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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!
Today i was gone out of the house for most of the day (for the first time since her coming home, i have chronic illnesses so have spent every day nearly every hour with her since she came home when she was 5 weeks old.) and when returning home my baby (hand reared, so smothered for most of the day) cockatiel (weaned and 8 weeks old) was absolutely distressed, crying like babies do, screamed when i wasnt in sight and when i was near changed to a higher pitch, when on my shoulder she calmed but when i looked at her she cried for pats. When i put her back as she was starting to sound distressed she cry's and cry's. If i just sit near by she clams, when i leave shes off again.

Is this all just separation anxiety and paying out on me for being out or is this a sign of a bigger picture? And how should i react to this behavior, or how can i sooth her?

Thanks all.
 

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My cockatiel is the same age as yours. I got him when he was 2 weeks old. I spent lots of time with him, like you're doing with your bird. But I don't have a problem with separation anxiety, so maybe some of my experience might help you.

At your baby's age, cockatiels nap a lot during the day. I give mine lots of hugs and cuddles, but I also give him quiet time in his cage. He has a large cage with lots of toys and different size perches. I built him a play gym and when I let him out, most of his time is spent on the play gym, not on me. I keep the play gym and his cage right next to my desk, where I am most of the day, so he's always with me, whether in his cage or out.

Are you still hand-feeding your bird or is he weaned? Mine is still being hand-fed and I'm not rushing him to wean.
What diet do you have him on? Is he getting 'big boy food' like pellets and seed mix? Is he getting veggies and fruit? Millet sprays? Although mine is still getting formula, he's eating everything else on his own. The hand feeding is just kinda a supplement and bonding thing at this stage, lol.

Does your bird have a stuffed toy (safe for birds kind)? Or a snuggie? They like to cuddle up to soft toys or those hanging snuggies.

Hope this helps you...
Would love to hear back. :)

Oh, and one other thing that I feel is important: Whenever I do not want to interact with my birds (like when I'm going to prepare their formula or I'm doing something around the house, etc) I am ALWAYS SILENT when passing their cages. If I make any sound when near their cages, they'll call out to me. The only time the birds will call or cry when I pass by silently is if they NEED something - usually they're hungry or my baby conure is tired (duh, he wants to be laid on his back and swaddled in a small towel, cuddled, then put in his tent to sleep).
 

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Poor babies.
 

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Hi Morla, not sure if your response was to my comments about being silent around my babies. If so, just thought I'd ease your mind by saying my babies are not ignored. They get tons of attention, hugs and cuddles. It's only when I need to get some work done, or when I'm getting their formula ready that I don't make noise around them. :D
 

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...crying like babies do, screamed when i wasnt in sight and when i was near changed to a higher pitch, when on my shoulder she calmed but when i looked at her she cried for pats.
I have very little experience, but there have been several threads lately about young tiels (about 7-9 weeks old) regressing from being weaned and crying for food. It sounds like this is what is happening....NOT that she's crying for "pats". I would get the formula out and give her some food. She looks to you 100% for comfort and food, so if she's already on your shoulder, she has her comfort. You said she still cries if you look at her *while* she's on your shoulder....sounds like she's hungry!
 

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Cockatiels depend on their flock for security, and a wild baby that got separated from the flock would be in more danger than an experienced adult. So unfortunately your little one was probably terrified at being separated from you. Your "cockatiel info" says you have 3 tiels, so it would be helpful if she spends a lot of time with the other birds when you're home and can see them when you have to go out. That way she'll still be with the flock and won't feel so alone. You could gradually start spending a little less time with her when you're home so she doesn't feel so dependent on you.
 

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In my opinion it sounds like your bird just missed you. The day was not an ordinary day for him/her. I would have done the same as you. Lots of snuggles when I got home and maybe a snack and all will be fine. I am sure she was just letting you know she/he welcomed you home and she/he loves you!
As for the crying all the time... When Belle gets a bit out of control in the crying for attn. I put a towel or something over the cage till he calms down then I take it off. It's kindof like just letting the bird relax for a few min. while I take care of what I'm doing. I am curious though. What illness are you are dealing with. (nosey I know and apologies if I'm out of line asking.) I hope you feel great tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone for your comments!
Shes fully weaned and is definitely not regressing, her weights staying on track and we feared earlier on she was i have hand fed her for a week when we were concerned but she seamed to stop craving it.
Shes with my other two cockatiels all throughout the day then sleeps in my room.
She has PLENTY of toys and perches in her cage, shes constantly looking for mischief so i made sure there was plenty for her to be amused by.
I think she just missed me, thismornings shes fine, shes cuddly but not seaming distressed what so ever. I was thinking of giving her a feed but wasnt sure enough.
Thismorning shes doing her usual crying for attention (which the breeder said is just a habit) when shes with me having pats, ill link you all to a youtube video that is alike what she does! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_vFyvECYoQ&feature=channel_video_title

Thanks everyone for your help but i think everything is okay, she just wasnt used to me leaving for that amount of time, :) Ill update you tonight after my next outing for a few hours. Thanks!
 

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Wow, mellowyellow, I am really, really surprised that you say your bird is fully weaned. Mine is still on formula and would normally wean in 1 more month.

It wouldn't hurt if you tried offering your baby a little formula, just to be on the safe side. And check her keel bone. Is it a little prominent? Or is she plump enough? And, you might try weighing her, just to be sure.
 

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I checked out your video. That cry is DEFINITELY a cry for feeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow, mellowyellow, I am really, really surprised that you say your bird is fully weaned. Mine is still on formula and would normally wean in 1 more month.

It wouldn't hurt if you tried offering your baby a little formula, just to be on the safe side. And check her keel bone. Is it a little prominent? Or is she plump enough? And, you might try weighing her, just to be sure.
Hi DesertDweller,
Well after she was home for a week she was crying and bobbing alot so i took her to another breeder than i know very well, she gave her a feed and sent me home with formula, i continued for a week and a bit, she didnt seem to need it.
Last night i was in ore at how large the top bump on her tummy was (i think thats the keel bone but im not sure) i weighed her and she at the start of the week was 83g and is now 87g. When i saw the breeder she said shes definitely getting enough food but just to be sure we will hand feed her. How large is that bump meant to be, it was massive! Thismorning it feels normal. Actually feels the best its been ever.
Can someone explain to me exactly how to check the keel bone and what its meant to be like? At the moment i can feel a bone at the front right down, its smooth... I dont know really what im looking for? (she hasnt cried thismorning, only affection noises, no baby cries).
Please explain lol
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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I finally figured it out, with checking her keel bone and it seamed good!
2 out of 3 passed the 3rd is clearly overweight...
But what happened last night, do you know why it could have felt like that?
 

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The prominence of the keel bone won't change that fast, so probably it might have been the way you were feeling it and you got better at it. Very glad you're checking :).

Oh, and the reason I said your baby is definitely hungry is that I've handfed lots of birds, albeit mostly softbills, but I do recognize that particular cry. And, I'm one who would rather err on the side of giving formula for too long than to cut them off of it too soon. I find it a nice way to bond with my babies and the formula has lots of nutrients that I don't want them to miss out on when they're learning to eat on their own.

I have 2 baby sparrows I'm raising since they were newly hatched (4 days old). I've raised lots of them before. They typically wean at about 3 to 6 weeks, but I still give these 3 month olds their baby food, lol. It's a fun treat.

One thing I do that might help you is I like to put some of the formula mixed in with the cockatiel's (and my other birds) veggies. Kinda helps them transition and keeps those good nutrients going to their tummies.
 
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