The black cockatoos at Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre are almost all now on a Vetafarm pellet diet mix, where previously only the non-releasable birds were. Over the past couple of months the team at Kaarakin have been slowly converting the releasable birds onto a healthier pellet based diet, generously donated to us from the team at Vetafarm.

These birds, now that they are converted as part of their rehabilitation process, will benefit from the nutrients available in the pellets that will assist in their recovery, especially when compared to a largely seed based diet.  When released back into the wild, we believe it will also have an influence on the overall fitness and reduce the chance of them hanging around aviaries in urban areas looking for seemingly addictive seed. With the combined diet of Vetafarm pellets, fresh food and plenty of natural browse, these rehabilitated birds will be in top health once re-released back into the wild. They then have the opportunity to return to their flocks in the wild or to continue bonds formed in Kaarakin’s 64m long flight aviary, in the release flocks we have created.

Our ‘red-tail juvenile season’ (Aug – Nov) was a busy one with over 15 orphaned and injured juvenile red-tails being carefully raised by Kaarakin’s clinic crew. Vetafarm pellets, especially the Nutri-blend large, proved to be an amazing weaning tool, with very young birds happily picking the coloured pellets up with one foot and gently mouthing with their beaks. This seemed to decrease the amount of time that was needed to hand-feed these birds, before they were eating pellets and a mix of vegetables and browse their own. Reducing time around humans is the goal, so they can learn to be cockatoos and be released into the wild without the fear they will approach people.

The rest of the non-releasable birds on site are continuing to enjoy their pellets and have had seed completely removed from everyday food bowls, allowing volunteers to use seed as treats for food behaviour and to create great foraging exercises.

Kaarakin’s volunteers, staff and of course our 200+ black cockatoos would like to thank Vetafarm once again for their amazing generosity, providing our birds with a healthy and fulfilling pellet diet.

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