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  1. #1
    Brand New Egg JacklynMM110's Avatar
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    New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Thank you in advance to anyone who helps me!

    Ok, I picked out my lovely Lutino today. I brought him(?) home, he flew out of the box and had to catch him to show him his new cage. He sat on top for a couple hours and I used a towel to usher him into the cage (I used the towel to guide him rather than pick him up.). He then sat on his perch for a few hours without moving. I know this is normal, so I'm not too concerned. HOWEVER, as I was sitting next to his cage speaking softly to him, I saw a small, thin bug crawling on him. I immediately became concerned that it was a mute and tried to investigate. He flew out of his cage and into a wall... So here are my questions:
    Have I ruined any chance of bonding with him because of this stressful day?
    He has a bald spot on his head, but I'm fairly certain it's part of the mutation. Is this true?
    Does he have mites? I've checked his cage floor (covered in white paper towels, and no evidence of any mites) and I tried to check for any others. His feathers look healthy and I only saw that one, and after flying through the house, didn't see it again, but I don't want to linger near his cage as I know he needs time.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, I'm just concerned and want the best for Louie.

    Please help!!!

  2. #2
    Has Grown Children maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Hi, Jacklyn and welcome to the forum. First of all congratulations on bring home your sweet baby Lutino. Does he/she have red eyes? If so, then it definitely is Lutino, and yes, they do have a bald spot on the top of their head. Does your baby seem o.k. after he flew into the wall? I would watch him carefully for about 24 hours to be sure he doesn't display any unusual behavior such as shivering, or shaking, or being all puffed up, or very watery poops, etc. Hopefully he was not injured when he flew into that wall.

    I doubt that he has mites, but in my opinion the best way to prevent them is to go to the Pet Store or your pet shop, and pick up a bottle of Spray for lice and mites. The one I have is called Scalex, Mite and Lice Spray for Birds. What I do is clean the cage thoroughly with a mixture of warm water and white distilled vinegar. And then I take a paper towel and spray some of the scalex on the bottom of the bird cage (under the tray). I don't spray alot, and I take the paper towel and just wipe it around the cage bottom to be sure and get some of it all over. Personally, I don't care for the "bird protectors" that you can hang in the cage. I don't like my birds to have chemicals around them, and bird protectors definitely are chemicals. I do this about every 10 days or so, when I do what I call a thorough cleaning of my birds cages. I have a budgie and a hen tiel. White vinegar is very good for cleaning all kinds of things in and around the cage. (mixed with water). It is a great sanitizer, and is what I call safe and organic.

    You may need to wait a few days to do this because you just brought Louie home, and don't want to upset him any more than you have too. It will take a few days for him to be less afraid of you and his environment. One thing to say is that tiels and ALL birds are afraid of human hands, especially when you first bring them home, so if possible, clean the inside of the cage with as little contact with hands as possible, especially hands being close to your little guy. In a few days you can begin slowly doing some "hand" training. Here on this site there is a library of information about tiels, and another great site to go to is Cockatiel Cottage. You will find about any thing about tiels you need to know on that site, including all about training your little guy.

    We hope to see pics of Louie when he gets more settled in your home. I just KNOW you and Louie are going to be best friends. And I don't think the incident that you had today will ruin your bonding with him at all. It might set him back a little bit, but you are doing the best thing ever just sitting by his cage and talking softly to him. And tiels also LOVE music of anykind, so put on a CD, or even play the cartoons on your TV for him. My birds LOVE cartoons! I am very sure you have not ruined any chance of bonding with him. So don't worry about that.

    Hope to see you around the forums, and I also hope this info is of help to you.

  3. #3
    Breeding clawnz's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Welcome Jacklyn
    No! I don't think you will have ruined your budding relationship. Just keep on doing what you are and I am sure things will work out.

    I think you saw a lice which he may of picked up somewhere. These are not going cause any on going health issues. Slim about 3mm long, quick moving.
    It is a good idea to have a vet check up, on any bird you take in, as this gives you a good base to work from later and like this, means she/he can be treated for any conditions they may have.
    Treatment for lice is a simple one off spray.

    Go with Maxollie comments on all the other bits.
    Take your time around she/he be relaxed and calm. Tiel time is an unknown, but whatever, it will take your tiel to settle in and becmoe relaxed in it;s new environment.
    *****************A Night Shot************

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  4. #4
    Brand New Egg JacklynMM110's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Thank you SO much, maxollie & clawnz. You two have really helped to reassure me that I'm not a terrible new mom to Louie! Clawnz, your description of the bug found on Louie is accurate. I have not seen another since last night, although I have tried to keep my distance as Louie still has his crest up at pretty high alert. He's moved around some in his cage today, but for the most part continues to stare at me. I think he's just getting to know me. I've spoken his name quietly and stood beside his cage quietly for a few moments, so I hope we are making some new progress. It is really a test of my patience to not start talking to him more!!

    I plan on taking him to a vet this week. They are closed today and tomorrow, so I am going to call Monday.

    I've been reading the posts on here and Cockatiel Cottage (thanks to you, maxollie, for the suggestions) and the posts all say that Louie is likely eating even though I have not seen him do so. He is still using the restroom, and the evidence suggests that everything is ok, but other than leaving him alone and giving him time to settle in, is there anything else I can do? I just want to make sure I am doing the best for him.

    Thank you again for your help!!!

  5. #5
    Brand New Egg JacklynMM110's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Also, I finally figured out how to change my picture... That's Louie!

  6. #6
    Hatched! DesertDweller's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Congratulations on your new cockatiel! He's a cutie!
    Just be really careful using pesticides - even Scalex and others specifically for birds. They are TOXIC. Many years ago I lost a bird using these pesticides and another one had suffered some brain damage but survived. The fumes are deadly. The products are still the same as what I had used, so be very careful and follow the directions exactly. Also, please don't hang mite protectors in or near the cage. I saw a customer's cockatiel go into seizures from those things.

    Best to leave Louie in his cage for at least a week and talk to him gently. Leaving him in his cage will allow him to adjust to his new home, and you can also spot an insect infestation much easier, and keep it under control.

    You'll have plenty of time to take him out and handle him, so don't rush it. Just let his little brain take in and process his new situation. Then the two of you will be able to bond.

    Also, make sure to put some millet spray and a dish of seed, plus a dish of water near the floor, just to keep some food for him to explore. I also strongly recommend giving him some fresh fruits and veggies - more veggies than fruit.
    Six of my fids are now 2 years old - Sweetie, Tubbie, Misty, Kahnee, Rosie and Riley are all grown up!!

    Gabby Renee and Chauncey will celebrate their 2nd birthdays in March!

  7. #7
    Brand New Egg JacklynMM110's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Thank you, DesertDweller! I just creeped over to his cage to talk to him for a few minutes and saw TWO lice on him. No wonder why he's not moving, he's ITCHY!! I'm heading out right now to get the treatment stuff. I know it's toxic, and I'll just it as sparingly as I can, but there aren't any other options for lice removal, are there?

    Also, I know the picture isn't great, but he is a Lutino, right? I tried to look for banding on his tail and didn't see any, and I haven't seen any yellow spots under the wings, so I'm assuming he is in fact a male. He's also done the wing stretching thing that makes the heart shape from behind (according to the Avian Behavior Guide on Cockatiel Cottage.) I just want to make sure I'm not further insulting my bird by calling it him inaccurately!!

  8. #8
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    No, you have not ruined the chance to bond with him, as you are both new to each other. Bird Channel .com seels a book on Cockatiels which is excellant reading for pet birds. I got a copy, and thought it was great.

  9. #9
    Brand New Egg JacklynMM110's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Thanks, Birdmanca! For the first time, he started to crawl around his cage somewhat. He even checked out a toy, but is back to being still. I had to spray him for his lice, which killed me to annoy him, but I know it's best for him. I'm hoping he feels better!!

    His crest is STILL up, but when I was talking to him he was puffing his cheeks out a bit. I've heard that means they are interested in what they are hearing. When I stopped talking softly, his cheeks went down. I'll take this as a good sign!

    Still giving him his space, but thankful that I'm starting to see some movement.

    What would I do without you experienced bird owners?!!? Thank you so much!

  10. #10
    Has Grown Children maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    I'm glad that Pat gave us the "scoop" about "Scalex". I fully agree about any toxins or pesticides, but really never even thought about scalex being a "pestcide"! (silly me)!! As I had posted before, I just spray a very little bit of it on the paper towel, or on the bottom of the cage (under the tray). For now, it probably will be o.k. until you get to the Vet, because one time will be quite enough until you do see the Vet. While you are at the Vet's office ask them if they have any suggestions as to what to use as an "organic" treatment. And Pat and I agree that those tin boxes that they call bird protectors are positively off limits.

    I can bet that one week from now you will have seen a BIG difference in Louie!! He most likely will be more secure in his environment and eating more. Tiels LOVE their food, so I can hardly wait for your posts all about his food and veggies. I totally KNOW the two of you will become best friends! You really found a wonderful forum to share your "journey" with us! We LOVE pics, and will be watching for more of Louie, and also your posts all about him! If it is a male, you will have a really fun time with Louie, teaching him to talk, wolf whistle, etc. If you are interested, go on "youtube" and search for "cocatiels" talking or singing. The only thing I must warn you about is that if Louie hears those birds I know it will "get his attention". In fact, it just might become a habit, because tiels LOVE youtube, and they are so very intelligent, if you play the youtube at a certain time of day, they will remember. And the following day, don't be surprised if Louie starts making more chatter, whistles, etc., because that's the signal that he wants to hear the tiels on youtube!

    And finally, "Louie" is sure a beautiful and handsome lutino!! You sure did a great job choosing him to be your "pal"!!
    Last edited by maxollie; 08-11-2012 at 05:59 PM.

  11. #11
    Breeding clawnz's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    You are doing fine.
    The Lutino's are hard to sex by visual appearance.
    The wing spots you are looking for are hard to see, you have to hold the wing up to a strong light I understand.
    And I take it Louie is a young bird and under 8mths old will still have his junior feathering.
    The only way to be sure is have a DNA test done on him. It is a simple task to pluck two feathers from his chest and send them off. Search online to see who does this testing in your country. Costs are around the $20/$25 dollars.
    Could you up load a picture of him? You will need to have a online photo album to load up to then post a link here.

    With the spray you just need to be careful not to get it in their eyes. You could of left it to the vet.
    *****************A Night Shot************

    Henry-Zinny-Snowy-Dexter-Mango-Max-Angel-Tinkerbell

  12. #12
    Brand New Egg JacklynMM110's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Hello, all!
    It has been a while since I have written. Sad update...My poor Louie passed on just a few days after getting him. When I took him back to the pet store, I found out that apparently Louie was one of many sick birds that they were obviously not taking care of. I suppose that because I had no knowledge of what was typical behavior, I could not tell how sick he truly was. It was a very sad day, but I learned to be incredibly selective about purchasing a bird. I will never purchase from a pet store again.

    On a happy note, after Louie passed, I found a breeder about two hours from my home, and welcomed home Rudy. He is a Cinnamon color mutation and seems to be doing very well. He is playful, funny, and affectionate. He's even visited my classroom and LOVES seeing and playing with the kids.

  13. #13
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Sorry to hear about your baby. Yes, pet stores often get birds from mills and it is horrible that they don't take better care of them. Fly free sweet Louie.

    Glad you opened your home to a new tiel and look forward to hearing more / seeing pics of Rudy.

  14. #14
    Breeding clawnz's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JacklynMM110 View Post
    Hello, all!
    It has been a while since I have written. Sad update...My poor Louie passed on just a few days after getting him. When I took him back to the pet store, I found out that apparently Louie was one of many sick birds that they were obviously not taking care of. I suppose that because I had no knowledge of what was typical behavior, I could not tell how sick he truly was. It was a very sad day, but I learned to be incredibly selective about purchasing a bird. I will never purchase from a pet store again.

    On a happy note, after Louie passed, I found a breeder about two hours from my home, and welcomed home Rudy. He is a Cinnamon color mutation and seems to be doing very well. He is playful, funny, and affectionate. He's even visited my classroom and LOVES seeing and playing with the kids.
    Please accept my condolences poor Louie. Fly free little one.
    Welcome Rudy
    *****************A Night Shot************

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  15. #15
    Has Grown Children maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: New 'tiel owner... Please help!!

    I'm so very sorry that you lost Louie. No matter how long you had him, it always is very sad to say goodbye to them. I'm happy for you that you found a breeder and now have Rudy. Sounds like he is doing fine, even visiting your classroom. I hope to see pics of Rudy some time when he has gotten more used to his environment.

    Fly High and Free, Louie! Over the Rainbow Bridge! Rest in Peace!

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