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Hello all,

I've had Polaris for about 3 months now. She's a sweat little birb, very timid in nature, and also pretty unpredictable. I'm stuck trying to train her, and I'm looking for some advice to build her trust.

Polar doesn't like millet or any other treats that I have tried. Fresh fruits and veggies and such. When I first got her, she loved this seed variety I got. I started to empty her bowl and only feed her with a spoon. She used to hiss whenever I approached the cage but after awhile, not sure if it was the food, she kind of accepted me around. Whenever I dropped the seed in, she'd rush over and hiss at me while eating. I considered it progress.

I had to switch over to a pellet diet, and while she does eat it, she eats a lot less now. Rarely rushing to the bowl whenever I drop a spoonful in. It's been awhile since I've felt like I've made progress now. She hisses at random now, but much much less frequently. I have her cage by my desk so she spends hours next to me, usually 2 feet away.

Every morning and night she's talk to me. She's uncomfortable with my hand in the cage but doesn't lunge or hiss when I put it in, only if I get too close. I always slowly back off and give her a spoonful. If she doesn't hiss I'll still give her a spoonful.

At this rate, I'm not sure what to do. She's had this new diet for a month now, she definitely likes it, but it doesn't seems like she likes it enough for training.

My first birb I was able to tame in 4 days, but, even with this patience, Polar is more wild, and I'm out of ideas on ways to gain her trust. She doesn't like to be left alone some days. She'll yell when I leave to make breakfast for example. I think she started her first molt this week.

Any advice you might have for us would be so much help. I really don't know how to go about make more progress. It seems to have simply stalled this month. Thank you, much love,

- Ansel
 

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I recommend clicker training. It helps in the bonding process. I have had my cockatiel for a month now and clicker training really helped us advance a few steps.

I am a little concerned over the way you handled the diet change. I've heard it is better to let the bird settle in, maybe wait a few months before trying to changer her from the seed mix. But I'm waiting for more experienced owners to comment here. But I don't think it is okay for her to hiss when you feed her and such. I think you should drop the spoon and let the bird feed when she wants.

Are you sure she doesn't like millet spray? Or she doesn't touch it when you hold it?

My cockatiel didn't like eating any food out of my hand until she liked me a little better. To be sure, leave some millet spray in cage and see if she eats it. If she does, leave it in for like 2-3 days for her to get "hooked up on" and remove it and only give it during clicker training.

Are you letting Polaris out of her cage? Some cockatiel like to train and bond only outside the cage. My cockatiel is like that. Inside the cage we make no progress, but outside the cage she is willing to work with me. Maybe Polaris is similar.
 
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