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Hello, my husband got me three cockatiels about a month and a half ago. I spend hours each day trying to get them to come to me. I have never grabbed them!! They just seem to always hiss at me and "run" away from me. I touched one on one occasion and he bit me! How do i train these guys to come to me and be nice?? They wont even take treats i try to give them. HELP PLEASE!!!!
 

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First, I would clip their wings. This makes them dependent on you, and when that happens, they are easier to tame. Here is a thread on Wing Clipping:
http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=682

This is the method we refer everyone to for taming their tiels. If you have the patience, this method can work.
http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=22073

This is also how to properly bribe your tiel with food:
http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=28661

And if you can, it is easier to tame a bird away from their cage and away from the other birds. Their cage is their terrority and they will be aggressive over it. The other birds are mainly a distraction for whatever tiel you are trying to tame, it will head for the birds before it will head for you.

Hope this helps.
 

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Hi Perhaps this will help you....


B.J's. Birds with a fear of hands.

These birds panic at the mere sight of a hand entering their cage. To prevent further upset the preferred type of both water & seed containers should be of the type, which can be refilled without opening the cage door. In the cage provide a basic seed mix, water, iodine block & cuttlebone.

All the other foods birds enjoy, ie, fruit, veg, hard boiled egg, nuts, biscuit etc, are used as treat foods. The birds should be fed the treat foods in small portions through the bars of the cage, with the aid a pair of tweezers or chopsticks to protect your fingers.
Change the type of treat at each feed so your birds gets a good mix every day. The smaller the treat portions, the more often the treat feed visits & your arrival means nice things to eat.

As the birds gets used to being fed treat foods this way, very gradually over the next few days.
Move your fingers closer to the treat food as you slowly build up a bond of trust between you.
If any of your birds shies away or attempt to bite, remove the treat food until they settle down & move your fingers further back up the tweezers, away from the food before you re-offer the treat, do this as many times as it takes.

Don't allow yourself to get impatient or even mildly annoyed your birds will sense this & will react accordingly. This treatment reinforces the fact that, you supply the goodies so you dictate the terms of your relationship.
A step in any training program takes as long as it takes.
Expect a few set backs, birds like people, have good & bad days. Don't be in a hurry, only when your birds are happy to eat from your fingertips through the bars for several days, are you ready to move on to the next step .

When hand feeding treats inside the cage use a hanky fixed to the bar above the door with two clothes pegs to act as a safety curtain to prevent your birds escaping via the open door.
Offer them a favourite treat food by holding a small piece between your finger & thumb so yours bird can reach it.
If they appear in anyway disturbed. Remove your hand & allow them to calm down.
Re-offer the treat, hold your hand still so they can eat.
Remember offer it don't try to force it on them. If they don't eat withdraw & try again later, repeat until they do.
Keep trying, offer them different small treat foods as often as you can over the next few days.
Your aim is to build up a strong bond of friendship & trust between you.
After a day or two of successful hand feeding. Your birds should be ready for step-up..
For their own safety birds should be confined to their cages until step-up has been mastered.
Chasing & catching a bird can undermine any bond built up between an owner & bird......B.J.
 

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I disagree with wing clipping. Yes, it means the birds HAVE to rely on you, but it also takes away the whole point of having a bird imo, and building actual trust while letting the animal remain independent is a far better reward than trying to force trust upon them. I mean, would you keep a feral cat who's terrified of you tied up? No.

Instead I'd suggest starting by stop trying to touch them. Start with simply sitting by their cage and reading to them, watching something on your laptop, talking to them. Once they're comfortable with this start offering them some tasty treat that they can enjoy without having to touch you. Millet spray is great for this, as they'll probably love it, yet they can keep a distance. Once they'll come running for the millet it's time to find a clicker [or pick a word to say] and click each time you offer them food, so they realize the click sound means they're about to get a tasty treat. You can then start using a chopstick to teach them target training, where they get a click, then a treat whenever they touch the end of the chopstick. You might have to start with clicking and treating when they just look at the chopstick or take a step to it, but with patience you can build up to having them move anywhere in their cage after your chopstick. Then you can start trying to get them to step onto a branch you're holding until they're comfortable doing that, then slowly start having your hand closer and closer to where they step until they're stepping onto your hand. At that point it's easy to teach them that step up means climb onto your hand to get a treat.

Just remember, if you decide to do clicker training keep it slow, be patient. It will be harder with three birds at first, but the competition between them might just get them moving along faster than you'd expect.
 

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I realize wing clipping is a somewhat controversial subject, but I don't think it's bad to give a bird a light clip, once. With such a clip, the bird can still fly, just not as effectively. And, if it temporarily makes the bird a little more inclined to trust the human then that can provide some valuable bonding time. I do disagree with keeping wings clipped forever, since as you say, birds are meant to fly, but it can be a useful tool to calm them down just enough to make them more receptive to taming. Take, for example, my Juju. When I first got him, he was fully flighted and very very averse to my hands. I was making no progress with him when it came to step-up, because he would fly away every chance he got. Once I clipped his wings, he gave my hands another chance, and he's so much more comfortable with them now. No, I won't clip him again; but I don't think I will have to. He still has the ability to fly away from me if he really wants to, it just takes a little more effort. He has done it though, just as he has flown to me, with his clipped wings.

I do look forward to the day when my birds are all fully flighted, because they will be able to fly to me when they want to. I won't have to guess when they want me to come pick them up, and I will know that when they're with me they want to be there, 100%. However, I think I needed to clip Juju to make him understand that it was okay to trust my hands.

Then again, I don't necessarily think that's always the solution. Sometimes it could probably do more harm than good. Depends on the bird, and on the situation.
 
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