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Questions for new tiel-owner

toto2021

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Hi, I just recently got my tiel, Toto. I've had him/her (unknown gender, will just say he for now) for almost a month now; he's just hit 3 months old. I have a bunch of questions so I'll compile them here below instead of making multiple threads lol, maybe one of you can help me out with any?

1) I have a circular platform swing hanging in his cage. At night lately he likes to sleep on it, probably because it's more comfortable on his feet? Is that fine for him to sleep on the platform like that with his feet, or should he be sleeping on a perch? (This would mean I would take the swing out during nighttime.)

2) As we enter winter, in Canada our days will get much shorter. Should I be following the daylight time for his bedtime, or consistently keep him up til around 6:30-7:30pm? Currently that is when he gets into his cage quite willingly to sleep.

3) Anyone have any recommendations for bird-safe humidifiers?

4) Any tips on improving his consistency in step-up/fly to me, etc? He knows how to do these things, but usually only does it if we have millet or if it is to his whim lol!

5) Any tips on having appropriate "no!" responses? For example if he's chewing on something that he shouldn't, how can I prevent him from doing so? He's okay with being lifted and placed somewhere else but I don't want to do that if I don't have to, because that's what I've been doing but idk if this is good practice. This would be good manners I think for the future as well, because right now he loveessss going after earrings or glasses while on shoulders, or going after computer/phone wires/laptop keys etc.

6) Right now he gets to be out of his cage whenever we are home. During the day however, if we are home and we don't have him out, and he sees us walking around, he will get agitated and very flock-call-y, which I understand. Sometimes though we just can't have him out at the time (ex. taking a test online, online meeting, etc), and he will flap and pace a lot in the cage. Is there any way to ensure that he doesn't hurt himself flapping/pacing and almost falling often in the cage? He makes a lot of noise and I'm afraid he'll hurt himself.

7) How much vegetables do cockatiels usually eat? I give him fresh veggies every day along with his pellets (Tropican), but he will usually only take maybe 5-6 tiny bites of the veggies (leafy greens usually) before getting bored almost. If this is too little, how can I encourage vegetable uptake? (So far he's eaten from Chinese yu choy, kale, nasturtium, a little broccoli, dandelion leaves, and corn. He has refused to eat peas, and basil LOL.)

Thank you in advance if you can help me out with any of these questions!!!

Photo of Toto for tax!
IMG_7708.jpg
 

sunnysmom

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He's a cutie. I think it's fine to let him sleep on the swing if that's what he likes. It's good to have a variety of perches in his cage, not just dowel perches- which it already sounds like you have a variety- but things like natural wood, rope, etc are good. The concern that I am aware of is sometimes birds with only dowel perches can develop sores on their feet because they are always putting pressure on the same spots.

I usually adjust my birds' bedtimes to whatever they actual time is. As for chewing, I usually just redirect them. So, if they're trying to chew on something they are not supposed to, I give them something they can chew on instead or I block access to whatever they can't chew on.

Baby tiels tend to be clumsy. If you find that he's falling because he's getting too excited, you can lower his perches for awhile so he doesn't have far to fall and/or put padding on the bottom of his cage. How big is his cage? It should be big enough that he won't hurt himself if he's flapping his wings.
 

toto2021

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He's a cutie. I think it's fine to let him sleep on the swing if that's what he likes. It's good to have a variety of perches in his cage, not just dowel perches- which it already sounds like you have a variety- but things like natural wood, rope, etc are good. The concern that I am aware of is sometimes birds with only dowel perches can develop sores on their feet because they are always putting pressure on the same spots.

I usually adjust my birds' bedtimes to whatever they actual time is. As for chewing, I usually just redirect them. So, if they're trying to chew on something they are not supposed to, I give them something they can chew on instead or I block access to whatever they can't chew on.

Baby tiels tend to be clumsy. If you find that he's falling because he's getting too excited, you can lower his perches for awhile so he doesn't have far to fall and/or put padding on the bottom of his cage. How big is his cage? It should be big enough that he won't hurt himself if he's flapping his wings.
Thank you for your responses!! Definitely keeping them in mind.

I ended up deciding to let him have a regular perch swing instead of the platform swing. It tends to accumulate a lot of poop if he sleeps on it lol bc it can't drop down! I'll only have the platform swing for him during the day.:)

So for the winter time, it will be okay if they have like 14 hours of sleep? I'll probably keep him up til around 5 or 6 pm, but honestly in the winter it gets dark by 4:30pm haha.

His cage currently is 30"x18"x36". It's a taller cage, he really likes the upper half but I will try and see if he responds better to have more stuff available on the lower half. I figure that's bird behavior to prefer the higher spaces haha. What kind of padding can I use for the bottom?
 

sunnysmom

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Fourteen hours is a little long. 10-12 is what is usually recommended. Tiels typically do better in cages that are wider than taller, just for future reference. Is he actually falling?
 

toto2021

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Fourteen hours is a little long. 10-12 is what is usually recommended. Tiels typically do better in cages that are wider than taller, just for future reference. Is he actually falling?
He only falls if he paces so much to the point of losing his grip on perches/toys! He only makes the flock call once or twice now when I leave the room. If no one else walks by, he's usually fine and actually napping. But if someone does, then he'll make the "let me out!" call. Usually he's out anyway unless I'm cooking or if I must be in my room for a call. The issue really is just being vocal and pacing/flying from perch to perch (and then losing grip and falling) ONLY if someone is in the room AND he's in the cage still haha!! Am I spoiling him too much? Should I just let him be?
 

sunnysmom

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He only falls if he paces so much to the point of losing his grip on perches/toys! He only makes the flock call once or twice now when I leave the room. If no one else walks by, he's usually fine and actually napping. But if someone does, then he'll make the "let me out!" call. Usually he's out anyway unless I'm cooking or if I must be in my room for a call. The issue really is just being vocal and pacing/flying from perch to perch (and then losing grip and falling) ONLY if someone is in the room AND he's in the cage still haha!! Am I spoiling him too much? Should I just let him be?
It's normal for tiels to pace when they want out. One thing that may help is spending time with him when he's in his cage too so he doesn't always think as soon as he sees you he should get out.
 

toto2021

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It's normal for tiels to pace when they want out. One thing that may help is spending time with him when he's in his cage too so he doesn't always think as soon as he sees you he should get out.
Thank you! Gonna continue trying that.

I have a question that just came up now - maybe you or anyone else reading can help out - usually he is totally fine being picked up and handled. But lately today he's been nipping and making an annoyed squawk if I try to stop him from doing what he wants (ex. climbing up on my shoulder and stopping him by getting him to step up or picking him up and placing somewhere else). What can I do to discourage this? He's a spoiled little brat :facepalm:
 

sunnysmom

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Thank you! Gonna continue trying that.

I have a question that just came up now - maybe you or anyone else reading can help out - usually he is totally fine being picked up and handled. But lately today he's been nipping and making an annoyed squawk if I try to stop him from doing what he wants (ex. climbing up on my shoulder and stopping him by getting him to step up or picking him up and placing somewhere else). What can I do to discourage this? He's a spoiled little brat :facepalm:
Generally, if a bird doesn't want to be handled, I leave them be. Some days, they just don't want to interact- might be getting to ready to molt, just crabby that day, etc. Positive reinforcement is usually the way to go. Reinforcing the good behavior with a treat or praise. Distracting them with something also works. It seems like the more I tell my birds no, the more they want to do it. LOL. But if I can get them to play with a toy, shred some paper, etc. it can stop them from doing whatever I don't want them to do.
 

toto2021

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Generally, if a bird doesn't want to be handled, I leave them be. Some days, they just don't want to interact- might be getting to ready to molt, just crabby that day, etc. Positive reinforcement is usually the way to go. Reinforcing the good behavior with a treat or praise. Distracting them with something also works. It seems like the more I tell my birds no, the more they want to do it. LOL. But if I can get them to play with a toy, shred some paper, etc. it can stop them from doing whatever I don't want them to do.
Very true. Thanks for the info! :) I'll just have to have many toys on hand for distraction haha.
 

toto2021

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Generally, if a bird doesn't want to be handled, I leave them be. Some days, they just don't want to interact- might be getting to ready to molt, just crabby that day, etc. Positive reinforcement is usually the way to go. Reinforcing the good behavior with a treat or praise. Distracting them with something also works. It seems like the more I tell my birds no, the more they want to do it. LOL. But if I can get them to play with a toy, shred some paper, etc. it can stop them from doing whatever I don't want them to do.
Sorry for the double post - it might have been that he was sleepy LOL! I placed him back in his cage shortly after, he was chirping and eating/drinking a little, and very quickly went to nap. So you're totally right - some times they just wanna be left alone!
 
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