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Untame tiel both scared and relaxed

Aestatis

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I am curious what the people here think about my new cockatiel's behavior.
She is totally un-handled and about 10 months old. She was extremely terrified when first getting her home and into her new, larger cage. She has been here almost two weeks.

In a lot of ways, we have made progress. She will preen, beak grind, or nap when I am around, but I am pretty sure her whistling is for my other tiel and not me. The newest bird is in quarantine, so she can hear Candela chirp occasionally.

However, this new tiel is still very nervous with any changes. I also think she is eating the bare minimum. She is pooping so she is eating, but I don't see tons of seed hulls. She goes into a panic if I ever have to put my hand in the cage, even if it is not directed at her. So, I have been avoiding adding anything to the cage unless it is dire.

Anyone have experience with extremely skittish birds? I can't decide if ignoring her or doing more active socialization ("Power Pause") is working better.
 

WillowQ

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Two weeks is not a very long time. I might half cover her cage or give her a big toy to hide behind.

I’d worry about approaching more as she might just freeze or panic. Overwhelm is not what you want. I think I’d just do my activities near her and ignore her. Maybe talk to her from a distance that doesn’t put her on alert.
 

Pixiebeak

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If you can try working with her out of the cage , a place with a lot of perches she can move around like a tree type play stand . You might have better response. I often find working with parrots out of the cage , where they can easily move away actually helps
 

sb sigmund

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Like @WillowQ said, two weeks is very little time. I have a rescue who is not handleable but will still engage with target training and take treats from my hand. I would avoid sticking your hand in her cage after her- try interacting outside of the cage
 

Aestatis

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I appreciate the reality check! Definitely not trying to put my hands in the cage, and luckily the bowls are swing out.

I added another towel to the cage to better cover her sleep perch area. I have several springs of millet around the cage both in and out of cover. While I was eating breakfast/watching TV this morning she stole some nibbles on the sprig that is out in the open. :) It's a spot at the front where she goes to call for Candela.
 

Aestatis

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Posting again with another update. Shortly after my post I had a big breakthrough where the new bird began happily chowing down on millet when I was around. Infact, she is now obsessed with millet and will do almost anything to get it. I think she bruised her nares from trying to reach through the bars so hard. :facepalm:I can lead her all around the cage if I am holding millet, and I was just able to get her feet on my hand while feeding her.

One issue now is that she seems to only want spray millet - she will barely touch my seed mix (and forget about Roudybush crumbles). I am starting to think she only ate sunflower seeds from her previous owner's mix. I am going to try some Roudybush mini pellets and other brands to see if they offer more interest.

Anyway, here's a picture from last weekend:
20231210_221354.jpg
 

Pixiebeak

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Yay!
She is a cutie ! Millet addict or no!!
I'd out a perch by food and water bowls , make it a little easier on her to get her grub on
Nice cage too! What's the brand?
 

Aestatis

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Yay!
She is a cutie ! Millet addict or no!!
I'd out a perch by food and water bowls , make it a little easier on her to get her grub on
Nice cage too! What's the brand?
Thank you :D I lowered that platform perch in the back to be similar height to the bowls, but I think your suggestion on a proper perch is a great idea.

The cage is a Prevue with 1/2" bar spacing: https://www.amazon.com/Prevue-Pet-P...TF8&qid=1493150399&sr=8-34&keywords=cage&th=1

I think A&E and Kings are better quality, but this is great for the price. My one complaint is that there are small swinging "locks" for the cage and grate that keep falling down. You should be able to adjust the screws so they stay up, but I haven't been able to get it to work yet.
 

Aestatis

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It's been a bit, so I wanted to give a small update. I think I forgot to mention, but I named her Vista. @Pixiebeak 's suggestion of a long perch worked well and she has been chowing down on her seed mix from her food bowl! :D

She also now willingly steps on my hand if there is any chance of food - I can hold something in one hand (millet, seed) and she will step up on the other to get it. She's pretty eager to leave if I don't have anything to offer her though. I have also have been able to get her to nibble on roudybush pellets, though it's not certain if she is actually ingesting them yet.

Now for some bad news - I think she might have some signs of bumblefoot. I am unsure if it's from me or from conditions in her previous home - is her sleep perch too big?

We have a vet appointment set for Tuesday. I am worried about how she is going to deal with the stress of an exam, but I wouldn't forgive myself if she got worse and I was already aware of the situation.
 

Pixiebeak

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Vista is an excellent name ! Glad that worked and great progress!
Generally large perches even a log for your girl won't cause bumble and are supportive and prevent .
Do you have any sand perches? Those are bad. Let's see the foot
 

WillowQ

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Yes, if you can show us the bottoms of her feet we can have a much better idea. Why do you think she has bumblefoot?
 

Pixiebeak

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Looking at your cage again, she needs more perches, like five,in-between sizes from you biggest to smallest shown
 

Aestatis

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I believe I am seeing big callouses and some bits that look either cracked or somewhat scabby. There is definitely a difference compared to Candela.

It's hard to get a clear photo, but here is one of the feet. The white bit near the bottom is actually a pretty big callous. I feel like the darker bits look suspicious too.

I also attached an updated photo of the current perches. Will definitely replace the dowel with something and get a rope perch of some type.
 

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WillowQ

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I thought that thickened skin on the feet was a symptom of a vitamin deficiency from poor diet. I’m trying to recall which vitamin (A?) , but I’ve rehabbed a few birds that came to me on poor seed diets and had very thickened skin on the feet. As I fed them up on a better diet with pellets, or some supplements, the excess foot skin fell away. On one Conure, I actually gently rubbed his feet to loosen it (which he enjoyed so much).

I can’t see those feet too well so I’m not sure what’s going on, but all the things you’re doing (better diet, variety of perches) should help.
 

Aestatis

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That's very interesting! It does look like it's flaking to me, so it's hard for me to tell if the cracks and and pits are sores or just fresh skin. Here is a few more pictures. Not sure why the one with flash looks yellow.

It's the pinker bits that have me worried since it seems like she doesn't have the same scale pattern there.
 

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Pixiebeak

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It looks like some erosion and redness..she will be fine until your appointment next Tues.

She is not time yet , correct?
 

Aestatis

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I managed to get a photo of the other foot. Suspicious of the red spots, but nothing seems to be oozing. Just doesn't seem healthy.

It looks like some erosion and redness..she will be fine until your appointment next Tues.

She is not time yet , correct?
No, I wouldn't call her tame. She will only go on my hand as long as I have a treat. That said, she will eat, sleep, and preen with people around as long as she feels safe in her cage.
 

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Pixiebeak

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You can a drop or 2 of povidine iodine, betadine to water and hold on the foot. It cleans and promotes healing. It stains so be careful of stuff you don't want to get stained. Or get a little spritzer or squirt bottle to apply to the foot .

Does she he h out in the cage bars a kit like in your pictures?

You can also see if your humidity is low.

Let us know what vet says.

Why does she have fecal stains on feathers? Not weird poop or anything? Just climbing around through some poop?
 

Aestatis

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Does she he h out in the cage bars a kit like in your pictures?
I'll be honest, I'm not sure I understand the question.

I'm grabbing supplies tomorrow so I will look for the iodine. If she's too scared to step in water I might be able to get her on a wet towel.
I didn't realize she had staining until I saw that photo with the flash. Her poop looks normal so I suspect/hope it's due to her current behavior on sitting on that wood foraging block. She doesn't usually move to make sure she poops off the side. Once I realized she was doing this I have made sure to clean it every day.

Not sure if she just likes the spot (it's closest to my chair) or if she likes the block. I am going to put one of the new perches I get tomorrow in the same spot with hopes things stay cleaner. :)

Either way, I appreciate all of the advice!
 

Monica

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Her feet look dirty to me. Having clean feet might help a little!

Skittish birds do best with a way to hide and get away. This may be large toys or a bird safe net in the cage they can get behind. Height also equals safety for them.


I do not recommend removing birds from their cage in order to work and tame with them.... IF they don't want to leave their cage! If they're fine with it, that's okay! But if they want to be in or at their cage, it's better to work with them there! And once their confidence builds, then you can start moving them elsewhere.

Likewise, you can always move the cage around your home! Or see about getting a smaller cage to transport around... or maybe a playgym? If they'll get on those instead, they can still have some 'comfort'.
 
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