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Old 06-07-2020, 03:03 PM
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Please help! My tiel is extremely aggressive to my brother and small children

hello! So i have had this cockatiel for a bit now, around a couple of years. He has been aggressive to younger children for around the last year and recently has become much more aggressive to them, especially my brother. I don't know how to stop this behavior, iíve been having my brother feed him and take him out of his cage for a while now, but my bird always tryís to attack him, even if heís just standing there. My bird will actively chase after him to attack him, even if he hasn't been provoked. Ive also tried clipping my birds wings but that seemed to do little to nothing. Any solutions ?
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Old 06-07-2020, 04:45 PM
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Re: Please help! My tiel is extremely aggressive to my brother and small children

Hello and welcome! Glad you are here!!

1. Does he get touched anywhere other than the head and neck (from you or anyone, ever)?
2. Does he get 10-12 hours quiet/dark sleep on a consistent schedule (wake up/bedtime) nightly?
3. Does he have access to any remotely shadow spaces in or around the cage (e.g., huts, tents, pots, boxes, bedding, under furniture,under blankets, bedding, paper piles, shelves, drawers etc)?
4. Do you ever cover the cage for any reason (ever) during the day?
5. What is his diet and when did he last go to the vet for blood-work etc?
6.What does your little brother do when near your bird? Has he ever tried to push picking him up, or force himself into your birds face/made loud noises etc?...even a year or so ago?


After you answer those questions, it will make it easier for people to respond further.

Last edited by noodles123; 06-07-2020 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:44 PM
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Re: Please help! My tiel is extremely aggressive to my brother and small children

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
Hello and welcome! Glad you are here!!

1. Does he get touched anywhere other than the head and neck (from you or anyone, ever)?
2. Does he get 10-12 hours quiet/dark sleep on a consistent schedule (wake up/bedtime) nightly?
3. Does he have access to any remotely shadow spaces in or around the cage (e.g., huts, tents, pots, boxes, bedding, under furniture,under blankets, bedding, paper piles, shelves, drawers etc)?
4. Do you ever cover the cage for any reason (ever) during the day?
5. What is his diet and when did he last go to the vet for blood-work etc?
6.What does your little brother do when near your bird? Has he ever tried to push picking him up, or force himself into your birds face/made loud noises etc?...even a year or so ago?


After you answer those questions, it will make it easier for people to respond further.
1. He usually gets touched around the head and neck, sometimes on the back by me
2. I usually cover his cage for around 9 hours or more, but sometimes it may not be the quietest
3. Yes, when i let him out of the cage he has access to many dark places. Ive been trying to discourage this a little bit but he always finds some way to squirm through
4.no
5. His diet consists of the standard cockatiel mix of seeds, and ill also give him some rice/bread or fruits sometimes
6. Now my brother usually just looks at him from a distance, he definitely has forced himself near my birdís face and made loud noises before

Thank you so much for the reply !
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:10 PM
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Re: Please help! My tiel is extremely aggressive to my brother and small children

Okay, so you want him to get at least 10 hours of decent sleep nightly to regulate hormone and immune health. Try to get him on a bedtime schedule- this may mean setting an alarm clock to wake yourself up (and uncover him) in the morning- they have very good internal clocks, so you want to try to kind of mimic whatever light schedule was in their natural habitat, and in equatorial species, sometimes that can be upwards of 12 hours of sleep + 12 awake (that's what my cockatoo requires)...but 10 is kind of the bare minimum. Now, one day off isn't going to be the end of the world, but it is really important for their health to have that sleep as regularly as possible.

You have got to keep him away from shadowy spaces when he is awake because it is a major trigger for hormones and can have almost instant impacts on their behavior, or develop over time..but it's so important to cut him off from these since you are seeing aggressive behaviors and because there is 99% a correlation in my mind.

In terms of food, you should never feed them just seeds- he needs to have vegetables daily and should likely have some pellets too unless you start making him chop with cooked grains etc. Seed only is 1. too high in fat and 2. lacking in nutrition. This diet can also lead to behavior issues.
Once you deal with his sleep, hormones and diet, allow your brother to just be in the same room without doing anything loud or crazy or getting near the bird. If he plays video games of reads, have him do that in the same space without actually interacting with the bird directly. If you think the bird will actively attack at that point, then there are other things you can do, but basically, you need to correct hormones, diet and sleep (which ties to hormones and mood and overall health) and then work on re-building trust VERY slowly..but only after your correct all of the hormonal triggers and give that a few days at least...
OH- and you need to stop touching him on his back. If he sees you as a mate (because that is sexual behavior and birds are programmed to find a mate) then he is more likely to "defend" you from other flock members that appear to threaten that relationship...Don't cuddle him or stroke him-- head and neck only. Consider investing your time together in a shared activity, like target training or something (Google that- it's a great way to engage without engaging in a sexual way and it also teaches useful skills).

In terms of veg- NO onion, garlic, avocado, rhubarb, chives, leeks, shallots, scallions, tomatoes or mushrooms. Stringy veg like celery and snap peas can cause issues if they are too stringy. Also- certain beans are unsafe due to toxins, so always research that first, and don't feed canned beans due to the high salt and preservative content.
You def want more veg than fruit because fruit can be too sugary and also lead to behavior issues. Avoid citrus fruits except in small quantities, and remember, a serving of fruit should be around the size of your bird's eye (maybe a little bigger) but NOT the size of his head (think about the proportions and sugar). No apple seeds or fruit pits...

Pellets: Look into Harrison's, Zupreem, Tops etc (all reputable brands)--Zupreem is probably the lowest quality one on the list but if your bird is a seed addict, it may be easiest to transition him onto a mix of zupreem fruit blend + some high-quality seeds.
NO SUNFLOWER SEEDS OR PEANUTS---bad news. Sunflower seeds are like crack and they have little value nutritionally, so they should never be part of daily food. Peanuts contain aflatoxins and can harbor fungal spores.
Don't cut him off from what he's used to cold-turkey because birds have starved out of stubbornness. You will want to wean him off of his all seed diet slowly--- a few seeds are healthy, but it can't be his main food source (that should be chop or pellets).

Last edited by noodles123; 06-09-2020 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 06-10-2020, 06:33 PM
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Re: Please help! My tiel is extremely aggressive to my brother and small children

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
Okay, so you want him to get at least 10 hours of decent sleep nightly to regulate hormone and immune health. Try to get him on a bedtime schedule- this may mean setting an alarm clock to wake yourself up (and uncover him) in the morning- they have very good internal clocks, so you want to try to kind of mimic whatever light schedule was in their natural habitat, and in equatorial species, sometimes that can be upwards of 12 hours of sleep + 12 awake (that's what my cockatoo requires)...but 10 is kind of the bare minimum. Now, one day off isn't going to be the end of the world, but it is really important for their health to have that sleep as regularly as possible.

You have got to keep him away from shadowy spaces when he is awake because it is a major trigger for hormones and can have almost instant impacts on their behavior, or develop over time..but it's so important to cut him off from these since you are seeing aggressive behaviors and because there is 99% a correlation in my mind.

In terms of food, you should never feed them just seeds- he needs to have vegetables daily and should likely have some pellets too unless you start making him chop with cooked grains etc. Seed only is 1. too high in fat and 2. lacking in nutrition. This diet can also lead to behavior issues.
Once you deal with his sleep, hormones and diet, allow your brother to just be in the same room without doing anything loud or crazy or getting near the bird. If he plays video games of reads, have him do that in the same space without actually interacting with the bird directly. If you think the bird will actively attack at that point, then there are other things you can do, but basically, you need to correct hormones, diet and sleep (which ties to hormones and mood and overall health) and then work on re-building trust VERY slowly..but only after your correct all of the hormonal triggers and give that a few days at least...
OH- and you need to stop touching him on his back. If he sees you as a mate (because that is sexual behavior and birds are programmed to find a mate) then he is more likely to "defend" you from other flock members that appear to threaten that relationship...Don't cuddle him or stroke him-- head and neck only. Consider investing your time together in a shared activity, like target training or something (Google that- it's a great way to engage without engaging in a sexual way and it also teaches useful skills).

In terms of veg- NO onion, garlic, avocado, rhubarb, chives, leeks, shallots, scallions, tomatoes or mushrooms. Stringy veg like celery and snap peas can cause issues if they are too stringy. Also- certain beans are unsafe due to toxins, so always research that first, and don't feed canned beans due to the high salt and preservative content.
You def want more veg than fruit because fruit can be too sugary and also lead to behavior issues. Avoid citrus fruits except in small quantities, and remember, a serving of fruit should be around the size of your bird's eye (maybe a little bigger) but NOT the size of his head (think about the proportions and sugar). No apple seeds or fruit pits...

Pellets: Look into Harrison's, Zupreem, Tops etc (all reputable brands)--Zupreem is probably the lowest quality one on the list but if your bird is a seed addict, it may be easiest to transition him onto a mix of zupreem fruit blend + some high-quality seeds.
NO SUNFLOWER SEEDS OR PEANUTS---bad news. Sunflower seeds are like crack and they have little value nutritionally, so they should never be part of daily food. Peanuts contain aflatoxins and can harbor fungal spores.
Don't cut him off from what he's used to cold-turkey because birds have starved out of stubbornness. You will want to wean him off of his all seed diet slowly--- a few seeds are healthy, but it can't be his main food source (that should be chop or pellets).
Oh thank you so much! I will definitely try these
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