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Old 07-20-2019, 08:28 PM
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I have 4 budgies, Athena, Aris, Jack, and Percy. I also have a cockatiel named Wuapo.
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Possible cage aggression?

Hello, so I am new to owning cockatiels and my boy Wuapo is my first. I've had budgies before, but never had this problem. So I've had my boy for quite a while now, he is very friendly. He enjoys having his scritches and kisses, but he won't come out of his cage or step up from inside his cage. I can't even get him up onto a perch. When I tried teaching him to step up onto a perch he would go around it, and this is when he would come out. the only way he would. Once he's out he's fine. He steps up onto my hand (occasionally with a bite) but if he's on my shoulder, he refuses to step up. The only thing I found that works as a positive reinforcement for him were scritches. When I try to train him to step up (from the cage or even on my shoulder) He doesn't give a warning scrape like I've heard most tiels would, he would just bite me. I've tried luring him out with treats, but he's not too interested. If he can see my hand, he goes for it rather than a treat. If my hand is above neck level, he accepts it and bends down for a scritch. I can't even have my hand inside the cage without him getting upset and trying to bite. Turns out, his previous owners used to grab him in order to take him out of his cage, they even gave me the cloth they used, which I threw out.

I don't want to keep having to use the perch to get him out, especially since he's just avoiding it. I've been told to train him outside the cage, but the problem is, without him avoiding the perch I can't get him out of the cage. I know birds like cockatiels need time outside of their cages. His door is open all day when I'm home, he will just sit on the perch in front of it, but never comes out. Any advice? I honestly don't know what to do to convince him to come out of the cage.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:53 AM
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Re: Possible cage aggression?

Sounds just like my male. I know every case is different, but there are 3 things that have shown major improvement of his cage aggression, and yes, that's what I'd call it too.

1: cage upgrade! We moved him from a 14"x18" cage that is call a budgie or finch cage, into a single critter nation cage, now it's 24" D, 24"H, and 36"W. Added new toys, perches, food and water dishes all before he went in.

2: A companion strictly for him. Now this one had EVERYONE questioning my thinking, my male was a terror when I got him, first thing he did is bite till I bled. But I had a somewhat crazy idea to get another cockatiel, never had DNA done, but we are sure we have a female based on everything else. We did our quarantine and let them visit each other from separate cages, and when we got the critter nation, they were introduced to the new cage ect at the same time they got to move in together, so everything but us was different for both birds over night. He chilled out a TON with all the change, and now he sings, talks, headbobs, dances ect, and my female has stayed very sweet without any issues.

3: "play time" outside the cage daily! The budgies and cockatiels get along with each other very well for play time, so they all play as one group, all 6 budgies, and both cockatiels will take turns getting attention and scritches from my wife and I, we lay a sheet over our bed, catch tray, and the jungle gym toy, and let them have our room every night for at least an hour, then our ringnecks get an hour of their own, the male ONLY has room in his heart for his female, no other bird!

I will tell you that my male cockatiel absolutely doesn't step up inside the cage, but doesn't bite anymore when I do try, I still have to "guide him" to the cage wall with an open hand, let him climb out on top of the open door, and from there he will either step up to my hand, or "tumblefly" to my shoulder, I've had him less than 6 months and he is polar opposite of the bird I brought home, once a tight bond is between you two, the light in his eyes will be brighter with you than anyone else, if you think you are trying too hard, or giving him too much attention, that may be when you are reaching what he is wanting. He may never change inside the cage as well, every bird is different, and I don't really reccomend another bird to attempt a solution, it may not work like it has for me, could make him worse.

Not sure what cage you have, but larger doors fixed 90% of the issues I was having, plus the cage is three times bigger! My boy also loved when I'd get little pieces of tortilla chips to hand feed to him, he would nibble them down to a crumb between my fingers, helped break his fear of hands a little bit. My practices may be ridiculed a little bit, but that's what has worked for me to cut his aggression to a quarter of what it was, so criticize as you may, but it worked!
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:11 AM
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Re: Possible cage aggression?

BB (male normal grey) rarely comes out of his house on his own. his front door can be wide open and he'll just sit on the perch attached to the door chirping/singing away. If I put my hand inside to get him,he'll run around the inside saying "c'mon...c'mon" as I try and coax him to step up on my finger ( I think he thinks it's a game we are playing ) Eventually though,he'll get the message and jump on my fingers and come out. He is an odd ball!


Jim
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Amy my beautiful Blue Front. Who was four months old when she picked me to go home with to her "forever" home in 4/1990.. DNA'd MALE in 2015
Jonesy, a cute Goffin 'too
that had to be rehomed :-(

And a Grey 'teil, BB...a.k.a. The Beebs
that was 18 weeks old 5/20/2016,






Rest in peace,my precious Smokey..4/2015 at 28 years young
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:33 PM
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I have 4 budgies, Athena, Aris, Jack, and Percy. I also have a cockatiel named Wuapo.
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Re: Possible cage aggression?

I've since tried the guiding and it's really helped! He now steps up on my hand for the most part (still struggles in the cage occasionally). He's out at the least 4 hours a day. I've tried to socialize him with the budgies, but he tends to get angry when they're near him so I didn't want to risk anyone getting hurt. The only thing I noticed is that he doesn't seem interested in the toys no matter what kind they are. The only thing he does is when he seems upset he'll hit the bell, but that's it.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:47 AM
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Re: Possible cage aggression?

That is awesome that guiding him is working! I know the same tricks don't always work with another bird, I'm glad it made sense to you as well! My boy didn't care much for the budgies at first, but now has a bit of a bond with most of them, he will preen their tail feathers and such. When we first introduced him to the budgies we would slip our fingers between them if they started to bicker, usually the budgie would flutter away just enough to stop the argument and tell them "no fighting", I have absolutely no clue why, but it worked after about a week, they just started getting along.

Chances are the budgies will try to pick on him and that's why he gets grouchy at them, that's how budgies interact with eachother, they seem to have a need for "sibling rivalry" constantly, it's not fighting, but more like sitting there with your finger an inch from your sibling performing the classic, I'm not touching you, treatment. Cockatiels don't play the same way and my male would get grouchy too. He may come around to the budgies, and if you do get a second cockatiel it doesn't need to be female, the males will bond with another male most of the time, they are social birds after all.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:54 AM
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Re: Possible cage aggression?

How long have you had him? You may just still need to work on building trust.

Do you have any boxes or shadowy spaces in the cage (e.g., hammocks, tents, boxes, tubes, bedding etc) and/or is he allowed to hang out in shadowy spaces outside of his cage (drawers, boxes, low shelves, under blankets or pillows, under furniture etc)? If so, remove access to these darker spaces---they can increase cage aggression by triggering hormones.

Is he getting a solid 12 hours of dark sleep each night, and is his light/dark cycle fairly regulated (sleep times and wake-ups should be consistent as possible). If not, try to regulate sleep schedule and ensure adequate sleep in order to regulate hormones as well.
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