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Interacting with my new cockatiel- need help?

ares

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In my previous posts, I was talking about adopting a third cockatiel from a neglected home. Well, surprise! We now have Rivers "Buddy Holly" Cuomo! PXL_20230114_073208261.jpg
That's him being taken out of his transport cage and into his Chonky Big Cage.

Now Rivers is a joyful little singer, absolutely adores when we come to sing to him or when he hears the other cockatiels join him in chorus. However... He is extremely hand frightful. I assume from his previous home. He's absolutely fine singing to my face but the moment my hands come out, instant aggression and trying to bite at the cage bars. This is proving to be difficult as we wanted to take him for a check up ASAP and start building a good bond. However just our hands and arms being in his presence sets him off. He had gotten out of his cage a few times and according to my spouse, will swoop down and start nipping at their ears and neck despite my partner not doing anything but sitting there away from him.

I've heard a few people suggest clipping his wings so he's less aggressive but I've never clipped any of my boys. I'm unsure of what I could do besides giving him time. But I feel like more time passes, the less he will want to spend time with us. Any input?
 

sunnysmom

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I am not a fan of clipping. The goal is to build trust and clipping is more like forced dependency. It's also better mentally and physically for them to be flighted. I would start trying to hand feed him treats through the cage bars. Millet spray is good for this because it's long and he doesn't have to get too close to fingers. Then you can start shortening the millet spray. Also you can look into target training and maybe teaching him to step up on a perch for now since he's so afraid of hands. Thank you for helping him.
 

ares

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I would start trying to hand feed him treats through the cage bars. Millet spray is good for this
It seems like none of my cockatiels, hell, none of my birds like millet. I've tried over the years but they try it and are not receptive of it. Any other ideas?
 

Xoetix

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It seems like none of my cockatiels, hell, none of my birds like millet. I've tried over the years but they try it and are not receptive of it. Any other ideas?
Sunflower seeds? Any fruits or veg you’ve found that works? Rice?
 

ares

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Sunflower seeds? Any fruits or veg you’ve found that works? Rice?
Rice is something they go crazy over, same with plain popcorn. However, I'm unsure of how to give these treats to Rivers because unlike millet spray, theres no length to continue shortening.
 

Kiwi's Dad

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@Mizzely might have any idea but I can't think of any treat that has length :chin:
 

ares

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Oooh that'd genius! Ill try that
 

Mizzely

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It's what I did when I had an untame Quaker. Helped associate me with good things. I literally didn't even try to do anything else. Just, "Hi Bobber, who's a good boy?" Treat, and walk away. No pressure for them to perform or deal with scary hands. :)
 
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ares

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It's what I did when I had an untame Quaker. Helped associate me with good things. I literally didn't even try to do anything else. Just, "Hi Bobber, who's a good boy?" Treat, and walk away. No pressure for them to perform or deal with scary hands. :)
And he eventually got comfortable with you? My budgies aren't particularly tame but I do something similar with them, they have these weeds they love to eat and know when I come by I come bearing them. So they dont freak out!
 

Mizzely

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And he eventually got comfortable with you? My budgies aren't particularly tame but I do something similar with them, they have these weeds they love to eat and know when I come by I come bearing them. So they dont freak out!
He never became fully tame but he would hang out on shoulders and take food from me and talk with me etc :)
 

ares

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He never became fully tame but he would hang out on shoulders and take food from me and talk with me etc :)
Thats amazing though! I know Rivers is tamed because he did get along with the very young daughter of the person we got him from and was ignored by her when she got older.
 

Winn

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Rice is something they go crazy over, same with plain popcorn. However, I'm unsure of how to give these treats to Rivers because unlike millet spray, theres no length to continue shortening.
If Rivers likes plain popcorn it may work to spear a piece on a bamboo skewer to offer from a distance.
 

Emma&pico

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Oh you got him then :heart:
Congratulations
As if non of them like millet all my four go nuts for it have you tried hanging it in their cages first to have a good try ?
what about nutriberries mine live them sunflower seeds but as you say doesn’t help with shy birds dried chilles are a favourite here too

love @Winn idea
 
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