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At My Breaking Point with Screaming Cockatiel

Hahns0hmy

Walking the driveway
Joined
6/1/19
Messages
179
Location
new york ny
Real Name
Adam
seems like mating season is in full swing, I have a senegal and Hahns Macaw that are driving me insane too! started in the last 2 weeks Id like to say. the yelling the bobbing chewing. I do everything they say to help lower hormones from less light to less protein packed foods. he's on the gate like an inmate ready lol. my Senegal paces back and forth like she's in heat too. My Hahns actually plucked like 4 of his chest feathers for the first time ever. he's 4 now.
 

Hahns0hmy

Walking the driveway
Joined
6/1/19
Messages
179
Location
new york ny
Real Name
Adam
What does she want to do when she’s outside of her cage? You say she’s screaming to be let out- have you tried just letting her be out on a safe spot such as a playstand?

If a bird is screaming out of frustration- it’s a very easy fix if you can bring the frustration down. A bird screaming to be let out is either bored, or feels the need to be someplace other than the cage it’s currently in. The feelings can be so strong it leads to neurosis they can’t control.

First thing I would do is let her out. Where does she go? If she just wants to go to a window to look out at native birds? No big deal. Certainly allow her that, rather than talk of re-homing.

Many, many birds on here get their cages opened in the morning and are allowed to travel themselves or are loving placed on a tree/gym/playstand in front of a window (or some other interesting place in the household) and left there to enjoy their day. This is especially important if you have a singleton bird who innately feels lonely. They need to be able to be someplace other than their roost (the cage in which they sleep) or it can lead to neurotic repetitive behaviors, such as screaming. Birds do not naturally stay at their roost the majority of the day, they are hard wired to want to move. Add in needing to be around flockmates- whether human, furry, or other birds, and that drive is a powerful force.

I would just let her out, maybe on a day that’s low key and where people will be in and out of the home the majority of the day. See if she just wants to be somewhere other than caged. Hopefully you have a tree stand or play stand that has water, food, and toys available on it. If not, that would be a great investment.

I wouldn’t assume she isn’t safe to leave out- most Tiels actually are very good and don’t get into trouble, comparatively speaking.

I have that issue and when let out mine goes to destroy whatever possible. today I let him out and he was rubbing his butt on the play stand the whole time acting crazy
 

Efebird

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
12/5/21
Messages
19
Could she be hormonal. With both of my female tiels, there were periods of ear splitting screaming that would stop when they weren't hormonal. When Bella was in that screaming phase, I would put a toy that she didn't like near her and that seemed to dampen her mood. In my case, it was a stuffed turkey toy.
That's what I'm thinking too! but it's been so long that she's done this and I thought the hormones lasted maybe a couple of months, not 6 :( could they last this long?
 

Efebird

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
12/5/21
Messages
19
seems like mating season is in full swing, I have a senegal and Hahns Macaw that are driving me insane too! started in the last 2 weeks Id like to say. the yelling the bobbing chewing. I do everything they say to help lower hormones from less light to less protein packed foods. he's on the gate like an inmate ready lol. my Senegal paces back and forth like she's in heat too. My Hahns actually plucked like 4 of his chest feathers for the first time ever. he's 4 now.
We'll definitely try these! It seems to be the case...
 

Efebird

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
12/5/21
Messages
19
Sounds like people might be unintentionally reinforcing the behaviour if she’s calm and quiet(ish) when alone. I wonder if she is getting attention (bad or good, it’s still attention) for her “hyper” behaviour?

Have you tried giving her attention in a completely new way, for example, target training? This is teaching her to touch something (maybe the end of a chopstick) with a body part (usually the beak) for a reinforcer (a treat works well). You’ll open up a whole new way of communication with her.

Good idea to take her to the vet to rule out any physical problems.
I took her to the vet for her plucking! Doc said she was A+ health! You know, I did this by accident. I was trying to enforce the quiet behavior so she knew I wouldn't let her out until she was quiet and she ended up touching a toy every time she wanted out. I guess I reinforced target training XD I'll keep this up then!
 

Efebird

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
12/5/21
Messages
19
I am thinking hormones. Have you tried increasing her hours of sleep by two hours for 2 weeks? She should be getting at least 10 already. So add 2 to what she is getting. Also make sure she doesn't have anything nest like. No sleep huts, etc. Also, what is her diet like?
We're definitely going to add the sleep hours! thank you for the advice :) And no nesting material! The place we got her warned us about that so we just avoid those toys/things for sure
 

Efebird

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
12/5/21
Messages
19
UPDATE! Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all the advice, I'm so grateful for this forum. It's been the most helpful thing I've ever done! We've added a few more things to the schedule to help my cockatiel.

So far we've added more sleep and when she gets too stimulated we put her in a dim room so that she calms down. This has helped tremendously with her behavior

We also took her to the vet and they said she was in perfect health, minus the spots she's picking. She has an antibiotic that we're applying daily so that those spots can heal. They're small so the doc said we don't really need to worry about them.

It's only been a few days but I'll update!

Thanks again, everyone :)
 

FeatheredM

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
5/14/21
Messages
1,959
Real Name
Monique
You seem to be very stressed, maybe your birds are feeding off that? If you feel negative, your bird might feel something is off, and start screaming and making it a habit.
 
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