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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have just rehomed a cockatiel i have been told it was male and around 4 years old, he was kept in a dark shed outside due to the same behaviour shown to the previous owner :( i brought him home last nite and he is very frigtened and nervous obviously. if i go near the cage he opens his mouth to bite i have put my hand in the cage to put food water etc and he is hissing at me, can anyone advise me how to get the bird to trust me i understand this is not going to be an overnight success as he hasnt been looked after very well, i have owned a bird before but not a cockatiel i am keeping him near a wall at eye level for security and speaking soft calming words to him i know its going to take time but any advice will help me.

i have just joined this forum and dont know if i have posted this in the right place apologies if i havent
thank you so much for any help :)
x x x
 

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Cover the top and three sides of the cage with a sheet. This will make him feel more secure as danger can only approach him from one side and he can relax a bit. After that try to leave him alone as much as possible until he seems to be relaxing. Remember he's spent a long time in the dark alone. The transition to a house where it's light and there's large creatures he's scared of moving around, and making noises is a huge change for him.

When he starts to relax, talk to him in a low voice as you're going around doing things, and tell him what you're doing etc. Let him get used to you being around. If he's calm enough, sit next to the cage, and talk or read to him. If you can, make sure you're slightly lower than him, as this will make him feel safer.

Next you need a reward. This should be something he only gets from you. Don't leave it in his cage at all. If he has access to it anyway, he won't have any motivation to work for it. Millet sprays are a good treat to use for this. While you sit next to the cage, he'll hopefully get used to you and become interested. Offer him the treat, holding it up to the bars of the cage. Don't put your hand inside yet (only when you have to to change his food/water). Once he's eating the treat from you on the outside of the cage, you can move on to the next step.

Hopefully by this point, he should be associating you with the treat. Open the cage door and put your hand in, holding the treat. Don't try to move your hand towards him, just hold it in the doorway with the treat, still talking to him, and let him come and eat the treat. Repeat this a lot until he stops hesitating before going for the treat. Now you can begin to teach him to step up. Hold the treat so he has to come near your hand to get it. Make sure he's confident being around your hand before you go any further. Next hold your hand or finger in front of him, and hold the treat so that he has to step on to your hand to reach it. As he steps on tell him "up". Repeat this until you're both confident with it, then start taking him out of the cage.

When you're doing this, always keep your voice gentle and low. If he bites you, don't react at all. Keep training sessions to 10 - 15 minutes and try to end it positively. Don't rush things, wait for him to be confident with the current step before moving on to the next. It could take days, or it might take months to get him confident with you. As he relaxes, remove the cover gradually from the cage - expose two sides, then three, then take the cover away. Make sure he's getting plenty of sleep. He needs 10 - 12 hours of sleep every night, undisturbed (i.e. no TV noise, etc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i will thanks again hes been singing and bowing his head to me while im talking to him this evening whats that all about ??? post pics now :D x x x
 

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Thats really positive Vikki, already sounds like you might win him around!

Sorry. Spelt your name wrong, Vicky. Good luck with him! Have you got any piccies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ahh really !!! dont worry bout spelling :) ive just taken pics but hes hissing at me when im going to close to the cage dont want to upset him so they not very good but im gonna put them on here now thanks for your feedback it all helps x x x
 

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Cool, looking forward to seeing them, just think what life you are giving him from what hes been used to! Cold, dark and damp shed! Some people need shooting. Bless you both xx
 

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Mythara says it all! Keep up the good work! Let us know how things progress :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i know hes lovely aswell just very frightened poor thing how do i post the pics here please from my desktop i have tried using the insert image above but it wants me to put a address in ? x x x
 

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When youve registered and downloaded the piccies (it doesnt take long at all) dont forget to post the link on this thread so we can view them! :)
 

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AAAWWWW WOW, hes cute, he looks ALOT like my Derek in the last 2 piccies! I noticed his seed treat in the cage was completley bare! He he, poor boy, glad youve got your hands on him now, he looks a little scared, but its more than likely that BRIGHT flash yoube got on your camera!
 
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