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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we have 2 cockatiels. The female, Charcoal, we got about a year ago and she was just old enough for us to take her home when we got her. We got her from a proper bird place and were assured she had been hand fed and raised and she is a wonderful bird. We let her wings grow back out (came clipped) as we have a cat and 2 very young children and she is a loving creature. Sits on our shoulders, eats our food (safe food) and likes to sleep on us.



The second cockatiel, car alarm (a male, sounds like a car alarm, yells a lot) we got around 6 months ago. We decided we wanted Charcoal to have a companion despite being out of the cage 90% of the time and because one of the main reasons my other half wanted a bird was for the singing and copying and the females do not do that, just the males. We got him from another place that deals almost exclusively in birds but what we did not know at the time is that the location buys birds from literally anyone who walks in and does not ask any questions. We had the bird for 5.5 months and he was NOT friendly. Hissed if you got within 10 feet, bit and broke skin if you got close enough, is not friendly with Charcoal for the most part but he will yell indefinately if the female leaves his sight while flying around the house until she comes back within sight. We looked up lots of advice and such online but none of it worked, so we finally took him to a vet (we are very tight on money, taking him to the vet literally required us to get a loan from the bank or we would have done so earlier.) and got some answers.



Turns out he is a whole year older than the store told us, and is small for his age because he was terribly abused by the original owner. He was not fed properly and kept malnurished, physically abused and his wings were cut badly. The vet told us that is likely why he hates people so much and also that he may never fly again. We were also told that his growth is likely perma stunted and that he may die in the next few years because, but they could not tell us for sure, his insides may grow faster than his body and kill him. That is fucking horrible. I love car alarm and try hard to have him love me and us back.



I am wondering if anyone here has any good advice to try and get a seriously abused bird to trust humans again. Thanks for reading and for any useful responses.
 

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It takes a lot of time. We sat by her reading to her for months before she ever let us touch her, always holding millet when we did it. We'd set a hand on the cage, and later in the cage, on a perch, as close as she would let us. Eventually, she would accept being fed by hand, and we moved from there. We got her to come closer to our hands. When she was comfortable with that, I'd hold a hand above her head while she was eating her favorite treat and slowly progressed from lightly touching her head to scritching her.

She likes that, now, though she's still distrusting when it comes to most hands and probably always will be. Ours was from a different, but similar situation. I'm very lucky to say ours was never starved, though she did lack a lot of nutrients and has always been a bit small. How much does your boy weigh?

Even if a bird never accepts contact, you can bond in a lot of other ways. Target training is a great one, once they get used to the stick they'll be biting. If it's left where he plays for a while, he may come to think of it as a toy and trust it more. Ours also loves when we play music for her, talk to her, let her out to do things around us. She doesn't always like to be touched, but she very much likes her people.

I'm not sure if my experience will be helpful, as I'm sure it's very different in a lot of ways, but I hope part of it will interest you.
 

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Oh I'm sorry for him
I have the same I stopped trying actually just give him his favorite food and get some vitamins and protein concentrate it will make him be better in shape and mood
 

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tiels

RIVX gave you great advice. I have a rescue that I am caring for and he has also bit us to bleed, but after months and months, I am earning his trust. He watches me with the other birds and little by little lets me do more each day. Keep with it and keep us posted on how it goes. :wf grey::wf grey::wf grey::wf grey:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help guys, the information helps. I am not sure of his weight unfortunately as I was not the one that took him to the vet and she does not remember. He was for sure underweight though but not enough that the vet said to do anything special with vitamins or anything.

EDIT:: Any tips for getting them both to eat stuff besides the millet and seed mix? Neither will touch fruits or vegetables or any other stuff they are supposed to enjoy.
 

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What vegetables and fruits have you tried and how were they prepared/presented?

1. Hang food in cage, on clip or skewer. Hang kale leaf from top of cage over their highest perch so it’s like a leaf jungle. Stuff broccoli between cage bars.

2. Finely chop veges /shred carrot. Cut off broccoli tops so it looks like green seed. Throw some seeds in the dish for a few days and remove the just seed dish so they can investigate and familiarize the new foods.

3. Cook veges and mash them all up. Leave peas, corn, green beans I mashed, some birds like opening them like big seeds then eating the insides. Mix some cooked quinoa in the mix. If not interested, add seeds for a few days like above.

4. The easiest method to get a seed junky to eat healthy - sprout. Learn to sprout then sprout the birds favorit seeds. Even after soaking for 8-10 hours, the seeds germinate and are much healthier. The seeds must be organic good quality or they won’t sprout. If the bird won’t eat them because it hates wet food, you will have to trick him to get him used to it. Mix the same sprouts wet as dry seed 50:50 ratio. Do it every day . He will pick up lots of wet sprouts thinking their dry seed and may fling them everywhere. But he will keep trying because he knows there’s dry seed in there as well. Once he starts eating the sprout (took one of my stubborn tiels two months to finally eat it) u can start lowering the ratio.

5. Try making bird safe bird muffins /bread with vegetables inside to get them used to the taste. This may work for a bird who likes bread.

6. Try dehydrating vegetables. Some birds just like em crunchy. My tiel wouldn’t eat carrots u til she tried them dehydrated, now she eats them raw.


Lastly you have to be persistent. If they don’t already like the food, and you don’t present it daily, they won’t gather courage to try it. It’s got to be there to see and investigate.
 
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