(plural cockatoo farmers)
- 1888, William Gordon Stables, From Squire to Squatter, page 182,
- “ Does it pay to breed cockatoos ?” said Archie innocently.
- “Don′t be the death o′ me, Johnnie. A cockatoo farmer is just a crofter. […] ”
- 1911, The Academy, Volume 81, page 415,
- This is the dwelling of a cockatoo-farmer, the humble agriculturist who makes the most of his thirty or forty acres of land, […]
The term was used by squatters in disparagement of the small scale of the operations.
Probably refers to the practice of working a small patch of land for a short period before moving on, in the manner of a feeding cockatoo. Alternatively so called to compare the farmers with the common sulphur-crested cockatoo, which come down on the newly sown cornfields in myriads.