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Mean cockatiels

2199 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Shayna
I just had a question.I went an got me a cockatiel .He is a boy.And I had him for about 3 months and wuz trying to tame him at that time an it wasnt going very good because he is an older bird.Well I thought that it might help if I gave him a friend.So I went an got another one to put with him that way I could tame them both.Now I have 2 older birds that are not tame an it seems to me since I put Samanatha in with Peppers it has made him worse than he was before .I mean I cant get them to come out the cage.
When I do get them out it is always a headache because they are both runnin from me .Peppers I can pick u and get him out of the cage w/o him biting me.But Samantha No I have to get a towel an wrap her up in it to get her out because she will bite...She has bit me a time or to already an it almost brings blood.
I am at the point where I am not even bothering them or tryin to handle them at all because I know that they would rather I dont.
I also have a parakeet named Skky..Now he is a nice lil bird really...He comes out an wants to be with me all the time n sit on my shoulder an just have me walk around with him .although he does bite as well.I dont know why he isnt scared or anything at all...I think he just thinks it is fun. But why is it that the cockatiels see Skyy with me all the time an see that I am not hurting him or anything and they wont at least try.Now I do understand that they are both older but it is like what am I suppose to do ?
All I want is another nice Cockatiel.I have been through so many birds that have just been not very nice an just once I want to feel like I spent my money wisely on the right birds.And right now I dont feel that way at all..Only with Skyy he wuz well worth the money.The other too no...not at all....would rather not have them really at this rate .cause I dont know what to do with them at all..
I cant really give them treats have tried that an since they never ate that kinda stuff at a young age they wont eat it now either...all thy eat is seed...that is it...they dont want fresh fruit or anything like they should have .Same thing with skyy .But he is a young bird but still to late to get him to eat that stuff aswell I have tried that .
If anyone can give me any advice at all I would love it as to what to do or where do i go from here ? I hate to get rid of my cockiteals but if they cant act nice then I really dont want them,
Well thanx
Jason :mad::(:(
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Hi Jason, and welcome to Talk Cockatiels. :)

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble with your tiels, unfortunately it takes a lot more time and patience to get somewhere with older birds. This doesn't make it impossible though, and that's the good thing. :D It's important to realise when you buy a bird that not all birds want to be friendly with people, it's not in their nature. You need to accept this and be willing to look after them even if they don't want to be your cuddly pet. It comes with the job of being a slave to your birds. ;)

Something you might want to have a go at is something called clicker training. It's been used with a lot of success with all types of birds and all ages and with all temperaments. Clicker training rewards good behaviour and ignores the bad. You can buy a clicker cheap from most pet shops, and then you can make a start.

You need to be able to reward them, you say they won't take treats so maybe you can reward them by stepping away from them (assuming they're frightened by you) or just using verbal praise. Millet would be better, but if you can't do that you've just got to find something else that works. I would recommend the moving away option to begin with because it sounds like your tiels don't like you being too close. Have you ever tried feeding them sunflower seeds through the cage bars?

Anyway, once you have a clicker and a reward system you need to teach them to associate the sound of the clicker with the reward. This is called "charging" the clicker. To do this you click, and then reward. Do this several times until they seem to make the obvious connection that click = treat. :) Once they have this idea in their mind you can start training.

The key to success with clicker training is to start slowly and move gradually. For example, if Pepper and Samantha thrash around madly when you stand by the cage, wait until they stop, click (mark the good behaviour) and then reward by moving away. Do this several times a day. You know they're responding when you can approach the cage without them flipping out. :) Then you might start putting your hand in the cage, waiting for them to be calm, then click/reward. Eventually you'll move your hand towards them slightly, click/reward if they don't move away. Get the general idea?

It's UNBELIEVABLY important to move slowly, those examples of the different stages might take weeks to work through. If you do it right then your tiels will start wanting to hear the click and try to do what you want. In the end you can use that to get them to step up, or touch a target (like a wooden chop stick) wherever you put it (e.g. your arm or shoulder) by using clicker training. If you try to rush them through then they may get frightened and not want to try, so remember to work at their pace and not yours. ;)

I've used this with my female tiel Cookie just for a bit of fun, and she cottoned on really quickly and would beak a target whether i held it up high, down low, left, right, etc. She really had fun with it. I think you could use this method with some success. :)

As to their diet, it can take weeks and even months to convert them to a healthy diet, and it's worth it in the end. I would ask some questions in the Food and Nutrition forum for tips on how to best do that. ;)

Good luck.
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Putting two cockatiels together can make them more aggressive...they have no reason to be YOUR friend, when they have a friend living with them. You will need to take them out MORE now so that they can have extra training time with you. Open the cage door, let them come out on their own. Do this at the same time every day, then when they start to venture out, you can slowly teach them the "step up" command. I would advise that you check out some websites and see how to train a helped me a LOT.
good luck! and keep us posted!
Everyone gave good advice so far. I'm sorry you're not seeing the sweet side of tiels right now. I do agree that in order to bring in a second, your first one must be tame or you'll end up with two wild tiels. Start leaving the cage door open for them and do it everyday around the same time. Tiels like things to be predictible in order for them to feel safe and comfortable. I've never used clickers but have heard they are effective to a certain extent so you can give it a try. I think you'd have to do the trainings seperate and take the tamest out for lessons first. You mentioned the female bites and almost drew blood. Almost doesn't count. Females fake bite and hiss ALOT even when extremly tame so the key is not to react. I know it might be slightly painful at first but once they realize that biting doesn't make you go away they will stop. Also, you didn't metion whether they are clipped or not. If not, then I recommend clipping them atleast for now until they are tame. Let us know how it goes.
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Don't Give Up!!!

Just wanted to tel you to never give up! My first tiel was just like that! This is how I tamed him:

First, you can't push them. They don't respond well if you do that. Second, you might want to split them up for this. Two untame birds would rather spend time together than with you. Also, age shouldn't affect this way to tame. When I got Crest he was 11 years old and this worked just fine with him.

The first step is to just sit by their cages everyday. Talk to them, read a book to them, whatever. Eventually they'll calm down and won't be affected by your presence at all, and may even start to come to the front of the cage to interact with you.

Now, get them used to having the door opened and closed. That usually doesn't take long. Once that's done, be sure you have a treat on hand. I recommend millet spray! Keep the cage door open, and slowly coax them to perch on the edge of the open door to eat the treat. Then, once they are doing this willlingly and easily, pull the millet spray farther away and offer your finger or arm as a perch to step on to get at the millet spray. Soon, they should be tempted to step up unto you to get the treat. That's it! The first couple of times they step up for you like that, let them right back into the cage. Like I said, don't push them.

Also, you shouldn't reach into their cage or take them out during this process. Let them come to you. Let them come out on their own time. That should do it! Like I said, this worked with my 11-year-old, so it should work. It can take a while, though. I don't know how bad your birds are, but mine was a biter. He hated everyone, especially little kids, since his former owner's kid liked to through stuffed animals at his cage...

Good luck with your tiels!:D
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