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Dealing with a very spoiled/jealous cockatiel. Help?

FlyingBell

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A while back we ended up taking in a lost cockatiel. His owner has yet to be found, and it's looking like he's going to end up staying with us. He's adjusted well, with a few problems. Giles, my other cockatiel, requires a lot of love and attention after the death of his mate/BBQing his foot and ending up at the vet. Bungee Bird, as he's come to be called, hates this. A lot. He wants all the attention. NOW. If you lock him in his cage and leave the room he goes insane. Screaming, running back and forth across his cage, just loud. He doesn't look nervous though. When I try to talk to Giles he will jump in the way, or sing over Giles. He insists it's HIS house. He won't go home, nips when he doesn't get it his way, just a little wild. He's not mean, exactly, just not used to sharing. And he thinks that humans = love, always.

Giles is a little cranky about this. He's feeling a little lost. Bungee is flying all over the house, getting love, singing, etc. Giles prefers to stay by his cage so he's confused/sad.


How do you deal with an immature, needy bird? He doesn't understand limits, or sharing. If he's going to live here he's going to have to learn to share. All I've managed to teach him so far is avoiding hands because that means going away. He's VERY smart. He found out what whistle Giles used and picked it up in a day to get attention.
 

sunnysmom

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I think you have to somehow spend one on one time with each and then also try to have them out together safely. Maybe a play stand or something they could try sharing? It's hard when one bird is more demanding. I feel that way about my cockatoo. But I set up a routine and he's accepted it pretty well. I get Rosie out for one on one time first. Then Scooter. Then Elvis. Elvis knows now that when the other birds are out his turn is coming so he is good with waiting now. I don't know if a set routine would help with yours or not.
 

JLcribber

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How do you deal with an immature, needy bird?
Time and patience. There is no shortcut. And in your case a lot of refereeing until you get there. You say "a while back". Just how long is that?
 

FlyingBell

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Time and patience. There is no shortcut. And in your case a lot of refereeing until you get there. You say "a while back". Just how long is that?

He's been here just over a week. I guess what I'm trying to figure out is HOW. I can chew out my cats and they get the memo. But it sometimes involves a (gentle!!) Swat on the side. Clearly that's not an option with this birds. Cats also refocus easier. Bungee Bird will fly away and then come back. Shooing him has only created a fear of my hands. And I've only shooed him when he's attacking the cats.

I'm sure he's still settling. The screaming when we leave the room is getting better, I think? But he still can't hear people at all or gets all hyper. We have to put him in a dark room with a cover for an afternoon nap. Otherwise he gets too frazzled.


It's been 12+ years since I've dealt with a cranky cockatiel. I forgot just how different they are in their youth! Giles never wanted this much attention, either. Bungee Bird will NOT be ignored. If you don't pay attention he flies on you and begins singing to get your attention. I take Giles out and put him on the couch at night while I do work. Bungee saw that once. It's now HIS couch.

I'm a bit useless at figuring it out. I know a lot comes with time. I just can't remember how to train birds.
 

JLcribber

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You can reasonably expect it to take number of months for things to settle down and probably a year or more to start achieving some actual harmony. Nothing is achieved in a week (or a few weeks). So again time and patience.

Consistency and routine "is" training. They learn the routines with consistency. They know what to expect and even when as well as what not to expect (and when).
 

FlyingBell

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You can reasonably expect it to take number of months for things to settle down and probably a year or more to start achieving some actual harmony. Nothing is achieved in a week (or a few weeks). So again time and patience.

Consistency and routine "is" training. They learn the routines with consistency. They know what to expect and even when as well as what not to expect (and when).
I'm sure I seem clueless - thanks for helping me out. :) I'm sure it will take him a while to settle. He's had a pretty exciting two weeks.

One last thing - is there anything I can do about his afternoon/evening screaming? He gets almost frantic when nobody is around. I think he's figured out that frantic chirping gets attention. It riles up Giles a lot. Should I just ignore him? Or is there something better I should do to teach him not to?

I'm also assuming the jealousy is just something that we will have to deal with for now. Until he figures out he's special as well. He's a cute little pest.
 
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