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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I'm new to this forum but need some serious help. I'm a serious parrot lover and my goal is to be able to own and care for large parrots like an umbrella cockatoo or a scarlet macaw. I know I have to start small and own a budgie who is now 3yrs old named Tango. Since she is tamed and happy I thought about taking the next step and rescued a 10yr old cockatiel whom I named Mango. I researched the food and everything I needed to know to give her a good end to her life.

Mango is a 10yr old female who I was told was given up as her owner couldn't care for her anymore but I'm not sure how true this might be. Firstly she can't sing and only does a basic 'chirp' which I found unusual thinking she would be able to sing more, also it looks like she had plucked a blood feather or it had been pulled out? I have had her now for a month and a half and stayed by her cage the first few days to get her used to her new surroundings.

Anyways now with the backstory out of the way, I'll get down to the problem. She is deathly afraid of hands, I mean I can feed her seeds or some millet between my fingers and she'll take it but she will straight away run away if it's on my open palm.

She will fly away once a finger goes to try to teach her to 'step up'. I have tried target training but after two or three reps she walks away. There have been three instances where she has flown to the floor and I have offered my finger, hand, and arm to step up on but she will run away and try to fly herself back up and make it back into her cage after a few attempts.

I wouldn't say I'm annoyed with her because that is far too much but more saddened at how I can't tame her as I know I can't own a larger bird if I can't take care of a cockatiel as it would just be irresponsible.

Apologies for the lengthy post but I'm begging anyone to please help!
 

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David, I am new to cockatiels, but I have had birds all my life. Each one is unique. Please don’t think that you must go in a certain order, or that being unable to train this much older bird is any indication of your skills with another bird. I rescued a pair of older love birds, who would have nothing to do with me. They just loved each other and that was that. My new cockatiel, however, is extremely social, and loves everyone, once he has a chance to get relaxed with them. I like your idea of working with smaller birds, but don’t let a single bird decide for you. Your next cockatiel might be easy as pie.
 

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Hi all,
I'm new to this forum but need some serious help. I'm a serious parrot lover and my goal is to be able to own and care for large parrots like an umbrella cockatoo or a scarlet macaw. I know I have to start small and own a budgie who is now 3yrs old named Tango. Since she is tamed and happy I thought about taking the next step and rescued a 10yr old cockatiel whom I named Mango. I researched the food and everything I needed to know to give her a good end to her life.

Mango is a 10yr old female who I was told was given up as her owner couldn't care for her anymore but I'm not sure how true this might be. Firstly she can't sing and only does a basic 'chirp' which I found unusual thinking she would be able to sing more, also it looks like she had plucked a blood feather or it had been pulled out? I have had her now for a month and a half and stayed by her cage the first few days to get her used to her new surroundings.

Anyways now with the backstory out of the way, I'll get down to the problem. She is deathly afraid of hands, I mean I can feed her seeds or some millet between my fingers and she'll take it but she will straight away run away if it's on my open palm.

She will fly away once a finger goes to try to teach her to 'step up'. I have tried target training but after two or three reps she walks away. There have been three instances where she has flown to the floor and I have offered my finger, hand, and arm to step up on but she will run away and try to fly herself back up and make it back into her cage after a few attempts.

I wouldn't say I'm annoyed with her because that is far too much but more saddened at how I can't tame her as I know I can't own a larger bird if I can't take care of a cockatiel as it would just be irresponsible.

Apologies for the lengthy post but I'm begging anyone to please help!
I don't see where you say how long you've had the new arrival but it takes time for her to get used to you.

End of her life ? She's only 10. My last one lived to 20 so you may have a long way to go. Also not sure why you named her Tango. assuming the 2 will be around you most of the time they might get confused who you're talking to since their names are so similar.

Female tiels don't "sing" much, if at all. They make some "squeeks/squeals" now and then and will call/scream for you when you leave the room but sing ? Not really. Makes are more vocal and they whistle a lot but females are often rather quiet.

Now, assuming you haven't had her for very long it can take a long while for a terrified bird to get over her fear, if she ever does. But you have to go really slowly with her.

I happen to have a recliner and my female forages on the floor and when I lower my legs she'll get on one of my feet and I raise the footbed up and there she is. If you have this sort of setup you can see if she'll get on your foot first. If she trusts the foot, and especially if you can raise your legs up like I do, maybe she'll hang out on your foot for a while and when she gains a little courage, instead of flying up to her cage, maybe she'll edge her way up your leg - keep you hands away from her though but keep them around and still. See if she eventually works her way up to your hands.

She was terrified at some point and it will almost surely take quite a while bu time and patience may get her to be quite a nice pet.

And don't let this dissuade you from getting another bird, especially a hand fed baby. Babies are FAR easier to manage. No comparison.

Good luck.
 

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How I sympathize with you.
My first Cockatiel I inherited when my girlfriend died. He was 26 1/2 year old then and was always kept in the cage. He had chewed his feathers off the top of his wings so much that they never grew back.
After I got him home, all he would do was hiss and lunge at me, I thought, what am I doing with a bird I know nothing about. My friend didn't prepare me how to take care of him, etc. so it was basicallby by the seat of my pants.
I had only changed his food and water when she was out of town.
I would have to use a washcloth to get him out of the cage to keep him from biting me. Then I would put him on the bed or table (protected) and would roll a small cat like ball to him. Those were our bonding time. With this, we bonded about a month later and I was able to take him out of the cage on my finger.
He lived 18 months in my care and the bond we created was incredible. So don't give up.

Plus, I would also change the name as suggested because they are too much alike.

Fast forward to current. Last May I bought a Pied Male Cockatiel from a breeder. She said he was just adorable and he would sit on her lap and cuddle up in your lap. Hello, are we talking about the bird that I received.
You see, getting him out of the environment with all of the other birds made him totally different acting bird; stubborn and independent.
A huge problems were my hands also. Wouldn't let my hands near him. I finally realized it was my rose/burgandy nail polish. He was skiddish for a few days but came around when he realized they were not going to turn red anymore. I had to wrestle him out of the cage too. The breeder told me that I had to show him who was boss and that I had to take control of him. I needed an isolated space like a bathroom.
The next evening I took a very fluffy towel and wrapped him in it the way the vet showed me so he couldn't bit me. After a couple of days of him struggling to get lose, he succumbed to being handled. He started stepping up and no more bites. He's not the cuddly bird but he isn't a bad bird either. He knows what he wants. He is my baby bird tho

The first few days, I put my chair beside his cage and read Cockatiel books to him and on their behavior. He gradually started acting like I was part of the flock by waiting until I was ready to eat with him before he ate breakfast or dinner. That is a social and bonding thing.

Just give that 10 year old some time. You don't know what she is frightened of and why. The 29 year old gave me more joy than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams. It just took alot of patience and love.

The best of luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all very much for your responses and I will take into account the name changing and think of a new one. I might try swmiller51's technique and get her by herself and play with her in some way or other. The reason I thought she wouldn't come around was because my dad told me she mightn't ever come around! I listened to him as he had 2 African Greys who I adored but sadly died when I was 8.. R.I.P Henry+Eric.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't see where you say how long you've had the new arrival but it takes time for her to get used to you.

End of her life ? She's only 10. My last one lived to 20 so you may have a long way to go. Also not sure why you named her Tango. assuming the 2 will be around you most of the time they might get confused who you're talking to since their names are so similar.

Female tiels don't "sing" much, if at all. They make some "squeeks/squeals" now and then and will call/scream for you when you leave the room but sing ? Not really. Makes are more vocal and they whistle a lot but females are often rather quiet.

Now, assuming you haven't had her for very long it can take a long while for a terrified bird to get over her fear, if she ever does. But you have to go really slowly with her.

I happen to have a recliner and my female forages on the floor and when I lower my legs she'll get on one of my feet and I raise the footbed up and there she is. If you have this sort of setup you can see if she'll get on your foot first. If she trusts the foot, and especially if you can raise your legs up like I do, maybe she'll hang out on your foot for a while and when she gains a little courage, instead of flying up to her cage, maybe she'll edge her way up your leg - keep you hands away from her though but keep them around and still. See if she eventually works her way up to your hands.

She was terrified at some point and it will almost surely take quite a while bu time and patience may get her to be quite a nice pet.

And don't let this dissuade you from getting another bird, especially a hand fed baby. Babies are FAR easier to manage. No comparison.

Good luck.
I have had her for a month and a half now (I know this is a relatively short amount of time) but didn't know how well she was progressing as I'm very new to owning birds. Also thank you for the clarification on why she would only do "squeaks/squeals", I knew males were more vocal but didn't realise some females mightn't ever go past that!
 
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