Taming a cockatiel

Zukarin

New member
Jan 20, 2021
11
0
Parrots
Hebe - Cockatiel
I got a Cockatiel this past weekend, Hebe. The place I got her form already clipped her wings. They took her out and the guy forced her onto his hand. At this and the fact that she was alone in her cage made me want her. Whenever I put my hands close, she looks like she wants to bite me, and she’s tried multiple times (I tend to have a pushy personality which, with previous not-bird pets has been fine, so I was overzealous the first day)
Since, I’ve tried to just let her out (open her cage door, and not stop her when she flies on the floor), and let her come to me at her own pace. Im laying seeds down a variety of places, and making sure she sees me lay the food down. This has happened a couple of times for a few hours. When I feel she’s been out long enough, I took a walking stick, held it up to her(I didn’t push against her), and said “step.” She’s actually stepped up (reluctantly) both times and let put her near her cage so she can go in. A couple of times, she’s expressed happiness while out, and she actually walked up to me once, interested in what I was doing (I was knitting, and she, on her own volition, came within a foot of where my feet were while I was sitting at a chair) She’s let me move my hand a foot of her without running away (when I set out food)
When she’s in her cage, I try to ignore her or bow my head and avoid looking at her (so she won’t see me as a predator).

For more experienced bird-owners, is this a bad approach to taming a bird?
 
Nov 12, 2019
240
7
New England
Parrots
4 budgies, 1 cockatiel, 1 canary winged parakeet
I don’t have lots of time to really get all my thoughts out clearly, but...a few things. I’m sure someone will come along with other stuff to, but for now...

1) slow down. Let her settle in and get used to the sights and sounds for a few days before you try to tame her. It’s a stressful time for her right now. New cage, new sights, sounds, scents...give her a minute. Trust me, it will go better later if you give her time to settle in and adjust now.

2) what are you feeding her? A well balanced diet is crucial for good health. Only feeding seeds is very unhealthy, so hopefully she’s already eating the good stuff (pellets and veggies). It can be a process to get them to try new foods.

3)get a clicker and a target - research the methods. They work, and when you combine them it’s like magic.

4)I have to ask because the wings are clipped - is she able to glide to the floor or does she drop like a rock? If she can’t glide it’s a safety concern. She could very easily injure her tiny bones from a fall.

5)find her favorite food and eliminate that from the food dish. You are the only source of that food. Bribery works. Also, this will be the reward when you start training her. Sunflower seeds are usually a favorite, but as a general rule aren’t exactly healthy. It might be a good bargaining chip to use for now if she likes them.

Also it’s great she’s out and exploring, and showing interest. That’s HUGE already, so you shouldn’t necessarily stop that. Just make sure you can see her at all times when she is out. They can be a bit mischievous.

I’ll leave you with that for now. Good luck, and congratulations on your new friend! Cocktails are lots of fun!




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk in
 
Last edited:
OP
Z

Zukarin

New member
Jan 20, 2021
11
0
Parrots
Hebe - Cockatiel
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
At this point, I’m trying to make sure all she does is by her own accord. The only pushing I’m doing to trying to get closer without her running away. If she shows any distress(backing away or opening her beak), I immediately try to back away.
In terms of food, I have some Harrison’s adult bird mesh, a cuddle bone, and some fresh veggies(kale, collard greens, and peas). I plan on feeding the bird mesh while pellets are in the mail (A vet recommended it to gut-load crickets for my lizard, so I’ve had it for a couple months now; I intended on buying food for her the day I got her, but they only had seed-mixes, so I have to buy the food from the Internet)
Im limiting her to only get the seed-mixes when out so that she associates out of her cage with good things.
In terms of wings, she seems to glide more than fall.
I was told at the pet store that she was raised by a person with a couple of cockatiels, so she was likely semi-hand-raised and even taught “step up.” (When I use the word, she understands it) Everything that’s happened since she left them was stressful for her though, so I just feel like she just needs time and space to enjoy everything and learn I’m not the bad guy.
 
OP
Z

Zukarin

New member
Jan 20, 2021
11
0
Parrots
Hebe - Cockatiel
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Also, she seems to really like coming out. I bought a couple of toys and made a couple toys from toilet paper and rolls, but I don’t think she prefers to come out.
She’s squawking (as a cockatiel does) and moving around the corner of her cage closest to me. I’m getting a vibe that she is desperate to get out. I feel bad that I can’t take her out now...
 

AmyMyBlueFront

Well-known member
Apr 14, 2015
6,315
Media
4
3,017
Connecticut
Parrots
Amy a Blue Front 'Zon
Jonesy a Goffins 'Too who had to be rehomed :-(

And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
How old is Hebe? Don't forget,every birdie is different! When BB came home with me he was 4.5 months old. I got him from a breeder. He was on a table with three of his clutchmates who the breeder said were ready to go to homes. He said "let the bird choose you" and BB was the only one who came willingly to me,the other three would run off to other parts of the table. BB hopped right onto my hand and walked up my arm to my shoulder and started chirping,he even let me skritch his head! So he came home with me. When we got home I took him out of his little carrier box and put him on his house roof as I arranged things inside for him. He was more interested in being ON me then on or in his new house so I let him sit on me while I sat at my computer. When I noticed he was getting tired ( head under his wing) I put him in his house. He was very tame from day one thanks to the breeder handling him at a young age. He was also mildly clipped...he would run across the floor and wave his arms frantically and get maybe a foot off the floor and lightly touch down as he tried to get to me lol. He eats zupreem fruity blend pellets,a "special house mix" seed the breeder makes and gets organic food from Bird Street Bistro ( one of the vendors on this forum) he'll try almost anything..nibbles broccoli and cauliflower banana,even something I eat..mac and cheese,mashed potato(likes to run thru gravey :mad:)
His most favorite treat is millet (birdie crack I call it) So a tiny piece of millet for Hebe could be a good bribe for her. To me it sounds like she is interested but still nervous..I think you are on the right track.


Jim
 
OP
Z

Zukarin

New member
Jan 20, 2021
11
0
Parrots
Hebe - Cockatiel
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Hebe is barely two months. I actually got a birth certificate of sorts from the pet shop (who got it from her original owners). She hatched 11/19/20.
Yeah, I think she’s just nervous and doesn’t know what to think about me quite yet. I think, too, she wasn’t handled for the week she was at the pet shop which would also mean a weaker trust in humans.
I should definitely get some millet! Today, she was desperate to come out, but I couldn’t let her out. When I could, I think she was upset at me for earlier because she barely even left her cage even for the normal seed mix which she adores.
Thank you for your input! I really appreciate it. I’m so nervous about a new animal, especially one that will be with me for years( I want to get everything right), so it’s nice hear what someone thinks about it and how they were with their birdie!
 

Most Reactions

Top