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Thread: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

  1. #16
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    Wink Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    Thank you for telling me about your ZoZo. He sounds so cute, playful and fun. I hope I can someday get Bella to that stage. She seems to like it when I do get her out of her cage, but she will back up and try to bite first....she's never bit hard except once when I first got her and clipped her flight feathers....but never since then. She will sort of spread her wings a bit, begin backing up and open her mouth to bite....until I just PUT my hand under her.... then she will ride along and seem to enjoy it. The poor girl just has NO idea how to play and is not used to anyone coming to get her to play,take her out of her cage or anything. It's a bit frustrating because it was easier to get keets used to you....they came across right away even when older. But I am SOOOO happy to have Bella....AND I'm hoping changing her name from '*****' to Bella will help too ....SHAME on the one who named her that. She's very pleasant....just very, very quiet. I'd never know she's there if I didn't make it a point to pay attention to her. I sure hope I can bring her around. Maybe she'll be playing with a canister one day too like ZoZo.

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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    Aww, Bella sounds a lot like my Ernie! He's 25 years old and sat in a small cage for 20 years. My mom used to have other birds, but Ernie outlived all of them. I brought him home with me a couple of years ago, and he was totally silent and refused to eat anything but seeds.

    I mashed up pellets and then added a little water to make a sort of dough, then I added seeds and rolled it into little balls. Ernie would have to pick the seeds out of the pellets, and after a few weeks he started eating the pellets too. Now whenever I introduce a new food, I sprinkle a little bit of seed on the top. I've successfully used this method to introduce three other cockatiels to pellets now.

    When we first brought Ernie home, he didn't make any noise. We started paying attention to him and talking to him every time he made a sound, and he came out of his shell a lot. I got him interested in toys by hanging millet on them.

    A few months ago I got a second elderly cockatiel, Eliot. She turned Ernie into a different bird. The two of them go exploring together, groom and sing, and take a lot of naps. They also like to sit on my hands while I type.

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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    Awww, Zozo sounds like an imp! I gotta say that the female tiels I've had were not all that... playful. They were, however, very sweet, liking nothing better that to sit on my chest and snuggle and demand scritches. This might be the case with Bella. Just love her and praise her and give her lots of goodies.

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    Talking Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    Oh my...your Ernie sounds adorable!! What Ernie did...making no noise....is what Bella is doing. She'll come around a little when I whistle to her and take her to my lap or lay down with her. But, she still acts VERY afraid any time I head toward her cage. She'll open her mouth wide, spread her wings a bit, and begin backing up. I hope I'm doing right by ignoring that....I'd never get to her if I didn't. I just get her anyway and take her to my lap or lay down with her, talk to her, try to teach her to laugh, whistle to her, and so on. I can tell by her look that she likes it. Otherwise, she just sits in or on her cage looking at me....like she's waiting for me to do something or for something to happen. That's a bit new to me because my keets were so active and vocal. But I'm just going to keep on loving her until she comes around. I'd like to get one of those "flight suits" the the nice weather to take her outside....I think she'd like that.

    What a wonderful idea for introducing pellets. I sent an email to Harrison's just last week and ask for a sample and they sent some right off...I already have them. They sent a FULL size bag of Roudybush Mash and one of Pellets. I tried some in her dish....I think she ate some, but mostly pushed them out. OH....right now she's climbing OUT of her cage for the FIRST time by herself without ME taking her out. YEA!!!! I'm going to attach a photo. I don't have a camera, but I found one on the internet that looks exactly like her. I'm going to go get her after I write this and spend some time with her. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad Ernie has a friend...he deserves it. Give him a kiss from Bella.



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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    A possibility is since she was cage bound, she may have developed a screaming problem ... usually a bored cage bound bird will and her previous owner may have done things to shut her up. I've seen people with cage bound cockatiels hit the cage, yell at them, throw random stuff over the cage to stop them yelling and all they wanted was to come out! After a while they stop screaming. Might be why she is showing aggression when you approach the cage - usually I would suggest leaving her cage as her safe zone and letting her come out herself, but after 10 years cage bound she may need to be taught that it is OK to come out. If she isn't showing signs of fear/distress once outside the cage with you, it should be ok. Once she starts coming out on her own regularly I would probably just let her choose to come out.

    Yeah roudybush always sends huge samples, my tiel loves the crumbles, but since she's a seed junky it may take her some time to realize what it is. Just keep offering them to her

    Caution with the flight suit, it takes a LONG time to get them adjusted to it. If you put it on them without proper introduction they can freak out pretty badly - one member even with proper introduction had her bird vomit from stress, others have had their birds flap around wildly... I would probably wait until you have a better bond with her to get one. Some birds take to it fine, but some have a serious problem with having anything around their chest / wings like that. With training and patience you can usually get them over it, but no point stressing her out while you still are forming a bond.

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    Cool Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    Thanks for the heads up on the potential problem with a flight suit....I had no idea. I'm just getting used to a different breed of bird myself. I'll make sure I take extra precaution when I get one. I don't know of any other way to take her with me outside to the garden or on walks. Any ideas there?

    About the cage-bound thing....I don't think they did that, but I couldn't be sure. I don't think they'd tell me that. Today has been a great day with her. It's just been her and me 'hangin out'. She's coming around a bit more and I actually think I saw her smile. She loves sitting on the back of the sofa while I'm on the computer, reading or whatever. She has even been a bit more vocal today (for Bella that is). I had to smile a bit....I had a neighbor stop by and I think Bella was a bit scared....so she 'ran to mama' and hung out with me the whole time. I think we're going to make it after all.

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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    I adopted a very abused female cockatiel some many years ago. She used to absolutely whimper and cower for the first few weeks whenever I opened her cage door and asked her to come out. At first, I just gently insisted she come out on my hand and placed her on a pillow on top of her cage (she also had "bumble-foot," hence the pillow). She started by sitting on the pillow as far away from me as she could get. Weeks later, she was sitting closer. Several weeks later, she climbed onto the recliner next to the pillow where she had been (and where I had been sitting with my male tiel). Not too long after that, she found her permanent place in life, right on my chest underneath my chin. It took another year before I could scratch her head. My point is, keep offering your hen kindness, and she will respond. She seems to be doing quite well!

    P.S. I would not consider a flight suit for a very long time. Just my opinion.

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    Cool Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    Your post gave me some hope. Thanks for that. Some days get a bit discouraging when she just sits....all the time...just sits....no chirping, no whistling, no singing.....she just sits. My two parkeets were so vocal and active. It'a a bit hard to get used to. For the life of me, I can't see how that poor girl did that for SO many years....I would have lost my mind. But, when I DO see a spark in her...when she hears me call her "Hi Bella...how are you Bella?"...and so on, she does perk up now. I can tell she loves the attention. But, she still gets so frightened when I first go up to her cage and when I try and get her to come out. Once she's out, she LOVES the attention. I'm SOOO glad yours came around over time. A heart warming story of rescuing. Thanks again for your post and the encouragement.

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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    To take my tiel outside with me I have a small cage I can carry out so he can get some sun and see the other birds, without worrying he'll fly off. I latch the doors so he can't figure out some way of opening them and keep an eye on him so no predator can get near. My tiel would not take well to a flight suit, so I haven't even tried it. First few times I took him out in his cage he freaked out pretty badly as well, though now he's used to it and will just sit and chirp.

    And yeah, they probably wouldn't tell you if they did that. Most people don't even think about it, or think of it as being mean... just like they don't really think of leaving a bird in a cage as being mean. One of the biggest problems with most peoples bird care is just plain ignorance of what a parrot needs, not any wish to be cruel on the part of the owners.

    Glad she's showing improvement steadily. hopefully you have many years left with her to show her how to come out of her shell!

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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    Thank you Godfreygirl. Few things in life have been as rewarding and satisfying as rescuing a bird, and I've rescued more than a few. Jasmine the girlie-tiel will always have a special place in my heart. I used to cry at her whimpering those first few weeks trying to get her out of her cage. I'll give you a little insight - Jasmine came to me with her crest cut off (scissors), her wings clipped to the nubs, her tail feathers cut off, and with Magic-Marker marks (WTH?) across her back. Time, time, patience and more time is the key. I remember telling her that not ALL people were bad. Eventually, she came to understand that. I spoiled her rotten, and suggest you do that, too. As Marrie stated, you can't know how her former owners treated her.

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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    It sounds like Bella is starting to relax and trust you. Keep talking to her and continue to love her. I know some days seem discouraging, but you are on the right track with Bella. It sounds like you are making great progress. I am sure within a couple more weeks, she will become your happy shadow. It saddens me to hear of birds that are abused or cage bound; and yet it lifts my heart hearing the wonderful stories of rescued birds by such loving people. Keep up the good work with Bella!!

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    Thumbs up Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    Yes...you're right....not all people are bad. Marie, having a smaller cage to take Bella outside is a GREAT idea and I just got one today that's perfect from a neighbor. I won't consider the flight suit thing anymore. I just assumed I'd slip it on, she'd love it and we'd take off to explore the outdoors together. OMG...I could have terrorized my poor girl!! I'm grateful that there is a site like this and great people like you all who've posted to help me and Bella out in getting adjusted. We've got that HORRID ice/snow/blizzard storm coming through now....we're in Illinois....right on the Mississippi....and I sure hope we don't lose power. I don't know HOW I would keep Bella warm...that worries me. They're already reporting power outages in areas close by. Some of you may be in the path of this storm too. I remember closing my bedroom door when I had my keets in one of these storms and lighting 6 huge pillar candles in glass to heat the room. I don't have them anymore. But, Bella is doing good today. I got her out for an hour or so while ago and she was more vocal, looked around with an excited look on her face and I know she'll come around eventually.

    FlyingCircus, how HORRIBLE that your girlie-bird was treated that way. I'll never understand WHY people get pets if they can't or don't know how to treat them with love, respect and kindness. I'm looking forward to that time when Bella becomes 'my little shadow'.

    Now....I have another quick question. HOW do you deal with the droppings when/if they land on you, your furniture, etc.? With my little keets, I could just let the tiny little circles dry up and use a dust buster vac to sweep them up. It's not that easy with Bella. I've just been keeping a paper towel handy, but I'm sure there are other ways to handle it. Any good hints? The good news is she doesn't go as often and I can about time it, put her back into her cage for a bit, wait till she goes and take her out again. But any hints on what you all do?

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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    I've heard of some people who train their parrots to go potty in a certain area ... but what I do is have cheap t-shirts or something button down to go over my regular shirts for when birdy is on me (which is pretty much always lol) and for the furniture a roll of tissue and a bottle of water (you can add a little vinegar to the water for disinfecting reasons). You can also use little baby towels over your shoulder when she's perched up there, like they have for saving womens shirts from baby spit up. For hanging out on the bed or something like that you can get an old blanket, or a fleece baby blanket etc and throw it over the bed so your sheets and stuff don't get dirtied.

    If your power does go out you can find some tips on how to keep parrots warm without power here http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/c...-my-birds-warm

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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    Hey....some good ideas for the 'poop off the shoulder' and other places thing....thanks. I also went to the link for keeping my Bella warm if the power goes out. Some good ideas...but most are too late for me. This got here before I would have thought of any of that and we can't get out on the roads...ice covered and still coming down. The only option I have is to get into the bathroom with her, it's the smallest room, and light some candles to keep it warm...AND hope I have enough to last. Hope we don't lose power. This is supposed to get worse overnight.

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    Re: Adopted older cockatiel...she won't play or do anything.....????

    My bathroom is also the warmest place in the house, and it's been predicted we'll have a wind-chill factor tonight and tomorrow night of as low as -20 to -30. Should things go wrong, my flock and I will hang out in the bathroom. Make sure you keep Bella caged if you light candles. They cast moving shadows that may spook a tiel, and you don't want her flying into lit candles. Covering all but the front of her cage may keep her feeling secure but still able to look out.

    Jasmine was rescued from a bipolar (unmedicated or medication-non-compliant) bird hoarder who got her birds posing as a bird rehabilitator. This woman had 40+ birds in conditions of filth and neglect, and Jasmine belonged to the woman's young children, apparently unsupervised, hence the scissors and magic marker. I took the lead in bringing the situation to the attention of state and military authorities (her husband was military) which resulted in, among other things, her flock being liquidated and adopted out. See my avatar? That is Ruby, and I adopted him from her house more than 12 years ago. He was very "don't touch me" when I got him. He cuddles and lets me hug him now.

    For birdie-poop, Marrie has given you some excellent ideas, most of which I've used myself - cover the backs of furniture, have birdie t-shirts, bottle of water/vinegar. I found myself shopping for bedspreads/rugs/etc. that were bird-poop friendly - floral patterns of green/white work especially well : ) Stay warm!

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