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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have one baby cockatiel, one egg hatched, 3 others didn't, who is 3 weeks old today. Parents are doing a good job feeding junior, and it looks pretty big and healthy with some feathers of some sort just beginning to appear. I want the bird to be 'human friendly' but I don't want to take it out of the nest altogether and start handfeeding. Some handfeeding could be ok. How to proceed?
 

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Just handle it for about half an hour each day and then give it back to the parents. As it gets older, you can handle it much more often. I did that with my cockatiel chick because I didn't want to handfeed it, and now he is the tamest bird that I own. As long as you handle it often enough, it will learn to trust hands and become 'human friendly'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just handle it for about half an hour each day and then give it back to the parents. As it gets older, you can handle it much more often. I did that with my cockatiel chick because I didn't want to handfeed it, and now he is the tamest bird that I own. As long as you handle it often enough, it will learn to trust hands and become 'human friendly'.
Thanks, sounds good. When did you start ?
 

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I started handling him when he was about two weeks old, but for only short amounts of time. When he was three weeks old, I handled him much more often (about a half hour each day). By about four weeks old, I would hold him when I watched a movie so it would be an hour or so that he would be out with me. Eventually, you just increase the amount of time you handle him and soon enough he will be wanting to come out to be with you all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I started handling him when he was about two weeks old, but for only short amounts of time. When he was three weeks old, I handled him much more often (about a half hour each day). By about four weeks old, I would hold him when I watched a movie so it would be an hour or so that he would be out with me. Eventually, you just increase the amount of time you handle him and soon enough he will be wanting to come out to be with you all the time.
Great info, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I started handling him when he was about two weeks old, but for only short amounts of time. When he was three weeks old, I handled him much more often (about a half hour each day). By about four weeks old, I would hold him when I watched a movie so it would be an hour or so that he would be out with me. Eventually, you just increase the amount of time you handle him and soon enough he will be wanting to come out to be with you all the time.
Er, how did the parents take it?
 

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They weren't happy all the time, but they accepted it. When I returned the chick back to the box, they were happy again. It also helps if you have a hand tamed breeding pair as well because they will usually be fine with you touching their chicks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They weren't happy all the time, but they accepted it. When I returned the chick back to the box, they were happy again. It also helps if you have a hand tamed breeding pair as well because they will usually be fine with you touching their chicks.
Thanks. 'hand tamed breeding pair' ... I wish. For a while the male would try to attack me when I got near the cage ! But he's pretty good now.
 

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Oh, wow! Yeah, my male likes to lunge for my hand sometimes when I put it near, but the mother is quite hand tame so it makes it easier when she is the only one in the box when I take the chick out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I let the birds (4, 2 from the last batch) fly around the house, and all were out of the cage and I picked up Jr. It was not happy, but to my surprise the parents didn't move a feather, so I was good. Jr. was squacking (the sound they make when they're want to be fed) but I think it was because it was unhappy. Anyhow I tried to feed it a bit from a spoon, and that calmed it down for about 2 sec., so ... we've started !
 

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Way to go! Are you planning on hand feeding it completely or just whenever the parents aren't? I find when you handfeed as well, they really attach to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm going to play it by ear - I'd like to handfeed for the reason you mentioned but I'm not planning on separating it from the parents, so we'll see how that goes, I'm thinking supplemental handfeeding.
 

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Okay, sounds good. I didn't start hand feeding until my chick was about four weeks old, and even if you just do the supplemental hand feeding, that works just as great. 😊
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay, sounds good. I didn't start hand feeding until my chick was about four weeks old, and even if you just do the supplemental hand feeding, that works just as great. 😊
Well, the bird is starting week 5, kind of a bruiser, big body, but the only feathers are on the wings ... and I've been 'handling' the bird for about a week, that is I take it out of the cage and put in on the table, I try to feed it with a spoon and also with syringe but the bird is completely uninterested in the formula. I noticed today that its crop looked pretty full, so the parents are doing a good job. As for myself, I'm not sure how it's going. Do you have any tips on how to 'tame' the birdy ... I'm thinking it's going to be OK, but I hand fed two previous birds starting late in the game, they were fully feathered (except for thier heads) as their parents 'yul brynnered' them .. and each time it was a hassle and they never did come around to liking me, but fortunately they now get into their cage at night on their own without me having to turn off all the lights, so they can't fly from one high perch to another, and hunting them down with a flashlight. Where was I? Oh yeh, any tips?
 

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It sounds like the parents might be plucking it if it only has feathers on its wings. When mine was younger, I left it with the parents because I wasn't up to hand feeding. Around 1 month old, the father started plucking his chick's head so I had to remove him and begin hand feeding. It was tough at first because he didn't want anything to do with the formula and he wanted his parents back. After about four days, he finally accepted the formula from me and from then on, it was pretty easy. If you're not up to completely hand feeding it and the parents aren't plucking it, then I would continue to try handling it as much as possible and increase the amount of time you handle it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You were right. Because of past experience, I was watching birdies head, and it was good, there were no feathers on the back, but I did see little teeny weeny feathers so I though all was good. Now the bird is staring week 6, wings fully feathered, crest, front feathered, and nothing at all on its back. And I finally notice the mother pecking. **** ! ... So, I've simi pulled the bird, and I'm trying to intervene whenever I see pecking, I actually got some food into the bird today ... so maybe I'll pull it tomorrow ... I'm hoping they're dormant at night, I think they might be.
 

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That's too bad that they did start plucking the chick, but thankfully the feathers will grow back in time. Yes, the chick should be fine in the night; it's really only in the day that the parents decide to tear at the feathers. There are so many different reasons that they could be plucking the chick. It could be that they want him out so that they can double clutch. Hopefully, it will be an easy time if you start to handfeed completely. Thankfully with the hand feeding, the chicks become very tame and used to hands which is nice.
 
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