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New birb owner & new birb <3

RatTails

Meeting neighbors
Joined
4/10/19
Messages
53
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
Hey from South Africa!

I just recently, 3 days ago, brought a cockatiel home. Not entirely sure of the age, but petshop said +-7 months. Hasn't gone through it's first molt yet. I call it a boy because I'm hoping (though I'm ok with either), and his name is Kupo (which works for both genders).

From what I can Google, he's a Whiteface Cinnamon Pearl (another reason not sure of the gender).

His pic is here: Tails on Instagram: “Kupo was spoiled rotten today by @rozwellcat! He got a ladder, a hanging wood toy with a bell, some millet, and this amazing and beautiful…”

I have never had birds before, but my aunt had a Lorikeet named Magnum. He wasn't friendly with anyone except her, so birds have always fascinated yet frightened me haha.
I have, however, kept rats for many, many years which I think puts me in good stead transitioning to birds (I've been ratless for 2+ years now).

So Kupo came home and got my old rat cage (cleaned and minus the levels and ladders). My mom came over with a bunch of accessories & millet so he has a double swing, 3 perches, a hanging wooden toy, a ghetto ping pong ball, a bracelet, a ghetto cork toy I made, and a ladder (which he's obsessed with attacking haha). I plan to get more toys and swap them out occasionally but I want him to feel settled with what he has now.

Here is his cage: Tails on Instagram: “Kupos cage so far. Decked out thanks to my mom ❤ Will be adding more toys each month and will keep some aside to swap out to keep it…”

He's not hand tamed, and was caught with a net and hand in the aviary at the petshop. Before choosing him I watched him for a while (mainly to test allergies lol) and he seemed interested in everything, active, chirpy, and was eating (what actually sold me was the happy face he made while he was eating!).

On the first day when I brought him home, he tried two pellets but spat them out (he's been seed-fed, so I'm mixing currently), called out a bit, and eventually even had a bath in his water bowl! I also gave him some broccoli, though he seemed to take his anger out on it rather than eat it. He also spent the day clambering the bars and flapping around from perch to perch and at night when I turned off the light and covered his cage I heard him grinding his beak (side note, sounded exactly like rat "bruxing" which is when they grind their teeth in happiness and it warmed my heart to hear it again in my house! And when I went up to Kupo and bruxxed back like I did with my rats, he started up again in response!).

He seems very active, constantly climbing around and swinging on his swing. Occasionally he settles down to preen and rest and then he's off again.

Now, a few things/questions...

He hasn't really approached his food bowl that I've seen (and no husks/shells in the bowl), and has only eaten the seeds I've sprinkled on the floor today (subsequently two days later). I also filled a toilet roll holder with seeds, pressed in the ends to close them, and poked holes in it, in case he wanted to forage (he occasionally seems interested but nothing more). How do I get him eating from his bowl vs on the floor? Or do I just accept he eats off the floor? He ate from the bowl in the pet shop which was hung on the side like mine is now.

His poops are normal looking, maybe a bit on the greener side, but a green/white mix.

He is not clipped (still debating this internally), and eventually I will let him out in to the room he's in but I'm cautious to do it while he's not hand tamed at least. I don't want to have to try to catch him and ruin anything I've built because I tried to get him back in his cage and he got scared.
Is this the correct approach? It seems if I opened the cage he'd have no problem coming out, but I think I'd have trouble getting him back in. Should I try in the next evening or two or should I leave it until he's hand tame?

I whistle at him and I get calls back (can here it in this video: Tails on Instagram: “This was when he got his swing and was showing how much he enjoyed it. . . . #birb #birbsofinstagram #bird #birdsofinstagram #petbird…” Not sure what the calls mean from his side? Is this the only kind of noise he'll make if he's female? (sorry, ignorance showing, despite how many cockatiel videos I've watched.)

He won't go near my hand nor eat from my hand (not even from a long spray of millet I'm holding) but he zooms around the bars no problem even if my face is 10cm away. He just avoids my fingers if I poke them through the bars. If I'm judging how I'd judge rats, he seems excited to see me and if he can't hear me he calls out (and I respond 80% of the time - not sure how much I want to encourage it...?). Or maybe he's actually calling to the birds outside and I'm just being narcissistic haha.

I think that's about it...more pics on my IG account if you're interested. Also if you think he's a she, let me know. I am suspecting it's a she so I rather say things like "pretty birb" vs "pretty boy/girl" for now.

Thanks for reading my long post. I look forward to the replies xx TIA

/essay haha
 

Snowghost

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
2/5/19
Messages
1,345
Location
Virginia
Real Name
Terri
If he is not hand tame it will take time and patience to get him to be used to you.

I wouldn't stick your fingers in his cage that is his home.

I wouldn't encourage him to eat at the bottom of the cage its dirty. I would have him vet checked and trim his wings so you can work with him, (some folks may not agree with this) This way he can't fly from you as you try to get him used to perching on your hand.

I would hang fresh veggies on the side of his cage, I have found that millet holders are good for this, broccoli and spinach. My cockies loved to eat out of a small dish, (low sides) on top of their cage, the liked peas, corn, hard boiled eggs.

Keep working with him and good luck.
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
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Location
Pennsylvania
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Michelle
[
Welcome to the forum. Your tiel is very cute. I think he's a white face or a white face pied. From the pic, I don't see cinnamon or pearl. Are you feeding him what he was fed at the pet store? Often tiels don't recognize new food as food. I would feed him the same as he's used to as well as introducing new foods to him. It often takes awhile- as in sometimes months- for tiels to try vegetables, etc. So just be patient with him. Take things slow for now. Just sit with him and talk to him. Even read to him. He needs to get used to you first and know he's in a safe place. It sounds like he enjoys your company. So just take things slow and work at his pace. As for wing clipping, I'm against it. It's forced dependency and not really building trust with your bird. Plus, it's better mentally and physically for a bird to be flighted.
 

Spirit Warrior

Walking the driveway
Avenue Veteran
Joined
8/3/18
Messages
242
Location
Uk
Hello. Welcome to the forum. Hes such a cutie. Dont put your hands in this cage as thats his space. Just spend time talking to him outside his cage and holding millet while his out the cage to tempt him near you. Wings clipping how ever im dead against. Its taking a birds natural instinct to fly away. Also when his wing feathers grow back in he has more of a chance of breaking his blood feathers which is an emergency situation. Not dealt with quickly can cause them to die of blood loss. It takes time and more time lol to gain trust with a non hand tames tiel. Storm was raised by his bird parents and it took a few months for him to trust me now 6 years later he cuddles up to me, preens my hair wants head scratches. And calls out to me as well when im not in the room. (I try to not call back much) hope he starts eatting from a bowl and you have fun with your new feathered friend :)
 

RatTails

Meeting neighbors
Joined
4/10/19
Messages
53
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
Thanks so much. I had a whole reply written but the forum keeps telling me to try again later so hope this reply goes through!

I won't be, and haven't been anymore, putting my hands in the cage and he seems more chilled when I change his water and food.

As for the bowl, I put a heavier bowl on the floor with a bit of newspaper inside and then the seeds and he eats from that now! I just have to now work on moving it off the floor to to the regular bowl but I'll do it slowly.

I took the chance the other day and let him out of his cage and every time since, the moment he gets onto his outside perch he fluffs up and grinds his beak! So cute!

He climbs onto a perch that I'm holding and doesn't mind being moved (when he lands on the door frame I offer the perch and he hops happily across and I return him to his perch if he doesn't fly there himself after a while). I've been watching a lot of videos from BirdTricks on YouTube, and I've got him comfortable with my finger very close to him but I'm watching his comfort levels closely.

The more I call him a he the more I suspect he's a she. Wish I knew for sure! Not sure how much DNA tests cost here in SA.

Thanks for all your replies, I'll keep you updated on his/her (and my) progress!
 

RatTails

Meeting neighbors
Joined
4/10/19
Messages
53
Location
Cape Town, South Africa
Hi all. Just thought I'd give you an update.

Had her (I'm going with her, have only heard flock calls thus far and no heart wings or anything else male) out for a bit today again and decided to offer her some sunflower seeds from my hand and to my delight, she took one! And then another! And another. And now when I walk past the cage I have to resist the urge to keep hand feeding her cos it's so friggen adorable!

It's only been a week (today) and I'm so proud of her! Also gives me hope we will be more than just face-to-face friends. I want to love her and cuddle her and and and lol

Edit to add

Pic!
Tails on Instagram: “Omnomnom! One week update! He (who I do think is a she so until she shows male signs I'll refer to her as a she from now on) actually took…”

Video!
Tails on Instagram: “Had to take a video of this lil cutie omnomnoming her seeds! . . . #birb #birbsofinstagram #bird #birdsofinstagram #petbird #cockatiel…”
 
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