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I've had cockatiels my whole life, but the behavior of this one is stumping me and the vet. I got her a month ago and discovered quickly that she had a serious parasitic infection (spironucleosis) and wouldn't eat and pretty much stared at the wall all the time. I nursed her back to health by hand-feeding her and medicating her. For several weeks now, she's been what I would expect a normal cockatiel to act like. Hyper and curious and eats and plays and chirps and tries to fly with her clipped wings.

But when I'm gone, she doesn't eat and stares at the wall again all day, like she did when she was ill. The vet has checked her out and she's healthy. I know she's not eating or doing anything because I can see no evidence of eating during the day and a big pile of poop all in one place. I also recently put one of our indoor cameras on her and she is motionless all day except for moving her head sometimes.

It's not specific to me as she will come to life if our cleaners show up. When I come home she immediately turns on and starts eating. So she clearly needs companionship. I tried even playing some radio for her during the day but it didn't help.

Clearly it's some sort of behavioral problem but it doesn't show any sign of improvement and was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to break the habit. At some point, I'll need to go out of town and unless she will eat, I'll have to board her when I'm gone which I'd rather not do.

Thanks,

- Chris
 

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My wife says Oscar does the same, as when she comes home and lets him out he goes straight back in starts eating. I'm not convinced though, as his seed pot does need changing regularly and he isn't continually eating when I am in.

Have you tried to move the cage around, both what is in it and where the cage faces?
 

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I'm definitely sure she's not eating/preening/playing or anything else. I've moved the cage and I recently removed everything in her cage except her favorite toy and wrapped a few things in twine as it's her favorite thing to chew on.
 
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