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Old 04-27-2019, 10:18 AM
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Re: Cockatiel doesn’t like my hand

I’ve had Lexa for about 2 weeks now. I am using the thread Scott recommended (Tips for Bonding and Building Trust) and I am amazed at the progress I’ve made! She is now accepting all sorts of foods from my hands. She loves sunflower seeds, but I only give her about 1 a day since they are all full of fat. Other than that, she likes apples, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, carrots, bananas, papaya, peas, almonds, dates, lentils, squash seeds, melon seeds, and -you guys were right- millet! She doesn’t even hesitate! She no longer runs away from my hand and she has even been coming out of the cage. She will step up to get back in the cage, but other than that she doesn’t really like my hand. Of course, I’m not forcing her to do anything. She has made great progress and I feel like she is really beginning to trust me.
I am trying to do the “rain” bath/shower method, and she is liking that as well. She doesn’t really play in her water bowl, but she does run in and out of the “rain” lol
Oh, and I’ve started clicker training on her as well and she is catching on very quickly.
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:28 PM
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Re: Cockatiel doesn’t like my hand

You need to always keep in-mind that when it seems like she is "afraid" of something, such as millet, or that she "doesn't like to come out of her cage even though the door is open", it's not at all that she is afraid of anything, or that she doesn't want to come out of her cage (or that she wouldn't absolutely enjoy and love coming out of her cage), but rather that the reason she isn't eating millet or any other kind of food that you try to feed her, and the reason she's not coming out of her cage or doing anything similar is simply because she's only been with you for about a week, she doesn't know you, she isn't comfortable with you at all yet, and first and foremost that you have not yet "Earned Her Trust". That's the key to all of her behaviors that make it seem like she doesn't like something or doesn't want to do something, that all of this behavior is simply due to the fact that she is afraid of you because you've only had her for a week!!! The other thing that you need to realize is that even though her cage is also new to her as well (if it's not a cage that she was in at her breeder's house or at the pet-shop she was in, etc.), she has already accepted her cage as being "her territory", as well as her "Safe-Space", and it's the ONLY territory/safe-space that she has right now in your home...And that ALL BIRDS/PARROTS are extremely territorial over "their territory", regardless of their level of tameness, of how long they've been in a home, or how closely-bonded they are with their owner; this includes adult birds/parrots that were hand-raised, who are extremely tame, and who have been with their owners for years and who have long-ago given their owners their trust, it doesn't matter, their cage is always going to be "their territory" and some birds just don't EVER want anyone's hands inside of their territory. Period. I have one of these in my Flock, my 4 year-old female Quaker Parrot who I brought home when she was only 11 weeks-old and was a very well-bred, hand-raised/hand-fed baby parrot, and who I could immediately handle, hold, pick-up, kiss, hug, etc., and who stepped-up for me the second I met her at her breeder's house...We are extremely closely-bonded and I can basically touch her and do anything I want to her without issue; she flies to me on-command and sits with me every night while I'm watching TV and she's snuggled under my chin sleeping...And to this day if I put my hands inside of her cage while she's also inside of her cage I get a light "Warning Nip" first, and if I don't remove my hands at that point she will give me an actual bite, not hard enough to break the skin, but hard enough to let me know that my hands are just not welcome in her cage when she's also "at home", lol...So I simply open-up her cage door and step-away from it, and she comes right out on her home, stands on her little "porch" that her cage-door forms, and then she'll either step-up for me if I put my hand down for her, or she'll fly to my shoulder or hand/arm if I call for her to do so...So we have this understanding and I respect her territory, and in-turn she respects that fact that I respect her territory...

***The first thing that I would mention just in-case you've not already got things set-up this way is that her "main-cage" (not talking about her "sleeping-cage" if she has one) needs to be located in the "main room" of your home, meaning the room of your home where you and everyone else who live with you spend most of your time whenever you are at home (these are the people who now make-up her new "Flock"); this is the place that you and the rest of the Flock watch TV, read, eat your meals together, get on the computer, play video-games, just hang-out and talk, where visitors to your home spend time, etc. Usually this is the Living Room, Family Room, Den, TV Room, etc. This is extremely important, especially when you have just brought-home a new bird, when it's the only bird you have in your house or it's before any other birds you already had when you brought her home have had a chance to get to know her, and then even more important when a new bird that you've just brought home is seemingly not hand-tamed and is afraid of people/hands....I don't know if your new Cockatiel was a hand-raised baby or where you got her from, but it doesn't sound like she was a hand-raised baby bird...Sometimes when you buy a bird that is still young, like under a year-old, but they are older than "just being weaned", it happens that the bird could have been originally hand-raised, but then after the bird was fully-weaned the breeder stopped handling the bird or spending any time with the bird until it went to it's new home, or the breeder/vendor sold the bird to a pet shop and the bird stopped being handled until it was sold, and in this case the bird reverts to acting like a non hand-raised bird...Also, there is a huge difference between a "hand-raised" bird who was not only hand-fed formula by it's breeder, but that was also handled every single day by their breeder, who was played with every day, interacted with every day, etc. by their breeder, and then a bird who was simply "Hand-Fed" and that's it...Some pet shops, specifically Petco, Petsmart, Petland, etc., along with other smaller, private pet shops, buy their young birds from vendors who mass-breed babies and then sell them to pet shops. And these vendors call their baby birds "Hand-Fed", which simply means that the babies were Tube-Fed by workers every day, multiple times a day, on an assembly line, and then that's it, they were never handled or interacted with at all...So the workers pick-up babies one at a time out of the huge Brooders/Tanks they keep them in, they quickly shove a Crop-Needle down their throats into their Crops, they fill their Crops with formula, and then they put them back in the Brooder and grab the next bird. The entire process takes about 30 seconds per bird, and this is what they call "Hand-Feeding" their baby birds. So when you go to Petco and you see a Cockatiel or a Conure that has a tag that says "Hand-Fed", that's what it means...They were not Hand-Raised, and they typically are not terrified of people, but they usually don't like to be handled at all, nor will they step-up for people most of the time...

Anyway, all birds/parrots are "Flock Animals", so they need to be among their Flock, rather than having their cages located in a spare-bedroom, or even in your bedroom if that's not where you spend most-all of your time when you're at home. This is the best way to get him used to being around people, hearing people's voices, used to people walking back and forth past their cage, etc. So once you've got his cage moved into the main-room of your home (if it isn't already), [B]then I would simply hang a millet-spray inside of his cage (if you don't have a millet-holder you hang inside of their cage, you can simply use a little clip to clip it to the cage bars at the end of the perch he usually sits on so it's within-reach of the perch he feels safe sitting on (use a little chip-clip, or even tie it on the cage-bar with a twisty-tie, etc.)...I'm willing to bet he loves millet and will start eating it within 24-hours...Once you see that he's eating it and he likes it, then you'll know that you can use it to work with him on hand-taming/stepping-up training...Plus you'll be giving him a treat that he loves from now on whenever you hang a millet-spray in his cage, which is a good thing as well...

***The key here is that you NEVER want to force your bird to do ANYTHING at all (unless it's a safety thing), in-fact you don't even really want to "Push" him to do anything he doesn't want to, because with parrots you must first "Earn Their Trust" before you can ever start to actually bond with them or to hand-tame them. And due to a parrot's level of intelligence (that of a 2-3 year-old human child), you cannot EVER force/push them to anything they don't want to do, you can't EVER punish them at all for their bad-behaviors because this is the quickest way to lose their trust, and you just need to spend as much time as you can with him every single day. And if that means simply having his cage always around you when you're just watching TV or doing whatever it is that you're doing when you're at home, then that's what you have to do...I like that you keep his cage-door opened up whenever you're at home, just make sure that you keep your hands out of the cage whenever he's inside of it, and instead open the cage door and then step-away and let him come out on his own terms and in his own time...Respect his "territory" and he'll in-turn gradually give you his trust...But you can't rush him or this process, especially if he was not a hand-raised bird.

***Just remember that the average time it takes to earn the trust of a young parrot like your Cockatiel, who either wasn't hand-raised or wasn't handled or interacted with much at all after they weaned, is between 6 months and a year. So it's all about you being extremely patient and not getting frustrated with him, not forcing or pushing him to do anything he doesn't want to do, and allowing him to do things in his own time...The more time you spend with him/around him/near him, the more treats and special food you give him, the more toys you put in his cage, etc., the more and more comfortable he'll feel with you, and eventually he'll give you his trust. And when that happens, THEN AND ONLY THEN will he start stepping-up for you, start flying/coming to you on-command, start wanting to sit on your shoulder all the time, etc. And if you try to push it, force it, or try to rush it, you'll only go in-reverse...
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:31 AM
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Re: Cockatiel doesn’t like my hand

Quote: Originally Posted by rylanmoore678 View Post
I’ve had Lexa for about 2 weeks now. I am using the thread Scott recommended (Tips for Bonding and Building Trust) and I am amazed at the progress I’ve made! She is now accepting all sorts of foods from my hands. She loves sunflower seeds, but I only give her about 1 a day since they are all full of fat. Other than that, she likes apples, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, carrots, bananas, papaya, peas, almonds, dates, lentils, squash seeds, melon seeds, and -you guys were right- millet! She doesn’t even hesitate! She no longer runs away from my hand and she has even been coming out of the cage. She will step up to get back in the cage, but other than that she doesn’t really like my hand. Of course, I’m not forcing her to do anything. She has made great progress and I feel like she is really beginning to trust me.
I am trying to do the “rain” bath/shower method, and she is liking that as well. She doesn’t really play in her water bowl, but she does run in and out of the “rain” lol
Oh, and I’ve started clicker training on her as well and she is catching on very quickly.
So glad you and Lexa are bonding successfully!
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