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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.
My name is Linda, and I have two tiels.
I've known them for years, but only recently have they come to live with me.
The younger one is the Male: his name is Tjotte and he's 5 years old and slightly neurotic, loves to whistle and chew on the nest box opening and general wood toys.
Then there's Charlotte, she's 8, very calm as long as humans stay on the outside of the cage, spent her first 3 years as an aviary bird, keeps Tjotte in line, has a bad habit of giving Tjotte kind of a single little row of feathers at the back of his neck plucked of.
She's mostly into branches, and doesn't like it when I try to put new toy into the cage.
Up until two years ago they's bred, and hatched 1-2 eggs a year, but last year they didn't lay any eggs, I'm thinking she may be older than I was told.
I'm hoping to get some tips on how to best enrich their lives and get them used to toys and more varied food sources.
 

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Hello and welcome from Joey and me! :)

The best thing I have found for introducing new toys is to leave them outside the cage where he can see them for a bit, maybe a few hours, maybe a day. Then a bit closer for a while, where they can be seen, but are still deemed 'safe' because they are outside. Then I will show them to him, and talk about how fun they are, and ask him if he likes it, and tell him 'mommy likes it!. I use my calm but excited voice I use when I want him to get curious about something. Natural curiosity takes over, and he gets interested in things. Sometimes he is excited about a new toy right away, and sometimes I have to use the method above. I always try to put it in the cage first, talking to him while doing it. If he acts suspicious or afraid, I will take it out and work with him. If he is okay with it, it stays.

Do they come out of the cage, or have they gotten used to only being in there? When no one is around but people they are used to, you can leave the cage door open to see if they want to come out. Joey won't step up, despite loving scritches, being hand fed, and otherwise fine with hands. When we are home and awake, his cage doors are open at all times, with the house 'babyproofed'. He comes and goes as he wants. He used to come out on his own and ride a bamboo spoon handle back to the cage, but now he goes back in on his own.

What are they eating now? Introducing new foods is always an adventure, sort of like with human toddlers. It is all hit and miss, and trying over and over is usually what works. Joey wouldn't touch his pellets, even mixed in with seed, until I started hand feeding them as treats. Suddenly they were pretty darn cool, and although he eats them daily with seeds, they are still his fave treats. A lot of us have had success introducing veggies by shredding or dicing them really tiny, the size of seeds, and adding them to the dish. When they get used to the taste, you can start trying bigger sized ones for them to nibble on. You can also hang bigger pieces of veggies in the cage to see if they happen to want to try. Some foods will never be acceptable (like me with Brussels sprouts), some take a while, and some are great right away. Others will be able to be of more help with foods, since theirs are better eaters than Joey is. He isn't into huge variety, but I do keep trying.

Think of it all as an adventure of discovery you and the little ones are on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They have a big cage that they don't really like going out of, it's 150cm tall, 100cm wide, and 70 cm deep, and I've decided not to push them on the subject until they've gotten more used to me as a person.
They've lived with my parents for about 4 years, so they know me a bit, but I want them to be a bit more relaxed, so decided to first tackle the food sources first.
My parents had them in the living room and would talk to them, but otherwise not interact.
They're used to generic brand cockatiel mix from the grocery store, millet and apples.
So far while I'm waiting for my order of pellets to come in, I upgraded the seedmix to one much more specifically designed for them.
I've got them to try:

  • cooked rice
  • salad
  • kale
  • kiwi
  • pears
  • more apple
  • banana
  • almond
  • broccoli

They still get millet as well, and until they are fully on pellets, they are getting a calcium supplement as well.
Charlotte is much more open to trying new things, where Tjotte simply ignores them for as long as he can until she bullies him over to it.
 

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Welcome to you and your flock! Glad you are here, from me and Percy :)
 

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Welcome to the forum from Milo and I! Your babies are fortunate to have you as their birdie mom, sounds like you are taking very good care of them :)
 

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Welcome to the forum! You have a bit of work with your tiels but I'm sure you all will be happy :)

It's only a matter of time!
 

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Hi, welcome to the forum! :)
 
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