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Never been out of a cage, need advice

Hans_Wolp

Checking out the neighborhood
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12/13/21
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I just got my first bird three days ago from a privately owned pet store. He's a cockatiel that's just over a year old and I named him Winston. He is an absolute sweetheart and took to me immediately. Within the first 10 minutes of me putting him in his flight cage, he was already eating and asking me for head scritches. He loves it when I lavish him with attention and he is constantly dancing and chirping at me. The problem arises when I put my hand in his cage. Being my first bird, I was scared to take him out, worrying that I might not be able to get him to go back in. I decided to use him eating out of my hand as the litmus for me attempting to take him out. I placed my hand in his cage, pinching a cluster millet between my fingers and offering it to him. Upon my approach, he gave me a warning bite. I attempted it 2 more times with the same result, being careful not to push it on him and make him uncomfortable. I figured that since he already seems pretty attached to me, maybe just letting him out in the small bedroom and seeing what would happen would be the best course of action. I opened his door and gave him plenty of space, but he had no interest in going anywhere near it. I tried to coax him out with millet, even going so far as to hang it on the door and just wait. He still wouldn't go near it. It was at that point that I realized that the poor little guy has probably never been outside of a cage in his entire life. That would explain why he gives me warning bites when my hand is in his cage too. I realize that I'm going to have my work cut out for me with training him and that I am pretty much starting from the ground up. Thankfully he likes me and he's non-aggressive. Is there any advice you guys can give me on getting him out of and into his cage and how to train a cockatiel that has never really been handled by a caregiver before?
 

Mrs c

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Whoe!! I just read that and it was brilliant. Absolutely well done for passing that on.
 

Lady Jane

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Try getting the bird used to your hands first before putting in his cage. Put your hands on the outside of the cage. If he goes to the other side of the cage then you know he is in fear of human hands. Go slowly.
 

Laurie

The Best Bird Toys
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Congrats on your new bird. I am sure you will figure it out. How you proceed is very important. Let him come to you not the other way around as you can see from the bites he doesn't want you approaching him in that way. Usually birds show body language that indicates they want you to back off before they bite. Sometimes, leaning away, walking away, moving away and if cornered will bite. Standing their ground and biting happens as well.

Show your bird you understand him and back off to a situation that is comfortable for him if he shows any signs of fear or aggression. One bite should be sufficient three means you didn't get it when he tried to tell you the first two times. Slow and careful will get you there fastest :)

Good luck.
 
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