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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I purchased a cockateil a month ago that was said to be hand raised. They thought it was under 10 months and was male. I have prieviously had many hand tame birds. Jethro (my cockateils name) has a open top cage and regularly comes up and will whistle and sing. But here is why I am posting this, as soon as I go within a meter of the cage he starts hissing, throwing his head forward and sometimes try's to fly away. When he lands on the floor I put my finger down near his feet or chest and say 'step up Jethro', he always bites, hisses or walks away. I was wondering if there was anything I could do to make him more comfortable with my presence? Any replys would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Give him some millet by leaving it in the cage or hanging it so that he grows a liking for it (almost all tiels love millet). Then, you can start giving it to him yourself, slowly moving your hand up the millet spray until you are practically feeding him from your hand. From there, you can start making him reach for the millet until he steps up.

HOWEVER, leaving the millet in his cage for him should be a TEMPORARY thing. NEVER, EVER give birds millet as anything other than a treat. Millet gives birds a kind of high, like birdie marijuana, and if you give it to them constantly, rather than just as a treat, then they can become addicted to it and will experience withdrawal symptoms if you run out. We've had people who come to Fallen Feathers worried about their bird because their bird has gotten so mean and nothing else has changed in the bird's life. Jody (the founder) asks them "Did you run out of millet?" and they say yes, and she explains that the bird is experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Come to think of it......where did you get Jethro? Because if he was hand tamed, you'd think he would be a little more accepting of you, right? I mean, it really depends on what happened to the bird. Where you got him from, did they leave millet in his cage/food bowl all the time? Or, he might be having trust issues; some birds have gender preferences, where they will hate one gender and love the other, or sometimes it's just a matter of trust. Kirby, for instance, trusts all women, but takes a little longer to accept men. Or, it might just be a distrust of people in general. Kirby had been a bit neglected and had been through three owners already before me, so he was pretty hesitant to trust me at first. He would hiss and run away from anyone who entered his cage at the rescue, but after awhile I was able to gain his trust and now he sits with little kids at various events for Fallen Feathers, and never bites; he's a perfect gentlemen. What kind of situation did you get your bird from? Kirby was hand raised, but because of his sad little backstory he had his issues.

Sorry this was so flippin long. I just wanted to explore the different possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for such a quick reply Lunawolfsong,
I don't know of Jethros history, he was in a cage with about 5 other cockateils though. I purchased him from Bungengore, NSW. I will definitely try the millet and will not constantly give it to him. I dont think it is a gender thing because he is the same with my boyfriend.

No worries, it gives me somethings to think about and I will do as much reading or whatever is needed to get my little birdie to love me because I love him so much.
 

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Thank you for such a quick reply Lunawolfsong,
I don't know of Jethros history, he was in a cage with about 5 other cockateils though. I purchased him from Bungengore, NSW. I will definitely try the millet and will not constantly give it to him. I dont think it is a gender thing because he is the same with my boyfriend.

No worries, it gives me somethings to think about and I will do as much reading or whatever is needed to get my little birdie to love me because I love him so much.
These things just take time. I met Kirby in October, and he didn't trust me until probably Decemberish? Even then, he didn't trust me fully until a little while after I adopted him in March! Depending on what your bird's story is, it might take longer, or not as long, or there might not be trust issues at all and he just needs to be tamed.
 
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