear them in the wild so close was one of the most magical experiences I have ever witnessed. Breeding is mainly from September to January with both parents preparing the nesting site, mainly high up in a eucalypt tree near water. Two eggs are a usual clutch with incubation lasting around 20 to 22 days. The young fledge around 40 days later but will stay with their parents in small groups for up to 6 months.
(in the wild) Let’s hope that this smallish cockatoo of only around 35cm in length will always have a place in the wild and not become extinct in years to come because of habitat clearance or foul play.
Yours in aviculture: Paul Stevens.