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Hi guys..! I've got a bit of a problem. Back in January I adopted a 2-year-old cockatiel named Tango from a local family. His buddy Peep had gotten sick and passed away, and so they wanted to give him a home with someone who had all the time in the world for him or had another bird. I'm unemployed and had previously owned cockatiels, so I figured I would be a perfect fit. So I brought Tango home and spent pretty much every minute with him.This ended up being a bad move on my part because now he has terrible separation anxiety :C

On top of that, ever since Peep died, Tango has had an obsession with his reflection and shadow. If he sees himself in anything shiny enough (no matter how small), or if I fill his water too high, or he casts a shadow on the wall, he'll immediately recognize it as another bird/potential mate and defend it with his life. I do my best to make sure he doesn't get the chance to see this 'other bird', but it does still happen on the rare occasion and me and my husband both have gotten some nasty bites. He's had his wings clipped ever since I got him because at his previous home, he would hang out on the cat tree by a mirror, and would swoop down and attack anyone passing by.

What I've tried so far is rotating his toys weekly, giving him cat grass to forage in, teaching him a whistle to replace his flock call for me (he mixes it in with his calling/screeching), and only giving him attention when he's quiet. He also gets too much sleep, I think..? I know hormonal birds need 14 hours of sleep, but I usually put him to bed around the 16-hour mark because my husband can get very loud when he's gaming with his buddies and the pet room is on the other side of the computer room (we have no other place to put him besides the basement, but it gets cold).

On particularly good days, he spends the day with me in the computer room in his cage, with the occasional outside time to hang out with me. He's usually content, but he does freak out as soon as I leave the room. He'll call and call, and scream, and I'm stuck outside the room waiting for him to quiet down before I come back in.

On bad days, I'm sad to say he spends his day in the pet room. I pop in to say hello when he's being quiet (usually when he's eating), but otherwise he'll just call and scream all day.

I get that he's probably bored and lonely, but I'm not too sure what I can do for him aside from getting another bird, which I can't afford to do for a long while at least. I just bombed another job interview and my husband shoulders all the bills. I have a makeshift play stand for him, but he'll fly right off it and walk around looking for me, which I can't have because he'll end up finding his reflection or shadow somewhere, and then all of a sudden he's aggressive.

What can I do to give him confidence, teach him to be independent, and be more at ease..? I'm literally stuck in my house all day with a screaming bird, and if school goes online again, so will my husband and his entire class.

EXTRA INFO:
-His cage dimensions are 13" wide x 24" tall, with no bottom
(it sits on a big thing of cardboard with a blanket and paper towels on it because he would sing to his reflection in the plastic)
-He eats Tropimix (2 tsp a day), but doesn't eat the dried fruit bits. He does like veggies and other fruits. He was previously on Tropican, but I was recommended to put him on a seed/pellet mix, which Tropimix is.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I forgot to mention a couple of things. When I whistle back to him (the one I taught him), he actually gets MORE upset because it's like he realizes I am there.

Another thing is that it's been difficult to reinforce that screaming doesn't get him attention because he'll take any footstep or house creaking as a sign that someone's walking towards him, because we have an old house with noisy floors.

Also, this I probably don't have to mention, but he usually takes showers with me and my husband. He's not fond of my husband but will occasionally tolerate him smooching the top of his head.
 

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Sounds like you are doing everything ok. I think tiels need a big cage, feet, not inches. they need room. That is my own personal opinion.
 

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Sounds like you are doing everything ok. I think tiels need a big cage, feet, not inches. they need room. That is my own personal opinion.
I would like to get him a bigger cage when I can, he came with this one is all. :3
 

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Don't whistle back unless you want to play with your cockatiel.. Whistling back is just like a flock call" where are you? " .
 
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