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Old 05-04-2019, 08:53 AM
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Please help, cockatiel doesnt want to be trained

Hi there, not exactly how I wanted my first post to be!
So basically I have a 2 1/2 year old male cockatiel named Cisco who I bought almost a year ago. Let me give you some backstory, Cisco came from a breeder who didnt care for him much, the breeder had about 11 cockatiels for sale when I was there. Once they were born after a few weeks, the breeder would put all his cockatiels in very very small budgie cages. He had aboout 5 cages with 2 birds in each, they were in a small greenhouse that was closed most hours of the day. In short, cisco was never handled or socialized with.

I brought him home and he was very scared until about 2 months in where he started to trust me and would come on my hand as i was target training him. However, one day while he was on my hand, my younger brother ran in the room screaming and cisco freaked and flew under the bed. He wouldnt come out and it took about 10 mins to get him out. After that he really wasnt the same, he eventually would trust me more and would eat from my hand and socialize with me but doesnt go onto my finger on command or anything anymore. Very sad. So as you can see he hasnt had the best of experiences in life so far and I have literally no idea of what to do now and how to train him again. Everything i do, he rejects the idea of training. im stuck, i know its a rant but its so sad and I would appreciate any help.

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Old 05-04-2019, 08:56 AM
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Re: Please help, cockatiel doesnt want to be trained

How long ago did your brother scare him? It could take a few months of daily work for him to get over that.

Have you tried socializing him with your brother at all? Is he in the main area of your home?

Don't give up--the fact that you have gotten as far as you have is great and very promising.
My bird is currently acting a bit irritated with me for taking her to the vet 2 days in a row...They like to hold onto things sometimes, but you will build your trust back up.

Have you allowed him to exit and enter the cage of his own accord? Sometimes birds get a bit weird about their cages. If you can safely allow him to come out and hang out on top of his cage etc (entering and exiting as he pleases), I would do that. Once he is confident enough to exit and re-enter on his own, then you could start considering trying to get him to step up from the outside..and once you can get him to do that consistently, then you might want to consider getting a training perch away from his cage so that you are working with him on neutral ground. It's going to be a process, and I wouldn't rush it, or you will end up taking steps backwards.

Build trust by offering treats (if he will take them from your hand without hesitation, then do that, but if you have to hold your hand there for 20 years, I would just let him see you place it in the bowl so that he keeps associating you with positive/low anxiety situations). Read around the cage, go about your routine...Do whatever your bird is comfortable allowing you to do, but I wouldn't push that comfort zone. In my opinion, if you can safely (safely being the key) leave the door open and allow him to come out and go back in without your forcing him there, that would be a good start.

Last edited by noodles123; 05-04-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:50 PM
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Re: Please help, cockatiel doesnt want to be trained

All you can do is have patience. From my experience parrots can make snap judgments and be very unwilling to change their minds. It takes time, patience and perseverance to rebuild trust. Although to me its not so much rebuilding trust but learning that being outside the cage is not terrifying. Is Cisco's cage still in the same room where he was terrified? As noodles suggested, let your bird come out of the cage at his own pace before trying to get him to step up. He may simply be scared and needs to go at his own speed to come out of his cage. Just open the door and sit and talk quietly in a soft voice until he calms down. If after an hour he still hasn't left the cage try again the next day and so on until he does. Talk to your brother and explain that bursting into the room can badly scare your bird. They are a prey creature and may associate that sort of thing with a predator. Sort of like a cat bursting out from under a bush trying to catch them. Expect it to take months of work rather than days or weeks, but you will get there if you have the determination to succeed.
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