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#642541 11/15/10 12:47 PM
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Good Morning Bird Lovers laugh

My daughter recently got a pet cockatiel. He's a sweetie {sort of}. He nips a lot, but it's not painful. She takes him out of his cage many times throughout the day, and holds him, walks around with him, etc.

We've only had him since Thursday, and I'm sure he's still settling in. He was at the pet store for a couple of months, and I think they told me he is four or five months old.

Any suggestions from Cockatiel owners on raising a friendly, loving bird?

Thanks!!


Deanna Joseph

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So now we've had our cockatiel, Ringo, for one week.

He's still a little bit of a stinker, but his nipping hasn't caused any pain.

Sometimes I get him out of his cage because he chirps {and seems lonely}. He usually nips a little, but doesn't put up too much of a fuss.

We get him out and he seems to enjoy looking around. My daughter hung a perch in her room, so he can sit on it while she does homework.

He runs around a little, seems to be doing okay.

He's not really acting affectionate though. Will that come?


Deanna Joseph

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I'm starting to worry we made a mistake with this bird. He and my daughter have not made a connection at all. And he's such a biter. And I can't imagine keeping a bird for 10 - 20 years when there's no bond.

Ugh!!!



Deanna Joseph

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Deanna, it is always a disappointment when a pet doesn't behave the way that we hoped. How long have you had him? Our cockatiel is scared to death of hands. So is my sister-in-law's bird. Does your bird have fears? Have patience with him. He may come around.

We have the "Biter Brigade" of 3 lovebirds at our house. Yet they all have qualities that we enjoy. Bella Pickles-our pretty pickle is the newest biter. We adopted her from a rescue. Her ad, complete with charming picture said, "Cute Bird-Bad Attitude." She wasn't going to find a home. We took her in. She bites if we put our unprotected hands inside her cage. She's territorial. We get her out with a washcloth and she sits on us and plays. She's a little charmer!

Take it one day at a time-
Connie


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OOPS! I see that he's a real newbie. It does take a while. With our cockatiel, who my sons call my Mama's Boy, it took several months until he settled in. Did anybody tell you about night frights? The get terrors at night and flop around in their cages. Snickers used to get them about once a week. I'd go to his cage and talk gently to him. Also, we leave a light in an adjoining room on, so that he isn't completely in the dark.

The best advice that I can give you is to notice what he really does not like, and don't do that. Do things that he enjoys.

Last edited by Connie from ADD; 11/22/10 07:51 PM.

Connie Mistler Davidson-Editor-ADD/Sandwiches/Reading
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Thanks so much for your response Connie!

Yeah, he's still pretty new with us.

No one has told us a thing about this bird LOL!!! But I've been reading here at BellaOnline, and searching the internet.

At first we covered his cage. Then we didn't cover it all. Now we cover it somewhat just cuz it's so chilly right now, but I do leave on a nightlight.

Oy, reading about all their little quirks has thrown me for a loop. I was crazy not to do any research on this first, but honestly, I thought it would be like getting a rat! You get yourself a teeny pet, the kids like it, and it dies in a year or two so you don't have to worry about it. :::sigh:::

I enjoyed your story about your little biters.

Where do you keep their cage? Right now it's in my daughter's room. But we move it to the kitchen table during the day so he can watch me work at my computer LOL. Or, like right now, he's sitting on my shoulder.


Deanna Joseph

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And I just tried to get him to go from my shoulder to his cage so I could play my guitar. Nope! He just wanted to sit on my shoulder while I played. LOL.


Deanna Joseph

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Deanna, we hang their cages from a beam in the living room. Four in a row. We have cats who we love. Our old boy is 17, and our precious Baby Sister Cat, Sitara, has been with us for 6 years. She is about 8, and very active and agile. Nobody wants one of the cats to kill a bird--so the birds are hanging out of their reach.

At night we cover them. The lovebirds are completely covered. Snickers, the cockatiel, has a peep hole in the front of his little house.

Also, our house is small, and the living room is where the activity happens. After I got into BellaOnline, I moved my computer out into the living room, so that I could spend time with our companion animals. It's not fair to them to be away all day and in another room all evening.

Since we have cats, none of our birds have clipped wings. If they should get out of the cage, then we want them to be able to escape.

Our cockatiel, Snickers Burdette, loves to sit on my husband's shoulder and play guitar. He bends over and plucks strings! It's too cute.

I hope your guy settles in. It sounds like you are making progress.


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Hi Deanna - how is the cockatiel fitting into the family now? Birds are individuals and some birds do like being held - but most would must rather perch on a finger or shoulder. How old is your daughter? Is she going to be able to accept this pet if he doesn't turn out to be exactly what she wanted. Clicker training may help shape the bird's behaviour a little and is great for trick training, which might help your daughter accept that he doesn't want to be held. Good luck and I hope it works out for your daughter and her pet.


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Deanna,
It sounds like you went to a pet store and picked out a wonderful new pet for your daughter. Unfortunately, most cockatiels sold in pet stores are not hand fed. So, basically what you are buying is a bird that is totally not used to being handled. It is not hopeless. There are some things you can do.

1. If it is not clipped, take it to a pet store or groomer and have it's wings clipped.
2. Use a washcloth to handle it every day. If its bites are not drawing blood, you don't need the washcloth. Hold it up to your chest with your hand cradling the bird gently with its little head sticking out so it can see. Hold it like this until it calms. Talk gently to it.
3. When it calms, gently stroke it's head.
4. Once the bird has calmed allow it to perch on your hand.
5. If you want it to become more affectionate, it is best for you to avoid letting is sit on your shoulder. This is dominance behavior and by elevating itself to your head level it is showing you that it is boss. Once the bird is sufficiently tame, allowing it to sit on your shoulder is fine.
6. Cage placement - you don't want to elevate it's cage unless it is unavoidable (as in the post above with the cats) again this is a dominance issue.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope you find some of these suggestions of use.


Heather Thomas
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