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I have searched things on this site many times but was too scared to actually post something and get actual help.

I have 2 cockatiels, they are named Pipoca and Quito, I'm gonna call them PP and Q for short. A family member of mine found Q lost on a street under a car, after a week without finding it's owner they gave him to me. Some months later Q had 2 babies with another cockatiel, 1 of them being PP. It all happened in 2015. PP is 6 and I assume Q is 7. They always were very quiet but will sing some songs and scream from time to time. Sorry about the long text, just giving some context about them.

Since I got them, they were manly feed seed mix and corn. I then discovered recently that it's not good for cockatiels(please don't judge me for not doing research, I always lived with birds who were manly feed seed and I was a kid at the time I got them) and would like to change that! But they refuse to eat anything other than that, the only other thing they eat is a cookie, but I don't know how they are called in English, but they're just small, bland, and don't have salt, they don't eat that all the time either, I just give them that when they are being loud and annoying which happens every month or so.

Every time I can, I try to give them some carrots or cucumbers(no seed) to see if they will eat it, but no, they always just leave it there.

So I would like some help on how to feed them better, every tip is apreciated. Please don't recommend seed mix or anything like that with English brands, I'm not American so if you could just describe what's in it I could try to find something close to that.

Some months ago, Q hit his wing really hard on something inside his cage, I wasn't close to him at the time so I'm not sure what it was. When I noticed he had blood on him, I cleaned him and went to check if he had any serious injuries, he didn't, I think it was a feather that fell out. It was fine after a while, he was normal again. But, on the place he hurt himself, grew multiple feathers, and it happened some years back too(not same place) one of his feathers fell out and 2 new ones grew on that place, after a while, they fell when he was molting and became normal again. But this time it didn't, there are multiple feathers growing at the same place and sticking up on his wing.

He doesn't seem to care about it either, he doesn't do anything about it, like scratch it or touch it, it's just there and he ignores it. Sometimes when I touch it he will get mad, so I think it hurts just when something touches it.

I don't know what to do about it, the only "bird vet" it had in my city closed, and I don't have any other place to go nearby. :(

This is not as important, but, they are kind of old you know. And I didn't know how to properly train them when I was a kid, they know the anthem of where I live and they mimic some neighbor's birds sometimes. Q knows how to get up on my finger and sends kisses back(only to people he likes :rolleyes:) and PP is dumb, very dumb, rarely learns something, but last year I insisted on teaching him how to get up on my finger, and he learned it! But he only does that when he is in a good mood, he also send kisses but it means "hey! pet me right now!!".

And i wanted them to learn how to sing a particular song, it's Totoro's Theme from My Neighbor Totoro. That movie means a lot to me and I would like them to learn the theme. I can't whistle for too long so I would put videos of other cockatiels singing it, but they would just scream back at them.

Is it worth trying to teach an "old" tiel how to sing? And if it is, I would like some tips on it.

"I'm trying to redeem myself with them"
For the past 4 years, I've been going through lots of personal problems(growing up is hard), and it affected my relationship with them. I was treating them badly. It was hard taking care of myself and taking care of 2 other pets was harder, sadly I still live with my family so they would help to give them food and water, but they work a lot, so it would have some days that they weren't eat anything but some old seeds and stay on their cage all day, and I regret it, I regret it so much, I made them feel miserable and it was my own fault.

Based on the way I treated them, i don't know if they will live much longer than 1 or 2 years more, so I want to give them the life I didn't give them before.

I love them to death, thinking about the way I used to treat such special pets makes me cry every time. I want to make them feel loved and let them know how much they mean to me, even after all I did, they always stay with me, doing dumb stuff and cheering me up. I want them to live as long as possible, but even if they have a few years left, I want it to be the best they ever had.

Sorry for the really long text, but I just had a lot of stuff to talk about.

Every help is appreciated and thank you for reading. 馃挅

7 Posts
Hi! I know how hard it can be to look back and see all you did wrong on caring for birds (i've had a canary for a time and i treated him wrong for some years because i just did what i learned from my dad instead of making my own search) but dont be too hard on yourself, im sure you are doing your best now :)
About geting them to eat healthier foods, i would recomend making bird bread (there are tons of recipes on youtube), wich were invented especially to get stubborn birds to eat vegetables, so that might help. I've seen some people putting seeds on top of vegetables to get birds to eat it, i dont know if it works or not but its worth a try... Brocolli might be a little easier to get birds to eat as the little leafy things on the top may look like seeds for them.

About the song thing, i've heard that listening to other cockatiels may make some feel threatened, so that might explain why they scream to the videos. Anyways i think that puting songs in a 8 bit theme may help them to learn (there is a plataform that i think is called chrome songs, i will take a look on the name and say it here later, but i think it might help to create a song to teach them)

Well... i'm not an expert but i hope i helped... btw are you brazilian? Pipoca is the name for popcorn in portuguese so... it would be nice to find another brazilian here haha ;)

10 Posts

To add to the previous comment about good ideas like bird bread....

I can very well understand your feelings, because my cockatiels were picky about any veggies from the very beginning. It can be quite hard to train them to eat veggies, if they didn鈥檛 get used to them as young. However, I finally found something that tastes to them, maybe you could give a try, too:

  • Sprouted seeds: picky parrots may learn to like sprouted seeds, as their texture and taste is very close to non-sprouted seeds. You can first give them slightly sprouted seeds that were incubated only for 1-2 days 鈥 they still look and taste very similar to non-sprouted seeds. It can be the very same seed mixture which you would give them anyway, or a special sprouting seed mixture. The mixture must be of high quality, so that all seeds will sprout (the non-sprouting, poor quality seeds may become a potential source of contamination, if you don鈥檛 remove them from the mixture). If done in a very hygienic way (rinsing them carefully 2 times per day, cleaning the seed container carefully after use), they are safe and full of nutrients 鈥 much more healthy than non-sprouted seeds. Beware of any bacterial contamination! If the seeds smell or taste different, discard them right away, and don鈥檛 give them to your bird. My birds love sprouted seeds, especially sprouted sunflower seeds - of course, it is good to offer them a variety of seed types, not just one.
  • Herbs: You can grow herbs in a pot, and they are very durable, if you water them frequently. In contrast to any cut pieces of veggies, you don鈥檛 need to discard them after 2 hours, as they are eatable for many days to even weeks. My cockatiels didn鈥檛 eat them at first, but they liked to play with them and shred them, but after some time they learned to eat them. Their favorites are herbs with small leaves: thyme and oregano. Note that parsley can be fed to them only occasionally, as it contains oxalic acid which absorbs calcium and forms calcium oxalate, which in turn can lead to formation of kidney stones.
I hope you find something healthy that tastes to them! :) And there is no reason to blame yourself too much for the past, it is better just to focus on the future - you can always strive for better. I bet no-one is a perfect owner. I suppose we all should keep on developing towards better. In the past, there was also not as much information about good care of cockatiels, or the information was very different from current understanding. Research and common knowledge evolve all the time. So I suppose it is good idea to check for up-to-date information every now and then, and not to rely only on one's own experience.
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