Talk Cockatiels Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· Registered
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys!
I'm new here and I really hope you can help me.
Be ready for a lot of bad news.
My two boys are already 11 years old and I got them when I was very very young.
Neither me or my dad knew how to properly care for or train them and the people at the pet store gave the worst advice (they also treated them horribly).
Fast forward to now:
My birds are scared of basically everything.
They refuse to eat fruit or veggies, they will only eat seeds and I'm worried they'll get sick or overweight at some point because they don't get vitamins.
They are scared of my hand but they will eat from my hand.
They never come out of the cage so they never ever fly, we would leave the cage open for days but they are to scared to come out.
We let them out once when they were really young still but they flew away from us right away and wouldn't go back into the cage for a week, they hid on top of our curtains.
Since then they refused to leave the cage at all.
I can't touch or come near them, they don't bite but they run away immediately.
Same goes with toys, if we buy them toys to entertain them, they will hide in a corner of the cage and won't leave it for days, they won't even go eat so we have to take them back out.
Apart from those negatives, my boys are completely healthy and always seem happy and comfortable in our company as long as we don't get to close to them.
They eat with us, sing, fluff up a lot and nap next to us.
They don't whistle melodies or talk at all though.
They don't show signs of fear or aggression unless we try to train them.
I would love some advice on how to help them be happier, I want them to be able to fly around in the room but they should come back to me or the cage and not hide in a high place for a week.
I also want them to be more comfortable with my hand, I want them to be able to step up without being scared.
Also, what can I do to make them less scared of new foods and toys?
They must be so bored without any toys but I can't let them starve for days every time I introduce a toy!

Ps: I tried many things, putting my hand in the cage a few times a day, talking to them lots, giving them lots of attention, moving slowly, rewarding them for little things, even things like blow on their faces or spray them with water.
Nothing seems to work and I know it won't be easy to redo 10 years of almost no training but they deserve to be happy and I want to try my best to make that happen.
Thank you for your help in advance!

· Registered
64 Posts
That is a tough one.
As far as vitamins I add this to my cockatiel's water. Which hopefully your boys would be okay with since it isn't a new food.

To try and encourage them to whistle tunes and stuff you can just leave whatever you want them to learn playing on repeat with a 20 second break in-between while you aren't in the room. It might not work but it is worth a try. A lot of cockatiels can learn to wolf whistle. So that would be something easy to try.

I think your boys are very bonded to each other and since they didn't bond to you in the beginning aren't as interested in you as they are with each other. Separating them would just stress them out and not be helpful, but together it makes it harder to make them want to bond with you. Hopefully somebody else will know a way around that because im not sure to be honest.

Do you have a carrier for the tiels? If you could get them in the carrier and take them into a different room. You could reorganize their cage without scaring them too much bc they aren't watching you do it. While you are reorganizing you could hide different treats in the cage. Hopefully they would be interested in exploring the cage once you put them back in since they will like their cage more than the carrier. I know that could backfire and make them scared since things have been moved, but I think it is worth a try.

Since your boys are comfortable with taking treats from your hand. You could try putting treats in a plastic drinking straw to see if they would take it and maybe play with the straw. My cockatiel loves chewing on the bendy part of a straw.

I'm also curious what room your tiels are in? Like are they in the living room or a bedroom where you would see them a lot or are they kind of hidden in another room without as much noise and movement? Moving them to a room that you hang out in a lot could help make them more comfortable if they aren't already in a room like that.

Maybe if you had a play area for them outside of the cage. Even if it is just a branch from wood that is safe for birds that apply a mild bleach solution and let sit in the sun to kill the bacteria on. Or PVC pipe that you cover in hemp rope, twine rope, or vet wrap so they can get traction on the pipe. You could try to entice them with treats to come out of the cage to go to the play area. So even if they aren't comfortable with stepping up on your hand yet they still have a place to go outside of the cage that they could potentially become okay with. Maybe they would eventually fly to it, hopefully.

I hope some of that helped! I really tried
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.