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He's being so different!

bhansenuta

Meeting neighbors
Joined
3/6/20
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30
Real Name
Bella
I'm so confused. My cockatiel Theo for the past couple days will NOT step up. I'll have the millet right there and he instead goes for my hand, nonstop biting. I back up, turn around for a couple seconds and wait, then keep trying but he'll either attack my fingers like crazy or turn his back on me and walk away to the back of the cage. I will then close his cage and leave the room and he starts screaming for me to come back which makes me feel horrible but... I don't know what to do!! We were making such good progress but it seems like we keep taking steps back. He hates when I leave but doesn't seem to care when I'm there and doesn't even want to be with me.

My mom says it's probably because he's so spoiled. Which he kind of is. But I don't know, I didn't think that giving him lots of toys and a big cage and 2 play gyms was necessarily spoiling him, it's just the necessities plus a little extra. I'm with him 4-8 hours everyday in the room and when I leave he SCREAMS and won't stop. He can go on for 45 mins sometimes. I don't go back in until he's totally quiet so as not to reward that behavior but it doesn't seem to be doing anything. When I'm in the room though, he's silent for 85% of the time.

I've been leaving the cage door open with the boing attached to his playgyms when I am with him, but the only way I can get him back in the cage when I need to leave is forcing a perch under his feet because now he won't step up. I don't want to force him to step up on my fingers so I don't know what to do. Also, sometimes in the afternoon or evening I'll walk by his cage and he'll start hissing! It's like he doesn't know me? But in the normal day he's fine with me walking by his cage. I don't think its puberty because he's only 4/5 months old but maybe?

Why is he biting me so much and not eating the treat that's right there?
Why does he scream for me but when I come back he doesn't seem to care that I'm there and doesn't want to step up or be with me?
Why does he hiss when I just simply walk past his cage?

Thank you for your help! If I'm doing something wrong please let me know so I can fix it!
 

sunnysmom

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Is anything new? Even something like new nail polish, different hair style etc can freak a tiel out.
 

Monica

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Do you leave anything on for him when you leave the room? Music or radio?

Would he go back in his cage on his own when he's hungry? (aka don't feed/water outside of cage) Or by placing millet in the cage?

Not "spoiling" him could potentially make his behavior worse... i.e. smaller cage, no enrichment

If your cockatiel is trying to nap or sleep in the afternoon or evening, and hisses at you... well, this is normal. They are kind of "sleep diva's" after all... that is, they don't like their beauty rest disturbed! ;) Not sure why, but it's a cockatiel thing...


It sounds like either something changed (could even be an article of clothing that's the wrong color!) or maybe just having an "off day(s)"?
 

bhansenuta

Meeting neighbors
Joined
3/6/20
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Real Name
Bella
Do you leave anything on for him when you leave the room? Music or radio?

Would he go back in his cage on his own when he's hungry? (aka don't feed/water outside of cage) Or by placing millet in the cage?

Not "spoiling" him could potentially make his behavior worse... i.e. smaller cage, no enrichment

If your cockatiel is trying to nap or sleep in the afternoon or evening, and hisses at you... well, this is normal. They are kind of "sleep diva's" after all... that is, they don't like their beauty rest disturbed! ;) Not sure why, but it's a cockatiel thing...


It sounds like either something changed (could even be an article of clothing that's the wrong color!) or maybe just having an "off day(s)"?
Sometimes I leave on piano guys, he does seem to like that. I'll start trying that out more. He would go back in his cage, the problem is I have a big room and he always gets stuck in my carpet (really thick, long, shaggy carpet) so I usually just stick with getting him on the perch.

Okay thats what I thought too about spoiling him, I feel like he deserves it anyways :)

You're right about the sleep thing, I've noticed it really only happens a bit before he goes to sleep so I'll keep that in mind.

I guess he must just have off days. Sometimes he'll still step up with millet, other days he wants to attack everything in sight!

Thank you so much for your detailed reply :)
 

Pyropus

Walking the driveway
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3/10/20
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163
Best bet would be to write down everything happening when such behaviours happens, clothes, what you did, said, where others in room and so on and forth. Because our memory is short it may not be we see the link, the more you write down about what happened and the circumstances around it, the more likely you are to find a pattern. Trusting memory on details is not something I would do because over time the amount of data piles up and we have so many things going on that we do forget stuff.
 

bhansenuta

Meeting neighbors
Joined
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Bella
Best bet would be to write down everything happening when such behaviours happens, clothes, what you did, said, where others in room and so on and forth. Because our memory is short it may not be we see the link, the more you write down about what happened and the circumstances around it, the more likely you are to find a pattern. Trusting memory on details is not something I would do because over time the amount of data piles up and we have so many things going on that we do forget stuff.
That's such a good idea! Thank you!
 

Tara81

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Why is he biting me so much and not eating the treat that's right there?

Some reasons might be:
1. You look different. You are wearing clothes he is not used to. You are wearing nail polish, a scarf, or a hat he doesn't like or isn't used to. You got new glasses. New hair cut or color.
2. He eats seeds all day and thus gets treats all day. Millet seed is in all seed mixes. It's usually their favorite.
3. He is molting and cranky. Give him a few days.
4. He got spooked out by something. Give him a few days.
5. He was napping and is very anoyyed with being woken up. Or he hasn't been getting enough sleep at night. 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep is good for them each night. When they are napping and you need to wake them up, try waking them up from afar by saying their name ;) otherwise let them nap ;D

Why does he scream for me but when I come back he doesn't seem to care that I'm there and doesn't want to step up or be with me?

Tiels are social birds. They will scream for you if they got no one else to be with. When my tiel was 3-6 months old she would rather play then be on top of me, So instead of forcing her to step up, I gave her reasons to . I also let her play on her own as well. I tried to keep the time she spent playing on her play area balanced with the time she was on me. I made a bird necklace and clipped bird toys on my shirt to make myself a playground. I pretended to play with her toys with her with my hands. I offered her a piece of food from my thumb and index finger (dehydrated vege, pellet, small piece of kale leaf, brocolli etc).

Why does he hiss when I just simply walk past his cage?
They hiss when they are scared. It sounds like something is scaring him that could be new . You will have to be patient and work on his diet, while using food and toys as bribery. At this point toys may not entice him to overcome his fear. I would stop trying to get him to step up and work on his diet first until he is eating veges and pellets then u can slowly limit his seed while offering millet spray from your hand. You can also just work on being close by without being intrusive while he regains his confidence and trust .

he's only 4/5 months old. Can he begin being hormonal that early?
Yes they can be abit hormonal (My tiel did start masterbating at 5 months of age) , but I don't think he is hormonal it sounds like he is scared.
 
Last edited:

bhansenuta

Meeting neighbors
Joined
3/6/20
Messages
30
Real Name
Bella
Why is he biting me so much and not eating the treat that's right there?

Some reasons might be:
1. You look different. You are wearing clothes he is not used to. You are wearing nail polish, a scarf, or a hat he doesn't like or isn't used to. You got new glasses. New hair cut or color.
2. He eats seeds all day and thus gets treats all day. Millet seed is in all seed mixes. It's usually their favorite.
3. He is molting and cranky. Give him a few days.
4. He got spooked out by something. Give him a few days.
5. He was napping and is very annoyed with being woken up. Or he hasn't been getting enough sleep at night. 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep is good for them each night. When they are napping and you need to wake them up, try waking them up from afar by saying their name ;) otherwise let them nap ;D

Why does he scream for me but when I come back he doesn't seem to care that I'm there and doesn't want to step up or be with me?

Tiels are social birds. They will scream for you if they got no one else to be with. When my tiel was 3-6 months old she would rather play then be on top of me, So instead of forcing her to step up, I gave her reasons to . I also let her play on her own as well. I tried to keep the time she spent playing on her play area balanced with the time she was on me. I made a bird necklace and clipped bird toys on my shirt to make myself a playground. I pretended to play with her toys with her with my hands. I offered her a piece of food from my thumb and index finger (dehydrated vege, pellet, small piece of kale leaf, broccoli etc).

Why does he hiss when I just simply walk past his cage?
They hiss when they are scared. It sounds like something is scaring him that could be new . You will have to be patient and work on his diet, while using food and toys as bribery. At this point toys may not entice him to overcome his fear. I would stop trying to get him to step up and work on his diet first until he is eating veges and pellets then u can slowly limit his seed while offering millet spray from your hand. You can also just work on being close by without being intrusive while he regains his confidence and trust .

he's only 4/5 months old. Can he begin being hormonal that early?
Yes they can be abit hormonal (My tiel did start masterbating at 5 months of age) , but I don't think he is hormonal it sounds like he is scared.
Thank you so much for your reply! I did get a haircut, I just didn't think he could notice it as it was only 2.5 inches off. That could've been it. He gets about 12 1/2 hours of sleep each night so he doesn't nap much. He has a mixed seed and pellet diet 50-50, but maybe I'll make it 75% pellet rather than 50%. I do still want him to have some seeds as I've heard that all pellets isn't the best for them either. I am introducing some veggies, all he likes right now is broccoli but I'll keep trying and also find some fruit. I'm finding that some days are just off days with him so when that happens I'll leave him be more. :)

Again thank you so much for your answer, it definitely gave me some things to think about!
 
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