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Looking for advices on new cockatiel!

lilith_

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Hello!

I've recently been give a female cockatiel to take care of. I'm new to parrots, so I wanted to ask for quite a lot of advices on how to better care for her, and to solve some concerns of mine.

I'll start by saying that she's untamed and a rescue. I've had her for a week now and she's quite scared of humans.

I think I've made some progress with her. Usually, she'd hiss at me and move away from me, but today I sat, still keeping some distance between me and her, and talked to her in a quiet voice and she fluffled up and started beak grinding.

I wanted to know how could I further bond with her.

Also, she's on a all seed diet and I wanted to change that for her 'cause I've read it's quite unhealthy. How can I do that? I've tried putting some vegetables and fruit through the bars in her cage, but she doesn't really care. She even ignored millet.

There's another issue I've been finding with her, and that is that she goes to the bottom of the cage and paces back and forth a lot. She screams, climbs all over the place. Today I kept the top of her cage and the side behind her (the one against the floor) covered due to the cold weather, and she seemed calmer, but I dunno if that's a good thing or not. She's not done much but perch, eat and drink.

Sorry if I'm asking a lot but I truly want to understand her and see if I can make her life better.
 

expressmailtome

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Xoetix

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Aw, poor thing! Do you know anything about her life prior to you/the rescue? how long have you had her?
 

lilith_

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Aw, poor thing! Do you know anything about her life prior to you/the rescue? how long have you had her?
I've had her for a week!
All I know of her previous situation is that she was kept in a small, covered cage all day. The person that rescued her found her with a lot of feathers missing, so she was probably plucking them. She's now regrew them. I doubt she was given anything but seeds. She doesn't even recognize millet as food, or plays with any toys.
 

Xoetix

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Oh jeez, the poor girl. If it's only been a week, she's still got A LOT of settling in to do. Especially with coming from such a poor situation previously.

Give her a while to decompress and relax, I would bet she's very anxious about the new living situation. When it comes to moving off an all seed diet, I know @Mizzely had to do it for her bird Ripley, she can probably offer a lot of advice.
 

Mizzely

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Veggies and fruit take longer in my experience (3 years for my Jardine's!) I would try getting pellets in her first to get some nutritional gaps sorted out. Zupreem Fruity has been the one I have the best luck with for seed eaters. If she won't eat she any of those yet, you can add some Hagen Prime or Nekton-S multivitamin to her seed or water to help. You can choose other multivitamins too but many lack Vitamin D3 and that's a vital nutrient for birds. Don't remove the seeds completely though.

This thread has some ideas:


She went from a place where she was covered, to being totally exposed now. She's now a prey animal on display for predators in a way she's not used to.

For nervous birds, I absolutely keep parts of the cage covered while they settle in. It gives them the choice to hide from me while also letting them see out as they wish. You can try to pull more of the cover off as she gets comfortable. In these situations it's best to follow their lead! :)
 

lilith_

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Thank you so much for the tips on her diet!

I will say that when I kept her uncovered, she'd freak out and clearly act anxious. Now I keep her partly covered, and she's much calmer.
 

sb sigmund

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Target training can help to begin building trust. Give her lots of fun shredding toys and enough out of cage time
 

lilith_

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I still haven't gotten her out of her cage, but I was thinking about it. Should I, even if untrained? I'm not sure how to get her back inside the cage.

Also, I've heard target training is good, but she won't take food from my hands.
 

Cali

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Hi Lilith, It's so good of you to take in a bird that obviously had a terrible home .... SO SAD!!! Great that you are here to get advice! Everyone here has been so nice to me, and offered lots of useful advice. (I'm pretty new around here)....

One thing I've read over and over is patience... considering what your birdie has been through - I wouldn't think it would hop right out of the cage. I have a new baby budgie, it's been ... over a month now and he still will not come near my hand. I leave the cage door open and have toys set up next to it ... a birdy play set ... but he doesn't come out. He actually went backwards, and I think it was because my husband tried to force him out .... He was stepping up on a stick really well until that time, and now he's afraid of everything.

I sure wouldn't force him to do anything. Wish you so much luck !!! Warms my heart to know he is in a caring home finally.
 

WikiWaz

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Just came here to echo what everyone else is saying, patience is really important. We pushed our rescue Erwin way too much in the beginning. You can do more harm than good by pushing too fast. We pushed him too much early step up on a perch. Now he's still terrified when he hold perches in our hands.

We've just taken steps back and let him come out of his shell on his own. And he has! Though it's taken almost two years and we still have a long way to go.

Oh! Didn't some AA member recommend a kind of mesh cage covering that they parrots can peek out of (and you can see them), yet still feel protected? Does anyone remember that conversation?
 

lilith_

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Oh, no, I wouldn't force her to go out! I'd keep her door open and let her do it in her own time.

At least she doesn't hiss at me anymore! Only when I cover her up for the night, or if I move too fast or too close when she isn't in the mood to interact.

She doesn't like the cage cover much, but she stays awake all night otherwise...

Also, I managed to get a pic of her! Sorry it's all grainy. Don't want to get too close to her when she's relaxed not to bother her.
 

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Aestatis

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Aw, she's too cute. Glad to hear she is settling in. Hope she continues to settle in!
 

Cali

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She is so cute! One step at a time, right? So happy she has someone to care about her now :heart:
 

lilith_

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Hello!

I wanted to update on her and how she's doing. She seems much more relaxed. She still freaks out when I keep all the cage uncovered: her comfort is back of the cage covered = safe, so that's what I've been doing.

I've been trying to switch her to pellets. It's... not going great. HAHAH. I've tried to grind them and mix them up with the seeds. She does eat some (by mistake) but it mostly works on turning her food bowl into a seed foraging toy. Ah, and of course, she took her food perch as her favourite perch, meaning she poops in her food all. the. time.

Still no luck on her trying any food from my hands. She doesn't run away when she sees my fingers, though, and even eats next to them.

Haven't had the chance to let her out yet. Trying to choose a quiet and relaxed say so she doesn't freak out on her first time being out in an unknown place.
 

Cali

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Thanks for the update! Sounds like so far so good! :cheer:
 

WikiWaz

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Also, I managed to get a pic of her! Sorry it's all grainy. Don't want to get too close to her when she's relaxed not to bother her.
She's got a cute little fluffin' chops, so she must be comfortable.
 

lilith_

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She's comfortable from that distance.

I have two question:

1. As I mentioned before, she doesn't like the cage cover I put on her every night. She hisses and opens her beak at it. She settles down after a minute or two, but still, I wonder if this is ruining my relationship with her?

2. She doesn't do much all day. She stays in the same spot and moves just to eat. Should I worry about this?
 

WikiWaz

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1. Do you need a cage cover? It's not a requirement.
2. She really needs time to settle in.
 

lilith_

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1. Do you need a cage cover? It's not a requirement.
2. She really needs time to settle in.
1. I know! but last time I didn't, she remained awake all night. That's the reason I cover her. I could try not to again and see how it goes.
2. Alrighty. Just wanted to make sure it's normal behaviour.
 
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