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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve had these 2 male cockatiels for about 7 months now and they are very very attached to each other. The lady I purchased them from had them both for a few years, their names are Peache and Charlie. Peache was a pied-ish cockatiel with a small bald spot on his head she got from a petstore and Charlie was an lutino she recused from a bird hoarder. She placed them both together because Charlie was having a hard time adjusting, and they both bonded very quickly. After saying that she had socialized Charlie, she said she was running out of room in her home for them and decided to sell them to both of us because she didn’t want to separate them. She FaceTimed us and showed us them playing and such and since they looked very social, we decided to buy them from her. The lady had a few birds already that were very well cared for also. When she gave them to us, she told us that Charlie didn’t like coming out of his cage so she often had to grab him to bring him out, and I didn’t want to scare Charlie, so I never did that and decided to let him get used to me.

Peache adjusted really quickly to my home and would often come out, explore, and sit on my shoulder. Charlie on the other hand, never came out of his cage after I tried to feed him some treats with my hands everyday and get him used to my presence. He has never come out on his own. But that’s just the first problem.

After a few months, I noticed that Peache’s bald spot on his head had gotten a bit bigger and after watching them for a while, I remembered that Peache would often squeak and pull away from Charlie while he was being preened by him and eventually I came to the conclusion that he was being plucked by him EVEN BEFORE he came here and I also noticed that Peache was starting to be missing some crest feathers and that really concerned me. So I got Peache his own cage after doing some research and I kept the cages right next to each other. The only times they were seeing each other at this point, was when I was with them for a few hours a day and letting them hang out under my supervision to make sure this behavior didn’t continue, and at night when they went to bed.

So when I would leave the room during the day after a few hours to work and such, I would place Peache in his own cage. And after a while, Peache started to absolutely hate being alone in his cage, and since birds associate bad experiences with certain things, he didn’t let me touch him or put my hands anywhere near him once he was out of his cage, fearing that I would put him back into his own cage. He hated being around me and hanging out with them was less enjoyable. Charlie also started to pluck Peache in front of me even after I made a few random noises to get him to stop, which I did for a while to get him to not pluck Peache. So I decided to not let them see each other at all unless it was time for bed because at night they just went straight to bed usually.

But since I don’t let Peache with Charlie when I’m in the room for a few hours now, all Peache will do is sit on top of the cage and run away from my hand when I try to give him treats. I don’t know what to do anymore. I love my birds very much, and I don’t want them to hate me or each other. I have considered giving away Charlie to someone more experienced but I’m not sure anymore. I just need some advice, any advice will help!
 

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Hello there and welcome to the forum! :)

Ah, I know it's tough when a pair has complications. It's what is usually called a "bondage pair". You have done everything I would have suggested to do in your situation. Are they aggressive towards each other at all (aside from the plucking)? If not, are their cages side by side so that they can still interact with each other without physical contact?

About the plucking - they can pluck for many reasons but one reason they do it is because they are lacking in iodine. You can purchase a mineral block that has iodine in it as well as other minerals and calcium. Perhaps if Charlie has that to chew on, he may not pluck Peache. I think it's definitely something worth trying.

Apart from leaving the door open, tempting him with treats and putting a ladder or a bendy perch from the door to outside the cage, there's not much else you can to do get Charlie to come out of the cage on his own without forcing him (which I agree is definitely the wrong way to go about it). Sounds like he has had a rough past and this can heavily impact these sensitive little guys long-term. The only advice I can give you in regards to this is a lot of time and patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much for your reply!

Peache’s cage is in indeed right next to Charlie’s and they see each other with any physical contact almost daily now. I have stopped letting them see each other at night very recently and now they don’t really have any physical contact at all. When they were always together though, they would often light hit each other with her beaks and squawk at each other when they fought over a place to sit later in the afternoon, but they never physically injured each other at all during these fights.

About the solution for the plucking, I will definitely try it! I want to try and avoid having to give Charlie to anyone else because I still love him very much.
 
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