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Hi All,

Hope ye can help,
I Kenny my new tiel a week and i started today the taming process i have had succes of getting him to eat off my finger im just wondering could you tell me if my methods are ok i found the method on:

http://www.parrotscanada.com/birdowner/forthenewbirdowner.html#Taming (the Wild Bird)

Heres the method

As was mentioned above, if your bird is not tame, you should give it about a week to settle in and adjust to it's new surroundings before you attempt any training. After that, the bird should be worked with as soon as possible, because the older a bird gets and the more ways it learns to avoid you, the harder it will be to tame. Some people believe it's best to leave their new bird in its cage, coaxing it gently with tidbits of food, hoping that the bird will eventually warm up to them and be their friend. They may also be afraid that if they force the bird to do something that it doesn't want to, that it will hate them. So they let the bird tell them when he wants them to stop (by biting or fleeing), and the taming progresses very slowly, or not at all. A wild bird instinctively fears the "unknown", because in nature the unknown usually means danger. The bird will only approach a human to get what it wants and then bite or run away, because it is afraid to venture into unknown territory and get any closer. As the weeks and months go by, it becomes older and more set in its ways. All the while, biting and fleeing are being repeatedly reinforced as ways to avoid the "unknown" (the human), and it becomes almost impossible to undo those negative behaviours. Most birds will never become handleable, let alone affectionate, with this approach.

The best way to tame a bird is to "force yourself" on him. In other words, you need to actively tame him in training sessions. I tamed many wild birds for people back in the days of importation, and still there are occasional birds that people bring to me because they not tame. In some cases, I can have the bird stepping up on command and sitting nicely on my hand without biting after the first session. In the case of a totally wild bird, it may take the owner up to a week to accomplish the task, with guidance.

Generally speaking, what follows if the technique I use for most birds. Sometimes, because birds are different from one another, common sense will dictate an adjustment or variation to this approach. This certainly isn't the only method of taming a bird, just the one that works well for me:

1. First, you'll need to get the bird's wings clipped and have his beak and nails trimmed. If he can fly away from you, he'll be in control of the situation, and taming will be next to impossible. Having his beak trimmed will help lessen the severity of injury in case you're bitten. Also, this trimming takes some of the cockiness out of the bird's attitude, and makes him more docile.

2. Next, decide on a place where you'll work with him. You should never try to work with a bird in, or on, or even within sight of his cage. That is his territory and he'll feel dominant there, and he'll resist your efforts tenfold. If he can see his cage, he'll only think about is getting back to it. The bathroom is the best training room for most people: it's small, there aren't any places where a bird can get stuck behind something (as it could in your kitchen behind the fridge or stove), and there aren't any sharp edges in a bathroom for the bird to bang against if it tries to jump away from you. Alternately, you might choose a small, fairly empty bedroom.

3. How do you get the bird from its cage to the training room? One method is to capture the bird in a towel, being careful to avoid letting him get his beak around your fingers, and carry him to the room swaddled in the towel. But I prefer to take his food and water bowls out of the cage, unclip the top wire part from the bottom, and carry the top, with the bird in it, to the training room. Once there, you can slowly turn the cage upside down and when the bird climbs up (to get away from you) he will come out of the open end of the cage, and then probably fly down onto the floor. Then you can take the cage top, turn it right-side up, set it just outside the room and close the door.

4. Now you're ready to begin working with your bird. The first thing I do is to determine whether, given the chance, the bird will try to bite me or not (please see Important Note , above). Do *not* use gloves. They don't protect you all that much, and at some point the gloves will have to come off and you'll be starting all over again. If you're careful, and you do it right, you never have to be bitten by the bird in the process of training him. I bring to the room with me two perches (doweling) about two feet long, and the appropriate diameter that makes perching easy for the bird. I take one perch in my left hand, and since I'm right-handed, I bend down and offer the stiffened index finger of my right hand to the bird. I push my finger towards the lower part of his belly, and say "step up". If he runs or scoots away, I continue to calmly and persistently keep pushing my finger towards him, each time repeating the "step up" command. If, at any point, he shows a strong inclination to try to bite my finger, I use the perch in my left hand to protect my right hand, and I offer him the perch to see whether he bites it hard or is just bluffing. If he does bite the perch hard, then I begin offering the perch with my right hand instead of my finger, and hold the second "protection" perch in my left hand, again, pushing under his belly and saying "step up". Please note that the bird will *not* hate you for chasing him around. As long as you are consistent with your actions and are patient, and do not do something out of anger that hurts the bird, he will soon learn that you aren't going to hurt him.

5. Continue to follow him around and repeatedly ask him to step up until he gets tired of running away from you. At some point (and this varies!) he will finally step onto your finger or the perch. At that moment - freeze!- and do not move. That's the bird's reward for stepping up. All of a sudden, all the action stops, and he can catch his breath, look around, and rest for a moment. Don't be surprised if, as soon as he's rested a bit, he jumps away again. Immediately resume trying to pick him up on the perch or finger, and you will surely see that this time he gets on much more quickly. (Already he has learned that is what you want.) Freeze again. He will probably sit longer this time. If he tries to bite the hand he's sitting on, or starts to go up the the perch towards your arm, you can interpose the perch in your left hand to ward off his beak or have him step on it to regain your control of the situation. You can continue this until he perches without trying to leave, but I wouldn't go any longer than about 20 minutes for this first training session.

6. At the end of this first session, most birds will be stepping up, with some effort on your part. You can bring the cage back into the room, and when the bird steps up, return him to his cage. Be prepared for him to make a leap for the cage because he's probably had enough of you for the time being! Return the cage to its normal place and clip on the base, and allow your bird to eat, drink, and have a bit of a rest before beginning another session.

7. I would give no more than three 1/2-hour training sessions daily. You'll might notice that in the beginning of each training session that there's some regression; the bird is more resistant to your efforts again, but it won't be as much as the first time. Each time he'll settle down more quickly. By the end of a week, you should have him stepping up on command, and calmly perching without trying to move away. If you've been having him step up onto the perch instead of your hand, you can begin to shorten the perch by sliding it back through your hand until the bird is standing your hand. In future training sessions, you can work on things like stepping from hand to hand, or you might begin to touch him while he sits there. This all takes time and patience, but it is definitely worth it. Now you'll be able to move about the house with your bird, and you can place him on a T-stand or sit with him while you watch T.V. You'll find that in a comparatively short time, you have a bird that isn't afraid of you, because he has learned you're not going to hurt him. The door is wide open for him to actually begin to like you and want to be with you!

its different to the coaxing waiting for your bird to like you method but i think it works well. Could i Get your opinons on wherther this is a good method. In one session of this he got up on my finger and ate. where as he runs around mad if my hand is in his cage PLEASE HELP
 

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I do agree with some of these things, but definitely not the beak trimming. That should only be done if it's causing health problems. Plus, it's traumatic for the bird, and they just aren't a threat in terms of a beak.

Day 1
I caught a young bird up in SF, and let it relax for a day after a wing clipping in a mesh terrarium half covered(only thing I had to keep her in at the time)

Day 2
At the beginning with just laying my hand in the terrarium. After a short break I did the same thing, then gently caught her in a towel and rubbed her head and ears and she very quickly found this was nice. after about 10 minutes of that I opened my hand so the cockatiel was standing freely on the towel, but still on my hand, slowly I pulled the towel out from underneath him until she was standing on my hand.

By the end of that day I had her sitting on a kitchen chair, I still had to move slowly around her or she would try flying. I would also super slowly reach my hand towards her without actually touching her.

Day 3
I go to my friends house and borrow they're budgie cage as a temp home, sadly it had a small door, so at first I had to catch Dante to get her out. later that day I put my hand in with millet spray and coaxed her on my hand after 5 minutes, I would do this every time I came to my room, take her out-let her eat the millet spray for a minute, then put her back. At the end of the day she was coming out fast as long as she could see the millet, which I was now holding outside the cage. Also many more pets :)

Day 4
Dante suddenly becomes much tamer, when I stick my hand in her cage she gets on my hand and runs up my arm and out the door.
 

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I've had Sultan for going on my 3rd week and I've tried just about everything I can think of to get him/her used to me and NOTHING is working. Still runs and hisses everytime I get near the cage or in the cage with my hands. Talk to him often, offer millet several times when I'm home. The only way so far to get him out is to "chase" him in his cage. I dont do this often cause I dont think its the RIGHT way to get him used to me....have always been told not to as this frightens them more. Once I get him out and he is settled on my hand or shirt, he is fine and hates being moved. Do I have a tiel that is just gonna be one of those that wont tame?:(
 
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