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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm new to cockatiels. I have two. One my boyfriend brought me home last night. This morning I uncovered his cage and everything was knocked over and there was blood splattered everywhere. I took a look at him and all his flight feathers were ripped out. i don't know if there are any bones broken. He's not hand tame and is very aggressive and I'm trying not to upset him any more then needed. I'm am awaiting a ride to the vet now. I want to know if this was due from a night fright and if so what I can do to prevent them in the future.
 

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night fright

Oh no! I hope your bird is okay. Yes, I'd say it could have been a night fright. I really don't know what causes them. It could be most anything: a shadow moving across the cage, maybe a strange sound, or even a bad dream(?). I've had only one experience with that with Bennie and I have no idea what caused it. I do know I get mice occasionally in my apartment; maybe he heard one of them in the night? I really don't know what to say about preventing them. Some people suggest a night light for your bird.
Hope your vet trip went well.
By the way, welcome to the forum! There are many very knowledgeable people on this forum and I enjoy being a member; I have learned so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We just dropped him off at the vet. They said they'll give us a call tomorrow.

We're going to pick up a night light. I'm also going to try and figure out if I can move his cage elsewhere in the house. I don't think we have mice (the cats never turn up with any) but maybe one of our kitties gave him a startle. Neither really bother the birds, but my younger one likes to sleep next to one of the cages. She will move the cover to sleep inside it next to the cage. If she did that with the new bird, it'd probably give him a scare.

And thank you. I hope to learn a lot from this forum and its people.
 

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Joey has had a few night frights, some with lost feathers, and one that resulted in a bit of wing discomfort (fortunately not broken), but never blood. I know that can happen and is very scary.

We leave the front of his cage uncovered, and there is enough light from the street lamp outside to act as a night light. For him it seems to be very loud, unexpected noises that cause the frights.

I hope you get good news from the vet, and that the night light you picked up does the trick to prevent any more frights. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When I owned budgies a couple years back, I had one that occasionally had night frights but she never seriously injured herself and leaving the cage partially uncovered helped a bit. The apartment we have now is a lot darker.

It really scared me when I uncovered the cage this morning. I had never seen anything that looked that bad. I'm just hoping the vet gets him all fixed up and we can prevent this from happening again.
 

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Aw man, I hope he's okay! It really can be scary when they hurt themselves badly :( Sending scritches and good thoughts for your 'tiel.

Unfortunately, 'tiels are pretty prone to night frights. A night light will help a lot, as well as doing your best to minimize any unfamiliar noises near the cage at night. Sometimes it is unavoidable though - my flock recently had a night fright due to an earthquake, but luckily I was able to get to them and calm them down before anybody hurt themselves.
 

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I've also found younger birds are more prone to them as well. When I was breeding, my babies were having them several times a week. The adults never did before the babies showed up so I chalked it up to that. As stated a night light is good, and definitely keeping the cats away. Some birds do best in a completely dark room, so if the night light doesn't help that's always a second option. Hope the baby is OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone. we got a night light set up now and won't be entirely covering the cages anymore.
 

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In glad your birds are ok. I have a friend here in Australia who suggested to me that this instinct is due to the environment. If something moves at night it might be
A venomous snake?
An angry fruit bat?
A huge spider intent on pure evil?
Fire ants (ants whose venom basically cause you enough pain to think your body is on fire)?
A scary lizard coming to eat the eggs?
Plus Mites, lice, several varieties of bloodsucking ticks?
And basically any other horribly scary nightmare that you can think of is an actual issue here in Australia.

As much as I love it, this country is weird. Where else would you find bears that only eat one kind of eucalyptus leaf? I think to survive it cockatiels have developed some pretty strong defensive instincts, and frankly I don't blame them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@Dressagebird You have a pretty good point. I just want to make it so my birds are less likely to get startled. I understand why they have night frights, I just want to minimize the chances of them hurting themselves.

Demon is still not home so we don't know how well the night light will work. We're thinking we won't hear anything from the vet until sometime tomorrow.
 

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My 2 and 3 year old don't have night frights, but my 8 month old does. He hasn't since early march so fingers crossed, but it's probably because we did a LOT OF stuff to prevent it happening again. Wade has been taken to the vet twice because of his night frights.

We have a night light and only cover the side of his cage that faces the window since we thought maybe car lights hitting the window at night was setting him off. Since then, no night frights!

I hope your tiel is okay! Blood and birds is always scary and I've rushed to the vet a few times over it.
 

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night fright

Sometimes it's easy to know what caused a night fright. One night a curtain rod fell right on top of my previous 'tiel's cage! Poor bird freaked out and I can't say I blame her! Why the curtain chose to crash down in the middle of the night is beyond me, but it gave both of us a good scare! Thankfully, she wasn't hurt, just scared.
 

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Sometimes it's easy to know what caused a night fright. One night a curtain rod fell right on top of my previous 'tiel's cage! Poor bird freaked out and I can't say I blame her! Why the curtain chose to crash down in the middle of the night is beyond me, but it gave both of us a good scare! Thankfully, she wasn't hurt, just scared.
Joey's two 'big' ones were both over things falling. The first was a shower caddy for shampoo that had stayed on the shower wall, firmly suctioned, for nearly 8 months with no problems, no slips, happily hanging there doing what it was supposed to do. Then one night I guess it was tired of hanging there and wanted to see what the bottom of the shower/tub would be like and headed that way with a huge clatter of bottles bouncing everywhere.

The second was when the huge London Underground map poster we had in the living room decided to fall. It had been firmly stuck up with poster putty, and had been there for months. Not one part of it was showing signs of coming loose. Then one night it it decided to halfway come off the wall. OF course, with Joey already in a panic, taking it the rest of the way down made him freak out more, even with his cage covered so he couldn't see it.

It is odd how things just suddenly decide to see what this gravity stuff is all about, even though they are firmly attached. Fortunately, we haven't had any curtains fall. Yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The vet called back today. Good news is he wasn't seriously hurt in his night fright.

Bad news is his bloodied wings were from him self-mutilating after the incident. After observing him for a couple days, they've found that if he gets upset or stressed by anything, he starts tearing at his flesh. Totally skips feather picking. They said its from severe anxiety. They're keeping him for another week to see if they can find anything that helps soothe him.
 

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Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. Poor little guy :frown:

I hope the vets can do something. I'm sending healing thoughts for you and your 'tiel.
 

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Poor little guy. Fingers, toes and wings crossed the vet can discover what will help him. Joey and I are sending love, prayers, hugs and scritches his way.
 
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