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Old 12-14-2018, 12:08 PM
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Question am I expecting to much to soon.

I've had Gina ( young cockatiel) for around 6 wks now and still can't get him to come out of his cage (either on my hand or on his own).
I have to take bottom off cage to to get him out lol,he will come over to me and eat celery from my hand but wont come near the door or step on or get out door.
When he's out of cage he will step on ,let me stroke him but 1st we go through the snake impressions ( hissing) he pretends he's going to bite then whistles and steps on .
We go through same thing every day he's never bit me it's almost like he's pushing me to react ,hes got a great little character.
His cage has one door either end of cage ( and my arm doesn't reach from one end to other so I wait until he comes to me which he will but only for celery I've tried him with millet but dont get same reaction).ive tried leaving door open that didn't work.
Is this normal, should I just keep him in cage until he steps on my hand to get him out I just don't like idea of him being in cage 24 -7.
My daughter has just bought herself a young one to which is in its own cage we cover one up while trying to hand tame the other which seems to be working so far.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:21 PM
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Re: am I expecting to much to soon.

It's very possible that he had a bad experience with a door falling on him, or swinging closed and pinching him before... I would definitely be getting him out as much as possible, no magic is going to happen with him in the cage. To much time in the cage leads to a cage bound bird, who is afraid to be away from the cage. I would get him out, and slowly work on having him on your arm and going out and in the door over and over. Safflower seeds are magic treat for many birds, you can try that as a treat. I would have him out of the cage at least four hours daily. You can attach a perch to the outside if the cage right by the door, and one inside the cage by the door. Or depending on the type of door you can attach a perch right to the door, so when you swing it open presto nice perch right there!
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:29 PM
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Re: am I expecting to much to soon.

Here's a popular link on bonding...
Tips for Bonding and Building Trust
Good ideas above.
Hey, sounds to me as if you're not doing so badly... he is showing interest and energy in your direction! Six weeks isn't a terribly long time. I guess it takes as long as it takes?
Good for you for showing such patience and caring!
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:00 AM
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Re: am I expecting to much to soon.

Welcome to the Community!

A little background about your Cockatiel's history would be helpful to help you, like how old is your bird, is your bird definitely a male or a female, or don't you know for sure, and most-importantly where did he/she come from? Did you get your bird as a baby or did you rescue/adopt him as an adult? Was he a hand-raised baby?

****Something that you need to understand first and foremost is that 6 weeks is not long at all for a bird to be in their new environment...This is going to be a marathon,
not a sprint.
Again, I don't know the history of your bird or anything about him, but the fact that he steps-up for you and allows you to pet him/give him scritches once you get him out of the cage is a very good sign...

****I'd say that one of the main things that a lot of bird-owners don't understand fully, or at all, is the importance of the bird's cage to them (or their stand if they don't have a cage but rather just a stand), as well as the location of that cage in their new home. The first thing you need to understand and keep in-mind at all times is that your bird's cage is his territory; it's his "safe space" in a totally new environment,
and this is extremely important to birds, and it's something that they will defend, protect, and always want to go to or stay in during times of stress, fright, and frustration.
In a new home environment with new people, often the only place where they feel comfort, security, and safeness is inside of their "territory". And a lot of very tame, loving birds who are bonded extremely closely with their owners NEVER stop being territorial about their cages; my now 3 year-old female Quaker Parrot is a really great example of this...Lita was hand-raised and I brought her home when she was 12 weeks-old, and she was a sweetheart right from the word go. I have always been able to handle her any way I want to, she has always stepped-up for me right from the time she was still at the breeder's home interacting with me, and she flies to me whenever I call her...BUT...to this day I cannot put my hand inside of her cage at the same time that she is inside it. She doesn't ever bite me when I put my hands in her cage when she's inside it, but she lets me know "Mama, I'm really not happy...Mama, get your hand out of my cage right now!", and so on. So even to change her water and her pellets, or to put a new toy in, etc., I have to open the cage door and then wait, she'll immediately come right out when I open the door, often flying to my shoulder right away, and then she's fine...She has no problem at all sitting on my shoulder and watching me with my hands in her cage, that doesn't bother her at all...But never when she's inside the cage too...

So, the point here is that it sounds like your Cockatiel is actually a pretty loving little bird, but he just isn't at the point where he feels safe enough, secure enough, or comfortable enough to make himself leave his cage when the door is opened up. Once he's outside of his cage (the ship has already sailed as far as just staying inside the cage to stay comfortable), then he's not having to defend his territory, and you've made the decision for him to come out of his "safe space", then he's starting to gradually give you his trust and is gradually bonding with you, which is exactly what you want to have happen...It's just that right now he's not pushing himself to "step outside of his comfort-zone", as we often put it, and it's the same concept except that with birds their "comfort zone" is a literal place/space. Earning your bird's trust is the first step to taming them, bonding with them, etc., and it sounds like that is what is happening, the only problem is getting him to literally "step outside of his comfort-zone", meaning his cage...

*****Very important question for you: Where in your home is your bird's cage located? If by chance your bird's cage is NOT located in the "main room" of your house, then this is going to be the very first thing that you need to change immediately!!! (meaning the room of your house where the people who live there spend most of their time when they are home, the place where you all spend time together, watch TV, read, play games, eat meals, the room where visitors to your house spend time when they come over, etc.) Usually this is the living room, family room, TV room, etc.

A lot of the time people will put their bird's main-cage in a spare room/spare bedroom in their home, sometimes they designate that room "the bird room"...And although they think that it's nice to give the bird his own room, it's exactly the opposite thing you want to do...Parrots are Flock-Animals innately. And with pet parrots, the people they live with are their Flock. It will help you to understand this concept about the location of his cage if you remind yourself that he's a Flock-Animal and you're his Flock, because from that perspective this makes complete and total sense....Also, something else that I cannot state the importance of enough is "Passive-Interaction" with your bird. So if your bird's cage is located in any room other than the "main room" of your house where the people spend most of their time when they are home, the room where people who visit spend their time, the main "traffic-area" of your house, then your bird is not feeling like he is a part of his Flock. He can hear whenever his Flock-Mates are home, but he can't see them and he's not "among" them. This brings birds a tremendous sense of anxiety, stress, fear, and discomfort. It tends to cause screaming, and it also typically causes them to become constantly consumed with the fact that they are not with their Flock, so they it often keeps them from entertaining themselves while inside their cages...So usually in this situation they don't play with their toys inside of their cages at all, they often start-off by doing constant "Contact-Calls", which are simply just that, vocal calls that are meant to simply make-contact with their Flock-Mates to find out where they are at, if they're okay, if they're alive, etc., and then these "Contact-Calls" gradually turn-into constant screaming. This also causes extremely intelligent parrots to become very bored with no mental-stimulation at all (we're talking a Cockatiel here with the intelligence of a 3-4 year-old human child), they don't want to play with their toys, they are consumed with being with their Flock; all of this overall anxiety and stress often leads to Feather-Destructive Behaviors like overpreening, then Barbering, then Plucking, and in extreme situations Self-Mutilation. But if this is the case with your bird's cage location, then the negative-effect that you're seeing is your bird not feeling comfortable enough, secure enough, or safe enough to leave his territory.

****I cannot stress to you enough how important "Passive-Interaction" with your bird is on an everyday basis....We often call this "Socialization" or "Desensitization", but it simply means that the more often your bird is simply among your/his Flock, and the more and more over-time he feels like he's included in your/his Flock, the more comfortable he is going to feel coming out of his "Safe-Space"...And the way to accomplish this, if you haven't already, is by simply re-locating his "Safe-Space", or his cage, to the main room of your house, so that he feels like he is a constant part of his Flock; and in your particular situation, you're moving his "Safe-Space", the place he feels the most comfortable and secure right now, AMONG THE FLOCK. So he's not only going to be able to see his Flock now instead of just hearing them, but they are going to be constantly walking past his cage back and forth, you'll all be talking around him all the time, you'll be saying "Hi" to him whenever you walk past his cage, and just having his Flock sitting in the same room as him while they're watching TV, reading, eating meals, talking to each other, etc. is going to make him feel like he's finally a part of the Flock...And I guarantee that if this is the situation in your house right now and you re-locate his cage to whatever room it is that you guys spend most of your time in, that within a month (probably less) of doing so, he is going to start coming out of his cage on his own when you open the door...He will also become much more "cuddly" or rather you're going to "Earn His Trust", and he's going to feel like a part of the family, and your bond with him is going to get closer and stronger. He'll also start entertaining himself inside of his cage more and more...You guys will be watching a movie or talking or whatever you're doing, and he'll be entertaining himself, having a ball because he's simply "among his Flock"...And realize, if you think about it, this is exactly what birds do in the wild, they travel in Flocks, we see them flying in Flocks, they land in trees all together in their Flocks, and then once they set-up-shop in a particular place, they are spread-out, and they are doing their own things, but they are constantly calling to each other to see if everyone is present and alive, to spread the word about a food source they've found, to spread warnings about a predator one of them has spotted, etc. But they are always together in their Flocks...
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