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Taming of the Tiel

3904 Views 23 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Bea
Day 1 Sat 28th July

I bought Lea home today, she was a very scared and timid little tiel, confused about the journey that she had to go through over the past 2 days, she had been bought into the pet shop the day before, so in 2 days she went from her parents, aviary, into a small cage with her sister, then a car ride in my little travel cage and into my home.
I didn't want her cage to be her protective environment, I wanted it to be me, and I wanted to be her comfort, so instead of putting her straight into her cage, I picked her up (copping an extremely hard bite in the process - my finger bled for ages :eek: ) I cupped her in my hands and held her close to my body, quietly talking to her, calling her name and stroking her back and comforting her. She sat there but struggled a bit, so I wrapped her up in a little hand towel and zipped her up under my jacket, leaving her head poking out.

I laid on the couch for about half an hour, and we both had a little nap. The whole time she was tucked in my jacket, and I cupped my hand around her and held her protectively. She would occasionally say a little peep or squeak and I fell in love! I got up and walked around and did some chores, still with Lea tucked into my jacket warm and protected.

When I felt she had been in there long enough, I took her out of my jacket and sat on the couch with her sitting on my chest. I slowly took away my hand and she sat there, still wrapped in her towel. I loosened the towel and she still sat there, all the time I was talking to her and stroking her and of course scritching her head :p A short time later I took the towel away and let her sit there, unheld to see if she would stay there of her own accord. She did. She was quite happy to sit there!!

I let her explore then. She walked up my chest and sat on my shoulder for a while, then she walked across the back of the couch, just checking out her environment. I offered her my finger to teach her to step up, at first she attacked it, biting me but nowhere near as hard as the first bite, and I constantly ignored it and pressed my finger against her belly - eventually, she stepped up and I praised her with lots of cheering!

For the rest of the day she rode around on my fingers and shoulder, I stopped every now and again and put her down to let her explore, then to practice stepping up. She would still attack my finger when I offered to her to step up. Everytime I put my finger to her I would say up! When she would actually step up I praised her heaps! She seemed to enjoy this! I put her in her cage for the first time once I had it set up properly so she could get used to it. She sat in the corner and wouldn't move :( She looked so confused. I hadn't bought any tiel seed at this stage so I put some budgie seed in but she didn't touch it. She didn't explore, chew or sit on her perch.

When I decided to let her out again I put my hand in the cage and she freaked out, hissed and bit at my hand (again not hard) and she wouldn't step up. I picked her up and carried her out of the cage, then sat her on my finger and praised her. I sat her on my shoulder and carried her around. I spent most of the day just carrying her and trying to scratch her head. When I put her to bed I still hadn't seen her eat her food or drink any water, but I felt as a whole I had made some progress, mainly with her occasionally letting me scratch her head and her riding around on my shoulders and head!
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Day 2 Sunday 29th July

I woke up this morning and the first thing I did was say good morning to Lea! I couldn't wait to see her again! I was sad to see that she was sitting exactly where I had placed her the night before, like she just sat on the perch and hadn't moved all night. That made me think that she was sitting there petrified in the dark all night, while I slept soundly.

I put my hand in the cage and offered her my finger to step up, again she hissed and bit at my fingers, but gently. I had to pick her up and carry her out of the cage, I don't think she had a good sleep :p She was a little grumpy!!

I sat down with her on the couch for some cuddles to comfort her, she wasn't interested this time and climbed straight up to my shoulder and then the top of my head. She likes it up there, nibbling my hair and watching the world go by! She is still quite scared of me but will still let me after some protest give her a little head scratch or a pat.

She was a bit more game today, I let her explore some more, she had fun throwing my book off the table and chewing up a bank statement! I continually practiced her stepping up, offering her my finger (she always attacked it first) and saying "up" She is stepping up a lot quicker today than she was yesterday. She is starting to enjoy a head scratch today as well, offering her head to me on the odd occasion!

She had a lot of in cage time, I was worried as I still hadn't seen her eat anything, and late in the afternoon I saw her finally chowing down on her seeds, picking out her favourites and craning and stretching her head to reach inside the bowl! I was very proud when she discovered that she could sit on the side of her bowl and reach her food a lot easier!

I left her on her own a lot more to explore, all day long I would make her step up, praise her and put her back down again! Then off she would go, chewing everything! She sure is an inquisitive little thing! Late in the afternoon she stepped up while she was in the cage and let me bring her out without much protest! :D

In the evening she was stepping up quite nicely, still biting my fingers a bit but nowhere near as much, she loves a head scratch, and rarely tries to bit away my fingers now.

I put her to bed and covered her cage and could here her moving around in her cage and having a bite to eat! I am feeling very confident about her tamability, and I don't think it will be too long before she wont protest at me!

Tomorrow will be her first work day, where she will have to spend most of the day in her cage, so we will see how she is when I come home!
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You're doing great with her already!! :D She's just going to keep on improving i'm sure.

Just a note, i wouldn't stroke/pat her back, that ... erm ... turns them on. :p
:eek: No wonder she looked like she was enjoying it!!!
:eek: No wonder she looked like she was enjoying it!!!
:p She'll start looking at you in a whole new light if you keep it up!! ;) It's not too bad in babies, but it'll make a hormonal cranky pants in the teens.
Slush just likes to be left alone. No scritches. She will nip at you if you try. She just loves to explore. When she was a baby and being hand feed she didn't want people. She just wanted to explore. She does like people because she will fly to me and ally. But she is her own little bird and wants to do things her way.
She is not a touchy birds. She would rather you feed her pellets then pet her. She will sort of nip you when she steps but but its more of a trying to get grip thing. I'm trying to get anyone who want her to step up to make sure she does it and not sto when she protests because she will know she can get away with it. The same goes for hugs. Making she she steps up is a good thing. It wil may putting her away in her cage easier at night time.
Stepping up in the cage is easy for my two. They don't want to be in a cage because when they were babies they spent most time out of there cage and it took them a good while to get use to a cage. They step up right away then and i praise them for it.
If lea steps up offer her a treat to. Try pellets as a treat. Mine love zupreem fruit blend as treats. If they do something good i offer them a pellet but slowly stop giving them to get if she steps up. She will get the message that stepping up is a good thing.

Good luck on the taming. Your doing great
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Day 3 Monday 30th July

Today was my first day at work with Lea having to spend the day at home alone in her cage, for a whole 8 hours. I briefly contemplated calling in sick so I didn't have to leave her alone, and to give her another day to bond to me a bit more, but my work conscience won and I got up and got ready! As soon as I was showered and dressed I uncovered her cage and said good morningm and put my hand in her cage to make her step up. Once again she hissed and bit at me and backed into the corner, but soon relented and stepped up! Lots of praise and a head scratch later she happily sat on my finger and poo'd down my fresh clean work shirt.....

I gave her kisses and head scratches which she happily accepted and put her back in her cage. I got busy getting ready for work, saying hello Lea everytime I walkeed past her cage. I chopped up and washed some bok choy and put it in her cage, and a little cup of dried fruit. She had stopped hissing at me for invading her cage when I was putting things in and not trying to touch her! I was telling her softly here is some yummy bok choy for you to try the blabbed on and on about her fruits and toys, telling her that I had to go away for the day! She must think I am a nutcase!! :p

As soon as I got home from work it was time to let her out! The budgies are out of their cage all day as they have a room to themselves, so Lea was first to get my attention today. She is still very hissy and bitey when I try to bring her out of her cage, but as soon as I had her out on my finger she bent her head for a scratch!!

We spent the evening sharing her (me and hubby) I have cooked her some lentils and rice but she walked all over it instead of eating them, so I will put them in her cage in the morning with some more bok choy, which coincidentally was barely touched today! But I will persist!! There will be vegies in her cage every day... I even got up earlier to ensure I would have a bit of time with her before work.

A few things that she has started to do now, she will preen my face, loves my lips and ears, hair etc, loves a head scratch and has begun asking for them. She is getting cheekier and gamer by the day. She loves to explore and chew things!! Still not happy with her diet but I will persist with the daily vegies, and try to get her used to my hands and stepping up!

Until tomorrow, here is another pic to get you by!

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AWW what a cutie pie. Once she tames down she is going to be a real sweetheart
She's doing so well already!! :D She's going to be awesome (yes, more than she already is, lol)!
sounds like your making good progress with her, she is such a little cutie
Once you start giving scritchs she is going to want them 24/7. I know hugs will take them any time any were when is in my room. If he has'nt been somewere before then he will be shy. She looks beautiful
Day 4 Tues 31st July

This morning's cuddles were met with acceptance and willingness to step onto to my finger!! No biting and hissing, she stepped up and had a good old stretch! She had slept all night on her food dish silly girl!

These posts are going to be pretty short for now, She is such a good girl, stepping up when I ask her to ( I still praise) loving head scratches and she loves it when I kiss he neck and beak too! I love burying my nose in her soft feathers!! She loves being with us and is getting quite inquisitive!

She has found her scream now too which isn't the most pleasant part of tiel ownership, but I ignore the screaming and give her attention when she is quiet... Although when she is on my shoulder it sure does hurt!

She had her first partial bath today, I had the tap running cleaning some spuds and she was trying her hardest to get to the water, so I put her in the sink to play with the drops, she quite enjoyed that, I might mist her on the weekend and see how she enjoys that!!

I am ao happy with her progress, I don't know at what stage you would call a bird tame, but she certainly isn't wild, and loves being with us so I really think she is close!

Tomorrow she gets to meet Dr Aaron, our avian vet, for a general health check. I was going to get her DNA sexed but I have changed my mind.. I honestly think she is a girl and don't really mind either way (I wanted to get a boy in the first place)

Here is another cute pic I took of her today! :p

ZZZZ mmm mum can I go to bed now PLEASE I am so tired of pictures!

Until tomorrow!
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You should've got Scott to take photos of her bathing in the sink! :p She's making such quick progress.
You should've got Scott to take photos of her bathing in the sink! :p
He wasn't home at the time otherwise I would have! I am sure there will be plenty more baths to come!! :D She didn't get overly wet, just putting her head in the water mainly! :p

Thank you to everyone else for your comments!
you are bonding nicely with lea , that is so great :D
I'm assuming no news is good news? How's Lea doing? :D
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