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I have built a custom cage and have had my hand reared girl from 15 weeks. I not only put my hand in to the cage to put her back in there if I need to go out etc....., but I go and get her several times a day and even now, during mating season, even though she only has another female with her.
She's never attacked me in any way, but sometimes doesn#t want to leave the cage so will shun my hand and move back or away from it. At that point, I leave her to it.
The only time she did attack me, more to get me away from here than actually attacking me, was when I opened up a sleep area I have added to the cage which she then chose as a nesting area, which they fiercly protect.
My other girl who is many years older, isn't tame at all and she always 'attacks me; when I try and coax her on to my finger, hand etc.... To be fair, she's getting better and has only been here 2 months, which is not a setup she is use to as she hs always lived in an outside aviary, whereas now, it's a larger aviary in a home instead.

It might be that your girl is lonely as she has always been with others until now and they do say that Cockaitels should always be kept in pairs or above. I have 2 females because I don't want the breeding part of it, but I know that when i got my 2nd girl who isn't tame, she really let me know that she didn't want me anywhere near her to start with, as she was still learning about her new environment. She's getting better but it can take a few months for them to settle.

If she is handreared as you state, she shouldn't be attacking you for literally putting your hand in the cage to her, but you shouldn't need to use branches either, because she should be use to hands anyway.
If you can, take a picture when it happens and make sure it includes the cage area, so that we can guage the area she is attacking you in.
perhaps you can also try moving your hand much slower and see if that helps.
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