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Hi everyone! Nice to “virtually” meet you! Cockatiel help needed PLEASE?!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Janwolf, Feb 22, 2020.


  1. Janwolf

    Janwolf PetForums Newbie

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    So, about a year and a half ago I took in a male Cockatiel (who was about 4 at the time) from some friends who couldn’t cope with him anymore I think.
    Anyway, he’s very friendly in a lot of ways - he’ll follow me from room to room and quite often sits on my knee, but as soon as a hand goes anywhere near him he starts biting.
    Also he’s EXTREMELY noisy (I’ve had a lot of pets in the past but never a bird so don’t have a clue what’s normal and what isn’t)
    They don’t sound like distressed squawks but he is pretty constant through the day with them, and they are VERY piercing! Like I said, never had a bird before so might be completely normal but just wanted a bit of advice if poss. TIA
     
  2. mrs phas

    mrs phas karma is a funny old thing

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    Some males will sing their hearts and, as I know only too well, it can carry a far way, indoors I can well imagine its ear piercing
    Thing is, if you've got a singer, you won't be able to stop him, hell sing for a mate, for company, for his own enjoyment and if you shout at him, hell just think you're singing back
    As for the biting
    When he's on your knee, don't try to touch him, but slowly put your hand on your leg near him.
    Now at first he might move away or do a bite feint, it looks like he's going to bite but actually doesn't
    Do this until he's completely calm with your hand being there, this could be days weeks or months, but don't try to rush it, you need him to trust you
    Once he's OK with it then slowly slide your hand under him, til you reach his feet and then, very gently slide your hand under his feet so he has to either move away or step up. If he steps up, just say 'up' and give him a little reward, if hell take it from your hand, if not wait til later
    Again, patience is your watch word, this is about trust
    Once he steps up confidently and happily you can use one of the fingers of the same hand to gently stroke his underneath feathers, the idea here is to make him comfortable and happy to be touched.
    Once he's happy with that you can, very slowly move your other hand, just one finger, towards his chest, NOT HIS HEAD, and gently stroke in the direction of the feathers, never against them
    Once he is confident and happy with all of that, he may bob his head down, this is your cue to gently scritch the top of his head, the baldish bit behind his crown
    Et, voila!
    I will warn you though, due to his age and previous home, he may never trust you enough to allow strokes and scritches, so be happy that he does choose to come sit with you.
    When he is on your knee, you could offer him some treat, that he only ever gets when sitting with you and at the end of training, when your putting him back in his cage (which is how big BTW), something like hulled sunflower seeds (no more than one or two as they're hideously fattening) or a tiny bit of plain tea biscuit, even a bit of pear or a berry, just something he never has in his cage normally, also offer him some when you pop him back in his cage
    Any training should only be 5-10mins maximum, which is a long time for a bird
    And
    No forcing, if he's not happy or flies off, no trying to catch him to continue, it has to be done with love and at his pace only

    Oh, and never try to pick him up with a t towel or gloves, you simply cannot know the pressure you're applying
    And
    Parrot type birds, I've always found, have a real hatred of them, especially t towels

    Sorry for the long reply
     
    #2 mrs phas, Feb 22, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
    Janwolf likes this.
  3. Janwolf

    Janwolf PetForums Newbie

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    This is a wonderful reply!
    Thank you SO much.
     
  4. Janwolf

    Janwolf PetForums Newbie

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    003D0EE7-D876-412E-9644-3D060A5CA1F5.jpeg 003D0EE7-D876-412E-9644-3D060A5CA1F5.jpeg
    Photo of his cage attached but he doesn’t spend much time AT ALL in there! He much prefers being out and about, sitting with the cats (yes really and they don’t bother about him at all!) or on my knee.
    He tends to put himself “to bed” on an evening!
     

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  5. mrs phas

    mrs phas karma is a funny old thing

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    Beautiful pied lacewing male
     
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  6. Cully

    Cully PetForums VIP

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    My cockatiel, Magic, would mimic absolutely everything and hated the noise of the telephone ringing. One day he dive bombed it, knocked the receiver onto the table, then (as I discovered later) squawked 'Hello Magic' and wolf whistled at my sister down it.
    He also learned to mimic the smoke detector at full volume, which resulted in many false alarms, much to our annoyance.:rolleyes:
    He was very protective of our dog and would ride around on his back, pecking anyone who got near.
    He also loved perching on shoulders and went everywhere with my son, until he forgot Magic was hitching a lift one day and went out into the garden with him. We really missed him:(.
     
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  7. Janwolf

    Janwolf PetForums Newbie

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  8. Janwolf

    Janwolf PetForums Newbie

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    In April last year we actually lost HIM for 2 days! I’d been pulling up some weeds in the back garden and it just never occurred to me not to leave the back door open!
    Was only later that day when we couldn’t find him anywhere that I realised he must have got out.
    I posted on a couple of local FB pages and long story short, 2 days later somebody (who was actually training to be a veterinarian assistant) saw him pecking away on the ground about 3 miles away and threw a towel over him, caught him and took him to our local vets where I picked him up.
    Still can’t believe how lucky we were!
     
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  9. Cully

    Cully PetForums VIP

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    @Janwolf , wow you really were lucky. Wild birds normally attack them.
     
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