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Okay, so I've had my cockatiel for about 5 months now. He's around 6-8 months old. I love him very much but I'm not sure he's happy here. I've been heavily considering rehoming him because I don't think I can give him what he needs and I just want him to have a happy life..

My biggest problem with him is that it's impossible to tame him! He won't let hands near him, he hisses if you go up to his cage without bending over to go down to his level, he hisses when I cover his cage at night, he runs away from my hands and does not want to be touched IN ANY WAY. I don't know what to do! If he was tamer he'd be able to spend more time with me and not be as lonely or bored as he seems to be.. I'm sure he's lonely but I can't afford another cockatiel to give him a friend, heck I don't even have the room for another.

I've tried using millet to teach him to step up but once he realises I'm trying to teach him he runs off. I even tried hand-feeding him every day for a good while so he would learn to trust me like my budgies and old cockatiel did, but that didn't work either! I don't know what's left to try, except for clipping his wings.

I personally would rather not wing clip any of my birds (I've never had it done before either) but I have no problem with people who choose to do so. I know many people aren't a fan of clipping wings and would probably suggest I don't do this but it's the very last thing I can think of to try and get him to tame up, otherwise I may have to face up to the idea of rehoming him.. I know it's awful considering rehoming him because he won't tame up but it's so so stressful for me not being able to help him, especially after the unfortunate loss of my old cockatiel who was stuck to me like glue when he was alive. :(

Do you think wing clipping would work? Does anyone have any other suggestions if not?

It's really hard to live with his constant screaming when he won't let me give him what he wants. It wouldn't be a permanent thing by any means, I'd do it until he was used to hands and me since he would then rely on me a little more for getting around, and then I'd leave his flight feathers to grow in permanently.

I'm really at a loss and I'm getting so frustrated with all of this. I know it takes time to tame birds, sometimes weeks or months or years, but I don't think I have what it takes to spend that much more time on trying to tame him. I don't want to give up on him just because he isn't tame but he's making it so difficult! I just want to give him head scritches. :( :(

Any advice at all would be so appreciated, especially any advice on if wing clipping could work or not. Thank you so much in advance.
 

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You could always try it, though there's no guarantee it would work. You would also risk making him more frustrated and mistrustful of you. If I may ask, would rehoming really make him happier? I know you want what's best for him, but even if he isn't human-friendly, he probably still has a better life with you than he would with a lot of other people. You care about his well-being and understand birds, which is more than most people can say.
 

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Head scritches aren't a guaranteed thing, even in tame birds. Not every bird likes them. While wing clipping may help, not all birds are going to be super cuddly. I had one hen that I had for years and the only time she would stay with me was when her wings were clipped. Clipping pretty much forces them to have to be with you whether they want to or not.

And as moonchild said, rehoming could end the bird up with someone who doesn't understand him or care for him the way you do.
 

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Yes even if he doesn't completely warm up to you (some birds just don't), please keep him around unless you're really set on re-homing. As previously said, he may end up with someone who doesn't understand him, and I fear he may end up just stuck in a cage 24/7 and essentially forgotten about because his new people can't touch him.

Keep working with him, give wing clipping a go if you want, but just also remember that it's okay to have an ornament bird (an indoor bird that doesn't want to be touched/handled). As long as you're caring for him the way he deserves to be cared for, you're doing just fine. I have two ornament tiels and two velcro tiels. It seems there's no in between for me lol.
 

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Bikbok hisses all the time at everything and he hates being touched, but he is very interactive still. We have only had him a year, but in the past few months he has finally built up the courage to land on our shoulders and does little kisses and grooming for a 30 seconds. The very silly thing is that he actually does like being touched because we catch him to clip his claws and I will scritch his little head while hes being held and you can see he is enjoying it.
I think they are just bird brains, they take a long time to work things out within themselves but give them time and they will become more and more interactive.
Realistically, unless you know a bird crazy person who can give the best care, its highly likely the person your bird will be rehomed with will give inferior care. Sad but true.
 

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it takes time, it took George (My Cockatiel) at least a year to even bow his head (for stroking) and even after that it took him a few months to trust me enough to stroke him properly.

Now he loves to be stroked, he will put his head into my hand, close his eye's and love every minute.. If i put my finger for him to step up he will move away, pretend to bite (he doesn't bite, but I think he hasn't realised that I know this) or fly away .. some birds don't like certain things .. don't worry about it .. keep him/her healthy and you will get some form of bonding going on, even if it is unorthodox.

It will happen.
 

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I have a tiel here who is just over a year old... I handraised him and just before weaning he decided people were evil. No reason why, he just did. We tried everything to calm him down but as soon as he would see us he freaked. I clipped his wings hoping to help calm him down...mit didn't but now instead of flying away out of reach, he hit the floor and ran away out of reach! Finally I attached an unused cage grate to my large playstabnd so he could climb back to the cages himself and let him be.. Talked to him when we entered the room and left him alone, he then decided my hubs and son were ok, but I was still evil! Fast forward a few more months and after watching me interact with the other birds he started allowing me to step him to where he wanted to go but no touching, a few moe months and he is now begging me to step him up and give him a cuddle.. You just have to give them time and space.
 

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Joey didn't allow scritches until he was over a year old. Even then, it was through the bars of his cage only, for a few months. He's been a scritch junkie for a while now, but still refuses to step up onto a hand. I use the perch of his food dish to transport him back into his cage. He can get himself back in either by climbing or flying, but is a bit of a lazy boy. We open the cage and he lets himself out.

Yours is pretty young yet, and as others have said above, some take longer than others to get used to hands. Some never do. Slowly letting them build trust is key.
 

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I have a cockatiel that doesn't like to be touched and won't step up. I had her clipped. However, she will run away from me on the floor and get under things (kind of like a cat LOL). She is easier to manage with her wings clipped, but it's not perfect. She does like me to talk to her and she will accept sunflower seeds from my fingers. I have three other birds. One of them is a cockatiel who is very friendly and bonded to me as well as to her. I have learned to accept her as she is, and not expect physical contact with her.
 

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I had the same problem with Kirby

Hi there!
I volunteer at a bird rescue, and that's were I met my little boy, Kirby. At first, he wouldn't allow ANYONE to touch him or come near him, and still to this day freaks out if someone who he doesn't know well tries to remove him from his cage. What I did was I INSISTED that he step up, but did not FORCE him to. I would following him as he ran around his cage with my finger and tell him to step up, then praised him when he did so. At first I couldn't do anything more than get him to step up, but after awhile I was able to take him out of the cage now and again and eventually he became a total cuddlebug! I did all of this while he was flighted.

I'm not sure how well clipping a bird will help with taming them. I imagine that they would actually trust you less after the process. However, if you're having problems with him getting away from you and not coming back, then it seems like it would work for as long as necessary.

Also, make sure that you have a positive, but firm attitude when approaching the bird, kind of like a mother would when talking to her child.

I can't promise this will work for you, but it worked for me and Kirby, so I hope you the best!
 

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Correct way of clipping wings is for the bird to still be able to fly but not get much altitude or bash on the floors while landing. Clipping won't save you from the bird flying away if it wants to so it won't help much into taming if the bird has a confident personality. Also the stress factor that it will have on the vet with the whole clipping might even work as a minus for your relationship.

What I can suggest is just leave the birds door open in a small room like a bathroom or your bedroom and just sit a little far from the cage to give him space to get out on his own and understand that no harm will come. Eventually it'll get out but be warned retrieving and putting back into the cage is a tricky thing that needs time and calm nerves. The bird will probably get frightened from something else so it'll realize that you are his least threat and you'll be able to make it step up as it'll let you to "help" it. That's how I bonded with mine as she was rehomed to me after 2.5 years of being neglected.

By the way mine screams also all of the time and she doesn't want anything near her cage (hands treats etc) she comes to us whenever she pleases on her own and that's it part from that she's untamed untrained and all the uns lol that's the way I like it also semi wild and independent as well. We are trained by her actually ;)

Best regards, Noekeon & Kana!
 

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I had the same problem with my boy Lorenzo. I decided on clipping his wings not only for training purposes but he was also flying up on top of our high windows and I was unable to get him back down. It made a huge difference for us. A few weeks after he was clipped he learned to trust me because he needed to rely on me more to get around. It's still a bit of a fight to get him to leave his cage. He's territorial. But once he's out he's sweet as can be. He sits on my shoulder and chest, chews on my jewelry, and bows down for head scritches. I'm still unable to feed him from my hand but I don't mind. There's no guarantee that your tiel will respond the same, but it's worth a shot! Lorenzo was clipped a short time before his first molt. A few months later almost all of his feathers had grown back. Since we are now bonded I have no need to clip his wings again.

I wish you luck with your tiel. Don't give up. I was very frustrated with Lorenzo for a long time. It was worth it in the end!
 
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