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Hi everyone,

I just joined this forum today, and I hope someone can help me with my bird.

We have a male cockatiel named Smookey we have owned for about 8 years. While my memory of him when we first bought him is hazy, I do recall a more kind and friendly bird, one who would enjoy his head being rubbed.

But those days are a distant memory.

Now, (actually, for the past few years), Smookey has been an angry bird. Having him perch on your finger is next to impossible. When you reach your hand out, he will hiss and try to bite it. While he does sing throughout the day, you can sometimes hear him making that low, brooding screech, the one signalling he wants attention.

Lately, he either sits in the bottom of his cage, or sometimes behind it. Also, he lately has been 'walking' (as in on the carpet), from his cage in the room across the hall to mine.

One thing that gets him to melt, though, is food. Anytime I am downstairs eating, he will come down and get as close to me as possible. He becomes very curious, trying to reach the plate of food. The only food I tend to give him from the kitchen is a tiny piece of wheat bread, which he'll nibble on and then lose interest.

I recently visited a relative's house who had a cockatiel, and began to really think of my bird's health and behavior after witnessing how friendly their bird was.

So avian experts, I implore you: what can I do to turn Smookey into a friendly, happy bird? Your answers are appreciated!!
 

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I would give him no bread the yeast in it can make him very sick. If he is at the bottom of his cage alot I would take him into an avain vet.
At my parrot club half of a couples flock died after they separated it was from a yeast infection they use to feed them toast in the morning.
I would bribe him with millet or a favourite veggie instead and mabey try some clicker training.
 

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I would give him no bread the yeast in it can make him very sick.
Actually, the yeast in bread is very different from the yeast that causes infections. A tiny piece of wheat bread is OK to feed.

Sitting in the cage floor might be hormonal behavior. Does he act like he's sitting on an imaginary nest? There are hormone reduction techniques that may help sweeten his temperament. The thread at http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=2678 is aimed at single females, but the techniques are effective with males too. The "long nights" technique is usually the most effective, but it takes about a week for it to kick in and you won't see any change at all for the first few days.

Food bribery is a powerful weapon, and he already likes to take food from you. The thread at http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=28661 has more information. It sounds like he already has some desire for companionship, and you just need to work on rewarding him for interacting with you in a way that you like. Change won't happen overnight, but you can gradually improve your relationship.
 
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