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Looking for advice

Discussion in 'Cockatiel Corner' started by Bettina, 12/6/17 at 6:55 PM.

  1. Bettina

    Bettina Checking out the neighborhood

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    Hello,

    A few months ago my boyfriend and I adopted a male cockatiel. Someone was giving him away because they have cats who harassed him. The man was in a hurry and basically threw the bird cage at me and wouldn't take the time to answer any of my questions about the bird. He said he didn't know his age and he didn't have a name, they just called him "pretty bird". Of course I felt horrible for the bird, now called Bert. Bert was not shy at all. I had my hand on the cage in the car and instead of acting frightened he just came up and started attacking my hand. Forgivable, of course, I was sure he was just scared.

    Here comes the part where I ask for advice. Every day and all day Bert screams. Extremely loud. A constant screaming. He only stops when you stand next to his cage. Obviously I can't stand next to him all day. Bert is allowed time out of his cage, but the problem is he is extremely hard to put back in his cage. For the most part he is nice when he is out of his cage, but his response to everything is attacking/biting. He attacks when I change the food in the cage, he attacks when we try to get him to put him up (or fly's away), he even attacks when I'm just standing next to him. Sometimes he makes such sweet, pretty sounds to us, and even says pretty bird. It's like a completely different bird.

    I thought maybe he was just lonely which was why he was screaming all the time, so we adopted another male cockatiel, who is now Ernie. Ernie is the exact opposite of Bert, he's shy and quiet. He was never handled in his previous home, which is fine, I just wanted Bert to be happy.

    Sorry for the incredibly long explanation, but does anyone have any advice for the all day, constant, incredibly shrill screams? Or for the attack biting? I wish I knew more about his past, but unfortunately I do not.

    Thanks in advance for any responses!!!
    bert.JPG
     
  2. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you?

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    He sure is cute! Has he been to the vet for a check up yet? He’s still settling in, so his screaming should subside after a while. I would try to ignore it as best you can, and if he is ever quiet, try to reward that behavior with attention or treats. I would try to give him some sort of routine so he knows when it’s time for attention and out of cage time. To make him feel more secure, you can sit and read to him and drop treats like millet in his bowl. To get him back in his cage, try to keep him hungry, so he’ll go back for food. You can also start target training him in his cage, and then you can transfer that skill for when he is out of his cage. @Mizzely has some good suggestions for screaming.
     
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  3. Mizzely

    Mizzely Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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  4. finchly

    finchly Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Vendor I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you? I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Hello Bettina, and welcome to the forum.

    What do you mean by "attacks" - is he biting, or just pecking/squealing?

    How do you get him to put him away?

    He didn't have a great life before, but now his whole world has turned upside down. It sounds like he just wants to be near you. Spend as much time as you can with him, just sit near his cage and read to him or talk to him. Give him treats in his dish several times through the day. He needs to know you are someone he can trust.

    In my opinion it takes quite awhile for a new tiel to settle in - much longer than we want!

    My 2 tiels have gone from screaming constantly to hardly ever screaming.
    That's from doing the above plus some target training (I'm not very consistent though).I also put little cups of food around the bird room so they can forage. Can we lower the screaming? | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
     
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  5. LittleBird

    LittleBird Strolling the yard

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    There is some good info on biting on the website Cute Little Birdies Aviary
    i can't link it (or so i'm told) since she sell stuff
    but yeah, check it out!
     
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  6. sunnysmom

    sunnysmom Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you? I Can't Stop Posting!

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    It's also possible since you don't know his age that he's going through his hormonal "teenage" years, which is around 2 for a tiel. If so, you just kind of have to ride it out so to speak. How many hours of sleep does he get? As for going back in his cage, when my tiel still lived in a cage, I would give him a piece of millet spray as a cage only treat. It made him going back in easier. Also, don't just put him back in his cage and leave. Hang out with him a bit so he doesn't just associate cage with you going away. I used to sit and sing silly songs to my tiel for a few minutes too, that plus the millet made going back into the cage fun.
     
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  7. blewin

    blewin Jogging around the block Avenue Veteran

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    Buddy goes through flock calling jags frequently. Basically, the routine for us is, we check on her if she's calling and we're inside. If she's in the cage or eating, we say "hi" and let her be, if we can't take her with us, we tell her what we are doing (shrug), and if she's on top of her cage and comes, she goes with us.

    We don't reward the screaming, though, with extra attention. That just leads to unending screams.
     
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  8. Bettina

    Bettina Checking out the neighborhood

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    Thank you for the advice everyone! Let me see if I can go back and and answer the questions.

    Tiel Feathers- Thanks for replying! He is so cute! The looks on his cute little face when he makes noises and cat calls at me is so adorable. No, they haven't been to the vet yet, I'm hoping to take them soon. I ignore him when he's screaming, and sometimes I feel like he just gets louder and louder..... and I feel like my head is going to explode. Treats are difficult because he will not eat anything I try to give him. He may bite something because he's trying to bite me, but that's the extent of it. Is there any treat that's absolutely irresistible to cockatiels?

    finchly- His "attacking" is mostly a constant open mouth pecking, not painful, but he has bitten pretty hard when we try to get him back in his cage. My boyfriend gets him to step up on his hand to put him back in the cage but it usually takes many tries because he usually just flies back off of his hand and the process is repeated. Most of the time he just flies to the top of the cage, but occasionally it's to the curtain rod. I've had mild success with a toy ladder so I don't get bit. Thank you for replying, it does seem like its taking the tiels quite awhile to settle in, unlike our GCC who went from demon bird to love bug what felt like overnight. As far as treats go, I can't get them to eat anything except seeds and millet spray. They are completely uninterested in anything else I try to give them.

    sunnysmom- I did wonder if maybe he was going through his "terrible twos". Of course I don't know his age, but he does seem younger than Ernie. He does usually get 12 hours of sleep because my boyfriend works days (so he goes to bed early) and I work nights (so I wake up late). They do love their millet spray, so that's a great idea.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
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  9. finchly

    finchly Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Vendor I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you? I Can't Stop Posting!

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    For my tiels, the favored treats are millet and nutriberries, which are like crack for tiels.

    Keep offering veggies and pellet food, they'll eat something eventually. A breeder told me there's no bird in the world that can resist baked sweet potato; so far I find it's true.

    Other foods that work: mine currently love TOPS pellets, they come to the cage bars and stare at me if I dont add some to their food dish. Hard boiled egg, peas, caitech oven fresh bites.

    It sounds like you're doing a good job. I hope the screaming stops!
     
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  10. DQTimnehs

    DQTimnehs Ri-DQ-lously crazy 4 TAGs! Administrator DQ Lou Who Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Santa Coco ROCKS the SOCKS

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    He will feel safer in his cage if it's against a wall, not a window. Can you move it somewhere against a wall where he can still see outside?
    He may also have bad associations with that cage so if he doesn't settle down going in within a couple of months you might consider changing it.
     
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  11. Bettina

    Bettina Checking out the neighborhood

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    DQTimnehs- Thanks for your reply! I can definitely move the cage, and I will try that. That's actually the cage Ernie, not Burt came in. So it is fairly new to Burt. The cage he came in was small and falling apart, and he screamed in it too lol. I found some "soothing bird music" on Youtube for them today.

    finchly- Thanks for the treat suggestions! I've tried sweet potato with no luck, but I've been meaning to try Nutriberries, so that's on my list. I give them pellets too, which are ignored, but I'll keep trying. I'll also look into the TOPS pellets.
     
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  12. finchly

    finchly Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Vendor I'm a SECRET SANTA - Are you? I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Bettina, one thing I recommend (I mostly raise finches but I think the same thing applies)... don't just offer a food once. Keep offering it. Like if I cook a sweet potato, I give them a little today, tomorrow, and a few more days before I change it up or switch to another food. Sprinkle some of their seed on it.
    You could remove their seed and just leave the fresh food it, I don't really like to do that but if you only did it for a couple hours that would be safe.

    Eating a food in front of them helps too - if you have scrambled eggs, talk about how YUMMY they are and then drop a little in their dish.
     
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