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Discussion Starter #1
She really is sweet and lovely, but she is a major distraction for my male Ringo who before getting her was progressing with tricks and especially talking and was a really sweet boy. Now he never talks, never does tricks and bites like an aggressive little rat. He is not the bird we are used to. I'm going to try seperating them but they call for each other and my partner actually wants to sell both of them as he's sick of being bitten.

It's tough as she's the sweeter but I've always only had one parrot and I work from home so he would not be lonely as we did just find with just him before getting her.

I hate the idea of selling her but I want my Ringo back. I know he's going through his 'teen' years but she really could care less for him - and he goes nuts when away from her - even though they STILL don't like each other.

Please don't think me evil. But it has not got better it's got worse and someone will have a really lovely sweet cockatiel.
 

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Me too

They have been my lovely pets but now the male's shrieks have gotten worse. Ever since we got a female, he has been bonding with her, extra-hormonal and mating, and now screams our heads off, all the while restless & shrieking as if his hen is lost, and to be let out of the cage with her.

We've never seriously considered selling them, but if we can sell one of them to part the pair, will it not send the other into depression of having lost a mate? Even when we give them a time-out by placing the fighting male into a travel-cage, both call & look out for each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They have been my lovely pets but now the male's shrieks have gotten worse. Ever since we got a female, he has been bonding with her, extra-hormonal and mating, and now screams our heads off, all the while restless & shrieking as if his hen is lost, and to be let out of the cage with her.

We've never seriously considered selling them, but if we can sell one of them to part the pair, will it not send the other into depression of having lost a mate? Even when we give them a time-out by placing the fighting male into a travel-cage, both call & look out for each other.
I'm not sure. My male Ringo was doing fine on his own before getting her but I've never owned cockatiels before or two parrots. I've hand raised a white cockatoo and a red tailed black cockatoo plus had a galah and hand raised budgies.

I'm so torn. But we are starting to resent Ringo and not enjoy him due to his agro attitude and even though the girl is very sweet - we got him first and I'm willing to risk breaking them up to get him back. Now I know why I've always ever owned one parrot. I've grown up with them but listened to many saying cockatiels need a companion. I now know my partner and I should be his companion.
 

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I understand the desire to have a pet that reciprocates the love you give to it. But remember for a minute here that these birds are not very far removed from wild animals. They do not exist to please humans as a cat or dog would - a strong bond human bond is unnatural for them. How do you think Ringo feels about the situation? If he could talk, what do you think he'd say to the idea of getting rid of his chosen mate so that he is forced to bond with you and your partner again? It's a little selfish, I can't sugar coat it.
 

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I would want my bird to be happy and he's obviously happy with the mate he's chosen. I agree it's selfish to get rid of the female just to make yourself "resent" your boy less. What did she do so wrong? And why is it not ok for the male to behave the way male bc cockateils are supposed to act? It's natural. You're supposed to love your birds regardless of if they behave exactly the way you would ideally have it. They are living creatures, not toys to do tricks and appease you. If you're going to get rid of any of them, sell both together and make sure it's to an experienced person that doesn't mind birds being birds.
 

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My Gosh tasheanne and Jaguar,I cannot believe how much I agree with both of you . You have definitely summoned it all-let birds be birds.To be honest,I never liked this thing about training cockatiels to do tricks-it is unnatural.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I understand the desire to have a pet that reciprocates the love you give to it. But remember for a minute here that these birds are not very far removed from wild animals. They do not exist to please humans as a cat or dog would - a strong bond human bond is unnatural for them. How do you think Ringo feels about the situation? If he could talk, what do you think he'd say to the idea of getting rid of his chosen mate so that he is forced to bond with you and your partner again? It's a little selfish, I can't sugar coat it.
That's why I'm torn. I agree totally but it's hard. He wants to be with us so badly but then just is constantly aggressive. Plus there is the other concern of them breeding which I don't want. I love them both so much.
 

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He has bonded to her and it might be worth it to put their cages side by side. My daughter did that with her male and female parrotlets. They do have short visits outside the cage, but they have both gently bonded to my daugher and are bonded close enough to each other without getting too close. Maybe the adivce is worth a try to put them side by side. Your boy most likely feels a bond to both of you. And maybe this way you can have one on one time with them when you want it. I hope it all works out. I feel your pain.
 

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I wanted to weigh in real quick on the issue of trick training...because, you know, it bugs me :p

Training done properly is not just a performance, nor is it forceful. It is a way of developing communication between you and your pet. There is nothing unnatural about trick training - positive re-enforcement bases the training around the bird's natural behaviour. As well as creating a 'language' between you and your bird, training enriches the pet birds' daily life. There is nothing unnatural or selfish about wanting to have that with your pet. We don't 'let birds be birds' when we don't train them - they are already adapted to a completely different environment from the wild. What we should be aiming for in training is better equipping them for that environment and challenging their clever little minds.

OK I'm done now.

I don't think you're a selfish person, LillyVon, although I do agree with the others selling ought to be for the right reasons and not because Ringo doesn't sing or respond to training anymore. There might be a way to calm his hormones. How long has Ringo been like this and have you tried anything else to help him? Why don't you talk to some of the people on here who have mixed gender flocks and see how they handle having bonded tiels? Give it a chance. I know it must be awful, but chin up :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Then buy another cage and put them next to each other.
Ok my friends 19 yr old son is willing to take her on his break for two weeks. I'll see how that goes. If Ringo is upset after that I'll certainly bring her back and let them just be who they are.

He loves my birds so he's happy to take her for a little while. What do you all think of that? I honestly do NOT want to get rid of her - I really don't. She's adorable. But anyone that has had an biting angry bird - it really does test us.

Thanks for all the advice. I'm not a horrid person trust me. I've saved wild birds in my backyard feeding and caring for them until they can be released healthy. I could not hurt a fly. My concern was she was confusing him as he was more than happy before getting her. He would hang on my and my partner, chatting, happy - now he just seems so frustrated and angry I hate to see him like that.

Trust me it's out of care, not out of being selfish. Yes be nice if he talked again but that is minor to him being just so angry all the time. He can't enjoy that?
 

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He's angry because he sees you as a threat/competition to his mate... it is pretty normal hormonal bird behavior. Parrots focus their lives very heavily on reproducing... trying to suppress that urge is going against their entire being. It's the same reason there are so many "one person" parrots out there - that person is their mate, and they will defend their mate at whatever cost! He's just chosen another bird instead.

I would honestly try riding it out for a little bit longer - and see if you can work on the hormones. The biggest issue is that tiels are less seasonal and more opportunistic breeders, so if conditions are right, they will attempt to breed any time of the year.

Definitely check out the hormone reduction sticky here: http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=32330

...but here are a few additional things I've learned in dealing with a very hormonal Phoenix:

- More sleep is good, but a parrot wouldn't sleep longer than 12 hours in the wild. I stick to 12 hours of total dark with a very distinct low-light "dawn" and "dusk" period.

- Along with food availability also reduce protein rich foods - pellets and sunflower seed are the biggest protein sources. Reduce or completely eliminate any warm, soft foods like oatmeal, mash, etc. Remove all food dishes at night.

- Make them work for the little food they do get! Invest in some foraging toys... even if it's something simple like sprinkling seed in a long shag rug. If they have to spend most of their time looking for food, they don't have much time to raise babies.

- If you can control your thermostat, try reducing the temperature in the house by a few degrees to simulate the drop in temperature that precedes winter. You could also run a dehumidifier as humidity = rain = abundance of food.

I don't think a break is going to do them any good, unfortunately. I am Phoenix's "mate" and I have gone on multiple short "vacations" and he is just as excited to see me every time :blink:

Hormones can completely rewire their little brains... he may return to being your sweet boy in time :)
 

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I wanted to weigh in real quick on the issue of trick training...because, you know, it bugs me :p

Training done properly is not just a performance, nor is it forceful. It is a way of developing communication between you and your pet. There is nothing unnatural about trick training - positive re-enforcement bases the training around the bird's natural behaviour. As well as creating a 'language' between you and your bird, training enriches the pet birds' daily life. There is nothing unnatural or selfish about wanting to have that with your pet. We don't 'let birds be birds' when we don't train them - they are already adapted to a completely different environment from the wild. What we should be aiming for in training is better equipping them for that environment and challenging their clever little minds.

-snip-
I just wanted to pop in very quickly and applaud your post here, Charlotte. Very well-worded and you hit it right on the head!
Trick training not only opens a whole new door of communication with your bird, but it's also mentally stimulating to them as well as a wonderful source of enriching their lives as pet birds.

It's not natural for a bird to "step-up" either. It's not natural for them to live in cages. It's not natural for them to eat out of dishes. It's not natural for them to eat processed foods such as pellets or to allow you to handle them enough to take oral medications and the like. If you get hung up on that pattern of thinking too much, if you come right down to it, it's not natural for us to keep pets indoors, include them in our daily lives and routines at home, or even take them to animal versions of our own hospitals known as "veterinarian clinics".

Back on topic, I'm hoping you get things worked out, Lillyvon! While I don't think you're being selfish, I also totally understand what you must be thinking right now! You just want your boy to be back to his sweet old self. :) Many a times, people may get a second bird, but then later on realize that it's not something they were prepared for.
I agree that it sounds like your boy is very hormonal, though! Jaguar posted some very good information as well as the link to the hormone reduction sticky. :)

Also, how old is Ringo? Could it also be possible that he's going through puberty?
 

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Hey LillyVon,
I found a "solution" to stop this male-behavior, and surprisingly it worked. Maybe you could try too.
It's simple.
Since most of our male tiel's screams were in the morning, we're now starting the day with opening out the cage & letting them fly around for an hour or two, after which they become hungry & fly back to the cages for food & water. They settle down in about 5mins of flying & look a lot more refreshed & relaxed than before. Surprisingly, screams have stopped & the male is back to his cute old self. With this "morning-exercise", they spend the rest of the day, playing with their toys, whereas earlier they used to ignore it (earlier, out of boredom, maybe). Now the only "screams", if any, are flock-calls to know where we are & we have a "whistle-pattern" to communicate with them. Upon hearing it, they understand where we are & calm down instantly, albeit for a short-time. But it's definitely nothing compared to the non-stop 4 hour shrieks from morning-till-noon. Now, everyone's happy - we are, because it's silent & the tiels are, because we can see they're happy. Hoping this peace stays.

From what we infer, ALL these Hormonal Screams & Restless behaviors were due to the male's instincts to fly-free at the beginning of the day. With that not happening earlier, he has been shrieking, even though we let them out in the evenings. So, you could try an hour or two, of this "flight-therapy". :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow you have all been beyond awesome! Thank you so so much. I've stuck with it with a lot of your advice and it's working. He has agro days then he's sweet as can be. Agreed I was 'his girl' now she is and when I give her attention he gets ticked off. She's SO sweet and affectionate. I'm working it out and I've found leaving their door open of their cage in the spare room (they cannot harm themselves) the last two days is helping. He is an amazing flyer and can dodge lights like a spit fire plane. She is only JUST getting her clipped wing growing and can fly a distance now but with no 'land point'.

I love the challenge and was just simple frustrated Ringo had changed SO much from such a loving sweet bird to a bird that will bit my ear, cheek. I've restricted him to only being on my hand but he is still doing that lowered head, wings out snappy behaviour but I'm determined thanks to all of you for ALL your help! What a great forum with great people.

Again thank you everyone that has helped. I've taken it all on board and certainly do not want to sell either bird at all. They are my kids. x
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I just wanted to pop in very quickly and applaud your post here, Charlotte. Very well-worded and you hit it right on the head!
Trick training not only opens a whole new door of communication with your bird, but it's also mentally stimulating to them as well as a wonderful source of enriching their lives as pet birds.

It's not natural for a bird to "step-up" either. It's not natural for them to live in cages. It's not natural for them to eat out of dishes. It's not natural for them to eat processed foods such as pellets or to allow you to handle them enough to take oral medications and the like. If you get hung up on that pattern of thinking too much, if you come right down to it, it's not natural for us to keep pets indoors, include them in our daily lives and routines at home, or even take them to animal versions of our own hospitals known as "veterinarian clinics".

Back on topic, I'm hoping you get things worked out, Lillyvon! While I don't think you're being selfish, I also totally understand what you must be thinking right now! You just want your boy to be back to his sweet old self. :) Many a times, people may get a second bird, but then later on realize that it's not something they were prepared for.
I agree that it sounds like your boy is very hormonal, though! Jaguar posted some very good information as well as the link to the hormone reduction sticky. :)

Also, how old is Ringo? Could it also be possible that he's going through puberty?

Both of them are younger than a year. He's about 10 months - she's about 8. They were both beautifully hand raised.

I've grown up with native Australian parrots my whole life. My father had them and I 'thought' I knew their behaviour as my white cockatoo, red tailed black cockatoo and galah were all very sweet none biting birds - but to be fair they were alone when I had them. I've NEVER owned cockatiels before and I did read they are the most 'sexual' of the Australian native parrots. Ringo is doing that 'fluffing up and rubbing' on me when I compliment his good behaviour. I've never had a parrot do that with me before.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
He's angry because he sees you as a threat/competition to his mate... it is pretty normal hormonal bird behavior. Parrots focus their lives very heavily on reproducing... trying to suppress that urge is going against their entire being. It's the same reason there are so many "one person" parrots out there - that person is their mate, and they will defend their mate at whatever cost! He's just chosen another bird instead.

I would honestly try riding it out for a little bit longer - and see if you can work on the hormones. The biggest issue is that tiels are less seasonal and more opportunistic breeders, so if conditions are right, they will attempt to breed any time of the year.

Definitely check out the hormone reduction sticky here: http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=32330

...but here are a few additional things I've learned in dealing with a very hormonal Phoenix:

- More sleep is good, but a parrot wouldn't sleep longer than 12 hours in the wild. I stick to 12 hours of total dark with a very distinct low-light "dawn" and "dusk" period.

- Along with food availability also reduce protein rich foods - pellets and sunflower seed are the biggest protein sources. Reduce or completely eliminate any warm, soft foods like oatmeal, mash, etc. Remove all food dishes at night.

- Make them work for the little food they do get! Invest in some foraging toys... even if it's something simple like sprinkling seed in a long shag rug. If they have to spend most of their time looking for food, they don't have much time to raise babies.

- If you can control your thermostat, try reducing the temperature in the house by a few degrees to simulate the drop in temperature that precedes winter. You could also run a dehumidifier as humidity = rain = abundance of food.

I don't think a break is going to do them any good, unfortunately. I am Phoenix's "mate" and I have gone on multiple short "vacations" and he is just as excited to see me every time :blink:

Hormones can completely rewire their little brains... he may return to being your sweet boy in time :)
They do sleep a solid 12 to 14 hours. I know my mistake now. They ALWAYS have food - like are spoilt. Seed, lettuce, corn, millet etc. They always have access to food 24/7. I'll be changing that now. I'll take away their food over night and just leave fresh water and fill their seed etc when I uncover their cage.

Again thank you everyone. I'm not a horrible person I promise. I love all animals especially birds. I hand reared 9 baby budgies when their mum and dad flew off when I was putting seed in their cage. All babies survived from me waking up every 2 hours to feed them and were so adorable.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
On a brighter note - last two days I've taught my girl Lucy to 'kiss'. She loves scratches so much she does this sweet little peck on my lip. She loves it as she gets major scratches after it which she adores.
 

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I agree with Charlotte 100%. I also think the two cages idea is a great one. You are not being selfish, its a normal sense of loss when your sweet boy is now a pistol to deal with. That doesn't make it wrong, its just what it is, a sense of loss. Doing all the things you are sounds as if you are dealing with it all as well as you can. Good luck!
 
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