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Discussion Starter #1
I have no IDEA how to tame my cockatiels. BOTH my cockatiels are in the same cage and I can't separate them to train them. I bought another cockatiel to keep Cookie company because he was literally plucking out his feathers in boredom and loneliness. Now what can I do? I am NOT separating them, sorry for that, and neither am I buying another cage. It's not me, actually, but my parents and once they have made their mind, its pretty much useless trying to convince them, no matter what I do.
I am REALLY stuck here.
 

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And this is why we told you to wait to get another cockatiel until you tamed Cookie. So I will again tell you the same thing I told my niece when she got her cockatiel in July. Start out small DO NOT try to touch them chances are they are now scared of you so you have to literally start as if they were wild. For the first few WEEKS put you hand in the cage with seed or a small treat they will probably ignore you at first but just keep your hand in the cage holding the seed/treat out for them again DO NOT TRY TO TOUCH THEM let them come to you. Once they are taking the seed/treat from your hand we will go on from there.
 

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Oh GOD! See, you don't understand too! Look, I went to the vet with Cookie when Phoenix died. The vet said that that buying another bird was the only way to stop his depression. I didn't mention the vet visit because there was no need to, but NOW I just did. Can you stop being a know-it-all?
By the way on that thread I wanted to buy a CHICKEN.
Anyways I will follow your taming advice.
 

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Well like it or not your vet is wrong. Getting another bird it is NOT the only way to stop your birds depression. Plucking is usually caused by boredom meaning there either were not enough of the right type of toys available to get Cookie self entertain or he doesn't know how. It's not being a know-it-all it's called having done research and as I remember you refused (just like another member on this forum) to take anyone's advice so don't get upset when you have created a problem that is twice as bad as it should be then get mad when people point it out.
 

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Any chance you can take one into the bathroom alone and work with them there away from the other tiel? Half an hour a day of doing this may help in the bonding process as well. Because they will be extremely distracted by each other if you work with them together. If that's not an option, just keep trying. Start by dropping treats in their food bowls (make sure they see you do it) and progress from there to offering the treats by hand. It's going to be a long process but it is totally doable. Getting a bird for your bird is normally not recommended but if Cookie was depressed it was definitely the right route to take.

FYI guys, no need to yell at each other. We can all talk to each other without the caps lock, thanks! ;)
 

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My experience is that when two birds are bonded to each other, it's hard to work with them separately. If you take one to a different room, the only thing on its mind is trying to figure out how to get back to the other one. It's easier to work with them together.

Try some food bribery, that can be a good attitude changer. If you use a piece of millet spray you can do it with multiple birds at the same time. http://www.littlefeatheredbuddies.com/info/taming-bribery.html

I can't say that I'm a fan of the judgmental attitude that I'm seeing a lot of on this board. Too much harshness is the reason that I left before.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I apologize for being so rude. It was kind of annoying that everyone was telling me I was wrong and all. I know that my vet was wrong but I thought that I should follow his advice , so I bought another bird.
I couldn't find any millet so I am using sunflower seeds right now.
Lets just hope I can train them quickly! :)
 

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I apologize for being so rude. It was kind of annoying that everyone was telling me I was wrong and all. I know that my vet was wrong but I thought that I should follow his advice , so I bought another bird.
I couldn't find any millet so I am using sunflower seeds right now.
Lets just hope I can train them quickly! :)
Sunflower seeds work, too :)

Have you tried clicker training? It's most often used with dogs, but can be used on birds. You'd have to work with each bird separately, though. A bathroom's already been mentioned and is a good place to train them. There's lots of tutorials on Youtube on how to start with a clicker. You essentially associate the seed with the clicking noise and gradually have the birds sit on your hand by having them come closer and closer to your hand. You can offer seed on a spoon. It might take some practice to get them used to your hand and the spoon, but it can work faster than some of the older techniques.

An example of what you could do would be: Start off with one bird in the cage. Stick your hand in the cage. Once the bird is calm, click and treat. Gradually move your hand closer to the bird. Click and treat once the bird is calm. You'll have to really watch and click as soon as the bird is calm if they're very wild. Eventually they'll put their foot on your hand and/or eat seed out of your hand. Click and treat. There's as many ways to clicker train as there are trainers. This is just an idea :)

Another way of handling them is with a small wooden ladder. This is the only way I can handle some of my birds. It takes a while for them to get used to the ladder, but I can pick up Sideswipe and Foster with them. Aim low (hard if they're on the floor) and you have to corner them so they are forced to step on the ladder. Once there, Praise Praise Praise!

Hopefully this'll help your situation some :) And good luck!
 

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I highly recommend clicker training! I taught my very hand shy green cheek conure to step up using clicker training, and I began with target training. It IS a lot easier with one bird, but I can see clicker training being successful with a pair.
 

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Before clicker training can actually begin she would need them to "charge" the clicker and she can't do that until they are no longer afraid of her hands so she can give them the treat and build the positive association with the clicker. This will not be done quickly and it will take time and patients.
 

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My GCC was terrified of hands when I began, and I was able to "charge" the clicker just fine without being able to touch him or put my hands near him. I used a stick long enough to get near him without him worrying about my hands, and I stuck a piece of millet to the end of it. It took a little while, but when he got game enough to nibble at the millet, I clicked. Every time he nibbled on the millet, I clicked.

I continued with that until I was able to move my hand further and further up the stick until my fingers were touching the millet, clicking every time he had a nibble. After that I was able to offer millet by hand, clicking when he took it. When he was comfortable with that, I coaxed him out of his cage to come and get it, where he'd have to step on to my arm if he wanted it. As soon as he stepped onto my arm, click & treat. Once he was down with that, I used my hand as the stepping stone, and then my finger. Then I started saying "step up" when he stepped up on to my finger, and that's how I trained a super hand-shy bird to step up in 3 days.

It takes time and TONS of patience, but it's definitely doable. The first part is just all about sitting and waiting for them to make the first move.
 

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My experience is that when two birds are bonded to each other, it's hard to work with them separately. If you take one to a different room, the only thing on its mind is trying to figure out how to get back to the other one. It's easier to work with them together.

Try some food bribery, that can be a good attitude changer. If you use a piece of millet spray you can do it with multiple birds at the same time.
I agree with this 100%!

At this point, personally I would just accept that they are bonded to each other, and do not "need" you socially. I know that hurts, but when you think about it, you can't really be angry at them. They are just being birds and doing what comes naturally to them. At least they are happy. You may still be able to bond with them to some degree, and to become a member of the flock, but you must have patience and realistic expectations.

I understand the desire to want to have a deeper bond with a bird, but you also have to consider that they are individuals with their own minds, who will make their own choices. Most birds who are strongly bonded with humans were hand-fed, socialized when young, and/or not strongly bonded with a bird mate.
 

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Hello Nimra. I am Teresa I live in Brazil and I just would like to share my experience of being a cockatiels mom now for four years. I dont know what it is like in your country, but here in Brazil even living very close to Sao Paulo one of the biggest cities in the world, it is very hard to find a Vet that is really trained to work with birds They wll advertise it but at the end you find out they are not I am not saying your Vet is like that because I dont know his/ her CV but I can tell you that the advice I find in this forum has actually strongly contributed to save my eldest cockatiel life. Say what you like but there is a lot of people here with years of studying and working with birds and they are always happy to help. Please bear this in mind . Lots of love for you and your birdies from Brazil X x Teresa
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for you replies. My birds are now eating sunflower seeds from my hand I am very happy. I think they might be fully trained after a month.:)
 

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Dont worry about setting times Nimra Just enjoy being with your birdies and let them enjoy being with you . All the best X x
 
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