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Help! First time cockatiel owner.

barry collins

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At 8 weeks old, your baby may be regressing and may be hungry if he has hand fed. You need to go to the store, get handfeeding formula, make it following the directions for your baby's age and you will see a change. This is exactly what happened to me when I first got Bella. I am comfortable with a syringe and the first time Bella saw that syringe, she stopped being the scared little tiel and she figured that I would be ok. Now she is the boss of me. Also get a scale and weigh him to make sure that he is gaining weight. Don't stop giving him his regular food. I got Bella at 7 weeks and she took feedings until she was 13 weeks. First I fed her 3x a day, then twice, and then at night for a while. Welcome and thank you for being concerned enough about your bird to ask questions. The static noise you hear is the I'm hungry noise. Also, don't be afraid to ask your breeder if this doesn't help.

Yes i totally agree with this as my baby tiels didn't refuse formula altogether until nearly 12 weeks but were eating regular food at 7 weeks so it may need some formula to suplement it's diet and comfort it, also this will really kickstart any bonding process and help to maintain weight.
But do research the correct way to handfeed with regards to temperature and consistensy as if done incorrectly can cause serious problems and or death but you obviously care enough to get it right...
Just treat it like a newborn baby and use common sense and you will be great...
Ps keep your bird nice and warm if handfeeding... good luck with everything.
 

BeeBop

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I agree with the others he probably needs more time. Take it slow and don't change anything until he's used to you. No new toys, different diet, try to keep everything in a routine so he gets used to the environment.
 

sunnysmom

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Yes, please keep an eye on your tiel to make sure he's eating. 8 weeks is usually the minimum age for tiels to ween and the stress of moving to a new home can cause them to regress. As was said, your tiel is scared. Spend time sitting with him, talking to him, even reading out loud to him. If he's super scared, you can try covering his cage on three sides for awhile, leaving only the front open. That way he doesn't have to be 'alert' for danger on all sides. Also, playing some soft music or putting the TV on for him might help too when you're not there.
 

Princessbella

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How are you doing with your baby?
 

scoobdoo63

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I was still feeding formula at 8 weeks up til he was like 16 weeks? That was with food / seeds/ millet. I scooped my bird up with both hands, didn't do the finger perch. He hated fingers. Still DOES! I fed him formula then i had a bowl of food on my lap or just had him on my lap in a reclining chair. He was all over me..then I slowly started petting/scratching his head..I don't think I ever just left him alone and ignored him..I had him with me if I was home..maybe that's why he is a Velcro BIRD?
 

zachpoff

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Please I need help. He's eating and drinking and everything but yesterday we took him to the vet to get his wings clipped. The vet clipped ALL of his flight feathers and now he just falls straight to the cage floor because he doesn't realize he can fly yes and has no feathers on his wings. I feel awful and don't know what to do he is going to get hurt. Also he is not warming up to me he actually hates me more and more everyday. He tries to bite me and I just don't know what to do. I've tried so hard to make him super happy but nothing is working. Someone please help.
 

SandraK

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This is not going to make you feel better but you had an 8 week old cockatiel's wings clipped? What did you expect would happen when you brought him home? He has no clue that he can't fly plus you've now managed to scare him more than he already was and he hasn't been with you for a week.

You need to be patient, back off and give him time to get used to his new home with you. Do not let him out of his cage because he will try to fly and if the floor around his cage is not carpeted he can hurt his chest and rear end. For safety's sake, I'd put old towels or blankets around his cage just in case he escapes or gets out. Stop trying so hard - you need to give him time and when I say time I do not mean a day or two, I mean weeks which could be months.

I hope things will work out for you. Good luck.
 

Calpurnia

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Remember when we told you that taming/bonding with a bird can often take WEEKS? That's WEEKS of gentle patience, bribes, and as little force as possible. Your relationship with your baby was already off to a rocky start with the toweling and gloves and grabbing. Now that he's been forcefully grabbed and manhandled by the vet you're basically back to square one.

It's also very common for birds to go through a "honeymoon" period when they first come home. Because they are still unsure or afraid of their environment they may be unusually docile or cooperative. Once they are more familiar with their new home and start feeling more confident they may go through a big behavioral shift. Instead of meekly going along with what you want they start asserting themselves with biting, running away, etc.

Now on top of all this your baby can no longer fly. I'm not going to judge your decision to get him clipped but losing the ability of flight CAN have significant effects on a bird's personality. Flight gives a bird the freedom of choice. This in turn gives a bird an increase in self confidence. If a bird can't fly away to avoid an aversive situation it may resort to biting more instead (think of the "flight or fight" response). Which is one way that clipping a young bird to help with bonding/taming can backfire.

Again, I'm not trying to make you feel bad here! It's just important that you start looking at things from your 'tiel's point of view instead of only being concerned about getting him to do what you want. This is a relationship remember. You wouldn't go up to a girlfriend and tell her "Okay now you have to obey me in all things! You have to let me hold your hand whenever I want, you have to hang out with me whenever I want, etc". Instead you would ask "Okay what do you want to do? How about we do something fun together?" and give her the chance to say yes OR no.

Your 'tiel does not hate you. It is a common mistake when people start attributing human emotions to an animal's behavior. Doing so only clouds your vision to what is REALLY going on. So again, your 'tiel is not biting you because he hates you. He is biting because he's trying to tell you something.

Right now he's trying to tell you that he is scared and does not yet trust you yet to touch him. So respect this! Start bribing him with treats and give him space when he shows you he is uncomfortable. In a perfect world a bird would have had no negative past experiences and so you might be able to get away with taming with frequent treats alone. But now that your bird has had a couple scary experiences you'll want to be even more concious about making all of your interactions as positive as possible.

It may take a few weeks (or even a few months) but remember you've got the next 2 decades to spend time with this bird! So let him tell you when he is ready to start being handled, or recieve scritches. Wishing you both the best of luck! :)
 

zachpoff

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Remember when we told you that taming/bonding with a bird can often take WEEKS? That's WEEKS of gentle patience, bribes, and as little force as possible. Your relationship with your baby was already off to a rocky start with the toweling and gloves and grabbing. Now that he's been forcefully grabbed and manhandled by the vet you're basically back to square one.

It's also very common for birds to go through a "honeymoon" period when they first come home. Because they are still unsure or afraid of their environment they may be unusually docile or cooperative. Once they are more familiar with their new home and start feeling more confident they may go through a big behavioral shift. Instead of meekly going along with what you want they start asserting themselves with biting, running away, etc.

Now on top of all this your baby can no longer fly. I'm not going to judge your decision to get him clipped but losing the ability of flight CAN have significant effects on a bird's personality. Flight gives a bird the freedom of choice. This in turn gives a bird an increase in self confidence. If a bird can't fly away to avoid an aversive situation it may resort to biting more instead (think of the "flight or fight" response). Which is one way that clipping a young bird to help with bonding/taming can backfire.

Again, I'm not trying to make you feel bad here! It's just important that you start looking at things from your 'tiel's point of view instead of only being concerned about getting him to do what you want. This is a relationship remember. You wouldn't go up to a girlfriend and tell her "Okay now you have to obey me in all things! You have to let me hold your hand whenever I want, you have to hang out with me whenever I want, etc". Instead you would ask "Okay what do you want to do? How about we do something fun together?" and give her the chance to say yes OR no.

Your 'tiel does not hate you. It is a common mistake when people start attributing human emotions to an animal's behavior. Doing so only clouds your vision to what is REALLY going on. So again, your 'tiel is not biting you because he hates you. He is biting because he's trying to tell you something.

Right now he's trying to tell you that he is scared and does not yet trust you yet to touch him. So respect this! Start bribing him with treats and give him space when he shows you he is uncomfortable. In a perfect world a bird would have had no negative past experiences and so you might be able to get away with taming with frequent treats alone. But now that your bird has had a couple scary experiences you'll want to be even more concious about making all of your interactions as positive as possible.

It may take a few weeks (or even a few months) but remember you've got the next 2 decades to spend time with this bird! So let him tell you when he is ready to start being handled, or recieve scritches. Wishing you both the best of luck! :)
Thankyou! This was very reassuring. I was just thinking clippling his wings because he would fly around the room and would be impossible to catch. But thankyou for being so helpful!
 

Tiel Feathers

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Remember when we told you that taming/bonding with a bird can often take WEEKS? That's WEEKS of gentle patience, bribes, and as little force as possible. Your relationship with your baby was already off to a rocky start with the toweling and gloves and grabbing. Now that he's been forcefully grabbed and manhandled by the vet you're basically back to square one.

It's also very common for birds to go through a "honeymoon" period when they first come home. Because they are still unsure or afraid of their environment they may be unusually docile or cooperative. Once they are more familiar with their new home and start feeling more confident they may go through a big behavioral shift. Instead of meekly going along with what you want they start asserting themselves with biting, running away, etc.

Now on top of all this your baby can no longer fly. I'm not going to judge your decision to get him clipped but losing the ability of flight CAN have significant effects on a bird's personality. Flight gives a bird the freedom of choice. This in turn gives a bird an increase in self confidence. If a bird can't fly away to avoid an aversive situation it may resort to biting more instead (think of the "flight or fight" response). Which is one way that clipping a young bird to help with bonding/taming can backfire.

Again, I'm not trying to make you feel bad here! It's just important that you start looking at things from your 'tiel's point of view instead of only being concerned about getting him to do what you want. This is a relationship remember. You wouldn't go up to a girlfriend and tell her "Okay now you have to obey me in all things! You have to let me hold your hand whenever I want, you have to hang out with me whenever I want, etc". Instead you would ask "Okay what do you want to do? How about we do something fun together?" and give her the chance to say yes OR no.

Your 'tiel does not hate you. It is a common mistake when people start attributing human emotions to an animal's behavior. Doing so only clouds your vision to what is REALLY going on. So again, your 'tiel is not biting you because he hates you. He is biting because he's trying to tell you something.

Right now he's trying to tell you that he is scared and does not yet trust you yet to touch him. So respect this! Start bribing him with treats and give him space when he shows you he is uncomfortable. In a perfect world a bird would have had no negative past experiences and so you might be able to get away with taming with frequent treats alone. But now that your bird has had a couple scary experiences you'll want to be even more concious about making all of your interactions as positive as possible.

It may take a few weeks (or even a few months) but remember you've got the next 2 decades to spend time with this bird! So let him tell you when he is ready to start being handled, or recieve scritches. Wishing you both the best of luck! :)
Yes, all of this.
I really hope that things improve with you and your little, sweet tiel!
 

barry collins

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Unfortunately the advice for wing clipping is wait until they are confident fliers and are competent and then slowly take a few feather tips at a time until they can still hold height or slowly descend in a controlled manner. The desire to fly is a big part of a birds natural instincts and important psychologicaly for normal development.
I'm sorry you thought clipping it's wings would help but i have had 3 birds in the past from breeders who already had wings clipped and they all took much longer to become friendly than my other birds.
You cannot force a bird to be friends it will take many months of kindness and persistence on your part to pull a good relationship from a very bad start.
I'm sorry it is the truth and you have a long road to travel to become friends now.
Keep trying and listen to others who have done it already.. good luck.
 
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scoobdoo63

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My bird holds a grudge when I have to be gone for a long time..it's like poo on you.. didn't take time out of your day for me then I can do it to! He will bite at me, run from me..so I just say fine..be that way. I go to my chair and usually in about 10 minutes he is running to me..lol..
Give it time, your bird is scared. To much to fast. Go to cage talk calm to him..don't handle yet, just talk. If he goes on top of cage you can do what I did, offer your shoulder.. say come on.then I set in my recliner and stormy walked all over me. I had bird food in a big shallow bowl. He ate from it. Then I would very slowly pick up other bigger foods like a chunk of fruit and hold it up to him. He got where he would eat from my hand. Then I started using my kindle and a stylist. He got where loved being scratched with it, still Leary on the hands..then one day that changed..now if my kindle is in his way he bites it, or walks on it, he fights my stylist for attention. He is total Velcro bird. Usually on my shoulders if out of the cage, getting down to go walk around once awhile or go eat..
Yours will come around.
 

Monica

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Once we got home he was extremely scared and started being aggressive.

Just to quote your first post.... is he scared? Or aggressive?

These are two *VERY* different behaviors.


Scared - avoids you, looks for ways to escape, backs off

Aggressive - goes out of his way to attack and bite you



I've tried so hard to make him super happy but nothing is working.
Please define what you've tried to make him happy???? Since clipping his wings is the opposite of happiness for him... as well as toweling.

You *allowed* him out of his cage. Does he really need to go back to his cage? Would it no be ok to just allow him to explore on his own?
 

zachpoff

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Ok, so yes I made a huge mistake by having the vet clipping his wings and I still feel bad for it. I'm a beginner and didn't know it could affect the bond between me and the bird. Thankfully, he's doing WONDERFUL and loves attention and steps up on command. He calls out to me when I leave the room and I think he's starting to forgive me. He's super healthy and I think we're bonding nicely. He's 11 weeks old now and I'm going to start training soon. So happy and he really makes my day every time I see him!
 

sunnysmom

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Ok, so yes I made a huge mistake by having the vet clipping his wings and I still feel bad for it. I'm a beginner and didn't know it could affect the bond between me and the bird. Thankfully, he's doing WONDERFUL and loves attention and steps up on command. He calls out to me when I leave the room and I think he's starting to forgive me. He's super healthy and I think we're bonding nicely. He's 11 weeks old now and I'm going to start training soon. So happy and he really makes my day every time I see him!
Cockatiels tend to be very forgiving birds. And his wing feathers will eventually grow back. I'm always amazed that so many vets still push clipping wings. I'm glad things are going well with your tiel. They really are wonderful birds. :)
 
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