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New to owning a bird. Abused cockatiel?

XII28

Moving in
Joined
10/21/21
Messages
11
Real Name
Melissa
Hi all,

This is my first time owning a bird, my cockatiel. I bought her from a run-down pet store - she actually stood out to me a couple months prior before I bought her. She is bright yellow with little red cheeks and she reminded me of Pikachu. I walked by this store and she caught my eye, I assumed she would have been bought right away. I had a small interaction with her outside the cage, I was talking to her and she started dancing. Anyway, I walked away and forgot about it and then 2 months later I walked by the same place and saw her still in this small cage in the run down pet store. I couldn't help but have an urge to purchase her. So I did. The store owners told me that she was actually abandoned there by her owner, they also told me she was male at first and she already had a name - Summer.

I've had her now for over 4 months and have noticed a few things..
Firstly, she is female and I found this out by her laying eggs.
Secondly, her behaviour. I'm not sure if she was abused by her previous owner, but every time I put my hands anywhere near her she runs away and gets terrified. She is terrified of EVERYTHING.
Thirdly, I have learned she has separation anxiety. Whenever I leave the room, no matter how short it is, could be 5 minutes to go to the bathroom - she will scream repeatedly until I come back.

So now I have a problem. Her nails have gotten too long, I bought her pedi-perches and she just grinds her beak on it, her nails keep getting longer. I decided to try clip her nails myself because all the vets here weren't taking on new clients. Anyway, I failed to do this also because she was terrified and literally squirming, curling up her toes, I gave up after 3 days and finally found a vet. Tomorrow is her appointment and I am very worried about it. I heard birds can die due to stress easily.

If theres any tips you guys can give me that would be great.
 

TurboTiel

Strolling the yard
Joined
10/15/18
Messages
95
Location
Denmark
Welcome hehe!

My Dusty is the same way, I've had him for around 3 or 4 years maybe even longer, and it's only just now he's starting to sit anywhere near me when I'm in the same room as him, patience, I'm sure evetually she'll warm up to you eventually!

I also cut Dusty's nails myself whenever I see it's nessecary, I hold him in a small towel and have my partner help me cut his nails (slways best to be two just in case, one holds the bird the other cuts the nail). Afterwards I make sure to offer some treats and whistling with him! This helps and he seems to forgive me easily.
ofc if you're feeling unsure about cutting the nails yourself, having a vet do it is always the best option :>

it's worth mentioning Dusty really benefitted having a cage buddy with him, so if you're away from home alot a buddy for her would be a good option :)
Good luck with everything my friend!
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
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Joined
9/16/13
Messages
27,585
Location
Pennsylvania
Real Name
Michelle
Thank you for helping her. A qualified vet should be able to cut her nails without a problem. It usually takes 2 people to do it so he/she will probably have a vet tech assisting. With any bird, it just takes time and patience. 4 months really isn't that long of a period of time. Just continue to spend time with her. You can try to start hand feeding her food- like millet spray. It's long enough that she doesn't have to get too close to your hands. I would do it through the cage bars to start with. Does she come out of the cage?
 

Tiel Feathers

Joyriding the Neighborhood
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Joined
9/15/14
Messages
20,188
Location
Quincy,CA
Real Name
Deanna
I’m glad you were able to give her a loving home! I think she will be fine going to the vet and getting her nails trimmed. A check up while you’re there would be a good idea too. She will become more comfortable with you as time goes on, so just take it slow and go at her pace. Never force her to do anything if you can help it, but try to make everything her choice. Sitting snd reading aloud to her us a good way to make her feel relaxed and learn to trust you. You can try target training and perch training with her to strengthen your bond and to help you get her to go where you want. I would save millet just for training, and as @sunnysmom mentioned, it also can be fed to her by hand to get her more used to you. As she gets more comfortable, you can make the spray shorter and shorter.
She’s calling for you when you leave the room because you’re her flock and she worries when you are out of sight. You can call back to her or whistle a little tune so she knows you are close. Also, it helps to have her on some sort of routine so she knows when to expect out of cage time and attention from you.
 
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