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New to owning a Parrot, seeking help- Sad Update Post #73

MooShu

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Ok so first I have to introduce myself and my little friend. I'm Calin, from Romania. And recently, about 3 days ago I've bought an cockatiel, named MooShu.
The first two days I've stayed in the same room as him, talking or playing relaxing music for Parrots found on youtube. After some hours he calmed down and got used to his cage.
In day one he started running around the bottom of the cage, then climbing up to the perches and jumping down, repeating the cycle. While he was doing this, we would ocasionally "sing", the screams that they do.
I've read online that this is the behaviour of an parrot that's either bored, eager to see me, or wants out of the cage. Dumbe me actually let him out in his first day home. He flew scared across the room, until eventually I've gently grabed him and put him back in the cage, but he bit me.
You know how parrtos are, eatting seeds and leaving shells all over the room. To prevent this I've put a white sheet of paper in front of his food bowl. This stressed the heck out of him and the next day, day three, I've noticed watery dropping. I've went to the vet and they gave me some medicaments and vitamins to put in his watter. But after I've got those, he drank only once from the bowl. I think he doesn't like the taste. But I need him to drink so he's droppings get hard again.
What can I do about that?

Also I have another thing to say. After day two I've started putting my hand close to his cage. First he was scared. But now when I hold seeds trough his bars he usually runs around the cage for 5 mins then comes and takes the seed. If I leave my fingers there after he takes the seed, he "bites" me. But not in a hurting way, just a nibble I would say. How can I get him used to my hand quicker? I take pitty in him because he wants out of the cage but I can't let him out. Not until he gets ussed to my hand atleast. I have an playground ready for him outside the cage but I'm scared if I let him out I'll have to pick him up again and bite me, so all the "bond' we just did was for nothing.
Any ideeas on how to tame this little Cockatiel named MooShu?
 

MooShu

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I also have to say that in my country we don't have pallets for birds. All I feed him are millet seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, oatmeal, The spiral Millet thingy, and a stick of honey and seeds. All are seeds. Also he doesn't seem to be into fruits and veggies. I've tried to give him an bell pepper. Gave him an pretty small chunk but he had there the seeds of the pepper and some red veggie. But he didn't ate any of it. Also tried with different dried fruits but he doesn't eat those either. Just drags them around the cage.
 

Jas

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Hello and welcome to the avenue!

I don't have any experience in cockatiels but someone will come along who will. The bonding process can take a while depending on the experience and the bird's personality. Talking to mooshu and giving him treats is a good way to get him used to your voice, keeping him in the cage for two weeks or more is a good way to get him used to his environment.

I know cockatiels do better with less pellets and more seeds in their diet but it's really important that you offer different fruit and veggies (mainly veggies), you could mash them,chop them Finely, grate them offer them in slices, offer them one or two or 10 at a time. Sprinkle seeds on them, put them through a food processor to try and encourage him to eat.
 

MooShu

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Thanks Jasmine ^_^
I'll try to keep him in the cage until after the new year's eve if that's ok?
And I'll definitely try out the veggie and fruit diet. So chopped veggies and fruits with sprinkled seeds. Shall I put them in an separate bowl? Or keep them in the same bowl as the main food (seeds) is?
 
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Jas

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Yeah sounds like a plan.

My conures get a separate food and my budgies get mixed so you could offer it in a different bowl first and then in the same,but just don't leave the food out too long or bacteria will start to grow. Morning is usually the best time to offer new foods as that is when birdies are the most hungriest.
 

MooShu

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But I have one concern. What do I do with the medicine in the water? If he's eating veggies and fruits, he'll be getting water from that source. He won't even touch the water that has medicine in it. Can I make him thirsty? Giving him some kind of food that makes him thirsty so he can drink that medicine?
 

Jas

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I had to medicate my birds water for a week for an infection which cleared up,I never really saw them drinking, even now. I know that thy drink first thing in morning and later on. Seeds contain very little moisture so he won't be getting fluids from that, he's probably drinking but you can't see it.are his food and water bowls at the bottom of his cage? If so out them near the top so he feels safer (cockatiels do eat off the floor so it's not natural but he's higher up so he'll feel safer).
 

MommyBird

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What you want to do is get him used to sitting on your hand in the cage. otherwise when you let him out he will still not be easy to get back in.
Check out youtube videos to see teaching parrots to step up.

I always choose to give birds medications orally by syringe. Then you know they have it and they don't avoid drinking.
This will obviously be a different dosage than what you are putting in the water bowl, so you'd need to consult the vet.
If you are grabbing the bird to medicate, that is counterproductive to getting him to like your hands. Did you see an avian vet? Did they look at a fecal sample in the microscope? If he has an infection then antibiotics are needed. vitamins are not so important and he should get them from food.

It does take a number of weeks sometimes to settle in. Just try to go at his pace where he is not stressed but is progressing. Short 5 minute sessions or even less of training to be comfortable with you and your hand.
 

finchly

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Some foods my cockatiels will eat are: cooked sweet potato, boiled egg, peas, cooked carrots, quinoa, rice, and sprouts.

Mine will not eat food that is low, I have to put it up high. I do not mix the seed with the fresh foods because I remove the fresh after a few hours.

Often if you offer a food once and they dont eat it, offer another piece of the same kind the next day and they love it.
 

aooratrix

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You've had good advice about diet. Check out the Feathered Food Court: there are lots of recipes for making chop. Basically, you're going to chop (by hand or with a food processor) the vegetables (some cooked, some not, depending on the vegetable) to about the same size, so the bird will eat things that are good for it, not just what it likes. You can mix the vegetable chop with a grain base like brown rice, quinoa, spelt, wheat berries, etc. Many people feed fresh foods first thing in the morning when birds are hungry to encourage eating chop. You could try that.

I know you're eager for a closer relationship with your bird, but speed isn't the way to go. Spend time with the bird, talking and whistling, and keep offering treats by hand. The bird will get more comfortable with you in time. Rushing the bird will make it fearful, which is not a good foundation for your relationship. Good luck and welcome to Avian Avenue. :)
 

ode.to.parrots

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Welcome to the avenue! I'm so sorry to hear that you have had a stressful three days!

Honestly, vitamins are really not the solution - your tiel needs a healthier diet with more veggies. Cockatiels don't eat fruit really, and because of the sugar content, I would avoid it. Try offering dark leafy greens such as cilantro, parsley, kale and dandelion greens or carrot tops. My tiels love it when I clip a bundle greens to the side of the cage.
Try offering a bowl of finely chopped veggies mixed with seeds or grains (quinoa is a favorite in this house) first thing in the morning, when your bird us hungiest. Then get your own breakfast and eat in view of your tiel. Meals are a social activity, and when your tiel sees you happily eating, the more likely your tiel will eat. The more dramatic you are about eating, the more likely your tiel will eat.

In regards to teaching your bird to step up... Surprisingly, you don't ever have to stick your hand in the cage while your bird is in there. Ever. Most birds hate that either because it scares them or they see it as an invasion of their territory. I always just open the door and wait for my tiels to climb out. I even have perches on the outside of the cage to make it easier. Then I can pick up (at least one of my tiels) from there. For step up training, I highly recommend watching Barbara Heindenreich. She has a an entire hour long seminar just dedicated to step up training that has helped me make SO much progress with my more stubborn cockatiel.
Parrot Digital Media | Online Parrot Media

Also... in theory you don't really need to ever handle your cockatiel in order to let him out. It took Buckbeak several months before he let me pick him up, and even so, he is very particular about when/where I pick him up. Is is pretty standoffish with me (But loves my fiance), and we do training sedsiom as a bonding activity, but even so
we can go a full day without ever touching each other. The key is to bird proof the space, keep your bird flighted, leave food in the cage, and never, ever rush your bird. The first time you attempt this, make sure you have an entire afternoon free and no place you need to go. With my tiels now, we have a routine where I will put a treat such as a cashew in their bowls about a half hour before I have to go anywhere, but usually it only takes two to five minutes for them to climb back in on their own.

You mentioned that your tiel was pacing... if you don't mind my asking, how big is your tiels cage?

I hope this all helps!!! I know that adopting a new bird can be overwhelming at first, but we are here to help! Do you have any pics of your new feathered friend? :)
 

Alien J

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Hi! Glad you are here! I, too, am new to parrot ownership. I rescued TD from an abusive home when he was just 20 days old (May of this year). The people on the Avenue here pretty much helped me save his life.

The one thing that works for me when I want TD to try something new (food) is this: I eat some of whatever it is in front of him. I do a lot of "yum, yum, yum" and "this is so good" etc., Really let him see what I'm eating. Then, I say, "Try some?" and offer him a very little bit. It doesn't gaurantee he'll like it, but he always tries some.

The reason this works, I think, is bcuz it's a natural behavior for cockatiels to come together as a flock and forage for food together. And to share food. TD gets really excited whenever any of us eat in front of him. He'll immediately go to his food bowl and start chomping, checking between bites to make sure you're still eating, too!
Even when one of the dogs goes to his food bowl and starts crunching, TD's in heaven.

Also, please remember to have some of whatever you are trying to get Mooshoo to eat already chopped up. Don't give him food that you've taken a bite of, or food from a utensil you've used. Turns out our saliva has goodies in it that aren't so good for them and can make them sick. This is good to know... for when you and Mooshoo become close friends and start giving kisses!

Good luck. Be patient. Read, watch, listen to everything you can about cockatiels and their behavior. I read to TD a lot. It doesn't matter what. Always be the bringer of good things to Mooshoo. During these first weeks just sit by his cage and talk to him or quietly read aloud.

Post some pics!

PS TD's not big on fruit, which seems to be the standard with tiels. He will eat apple. The things he liked right away and still likes are: broccoli, carrots, sprouts, bell pepper, snow peas and kale! Oh, and raw pumpkin!
 
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MooShu

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Got it. More veggies ^_^

Today I went out with my gf for about three hours. Then I came back with her. Usually when he meets someone new, like my mother, brother etc, he acts all scared. Today he was all sleepy. And he's still sleepy after 2 hours. He doesn't sit on the bottom of the cage, he sits on the honey seed bar and acts sleepy, or even on his perch. Is his illness getting worse?
What can I do?

I'll try the morning veggie breakfast. And I'll eat besides him.
But until then, what can I do about his sleepy acting? Even now, the lights are up, I'm talking with him and he just goes back to sleep in front of me.

I'm really scared of losing him. I'm trying my best to help him, I don't want him to get ill.
Also all the vets are closed now. Christmas is coming and I can't take him anywhere. Can't take him to emergencies because we have only one "pet hospital" in the city and the owners are in holiday and they've left a student in their place :/

I've also tried giving him bird biscuits. Maybe that would cherish him up. But he just ignored it and went to sleep again.
He wakes up, runs for about 5 minutes, eats some millet then back to sleep.

Here's a pic of him all fluffed up ready for sleep.
You can also see his cage.
It's little I know, but I didn't plan for him to stay in that cage forever. I wanted him to be out of the cage most of the time. But again, if I let him out he will just fly into the walls again and try to avoid me. And if I want to take him into his cage I would be forced to grab him again since he's scared of my hand.

When he's sleepy he doesn't mind my hand that much. He lets me put my hand in front of him, behind the bars, and he just looks at it. Doesn't run.
When he's active he minds my hand just a little bit. Running from it but then coming back to see if it moved or if I brought treats.

Any ideas on what I can do? Your help is appreciated.
 

finchly

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He looks puffed up, are his feathers puffed? Did he sleep last night? Is he eating/drinking normally?

It is impossible to diagnose illness on the internet. This is a terrible time to have a sick bird I know. It is hard to find a vet.

Does his poop look normal? By normal I mean some white and some green, well formed. Is there seed in his poop?

If it was my bird --- and I am not a vet, just an owner of 30+ birds -- I would stop giving the vitamins. I would put a small bit of apple cider vinegar in his water, the best kind is with the 'mother' or organic type (15 ml ACV to 1 liter of water). I would also give him a little heat at one side of the cage, where he can get near it or away from it if he wants to.

For now, just sit nearby or read to him but don't do anything that will stress him. Don't put your hand in any more than you have to, and don't let others bother him either.

Good luck.
 

MooShu

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His poop looks normal by the color. White and green. Dark green and some lighter green. But it's watery. That's the problem. And the vet told me to put those vitamins alongside his medication for his body to fight back the illness. I think I'll lower the vitamin drops in his water. Maybe that way he will drink more?
He eats normal. Sometimes the seeds in his bowl, sometimes the millet or the bird biscuit. He eats well. But he seems very tired.
When I talk to him, he has a sleepy look on his face, all puffed up, and sometimes he shakes his head. I think he does this to remain awake and focused on me.
 

MooShu

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His beak looks like it's pelling off. That's cearly a sign of illness.
I'm really scared that I might lose him over then next days. =(
He still eats the honey bar and the biscuit, but he won't move from that spot.
 

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MooShu

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Thank you. I was panicking. Again, he's still puffed up, won't move. Should I let him like this for the rest of the night? Should I cover his cage like I always do at night and let him sleep? Turn off the lights for a better sleep?
He slept last night, at least I think he did.
I've turned off the lights and covered his cage at 11 p.m. and woke him up at 10 a.m.
That's 11 hours of sleep. I've read somewhere that they need at least 10 h of quiet time to sleep. So I don't think it's because he hasn't slept last night.
I've changed his water but he didn't move from that spot.
He just eats something then goes back to begin sleepy.
Also, he is picking his feathers. Either he's cleaning them from seeds, because he likes to jump into his seed bowl, either he is harming itself. Heard that is a thing when they feel sick. He's not picking them out, just like, imagine a cat licking itself to get clean, now imagine a parrot doing the same thing lol.

I'm sitting next to him, talking softly, with my hand besides him, behind the bars.
 
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