cockatiel help


New member
Sep 30, 2015
First some background; I have 2 cockatiels, or rather, I am their semi-permanent caretaker.
They actually belong to my niece, after my mother bought them for her rather impulsively. My niece now lives with her mother in an apartment where they can't have birds, so they ended up with me. I've gotten them a large parrot cage, and try to make sure they get everything they need.
They are a young male named Chotte (3 yo male) and Charlotte (5 yo female). The first year my niece had them, they layed many eggs, and managed to raise a single chick to adulthood, though the chick died later, I don't know why.
They 've been with me for almost 2 years now, but they haven't layed a single egg since. It isn't that I want them to breed, I'm just worried that I am not fulfilling their needs or something is wrong.
I have also been trying to make friends with them, but no matter how calm I am, nor how much time I spend talking to them by their cage, they still hiss at me when I'm refilling their food and water.

Any advice?:yellow1:
I really don't know anything about 'tiels..but I don't think they are any different in training/taming them any differently from "regular" parrots.

do you let them out? their reaction to you is probably because they are bonded to themselves..that being obvious from the fact that they had a baby.

maybe you can separate them..another cage,where you can work with just ONE at a time. I think having them both in one cage together,they will try and defend each other rather than be interested in trying to be friends with you.

I'm sure other 'tiel owners will chime in!

Pairs are so hard to train with...
My male cockatiel, Smokey was very close to me when I only had other parakeets. Once I got Cinder a few weeks ago, they have been very attached... he barely pays attention to me :)
I think you should bring them individually into a room they aren't familiar with, for example, the bathroom, and practice "step up" and giving them praise/treats. They will always be attached to each other but this will help a lot.
I've been using this method on my female, and bringing my male out on trips outside the house. The female used to bite and hiss at me a lot--now not so much.
Also, you could bring the cockatiels out to where you usually are. I'm always on my desk so I place them on my laptop so they get used to me as I work.
If you don't have their wings clipped, I suggest you do. I know that many parrot owners frown upon this, but I have found much success with clipping wings while in the training process. It makes sure they dont fly away into a small crevice somewhere. They're still light enough to fly away, just not far. I let them grow out after they get used to my hand and trust it more.
Best of luck to you. I know older birds are harder to change ways, but with time and dedication, it will improve.
Cockatiels hiss. AAALLLL THE TIME! My sweet, sweet, loving, cuddly girl Battle, will still hiss at me when I feed and water her. She can go from hissing to begging for love without missing a beat. Don't take it personally :) My first cockatiels were a VERY bonded pair. They were still amazing pets, never ever bit me, or my many siblings, even though they would hiss and bluff and pretend they hated us. The male would literally run up onto my hand, hissing and tossing his head all the way, and then refuse to leave me.

As for clipping, many people find clipping to tame more convenient, but I also would like to point out that removing the ability to escape is not quite the same thing as earning trust.

Are the birds actually tame? If so, I encourage you to get them out even if they hiss; I expect you will find that they don't actually bite if they are tame.

Taking them in a different room can be effective in some cases, but I wouldn't start off that way. I have worked with quite a few pairs of birds of different species and I actually find that they tame much more quickly when allowed to train together. Once one of them is taking treats from you, the other will want to follow. Monkey see, monkey do, and they feel safer together. And for taming and training alike, I find that when bonding with a bird, it is not usually helpful the be the one that takes them away from their mate. If you are constantly removing one of them, they may learn to resent you, and distrust you because you are always taking one of them away. Instead, become a perch, source of food, and entertainment that they can enjoy together :) Having two cockatiels on your shoulder preening and fluffing is nicer than having one in the cage screaming his head off and the other one constantly jumping OFF your shoulder to get to her mate. I'm not saying to never have one on one time, I'm saying its wise to try to operate in a way that makes you someone they can look forward to instead of dreading.

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