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Will my cockatiel like me?

Kestrel

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Hi everyone,
Okay so I HAVE owned cockatiels in the past, but I got them at a pet store and they were already fully grown and super tame. I have picked out a new baby tiel that is about 5 weeks old now. He/she is being hand fed by the breeder until it's weaned and is cute as a button. But I have noticed that the last couple of times I have gone down to visit him, he's seemed all kind of freaked out around people. Today he was rocking and hissing at me (as well as the breeder). I didn't try to pick him up today, I just sat there and talked to him. He mostly just sat and watched me but every time I moved pretty much he started the rocking and crying and hissing.
To be fare he/she had just been fed recently and was all ready for a nap I think but it still kind of made me sad. One of the reasons I chose a cockatiel is because I remember how sweet and friendly mine were years ago.
Is this a normal stage they go through or is somebody doing something wrong? Is there something more I should be doing to help him get used to me on my visits?
 

Sylvester

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Yes, he likes you, he just might not have liked what was going on around him at the moment. Animals have moods too, and babies go through stages.

I once had a female cat who gave birth to four kittens and the runt was always hissing and spitting at everyone. It was her way of saying: I'm new to this world, a little confused, a little bit threatened, so I am going to show everyone how tough I am.

As far as what you should be doing, you have already done it, by remaining calm and just speaking softly to the little guy.
 

Tiel Feathers

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The baby is young enough that he/she should come around. Does the breeder hold the bird after feeding and give a lot of attention? Some breeders can be very cold and rough, but hopefully that is not the case. Just keep going to visit and see how things go. Young birds can usually learn to trust easily. It’s good you respected the birds body language.
 

Kestrel

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Does the breeder hold the bird after feeding and give a lot of attention? Some breeders can be very cold and rough, but hopefully that is not the case.
I was kind of wondering about that. So she has several birds right now and I get the impression that she and her helpers come in, feed the babies and leave. I don't think they are holding them or spending much time with them at all. Plus I think they get a lot of strangers (potential buyers) coming in to look at them. I have also seen her man handle them quite a bit and it always makes me cringe. What's weird is she has nothing but wonderful reviews from people so maybe I'm just over analyzing?
She did give me the option of taking the baby home early and letting me wean him myself. I have been leaning towards just letting her do it because once I leave with him she does not guarentee the health. But sometimes I think it might be better for the baby if I do go ahead and do that. I have hand fed baby birds before (wild ones).
 

tka

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Handfeeding is pretty tricky - everything has to be just right or the baby won't eat or, worse, can get yeast infections or damage their crop. @Zara has experience feeding lovebird chicks and will be able to tell you more.
 

Zara

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she and her helpers come in, feed the babies and leave. I don't think they are holding them or spending much time with them at all. Plus I think they get a lot of strangers (potential buyers) coming in to look at them. I have also seen her man handle them quite a bit
:(
With all my chicks I spent time with them, especially after feeding they love to snuggle. Baby birds need the human interaction if they are to be pets.
I also socialise my baby birds, but never forced them to go with someone. The new person will put their hand out and the bird will usually step up, babies are curious. There's no need to man handle or be rough with a baby bird. They should never be grabbed unless there is danger. They need patience and love.
Is there another breeder in your area that is a little more caring?

Edit:
How possible is it to visit the bird frequently? Maybe daily or every two days?If the breeder is close enough to you to make the journey, it would be good for the bird to get some human love.

Handfeeding is pretty tricky - everything has to be just right or the baby won't eat or, worse, can get yeast infections or damage their crop. @Zara has experience feeding lovebird chicks and will be able to tell you more.
The worst is aspiration.
Birds are difficult to feed at first, then they get easier as the bird learns how to eat, then they get all difficult again as they wean. They will just stop swallowing and you need to be aware of it. Some pull their heads back, others don´t, they just sit their with their beak open not swallowing.

It is risky to take a weaned bird, hense why the breeder won´t cover you.

Here is a link, it´s worth having a read: Handfeeding Cockatiels, Hand Feeding Cockatiels, baby birds, chicks, Crop Burn, Punctured Esophagus, Slow Gut,
Sour Crop, Aspiration, Pneumonia, Aspergilliosis, Candidiasis, Yeast Infections, Subcutaneous Emphysema, Unweaned Baby Birds, handfeeding baby birds, hand feeding baby birds, hand feeding chicks, handfeeding chicks, hand feeding problems, handfeeding problems, handfeeding, hand feeding,
 
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Kestrel

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So, the reason I chose this breeder is because every time I have seen her birds (she has a store) they are always healthy and happy and friendly. She seems very knowledgeable and has only two negative reviews I can find anywhere. One said her staff was rude (not my experience) and the other was a concern on how much seed she feeds. Nobody complains about the health or temperament of her birds and she has been in business for over 10 years.

So I felt good about buying my bird from her. It has only been these last few visits that has raised red flags with me (of course AFTER I picked out my bird and put down a deposit).

I think that I have just decided that for how much she is charging for this baby, I shouldn't be worrying about this. The bird needs to be healthy, friendly and weaned when it's time for me to pick him/her up otherwise I might just have to walk away. As much as that would suck, I don't see any better option. I'm not experienced hand raising baby cockatiels and I don't want to harm my bird because I was unprepared and jumped the gun.

Also, just FYI, I did consider adoption before choosing to buy from a breeder. In fact I looked for 3 months but everyone I found is either too far away or was trying to resell their bird on craigslist. I feel if I'm going to pay that much for a bird I want to know where it's coming from so it's more likely to be healthy. So that is why I went this route. I have been talking to one other breeder i like that all she breeds are cockatiels and she doesn't have a store, she is just a breeder. If this doesn't work out (which I still hope it does!) I will probably go with her.
 

Kestrel

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:(

How possible is it to visit the bird frequently? Maybe daily or every two days?If the breeder is close enough to you to make the journey, it would be good for the bird to get some human love.
,
I have the option to visit 4 days a week. Weekends are hard because I have kids and we are usually busy so I've been visiting 3 days a week Wednesday-Friday while they are in school.
 

sunnysmom

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I too would discourage taking on handfeeding. And it's a huge source of contention with me when breeders sell unweaned babies. To me, it's a red flag if a breeder even gives that option. That said, I don't think I would be discouraged by the baby not being friendly towards you. She's a baby. All babies are fussy at some point, etc. right? However, if you're not comfortable with the situation there are so many birds out there in need of good homes. If this isn't the bird for you, the right one is out there.
 

Kestrel

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@sunnysmom I've been giving it a lot of thought and I agree with you. I'm not going to take on hand feeding. It's too risky and not fair to he bird in my opinion.

I'm going to just see how this plays out at this point since I'm already in pretty deep with this breeder. I will keep visiting the bird and give it the best chance I can. Hopefully it will work out for the best.

Thank you to everyone for all the advice and insight! My bird and I both appreciate it!
 

Zara

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I have the option to visit 4 days a week.
That sounds good.
If you could go and spend some time with the bird and be together, hold him/her etc..

She's a baby. All babies are fussy at some point, etc.
Yea, some of mine have had the little attitude like ¨no, I wanna do my own thing¨ it´s like the bird equivalent of the terrible twos. It can happen around the weaning period.

I'm not going to take on hand feeding. It's too risky and not fair to he bird in my opinion.
That is smart.

Please do introduce the baby to us when you bring him/her home :)
 

Kestrel

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Please do introduce the baby to us when you bring him/her home :)
Thank you! I definitely will!!! :heart::heart::heart:
Concerns and worry are overshadowing the excitement a little right at this moment, but overall I am sooo looking forward to bringing my baby home! I have really missed having a bird and been looking forward to this for years. So yeah, when I do bring the little dude home I will be one proud mama, posting all kinds of pictures :D
Thanks again!:hug8:
 

Zara

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It is ok to be concerned. But don´t worry, you could make yourself ill.

It seems she has good reviews from lots of people, and between that and visiting the bird frequently, I´m sure it will put your mind at ease.

Expending the family is a special time, enjoy it :)
 

Tiel Feathers

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I hope everything works out with this baby. He needs a loving home now too, so it might as well be yours! Keep us updated on how your visits progress, and I can’t wait to see pictures!
 

Zara

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AWwwwwwww ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
How sweet!!! He´s a cutie!
Did he let you hold him?
Also, it may be worth thinking about whether you will clip the bird or not. And make your request known to the breeder. I hear that a lot of breeders will just clip without asking what the person wants, after they have seen the bird with wings. If you want your bird flighted, make it very clear.
 

Kestrel

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@Zara i made a small attempt but he really didn't want to be held, so I just petted his back and talked to him. One if his siblings did step up on my finger though. My guy was honestly the least friendly of the bunch today which is so funny because last week (when I picked him) he was the most friendly LOL
Good point about the wings. I do want him fully flighted, I feel like it's much more healthy for them but if I end up having to tame him down would it be better to clip them temporarily?
 
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