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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
I am planning to buy a cockatiel to train him to do freefly outdoors . Just wanted your advice on how good are cockatiels for freefly training.
Should I buy a small bird from a breeder when it starts to walk and hand feed him to create a good bond ?
I have heard that it is good to buy a bird between 2 or 4 weeks old who has just started to walk and is on hand feeding will be good for recall training and will bond with you .
I am from Australia.
Thank you for your valuable comments
Mathews
 

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I I have one young cockatiel, I free fly him everyday when weather permits as now. To Free fly a bird, you have to have strong bond and trust between you and bird, which is the easier part. The risk part is to desensitize bird in outdoor environment. If you decide to move forward, please do keep us posted. I do hope you can success!

Hand feeding a baby does make such kind of bond easier to form. Hand feeding can start at 3 to 4 weeks age. I don't recommend hand feeding less than 3 weeks old baby. There are more problems than benefits feeding young babies..

To begin with, I am not a big fan of hand feeding to be honest. The reasons are 1) hand feeding is so time consuming 2) baby in general is underweight than parent feed one . But, I did have a few babies which had to hand feeding from about 3 weeks old. One of them is so attached to me. He will fly from bird cage room to living room looking for me if he is out of cage. Hence. I decide to free fly training this one. I was pretty successful with this one.

See my first free fly post:


( I though Oz treats cockatiels as pest instead of pet...as so many cockatiels are still in wild. my bad joke)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I I have one young cockatiel, I free fly him everyday when weather permits as now. To Free fly a bird, you have to have strong bond and trust between you and bird, which is the easier part. The risk part is to desensitize bird in outdoor environment. If you decide to move forward, please do keep us posted. I do hope you can success!

Hand feeding a baby does make such kind of bond easier to form. Hand feeding can start at 3 to 4 weeks age. I don't recommend hand feeding less than 3 weeks old baby. There are more problems than benefits feeding young babies..

To begin with, I am not a big fan of hand feeding to be honest. The reasons are 1) hand feeding is so time consuming 2) baby in general is underweight than parent feed one . But, I did have a few babies which had to hand feeding from about 3 weeks old. One of them is so attached to me. He will fly from bird cage room to living room looking for me if he is out of cage. Hence. I decide to free fly training this one. I was pretty successful with this one.

See my first free fly post:


( I though Oz treats cockatiels as pest instead of pet...as so many cockatiels are still in wild. my bad joke)
 

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Discussion Starter #4

Thank you for your reply,
Saw your older post. You must have been full of joy after Billy did his first free flight and came back to you successfuly.

I have spoken to a breeder today he told me that he will give me a 7 week old baby cockatiel from his next hatch.
He starts hand feeding baby bird from 3 weeks old.
I am a bit hesitated about getting the bird after 7 weeks because I don't know wheather i would be able make a strong bond at that age. I have told him to do some recall training for me when he does hand feeding.
What are your thoughts on getting a bird after 7 weeks. Will it respond good on recall training. Will I be able to establish a strong bond with the bird.
Are cockatiels a good species for outdoor freefly.
Regards
 

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"Are cockatiels a good species for outdoor freefly."
No the best one, lots of trainer recommend big bird, like macaw for free fly training, due to predators issue such as hawks. Big bird you can install GPS track at tail, so you have better chance to recovery of lost bird.

" Is 7 weeks old to old for free fly training?"
At 7 weeks, cockatiel will fly pretty good, the bird first outdoor fly can be very challenge. Keep in mind cockatiel fledgling age is about 4 weeks. At 7 weeks, the desensitization process will take a little bit longer. If your breeder can help you bringing babies outdoor everyday during the feeding period or has outdoor aviary. That will help a lots. Adult cockatiels are very sensitive to environment change, will panic in a total new environment. I have to emphasis on the importance of desensitization at early age.

Recall training is basic. Without desensitization of outdoor environment, no matter how well indoor recall training the bird does, the first bird's flight can go wrong, get lost, due to panic and exciting. Bird just flying too high and to far beyond.

If you can easily access desert like outdoor environment, first flight will be much easier, as bird does not have any nearby high ground/tree for landing, hence bird will naturally land on you. You can find lots of free fly training on youtube are done at desert setting.

If you can, get a few babies for flight training. Cockatiels are flock bird, there is constantly flock call between birds once one bird is out of sight. Flock call will help lost bird find the direct of home.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the valuable information .
I have contacted another breeder today he lives near me. He takes the babies out at 2 weeks and starts hand feeding them .He will give me the baby from 4 th week. He will do some desensitization when he does hand feeding.
I was planning to get one baby bird but now planning to get three. But am confused will all three bond with me when they grow up.which ones should i get male and two female. Should I house them all in a cage.
Is it alright to eave them in a cage and train them in the morning and evening. What is the good way to train three babys with out lossing there bond. Should i get the help of two of my daughter's to help me train them so that each one will get bonded with each of us.
 

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They will all bond to you if you feed them and spend some time with each of them.
You can house them in one cage, which will give them flock environment.
From day one you get them, put them in cage, take them out while you have time as long as weather is not too hot and too cold. For day one, do recall whistle when you feed them.
If you want to your daughter's help, it is up to you. Usually, birds will bond more to the person who feed them and spend most time.

I think there are some free flying bird club kind of organization in Oz. You may want to reach out of them, they may provide more valuable info.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks
Just wanted to bother you with one last question.
About the powder or dust caused by cockatiels that people say. Is that a thing to worry about. If it is ... Is there any thing that we can do to minimize it.
Thank you very much for answering all the question much appreciated.
 

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Cockatiel dust is from powdery down feather of cockatiel. If you or any family members are sensitive to dust, this can be a issue, which can cause allergy reaction to certain persons. To minimize dust, you can bath cockatiels more frequently, and have a electrostatic air purifier in the room housing your cockatiels. I think most old world parrots such African grey , Cockatoos and Cockatiels have feather dust issue. If feather dust issue bother you, you may consider new world parrots such as Macaw or Amazon, Sun Conures ect. Sun Conure is a very nosy bird, but, you will have better luck free fly a hand feed Sun Conures, if you prefer small bird.
 

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I would not take my birds outside unless in a cage. They are not the best to free fly in my opinion. They will take off and not live long on the city streets where I live.
 
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