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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've had her for less than a month now. I got to stay home for a whole week shortly after I got her and that was when the flock calls began to stop. After I got back to work, she remained quiet when I was home and I thought she'd finally adjusted (also how I assumed she was female). However, she's become visibly agitated these past two days and it seems she really wants to leave her cage (which is decent sized, but still).

Here are the questions:

1. Is it a good idea to let her out of the cage when she's not really tamed? She seems to recognize me but is still terrified of my hand. I started wrapping a spray millet around my fingers and thought it was working because although she would back away every time she accidentally nipped at my skin, she would come back for the treat. However, this morning she seemed genuinely pissed at what I was doing and started freaking out (she violently attacked the cage bars and the lining paper).

That said, I've also started bringing her outside in a travel cage (the first two times I lured her in with a spray millet), and it seems that at this point she's associated the travel cage with good experience and willingly walks in. Is it possible that I could use the travel cage to get her back inside the real cage without my hand necessarily being anywhere near her?

2. Is it a good idea to get a hand-tamed cockatiel to show her how to be a pet? This cockatiel doesn't do any of the things I've read cockatiels do that would at least help with boredom. She doesn't like bells. She doesn't really know how to play with toys (related, on the first day, I hung a spray millet near where she was sitting on the first day, and she just climbed on it like it was another perch). She didn't mind at all when I began putting pellets on her dish instead of her usual seeds. I left a container filled with water for her to bathe in, and she just drank from it. I also tried hiding food because I read birds like to scavenge, and she waited until I got home to scream at me for not feeding her. On the plus side, she doesn't really chew on anything either.

Another reason I'm considering getting another cockatiel is the one I have right now would sometimes chirp in a way that sounds so sad (I found out that's actually how cockatiels cry 馃ゲ). I just feel like a bird friend would help her psychologically, even if I originally wanted to wait for a few more months.
 

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I think a bird friend could be good, but they might not even get along and that could cause other issues. Try playing bird noises to her. I would let her out and use the carrier idea. I do that myself because I can only play with my cockatiel in a certain area in the house so he wont go in the kitchen or fly around and poop everywhere. Slowly lure her into the carrier, then out of it into the house and give her a small pile of seeds or millet just outside. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just wanted to document today's events because it felt like a win. 馃ス

After almost a week of my new bird turning from a relatively docile, trusting creature to one who hisses every single day (she got particularly testy when I played beak grinding noises), I finally decided to let her out of the cage although I had no idea if I could get her back without making things worse at the end.

Well, she stayed on her perch until I was at a reasonable distance. I also had the door opened at this point, and I'm guessing she was trying to head out. But I closed the door while she was climbing down the cage, and she flew to the kitchen area instead and landed on the floor.

She stayed in the same spot for what felt like 20-30 minutes with her back on me and refused to eat a piece of bread I threw (gently) an inch away from her. But for some reason, with her back still on me, she inched closer toward me little by little until she finally faced me. She remained uninterested in the toys I had with me but would eat a longer piece of bread in my hand. When that was gone, I got up and got her some seeds, and she didn't mind when I sat closer. We stayed in the same general area for almost 2 hours (at one point I started eating too, which seemed to encourage her to eat faster).

Somewhat coincidentally, the end of those 2 hours would be the time I'd normally cover her cage for bedtime. I saw that she started to close her eyes and told her to go back to the cage to sleep, but of course she didn't understand a word I said (doesn't even respond to her name yet). A few times she did walk toward the cage, but I don't know if she meant to go back from the start. At one point she climbed to the top of the travel cage with her beak, but the height to the actual cage seemed to intimidate her so she just went back to the kitchen.

All this back-and-forth frustrated me (and tired me) enough that I was seriously considering grabbing her and start using the pin-to-the-chest method. Luckily, it turned out that the little playground ladder I had was just the right height from the top of the travel cage to her real cage's door. Plus, it was getting chilly in the kitchen. After more cajoling and begging and pointing, she once again headed toward the cage. I cheered for her and she seemed to respond to me hyping her up as she once again climbed up the travel cage using her beak, figured out it was safe to step on the plastic surface on top, and climbed up the ladder like she'd been using it all her life, and voluntarily ran into her cage--all without me having to touch her. 馃槂

That said, she still hissed at me again when I was covering her cage. I feel like I finally understand how moms feel when their baby start to crawl though.
 

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I've had her for less than a month now. I got to stay home for a whole week shortly after I got her and that was when the flock calls began to stop. After I got back to work, she remained quiet when I was home and I thought she'd finally adjusted (also how I assumed she was female). However, she's become visibly agitated these past two days and it seems she really wants to leave her cage (which is decent sized, but still).

Here are the questions:

1. Is it a good idea to let her out of the cage when she's not really tamed? She seems to recognize me but is still terrified of my hand. I started wrapping a spray millet around my fingers and thought it was working because although she would back away every time she accidentally nipped at my skin, she would come back for the treat. However, this morning she seemed genuinely pissed at what I was doing and started freaking out (she violently attacked the cage bars and the lining paper).

That said, I've also started bringing her outside in a travel cage (the first two times I lured her in with a spray millet), and it seems that at this point she's associated the travel cage with good experience and willingly walks in. Is it possible that I could use the travel cage to get her back inside the real cage without my hand necessarily being anywhere near her?

2. Is it a good idea to get a hand-tamed cockatiel to show her how to be a pet? This cockatiel doesn't do any of the things I've read cockatiels do that would at least help with boredom. She doesn't like bells. She doesn't really know how to play with toys (related, on the first day, I hung a spray millet near where she was sitting on the first day, and she just climbed on it like it was another perch). She didn't mind at all when I began putting pellets on her dish instead of her usual seeds. I left a container filled with water for her to bathe in, and she just drank from it. I also tried hiding food because I read birds like to scavenge, and she waited until I got home to scream at me for not feeding her. On the plus side, she doesn't really chew on anything either.

Another reason I'm considering getting another cockatiel is the one I have right now would sometimes chirp in a way that sounds so sad (I found out that's actually how cockatiels cry 馃ゲ). I just feel like a bird friend would help her psychologically, even if I originally wanted to wait for a few more months.
Hello yes I'd still let her out maybe clip her wings so she's not flying all around and get hurt. Try that and go from there. But it's good to let her out a bit and go from there good luck 馃憤
 
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