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Parent-fed Tiel Taming Process Being Not Responsive

EfremSkopje

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As it is in the title, I have a cockatiel which is not hand-fed. Unfortunately, I don't know its gender (a lutino), he or she is still molting and probably is about 6-7 months old. I got my cute tiel when it was about 5 months old I guess, and since then, I tried multiple ways of training it.

I tried taming my tiel with food it seems to like (sunflower seeds and millets). It kind of worked but I never was able to get my bird to trust my hands that much after 2 weeks of trying.

It may sound totally stupid, but I also tried taking them out with a perch, and rewarding the step ups and stuff like that. It seemed to work to a degree but I then abandoned this because I didn't want to scare the bird and hurt it.

Right now, I totally have no idea on what to do. I had to leave my bird to my grandparents for 4 days (because I was forced to leave the city and travel a 7 hours road trip) and now it seems like my bird trusts my hands even less. (I'm sure they didn't try getting her out or anything)

Let's say that I'm going to do this from the start again. What should I be doing? Most of the online guides are not working at all since my bird requires even more time than others. I just want to know if this is all going to work (and how can I make it happen).

Thanks in advance.
 

Lady Jane

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Before you can train a bird you need to have this birds trust. Also the bird should feel comfortable in the environment. This is where I would start. Have you grabbed this bird or done anything to reinforce a fear of hands or was the bird afraid of hands when you first got the bird?
 

JLcribber

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We do not "tame" birds. What we do is "earn their trust" over time. A long time. There is no shortcut. Your bird is still a baby. Your bird has only been with you a very short time. It has no reason to trust you.

What you need to do is start over and slowly earn your birds trust. PATIENCE is the thing you need to learn.
 

sunnysmom

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I would start from square one with him. Sit with him, talk to him, hand feed him treats through the cage bars. Then leave the cage door open and put a perch outside the door. Hang a piece of millet and let him start coming out of the cage on his own, with supervision of course. The idea is for him to want to be with you not to force him. He'll come around. Tiels are very lovable little birds. :)
 

Tiel Feathers

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You haven’t really had him that long, and as others have said, you have to earn his trust. Make sure you are the giver of all things wonderful and never force your bird to do anything. Starting with a perch and respectfully teaching your bird to step up onto it is a good way to start if your bird is fearful of hands. Just watch his body language to make sure he is not frightened. After you do the things @sunnysmom suggested, and when he is more comfortable, you can try feed him a long millet spray from your fingers. (Not the whole thing, just a little bit.) Over time you can slowly make the spray shorter and shorter. Maybe after some weeks he will eat a small millet berry from your hands. I had a tiel who didn’t like skin, and would only step onto my clothed arm. He didn’t like to be pet, and he didn’t like hands, but he was the best little friend. Don’t underestimate the bond you can have with a bird who doesn’t like hands, and don’t put expectations on your new friend. Love him for who he is, and he will love you back in time.
 

Nidarosis

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My tiel is also very unsure of people. Sadly because he was stuck in the pet shop much longer than most animals. His experience there with people was just them looking at him, cleaning cage or grabbing other animals and birds for sale. I can imagine that sight must have been traumatizing, especially after so many months of seeing his own cage partners being grabbed and sold off. To him it probably looked like they were going to be murdered...

He is still very very unsure of me and my partner, but we keep trying. Talking to him, reading and generally leaving treats and veggies in his cage. We also sit down next to the cage and do our own things like watching videos or eat. Only times we put hands inside yet is to change his food or water or if we have to do some cleaning.

I think it will take a very long time to earn his trust, but in the end it will be worth it. My tiel may never be super tame, but I just hope he will be more confident.
I am sure your tiel will learn to love your company and will turst you, just dont give up, and in the end it will feel like time flew by.
 

EfremSkopje

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A big thank you for everyone that replied to this post!

I cannot quote or reply all the questions, but I will answer some general things.

This cute tiel was afraid of the hands since the day 1. Although my tiel is afraid, thry just eat the smallest berry sized pieces of millet from my fingers. I kinda try to get them used to my other hand while eating now. So this way, they will get used to my other hand's existence, my other hand is harmless too, it just stays there. So one day, they may perch on it to get closer to tasty millet!

I am determined once again thanks to both my partner's (who recommended this forum) and you people's help.
 
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