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new bird owner

dattyty

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hey everyone, i need some advice. so last week i got myself my first ever parrot pet - a cockatiel. he’s a male and his name is luigi. i’ve read many guides and i have a general idea on how to take proper care of him. now, i know that it is strictly not allowed to put your hand into the cage and try to grab the bird on the first days. i tried not to, but the thing is - he was bleeding (from his mouth? foot? definitely wasn’t a blood feather (thank god)) and we had to take him out and clean his beak and foot up. we still hadn’t went to the vet since there aren’t any ornithologists in this town so we have to go somewhere farther - we will soon. my main concern right now (other than that weird bleeding out of nowhere) is that he won’t be ablee to trust me anymore? not that he trusted me before but i feel like us forcefully getting him out of his safe zone made him scared. i hope he’ll warm up to me but im worried i kinda missed that opportunity. whenever i go near the cage he hisses and opens/closes his beak, ready to bite me. also, i offered him some carrots and apples but he wouldn’t eat any. i gave them to him in small pieces but still. i’ll try again later though. as of now he’s feeling content from what i can tell. he’s grinding his beak which is a sign of feeling content, right? so he’s fine. i know it takes a lot of time and patience for your bird to bond with you but i’ve seen so many new bird owners saying how their parrot was comfortable enough to stand on their hands or shoulderes! so i feel a bit discouraged. i feel like i’m doing something wrong. i’m always in the same room as him, occasionally turning on music or talking to him. i’m not bothering him too much
 

hrafn

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Try not to worry. I've had to snatch my cockatiel a few times in emergencies as well, as he has a fear of hands, and even after being held and fed medicine several times, he got over it. I also had to do the same once with my CAG Rafi when we hadn't built a trust bond yet, and she forgave me.
Birds are very resilient. He'll be upset with you for a little while, but not forever. Bonds of trust and affection take time to build, which would be true even if this hadn't happened.
He'll learn that you love him, but as you said, it takes patience. I'm still working on convincing my WCP that I'm trustworthy, and she's been with me for nearly a year. Every bird is different.

Where convincing him to eat produce is concerned, the only advice I can give is to just keep offering it! Some cockatiels (especially those from pet shops) are highly resistant to eating their fruits and vegetables. In 12 years I've only managed to convince Kraz to eat carrots and broccoli, and only sometimes.

Keep your head up and keep on trying! :smileflower:
 

sunnysmom

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Welcome to the forum. Try to just spend time sitting with him and talking to him. Even reading out loud to him. Take things slow and move at his pace. And most tiels don't eat fruit or consider vegetables a "treat". So if you want to hand feed him to help build his trust maybe try some millet spray or a sunflower seed. As for vegetables, it often takes time for a tiel to learn to eat them. Keep trying but maybe try some greens or some chopped up raw broccoli. Or some cooked mashed sweet potato. In all the years I had my tiel, I never could get him to eat a carrot. LOL.
 

Mizzely

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Honestly it's kinda good that you got the traumatic stuff out of the way so you didn't lose any ground you'd made :) Birds take time. A lot of those birds on shoulders that you see have years invested into that relationship
 

nu2birds

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When I brought my birds home 11 months ago, I just sat outside their cage with a book and read to them in a quiet, friendly voice. They seem to get mesmerized by my voice. I can talk to them or read to them or even sing to them and they stop everything and get real quiet and just stare at me the whole time. It's pretty funny because I absolutely CANNOT sing, but they love it, Ha!
 

Monica

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Sounds like you are doing fine so far!


I feel like if I can earn the trust of an ex-breeder cockatiel that was in his teens or older, then you can also work with your new tiel! Granted, I wasn't trying to tame the ex-breeder, but the amount of change he showed with how little work I put into it? I feel that's astounding!

"Self-Tamed" Cockatiels | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum


As far as diet goes... keep trying and get creative! ;)

Bird Safe Fresh Foods & Toxic Food Lists & More | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum


Just a word of caution - wooden dowels aren't healthy for their feet. Natural wooden perches are better! :)
 

Shezbug

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I had a cockatiel who hissed all the time and at everything, I personally think she enjoyed doing it. I love the way they so freely like to hiss, some do it much more than others. Mine used to do it even when she was in the middle of eating her favorite fresh foods and also daily at her feed bowls when new food got put into them. One of her favorite fresh foods happened to be spinach leaves, I would just get her a fresh leaf from the garden wash it off and leave it for her and the budgies and they would go crazy over it. Another thing that all my past cockatiels have liked was fresh grasses and especially those with seeds on top. From memory, green things were always preferred over any other fresh foods I offered them, but grasses with seeds were most definitely the favorite.
Don't stress about the fact you grabbed the bird, he will get over it soon enough as long as you are not making a habit of grabbing him often. He did not like it but you will do many many more things he does like so he will soon enough forgive you and get over it as he will be focusing on all the good things you have and offer.
Just give both of you time to learn lots about each other and when the time is right things will move forward. As for other people and their birds with their great stories of how fast they had bird on shoulder......you are not them and your bird is a one of a kind, don't focus on other peoples luck, just work towards your own goals and enjoy each new step knowing you have done the hard work to gain the birds trust and he has done the hard work learning how to interact with you.
We always hear how easy things are for others and it makes it hard to keep motivated as we feel we are failing. They do not tell us that they were often lucky with a really calm or well trained bird.
As each person has a different past story and set of learnt skills, so does each bird. You and your bird will get to a happy place together if you just allow the time and keep up with the patience.

All the best for you and your bird.
 

dattyty

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wow, thank you all for such good advice!! i'd reply to each of your post individually but i'm too lazy lol. but i really do appreciate the help. thanks again, y'all are very helpful!! :D
 

Garet

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This is an emergency situation, so you did the right thing. I had to grab and medicate one of my birds for months after getting him, and he's started to trust and land on me. Just be patient and keep up the good work! :)
 
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