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I got Vivi, my Cockatiel, at seven weeks old, he is now three months. The breeder who raised him did not handle him much, sadly, and he never learned to fly despite fledging at 4 weeks or so like most 'tiels, so the first thing he did out of the cage is bite my mother and fly out of control straight into the ceiling.

A lot of clicker training, handling, and a 5-feather wing clipping later (he can still fly, he just can't power himself straight into the ceiling like that. He can learn better control as those feathers come back) he is being handled willingly, knows how to step up, and can target.

My issue is this: I've been trying to get him potty trained. I am wondering if this is too hard a behavior to teach with a bird so young since our human kids don't learn until around two years old and a 'tiel is not as intelligent (at least, not at three months) as a human child. Shall I wait until he has more worldly knowledge and, as it were, more bladder control? Or is it realistic to expect him to learn this behavior now? I know it is not good for a cockatiel to hold their poo in too long, so I made two "potty perches" that I can set up nearby wherever he is.

We have been doing recall training and he does fly to me, but any farther than a few feet and his aim suffers horribly, still not too coordinated in the flight department. He can easily fly 20 feet even with the small clip I gave him, and he still tends to overshoot his target or change his mind mid-flight and spiral to the floor. I am wondering if I ought to hold off on that, too? Until he figures out how to aim better, anyway.

I aim to eventually get my little guy in an Aviator Flight Harness and take him with me around town during the warmer months! This is the primary reason for the potty training - I don't want him to be pooping on people I introduce him to.

:confused::tiel4::confused:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKCxkohGzJw&list=PL80346787B9AB2868
 

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Potty training is controversial, and most of us simply wipe up the mess with a tissue when our birds drop a bomb. I think it's best that you don't try to potty train him now, and think carefully about it before making a decision to do it a few months from now. He's very young and impressionable, and has so many other things to learn (like good flight skills). I think that a baby bird probably has a higher risk of getting the wrong message from potty training than an older bird does. You can warn people that he might poop on them and let them decide whether they want to take the risk or not.

Moving to the other end of his digestive tract... because he is so young and impressionable, this is the time of life when he is most receptive to learning to eat a wide variety of healthy foods. If he's already eating seeds, pellets, vegetables, etc, that's great; but if he isn't eating all these foods yet this is your best opportunity to teach him. There's info on the best diet for tiels at http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=27479
 

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Since you don't want him out and about pooping on people, instead of potty training have you thought about a flight suit? It comes with a leash and they can poop in these suits and it doesn't get on anything (or anyone lol). Would make it easy for going around town.
 

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I disagree with potty training. It is dangerous for small parrots.
 
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