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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I'm new here...

So after countless hours researching and reading up I finally got my first cockatiel a few days ago, and everything is going well I think...

I just wanted to get somebody with some experience take on things, my bird came from a store that sells birds and from what I was told is 9 weeks old. He (I'm assuming) hasn't had much human contact so is still quite skittish around me. I've read the information about training and bonding on this site and tried to base my approach on that, its his 3rd day here now and I've been putting my hand in the cage while calmly talking to him. He doesn't really freak out when I do but he'll hiss at me if I get too close, if he does I just keep talking to him and leave my hand in there until he stops (he usually only does it once).

What I'm wondering really are what are my next steps? And am I on the right track? I've seen him eat, drink and preen in front of me and sometimes he chirps back when I talk to him. As for trying food bribery he hasn't touched any millet I've offered yet so I wouldn't know how to go about that.

I know its early days yet but I just want to make sure I'm doing right by this guy. I'm really worried about freaking him out and just want to bond with him aha! He seems quite a little character! Anyway, sorry about the long post guys and any advice you could offer me is greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi Perry! Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new cockatiel! :D It's so great that you're so eager to bond with your new tiel. Here's the advice I can give you.

Your cockatiel will likely be very nervous for the next couple of days. Did you mostly leave him alone for the first 2 days? It's recommended, but if you didn't that's okay. It's great that he doesn't react badly to your hand apart from hissing when you get too close, but do try to take it very slow for the first few days. Limit each session to about 10 minutes to avoid overwhelming the bird and have a few sessions every day. Space them out. Don't worry that he's not taking the millet from you yet. They usually love millet but they take a while to start taking food directly from your hand. Try placing a little bit of millet in his feeder so he knows what it is when you start trying food bribery again. When he gets a little more used to your hand you can try again with the millet. He is more likely to take it if he is a little bit hungry. If you can, when you start trying to bribe him with millet again, make sure he only gets it when he's with you. He will associate you with something very positive. ;)

You're doing great, maybe just slow down a little bit. Your bird is doing very well for such early days too. :) Feel free to ask any further questions. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi flowertiel,

Thank you for your response I really appreciate it :D ! I left him alone for the majority of the first two days when he was here, apart from changing his food and water dish and generally just being in the room softly talking to him. I'll definitely take onboard what you've said and slow things down a bit, while still keeping at it of course ahaha! Are there any other tips or recommendations I should try or should I just keep at what I'm doing?
 

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Hi flowertiel,

Thank you for your response I really appreciate it :D ! I left him alone for the majority of the first two days when he was here, apart from changing his food and water dish and generally just being in the room softly talking to him. I'll definitely take onboard what you've said and slow things down a bit, while still keeping at it of course ahaha! Are there any other tips or recommendations I should try or should I just keep at what I'm doing?
No problem! :D That's great, just keep at it. You're on the right track. :) Try playing him some music sometimes, but not too loudly. Birds do tend to respond well to music. Give him some bird toys as well. One easy toy to make is a piece of newspaper scrunched into a ball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you!

Todays has been a bit of a mixed day. I fear that I may have had a setback, as I was putting my hand in the cage this morning (as I usually do for 15 minutes or so) Perry decided to jump on it and come out of the cage. He was alright out of his cage, but eventually he had to go back meaning I had to pick him up to get him back. He didn't freak out too much, he nibbled at my hand a bit and accepted some seed from my other hand before I put him back. I'm just worried I've broken the trust I've already built with him. He didn't enjoy being picked up but I had no other way of getting him back into his cage.

I have had a breakthrough today though! A little while after I had put him back I decided to go back in there with some millet and he actually ate some from my hand! Do you think he will forgive me picking him up? I'm just scared that one incident may ruin everything I've built up with him. Also, if he is to come out of the cage again are there anyways I can try and get him back that are less stressful?
 

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Hi Perry! Of course he will forgive you for picking him up! In fact, it sounds like he already has forgiven you. You are doing so so good and it sounds like he's growing to love you already. :) You can place the cage in front of him or hold it in front of him and see if he goes back in. A couple of gentle nudges might help too. It would be good if he eventually gets used to getting picked up from time to time as it could be absolutely necessary one day, but that can wait until he's more comfortable with you. Congratulations on your breakthrough, I'm so pleased for you and I am so glad your cockatiel found such a great and loving owner. :tiel2: :love:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Again!

Thank you for all the advice you're giving me and I'm glad you think I'm doing well :D ! I've currently had Perry for just over a week now and I'm still working hard with him eating out of my hand multiple times a day. Every now and then he works up the courage to take a sunflower seed out of my fingers which I think is good! What I'm wondering though is how I can transition to having food in my hand and approaching him and approaching him without food. Whenever I have seed or millet I can get close to him without a problem and have even petted him once, without food however he'll tolerate my hand within reason but if I get to close he'll move away. Any ideas on how I work on this?
 

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Hi again! :D That's definitely good! Rest assured that that sort of thing is really just a matter of time. Again, you are on the right track, it's just that cockatiels scare easily and can take a while to learn to trust you. It's all part of the process, really. Cockatiels tame down at different speeds. Eventually he'll feel more comfortable taking treats from your fingers and then you can progress to having the treats in your hand. Keep at it and remember to talk to him lots and just put your hand (without food) as close to him as you can without making him uncomfortable everyday. As time goes by, try to sneak more pets in gradually. He might not be used to it at first but he will soon learn that they are harmless. Cockatiels are very social by nature so he will want to have you as part of his flock once he feels that he can trust you, but just like with people, trust takes time. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi guys thought I'd give an update!

Perry has been with me just over two weeks now and I think I'm making progress! He now will readily accept both millet and seeds from my hand! Recently he has also tolerated me petting his head while I'm holding millet (I'm not sure he enjoys it though, don't know if I'm doing it right aha). For the past few days I've allowed him free roam for the majority of the day while I'm with him. He's still afraid of my hand somewhat, seems like I've got a way to go before even attempting step up training. But I've noticed while out he's been getting a lot closer and chirpier with me (he even comes over and nibbles on my clothes), and with having to put him back in myself he's also become a lot more calm and comfortable in my hands (even though I don't particularly like having to pick him up). What do you guys think? Am I making progress? Again, thank you to all the advice I've received on here its really helped me out! :D
 

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Thank you for keeping us updated! :D It's so nice to hear about Perry's progress, he's definitely getting tamer. Once again, don't worry too much, it sounds like you know what to do and I have faith in your cockatiel-taming abilities hehe. :lol:
 

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Do you think he will forgive me picking him up? I'm just scared that one incident may ruin everything I've built up with him. Also, if he is to come out of the cage again are there anyways I can try and get him back that are less stressful?
Cockatiels are generally very forgiving and don't hold grudges, so don't be worried about ruining the progress you've made with your 'tiel. You are doing really well with him so far by the sound of it! :)

You can try training him to step up on a perch held in your hand to get him back in the cage. It's a bit easier to teach a new bird to do this first before teaching them to step up onto your finger.

How are you picking him up to get him back into the cage? If you really need to you can gently put a towel over him to pick him up, it's not ideal but it works if he is being especially stubborn.
 

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Pacing

Hi all! I too am new to cockatiels and am so excited to have my new friend Louie. I got him 5 days ago and am slowly working to earn his trust. I want to make sure he's happy and healthy. He has gotten to where he squawks if I'm out of the room for very long, which thrills me. I am always in his sight but have been staying away from the cage except to feed and water. When I sing his name he sometimes replies with a noise. What I'm wondering is he now goes to the cage floor and paces in front of the door. As much as I would love to let him out, we are no where near that point. Can anyone help me understand what he's doing? Thank you for your time.
 

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Hi all! I too am new to cockatiels and am so excited to have my new friend Louie. I got him 5 days ago and am slowly working to earn his trust. I want to make sure he's happy and healthy. He has gotten to where he squawks if I'm out of the room for very long, which thrills me. I am always in his sight but have been staying away from the cage except to feed and water. When I sing his name he sometimes replies with a noise. What I'm wondering is he now goes to the cage floor and paces in front of the door. As much as I would love to let him out, we are no where near that point. Can anyone help me understand what he's doing? Thank you for your time.
Hi there! My Pipoca runs paces around very quickly in front of the cage door when she sees me and wants to be let out, too. She even runs in little circles when I come closer, it's adorable. :) Make sure all your doors and windows are closed and try opening the cage door. Sit in front of the cage and don't make sudden movements. He will likely come out of the cage himself. When he's moving around, move slowly towards him and see how he responds. Some cockatiels warm up to their owners more easily than others and it sounds like he already likes your company. It's not true that you are 'no where near that point', it depends on the individual bird. It is, however, still a good idea to take it slow with the actual handling unless he proves that he is comfortable with it. When it's time for him to go back to his cage, try putting a perch or his cage in front of him so you can get him back in. The worst case scenario is that you might have to scoop him up gently, but as mentioned earlier, cockatiels are very forgiving and he will soon forget about that.

Also, next time if you make your own post more people will see it and get the chance to help you out. Good luck and keep us updated! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi guys!

Just thought I'd let you know I've had a breakthrough with Perry! Yesterday I let him out of his cage as usual and he flew to my hand and stayed there! At first I thought it was a fluke but I've managed to coax him onto my hand a few times now! Even today he has flew and sat on my shoulder all night while I've been working. Thank you for all the advice guys over the weeks I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere!
 
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