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Hi,
I've had my male cockatiel, Belly :pearl: , for just over a year now and he is very aggressive. He used to be relatively nice but then got more and more aggressive. We got him hand-reared from a breeder at 6 weeks. In his cage he shows no signs of aggressive behaviour, knows lots of whistles and sayings and loves interacting through the bars (he's so cute and nice in his cage!). But when he comes out he is a whole different bird. He will constantly fly onto my shoulder or head (he really likes being up high and preening my hair) and will refuse to come off and bite me if I try to get him down(has drawn blood multiple times). I am now really scared to touch him because I'm scared he will bite (the bites don't hurt THAT much but they just really scare me..) I'm his main carer but he's just as aggressive with every one else. Is there any way I can make him a nicer, friendlier bird? I feel horrible having him locked up in his cage the whole time :(
(sorry i wrote so much...)
Thanks,
Zoe
 

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Hello Zoe!

It sounds like maybe he could be a little hormonal or overstimulated if he is nipping so much when you try and take him off your head. I would try to let him get more sleep and have 12 hours of complete darkness and silence when he does sleeo to help stop his moodiness. Cockatiels usually sleep for 10-12 hours, but when hormones happen you want to try and make it 12 hours. This helps make them think that it is not their breeding season. When they stop being hormonal they can go back to then 10-12 hour sleep range. If he has any "happy huts", nestboxes, or things like that they should be taken out because they are simulating a breeding environment. If some of his food is warm and mashy then that should be stopped for a week until his hormones go down. Also do not pet him anywhere but on the head. The back, wings, under the wings, tail, and belly area are all stimulating places.
http://littlefeatheredbuddies.com/info/breed-hormones.html

Cockatiels naturally want to go up on the highest place so that's just the natural behavior when he wants to perch up on your head and shoulder. Lots of Cockatiels do that, including mine. If a Cockatiel likes you they will preen you so that is a sign he sees you as a member of his family. It's when they start getting nippy that you need to pay attention to why they are nipping.

Biting for Cockatiels is a communication behavior they are trying to tell you something. So a Cockatiel will always nip when in their mind something is wrong or they can just be irritated and moody from hormones. He isn't mad at you and isn't trying to be mean on purpose, you just have to find out why he is being that way. I usually ask myself what was I doing or what they thought I was doing that caused them to bite. Sometimes it was just that your hand was moving too fast. Some birds will nip when they are scared of something. Sometimes your 'tiel will be on you shoulder and nip your ear because in the wild they would nip a flock member to tell them to fly away if there was something that scared them. They can also be nippy if they didn't get enough sleep or it's almost bed time, want you to pet them and you're not, if they're done being pet and don't want to be anymore, if you pet a spot that they don't like (they just communicate this with a nip and then want you to start petting them again of course the sillies :rolleyes:), if they become overstimulated from playing aggressively or hormones (nose starting to turn red get very nippy) they can't control themselves as much. Sometimes 'tiels can become obsessed with people or toys and no matter how many times you move them away from them they will try their hardest to fly back over to them. Usually I'll see my 'tiels nose turn red and she will play very aggressively with a toy or person and bite me if I try to remove her because she is having way too much fun and is irritated at me trying to stop her.

http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-beh...-behavior/understanding-nippy-small-bird.aspx
 
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