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So i just recently adopted a really old cockatiel from my grandma. I don't know exactly how old he is but i do know that he has been eating nothing but seed for his whole life. I have watched what he eats and he eats mainly the sunflower seed and millet out of his mix. I think he might be eating a few more but not enough for me to notice. I was wondering, since i want him to trust me and i also want him to be healthy, can i take out the sunflower seeds? Not just to take them out but to hold them on the side and offer them to him as a treat? He isn't the friendliest with my hand but he has gotten use to me messing with his cage. He has his cage door open for a majority of the day. He climbs in and out of his cage and goes back in on his own. Sometimes he will fly around my room but other than that he stays in his cage and will nap on and off all day (He is an old bird who has had a long, stressful, and unhealthy life before he got to me). I love him in the few weeks he has been with me and I just don't want him to kill himself with sunflower seeds.
He is vocal and so sweet when he wants to be and i want him to know that he can trust me. Every once in a while i will offer him a millet spray and he will eat some of it but he still doesn't trust my hand yet. I know it's because of one of his previous owners but i don't know exactly what they did to him. I have heard stories of them flicking him in the beak when he bit them though which really makes me mad...... Anyways any tips or advice on this situation would help please :) Thank you :grey tiel::grey tiel::grey tiel:
 

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If he really likes sunflower seeds, but won't eat them from your hand, you can still take them out. Then give him some in his food bowl when you have his full attention. Then he'll know they came from you. It's easier with millet spray because you can hold it at some distance.
 

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Well as far as nutrition, is he willing to try any new foods? Nutriberries are great because not only are they healthy, but cockatiels love them like treats. I know older birds are usually dead set in their diet, but if you leave new foods laying somewhere in his cage, he might try them out eventually. And as far as taming goes, older birds are harder to tame. Does he bite hard? One thing I've done with all my parakeets is train them to perch on a stick. It's a good start for the birds that don't trust me, and they're better with it since my hand is still a couple feet away. I've found it useful for a) Getting them back to their cage and b) Making them used to the "stepping up" motion. If you use an old perch they have or something, they tend to not be as afraid. Nudge their belly with it, and they will (eventually) instinctively step up. Hope this helps!
 
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