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  1. #1
    Hatching ksosne's Avatar
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    Kristina
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    Comet is getting vicious!

    In short, he's being a butthead! LOL. He's nipping at me when I go to pick him up. And I don't mean those light little 'tiel bites'. It's draw blood hard. Then he'll get up on my shoulder and scream in my ear. When I go to get him off my shoulder, he'll either run behind my head where I can't reach him, or bite me. He's around 7-8 months old, so I'm thinking he's going through puberty or something, but he's driving me nuts. He even attacked me when I was giving Tiko scritches. So now Tiko doesn't let me scritch him very much anymore. I'm thinking maybe Comet and Tiko are too bonded, and maybe I should separate them, but I don't know. All I know is that Comet needs some behavior lessons! I'm trying to ladder him, and he's not allowed on my shoulders anymore. Especially since he tries to climb up onto my head. And this behavior started before we brought Baby home, so it doesn't have anything to do with that. I think he just thinks he's the top bird around here. Tiko even comes to him when he calls. I'll be trying to cuddle with Tiko, and there's Comet over on the cage calling for Tiko, so he goes running. He used to be a sweet bird who liked scritches and even let me pet his whole back. Not anymore! I can't even touch him now!

  2. #2
    Good Bye Tailfeather WolfRyder's Avatar
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    Carol
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    Re: Comet is getting vicious!

    does he get 10 - 12 hours of dark (covered cage) time at night? that really helped when Truus started her puberty stage. Of course, she was 9 months when I got her so I haven't lived (yet) with a 7 - 8 month old. Getting there as Lovey is about 7 months now.

    Nippy tiels don't get shoulder privileges here. and it IS a privilege to sit on the shoulder. To get an unruly tiel off your back (or any bird, for that matter) back up against the wall. To keep from being smashed, they'll run for the shoulder.

    OH! I've had Truus beak the heck out of me when she's mad at me for something. She doesn't hurt but I know she's upset. I've actually (gently) picked her up, hand around the back, and held her to my face and told her I didn't like to be beaked like that. (this was after warning her but she wouldn't listen). A 5 minute time out in the cage usually solves it. If it doesn't, she doesn't get to sit with me. I ignore her. She HATES that.

    But usually I keep the uncontrolableness under control with the bedtime longer (about 10 hours).

    Now Vader, different story. His beaking is harder than the girls and if he doesn't want to step up when he's on my shoulder he'll beak me. I let it slide once. BUT he's 4 months old now and knows proper behavior while "on mommy". Time outs have been used on him as well when he's not nice to the girls. Same if they are not nice to him. Anyone instigating a fight, either on my shoulder or not, gets a time out.

  3. #3
    Ferret Freak Tailfeather PhoenixK's Avatar
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    Pho
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    Re: Comet is getting vicious!

    I've actually (gently) picked her up, hand around the back, and held her to my face and told her I didn't like to be beaked like that.
    Dude, I thought Ebo was the only one who didn't mind being picked up around the middle like that! I'm so used to handling Ebo that way, but when I tried to pick up Bosch and Gorky that way, they freaked out! I had to remind myself that when it comes to cockatiel behavior, Ebo isn't necessarily the norm! ^_^

    But anyway, yikes about Comet! I'm not too knowledgeable about the dynamics of a multiple-tiel household, but if the problem DOES stem from Tiko and Comet being too bonded, then maybe it might help to have them in separate side-by-side cages. But I don't know.

    But I think it might help to make sure Comet has some "alone time" with you -- just you. It might be easier to handle him if he can't see Tiko. Maybe it'd be a good idea to make sure Comet has one-on-one time with you every day, so he can start accepting you more instead of being more clingy to the other birds. It sounds like he has plenty of one-on-one time with Tiko already, so it would help to balance things out!

  4. #4
    Four More Babies Hatched! Luna1285's Avatar
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    lauren
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    Re: Comet is getting vicious!

    Haha! I always pick luna up, hand around his back! He did not like it at first, but he is used to it now and doesn't mind.
    PUERTO RICO

  5. #5
    Good Bye Tailfeather WolfRyder's Avatar
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    Carol
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    Re: Comet is getting vicious!

    When I do it, the birds know I mean business.

  6. #6
    THE AMBASSADOR Chick Fenris's Avatar
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    Fen, if you want to type something shorter
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    Re: Comet is getting vicious!

    Hey, Tsuki just goes limp if you pick'er up that way! I can also put my hands under her wings and lift her up like that. ^_^ She doesn't really enjoy other people doing that, but she'll put up with it. I used to do "birdie missile" with Tsuki by gently swooping her when holding her that way. Surprisingly, she didn't really do much. But I don't do that anymore!!
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  7. #7
    Pardon My Pearls Please Tailfeather Oh Mowsie's Avatar
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    Nicole
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    Re: Comet is getting vicious!

    Ah hah. So Comet thinks his vent doesn't stink heh? Sounds like he's been taking "Mr. BossyFeathers" lessons from Silver.

    Carol's method of backing up against a wall might help Comet from running down your back to get away from the "step up" command, BUT.. it won't necessarily keep him from biting your finger while you're tying to get him to step up FROM your shoulder (and that position for a person is SO awkward that its one of the reasons it is considered dominant for a bird), plus if he's already halfway around your neck, hiding in your hair, etc, you can't smash him.. LOL so it can work if he's on his way to dodging you, but not if he's already down your back or out of your reach.

    When Silver (and lately Taxi) are playing "dodge the step up" and being squealing lil pigs, and Silver is making to bite me... I walk over to the couch and quickly bend my upper body over and dump them right off onto the couch cushion. If you do it fast enough and don't make any warning movements to indicate something is going to happen.. they don't have time to brace themselves, and they loose their balance and fall right off onto the couch. No harm, no foul. Nothing but their ego gets injured. While they are still "stunned" that I could do such a thing and staring at me (and while I'm looming above them and in a very dominant position over them) I say firmly "NO BITING!"

    Right after that, I say "Be Nice" and then I offer my finger under the chest and say "Step Up". Taxi is always very docile and it only takes that.

    Silver has tried my patience. LOL I'll step him up which he's good for, but he'll try to get to my shoulder again and I'll do the ladder. That's when he get's crappy.. squealing, trying to get even and re-establish his dominance. So.. I earthquake his lil butt right back off my finger and onto the couch cushion again and say "No Biting! Be Nice!"

    Sometimes we have to go through this three times before he gets it through his blockhead that I'm not going to "give". Then he'll settle down and ladder like a good tiel. Then.. I'll sit down with him ON the couch, tell him he's a good boy and put a piece of millet on the cushion of horrors so he can "peck" at will.. and know that the couch is not a "bad" place.. it was just his behavior. So far, he hasn't begun to associate the couch as a bad place because he gets punishement AND reward there. Same with Taxi.

    If Comet's behavior is particularly bad around Tiko, you may need to do some intensive therepy in another room AWAY from Tiko. The flock is an intense experience for birds. Its hard for them to concentrate when the other guys are calling to them. Also, it DOES sound like Tiko and Comet are a bonded pair now. Comet is telling you that Tiko is "his" and he's protecting him... so you may need to do some hormone therepy to get things in check. Decrease the hours of sunlight they get by covering the cage earlier and monitor the food intake. Seperating them if necessary but you'll be hearing a lot of screaming if you do, so I would resort to that as last ditch. Honestly, as unpleasant as Comet is being right now, its crucial that you spend as much time bonding with him as you can to offset the bonding that he and Tiko are doing, and to strengthen you're place as dominant bird in the flock. Plus... its easy to have feelings of "He doesn't like me" and not handle him as much when he's being difficult (I know.. I've been there) but it only makes your job harder if you let it go.

    Its also important to spend time with Tiko AWAY from Comet to re-establish your bond with him. Trust me.. I have to battle Silver for Apache's affection now. She still loves me, but when there's "another", the dynamics do change and it can be hurtful if you don't make certain to keep the connection strong.
    Visit Apache, Neo, Silver, Taxi, Tieka, Trinny, Buzz, Tiggy, Paris, Persephone & Hektor at Nikkie's Cockatiels More of what the flock is up too at their blog. Tiel Tales
    "Somewhere out there
    Someone's singing a prayer
    That we'll find one another
    In that big somewhere, out there"~


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