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Thread: Struggling to tame cockatiel

  1. #1
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    Hayley
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    Struggling to tame cockatiel

    I've had my beautiful Bessie for just over a year now.She was very scared and shy when I first got her but this has improved as time has gone by.I've been trying very hard to bond with her and get her tame but she just doesn't seem interested.She will occasionally go on my hand but it still very nervous and flies away after a few seconds despite my constant praise.More often than not, I get bitten and I don't want to push it too much as I don't want to make her more frightened than she already is.I've had a cockatiel before and she was very tame and loving and I guess I thought I could tame Bessie too.Does anyone have any techniques or ideas for how I can improve my relationship with my beautiful Bessie.Thank you

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    Re: Struggling to tame cockatiel

    Hi, Haley, and welcome to the community! Welcome to Bessie too! Could you share with us where you got Bessie? A pet shop, or on-line ad, or perhaps a breeder? Or perhaps you got her from a rescue.

    Personally, I have found that all cockatiels have their own personality and some will be shy, like Bessie. Further, some are hand fed, whereas others are "parent" fed. And sometimes a bird is bullied by other birds while in the aviary or in the pet shop. By bullying, I mean not being allowed to eat in the food cup because another bird will push that bird out of the way. Or being chased by older birds. I've had budgies that are very shy and afraid.

    I got my little budgie, Muffin from a Pet Shop here in the USA. it was apparent that Muffin was bullied, because he was simply scared of everything when I got him. I've homed budgies for many years, and never had one quite like Muffin. He was afraid to eat out of his seed cup, and definitely did not want me to touch him. He was afraid of dark colored objects or blankets/throw covers. It took a very long time for Muffin to finally open up and be a normal bird. I've had him three years now. And he is the most happy little budgie. He talks and sings and mimics the words and sounds my cockatiel makes. He loves his swing and his mirror girlfriends, and he LOVES to eat and he LOVES life living with me and Sunny (my cockatiel).

    I would suggest you go to Youtube (not sure if you have Youtube on your computer in the UK), and search for "training a cockatiel". There are some great videos you can see, and perhaps get some ideas on how to train her.

    Single cockateil hens can be prone to being chronic egg layers (laying eggs every month-6 weeks, rather than seasonal a couple of times a year), so it is not a good idea to touch a hen in the body area. You can always give scritches on the top of the head, but try not to touch other places, because that can make them hormonal. And that causes the hen to lay eggs.

    One suggestion I have is for you to get some millet sprigs. Give Bessie the command to step up, either on your finger, or a wooden dowel. When she obeys you, then hold out a millet sprig (in one hand) toward her and let her eat some of the millet off the sprig. If she does not step up, then do not offer her the millet. I feel that little trainings like this one is going to get Bessie more used to you, and will take some of that fear away.

    Patience and time are on your side. I've known of little tiels like my Muffin (budgie), who took a long time to finally get over being frightened. But once they did so, they were the most gentle and loving birds imaginable.

    I hope you will post some pics of Bessie for us one day soon. Hope to see you around the forum!

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    Re: Struggling to tame cockatiel

    Some birds are more friendly than others. I have had mixed success with taming them. Some birds also will never be very friendly. If the bird bites you, may not be able to tame that bird at all. These small birds can bite a lot harder than they appear to be able to. They draw blood. You would have better succetrying to tame a new bird than one that takes a long time with very little success.

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    Re: Struggling to tame cockatiel

    Thanks everyone for your replies.I got Bessie from a pet shop, as I have all my birds.I've tried all the ideas suggested and will persist with them but I have a feeling this Bird of mine is going to be a tough nut to crack.Having had birds all my life, I know what I should and shouldn't do but sometimes it can be quite frustrating when you don't feel as if you are getting anywhere.I will continue to try and bond with her and Hope for slow but sure progress. I will keep you posted on how I get on.
    Thanks again everyone
    Hayley

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    Re: Struggling to tame cockatiel

    Hi Hayley & Bessie. The only thing I can think of to add is to watch her very closely, see what she reacts positively to and work out what she reacts badly to. Once you have a better understanding of what makes Bessie "tick" then you can use that information to build a better bond. For example if she shies away from loud noises, then when you are trying to bond with her, make sure you always use a soft voice.

    I would try bribery - like the millet sprays and have regular sessions when you let her out of her cage and place some millet sprigs around you, just a few little ones that won't take long to eat. Have some a couple of feet away from you, then some closer and then perhaps a couple on your lap or in your hand. This way if she wants to get all the treats she will have to get closer and closer to you. If you were to do this ritual every night, then I'm sure she will make good progress.

    Good luck.
    The family:
    Dogs: Saba - Border Collie Cross Australian Cattle Dog & Jet - Black Labrador cross
    Cat: Pizzicato
    Tiels - 30+: Anubis, Anice, Azores, Beccles, Datoli, Fyfe, Gandalf, Ghia, Giotti, Graphite, Halo, Icarus, Io, Jin, Kadia, Kahmu, Kobe, Leukos, Merlin, Mochachino, Mizar, Mykonos, Nemesis, Nimbus, Olias, Orion, Paleides, Patmos, Pegasus, Rhodos, Sauvignon, Valentino, Willow plus we usually have some chicks ...
    Alexandrines: Elixir & Harlequin, Zhed
    African Greys: Georgie & Ptoli
    Hubby: Alan

    http://www.harlequinaviaries.com


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