Talk Cockatiels Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I can't seem to edit the title of the post. I rethought age of cockatiel and would guess it is closer to 6 -7 weeks old.

I have other birds who are kept outside but wanted a cockatiel as a house pet. (I live in a tropical place.) I thought that joining this forum which focuses on cockatiels is a good place to start. I think I made my first big mistake on my first day. I put the cage outside on its first day and Martini seemed to enjoy it. It took the whole morning for it to start eating but I thought that went faster than expected. But it did not do any cage exploring. It just sat on its food bowl which I understand could be a nesting behavior for a young cockatiel.

But in the evening for dinner hour, I wheeled the cage in and Martini just went over the top nuts. It flew itself all over the inside of the cage chirping like crazy. (It did find the water bowl the hard way as it got wet.) It reached the point that I thought he/she would hurt itself. So I wheeled it back on the deck. It settled down, some minor squawking while watching the sunset, and then the cage got covered.

I will now not bother moving the bird or the cage for about a week. Maybe I should have never wheeled it outside on the deck in the morning but the previous owner had the birds kept outside on a porch.

Will it be possible for me to eventually each the point of moving the cage in and out of the house on an as needed basis? I was thinking the bird viewed the cage as its home. I would not have thought cage location would matter.

Does anyone else move their tiel outside and inside while still in the cage?

I do think there was a problem with it being warmer inside but it was still within its threshold of temperature (85F) . I only was puzzled when Martini was quietly but widely opening its mouth wide like it was to yell but couldn't. I could clearly see the tongue and I have never seen my other parrots do that. I read that such a behavior could be that the bird was trying to cool down.

I welcome any and all thoughts and recommendations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,899 Posts
Was there something in the room that might have frightened the bird? For example do you have any other pets, like dogs or cats? If there is a predator in the room your bird will naturally be afraid of it, so don't allow them in the same room as the bird.

If there's not an identifiable reason then the bird might be frightened of being indoors because it's unfamiliar. But you can move the bird indoors now if you do it carefully. Doing it in the evening or early morning when there's not a big difference between the outdoor light and indoor light might make it easier.

If you think the bird is afraid of human activity, then put the cage in a room that isn't used very much and cover the cage completely for a while until the bird is calm. Then raise the cover so that one side is open. Do it slowly and talk to the bird gently before and during the cover-raising so it knows you're there. The bird will feel safer in a cage that's covered on three sides than in one where all sides are exposed. Then leave the room and leave the bird alone to settle down.

Occasionally come into the room slowly but don't come too close to the cage. Start talking before you enter the room so the bird knows you are coming, and isn't startled by having you unexpectedly appear in the doorway. When the bird no longer acts frightened when you come in, you can start acting more normally and think about moving the bird to a different room if you want to.

I would be concerned about whether this bird is fully weaned. Parent-raised birds do wean earlier than handfed ones, but this baby is still very young. Putting some millet spray in the cage would be good - this food is very easy for babies to eat.

You will have to approach the cage and put your hand inside to give the bird fresh food and water. Try to do it in a way that upsets the bird as little as possible.

Birds will pant with their mouths open to cool down when they are hot from exertion. This is normal, but it's preferably for your bird to not get overheated because it's freaking out in a panic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you. This is very useful information that I would never have considered.

There are no predators or any animal of any kind in the house. I also pulled the cage in close to sunset. The panting from exertion makes perfect sense. It was clearly working harder than any more it has in its young life. The cage it is in now is 3 times the size of its previous cage which he shared with 4 other birds. It was flying all over the place inside of the cage.

I really like the idea of bringing the cage in and covering it up. I will wait for at least 3 days before interacting with Martini so he/she can be fully adjusted to the cage. I will wait longer to try to move the cage again. I knew that is the correct way to handle a new bird but I also didn't think moving the cage itself was such a dramatic change.

It is eating some of the food which is a specific cockatiel mixture I bought. I don't think it is going hungry. It still has not drank any water so I think we are still in the learning the new home phase.

I do not have to put my hands inside of the cage for fresh food and water. The cage has retractable bowls that can be done from outside of the cage. I already did this before reading your reply. I am wanting to save the millet treats strictly for training. I read that is important to keep that treat separate than their regular food.

I am worried as it started to feather pluck this morning or it was an aggressive preening. I watched it preen yesterday and it was a mellow exercise. This episode was violent. But it seems calmer now.

I have the patience and was planning on taking it slowly with this bird but did not expect the 1st day drama.

Again, thank you for your help. I also found your website to contain useful information that I have not read anywhere else. I have been trying to consider how to return the bird to the cage after some exercise. I am going to get the wings clipped in a week or two. I knew this was not going to be a quick journey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
mystery may be solved

Tielfan, I think I figured out the crazy episode on 1st night in new cage. I did not bring the cage into the house and it still went crazy. I now think the frightened attitude was not related to coming inside but that it is seeing the sun starting to set. I am guessing that cockatiels, like other smaller birds seek hidden shelter right before the sunsets. I don't see this behavior with my larger and older Amazons who might not be as concerned.

Do you think this is a sign of young age? Maybe it will calm down before sunset over time as it gets older?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,907 Posts
Perhaps you could bring the cage inside in the evening and keep it inside overnight to start with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yes, once I realized yesterday what was happening, I knew I had to make changes to the bird's evening ritual. I didn't bring the cage in yesterday and unfortunately this evening I will need to leave it outside for one more evening. But tomorrow I will bring the cage in the house around mid afternoon and then work on going back to the original plan of it having a smaller sleeping cage in a separate room.

I really liked your idea of moving the cage when it is covered and slowly uncovering it.

Despite the unexpected wrinkle, I think my long term plan is still in play. I just didn't expect to cover the cage so early.

On that note, is there a problem with a cockatiel in a cage covered for more than 12 hours? I was not expecting to have to cover the cage so early (5 PM) and I am not seeing it being uncovered any earlier than 7 AM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,907 Posts
12 - 14 hours of sleep for a cockatiel is considered normal. If the sun is only just setting when the cage is covered (depending on what type of cover you are using) Martini is probably still awake until it gets fully dark, but he will be relaxing and getting ready for sleep once you put the cover on.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top