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Hello from New Zealand!

My name is Hana, pleased to meet you all! I am new to caring for a caged bird, but previously have had experience with just about every other animal you can think of! I have been researching caged birds for a while now and decided that a cockatiel best suited me :) I then talked to a couple of friends who have cockatiels and asked for their recommendations.

I have always been very fond of birds but I have only ever raised ducks. Just under a week ago, I picked up young Nikko from a pet store. She had been there about a week and prior to that, hand-raised by her breeder. Just turning 2 months old today, I have yet to determine her official sex but her breeder assumed she was female. From what I can tell, she is a Grey split to Pied.

Nikko is a very friendly and social bird. She took an instant liking to me and is happiest when perched on my hand or shoulder. She hates baths but loves to shower with me. Nikko is an excellent sleeper and does not make a peep until I uncover her cage in the morning. Her favourite toys are popsicle sticks!

However, I do have a few queries regarding her behaviour. She is quite the keen nibbler, something I've heard is common in juveniles. But it's something I would like to discourage as people are not too fond of her nibbling their skin and clothes and she has more than once spotted a power cord that has piqued her interest! For her own safety, and the comfort of others, how do I best discourage this? I also don't want this habit to turn into biting in her adolescence.

So far I have been alerting her to her bad behaviour with an 'uh-uh' in a harsh tone. She will stop for a few minutes after that, but usually continues to nibble. When she doesn't stop nibbling, I have been putting her in her cage, but I don't want her to start seeing the cage as a negative thing as that is where she eats and sleeps. She also has plenty of toys in her cage that she is allowed to nibble on. Popsicle sticks have served as an excellent distraction, but once they are put away, it's back to finding other things to nibble on... How do I teach her that some things are okay to nibble while others are not?

The other question I have is to do with her attachment to me. I am glad that she is very fond of me, but this can cause some trouble when it comes to putting her back in her cage. And if I walk more than 2 feet from the cage, she becomes quite distressed. I am worried she may injure herself as she is still quite clumsy. Will this just be something she grows out of?

I appreciate any advice! I want Nikko to have the best start in life.



 

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Hi, welcome to the forum! I'm also a Kiwi. Where in NZ do you live? :)
 

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Hi there.

Unfortunately, there isn't a way to make birds not chew other than distractions. My advice, don't wear anything brightly colored or shiny on you. That is an instant ticket to having it gnawed on. :)

And I wouldn't worry. Babies are naturally clumsy. She'll grow out of it
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi there.

Unfortunately, there isn't a way to make birds not chew other than distractions. My advice, don't wear anything brightly colored or shiny on you. That is an instant ticket to having it gnawed on. :)

And I wouldn't worry. Babies are naturally clumsy. She'll grow out of it
Thank you! That's a weight off of my mind.
Guess I will be buying lots more popsicle sticks! Haha.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Nikko is beautiful :)

I would distract her as much as you can. Foraging and shredding toys will help a lot. My Harvey would freak out the moment I turned my back on him and he would throw himself at the bars and then pace back and forth. I stopped it by (and don't think of me as mean) ignoring it. If you give her the attention she wants then she will continue to do it but if she gets nothing out of it it should stop her. And yes, babies are VERY clumsy haha!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Welcome to the forum, Nikko is beautiful :)

I would distract her as much as you can. Foraging and shredding toys will help a lot. My Harvey would freak out the moment I turned my back on him and he would throw himself at the bars and then pace back and forth. I stopped it by (and don't think of me as mean) ignoring it. If you give her the attention she wants then she will continue to do it but if she gets nothing out of it it should stop her. And yes, babies are VERY clumsy haha!
Thank you for the advice! (And the compliment. I'm sure Nikko would thank you if she could ;) )
Makes sense! I will certainly try my best to ignore her.
 

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Hi and welcome. I'm from Australia. Our daughter is marrying a Kiwi in September, so we would then be related, right??!! :)
 

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Welcome, she is such a cutie!!
 

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Hi all. Thank you for all your help.
Unfortunately after just 3 and a half weeks together, Nikko passed away overnight.
I do not know her cause of death as she seemed to be happy right up until I found her in her cage this morning. She slept in my room and I did not hear her in any distress.
May she rest in peace.
 

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Hi and welcome. I'm from Australia. Our daughter is marrying a Kiwi in September, so we would then be related, right??!! :)
Bahahahaha! That's funny.

Nikko is adorable.

FYI - Skiddles is the queen of destroying cables - especially her radio arial cable - so I had it with a tea towel. She chews everything she can and loves ice cream sticks too.

Sounds like you have a well bonded birdy. You'll be fine. :)

If Skiddles is naughty I ignore her rather than put her in her cage because her cage is safe place not a place of reprimand. That's my thoughts anyway. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Weighing her, I realise she had lost a lot of weight (69 to 54 grams in 3 days) :( Her droppings were looking normal until I found her in the cage this morning. They were all white and runny. She was probably sleeping more than normal but only having her for a short while, I did not know if it was abnormal. She was not sneezing a lot and didn't have any other physical symptoms other than her lack of "crying" on her last day (I thought maybe she was learning it didnt get her attention.) She was still chirping to me and asking for pets however. Still sleeping on perches, stretching her wings while balancing on one foot and grinding her beak, all things I heard were signs she was content.

I feel awful I didn't notice anything sooner.

Do you think maybe she ate something toxic? I kept an eye on her at all times while she was out of her cage but she did like nibbling on a lot of things.

Sorry for all this, she was just the most amazing pet and while I can't bear to think of replacing her yet, it would be nice to consider having another cockatiel eventually.
 
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