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Thread: Female Cockateil

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    Female Cockateil

    I brought home a hand fed female 2 days ago.
    She always wants to stay out of her cage. This I can deal with, the problem is she isn't warming up to me at all.
    I know it takes time but there has been no progress.
    Does anybody have any advice for me?

    Also, when she goes all skinny because of a noise I see what looks like an egg in her belly. Is that really an egg or I'm just seeing things?

    I want to bond with her as quickly as possible. She's extremely cute. Sorry about the long post. Please help me out

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    Hi! Welcome to the forum.
    Put her in the cage and leave her in there.
    Skinny bird says she is on edge or afraid of the situation.
    She will not want to go back in the cage, until she feels safe to do so.
    You need to start right back at the beginning.
    She needs time to adjust, her world has been turned upside down. And it takes time for her to adjust.
    Be very calm around her this will help, as she will pick up on your vibs. If she shows any sign she wants something be there for her. Do not push her. Let her set the pace.
    Sit beside her cage and talk read to her let her know you are a friend and there to help her, feed her and keep her safe.
    This may take a few days. (it depends on you and the bird) It could take longer. If you find she comes to your side of the cage you can try offering treats through the bars.
    Only open the cage to service it if or when you have to. Keep all movements to a slow pace. Never from above. come to her at her chest height or lower.
    Later will be when you let her out of the cage. At that time open the door and let her come out on her own. And as I take it she is flighted watch for accidents as she will take flight in fear right now. Panic flight is dangerous.
    Here is a link Bringing Your Bird Home. It may help you. Also start reading up on Positive Reinforcement Training.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbhh...ature=youtu.be

    Key word for you right now. Patience.

    The lump I suspect is food in her crop.

    I am sure if you take it easy she will come right. Remember any mistakes by you now could have repercussions and take ages to over come.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    I'll try to be as careful as possible.
    She likes to be out all the time, should I directly lock her in altogether? Won't that depress her?

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    I understand what you say. But I would keep her in her cage for now. Or if you have a small room you could take her in there with the cage and see what happens. As long as you are not going to stress her out getting her back in the cage, then you could consider letting her explore. Still feel it better to leave her to settle first.
    Keeping her in the cage and letting her get used to it will not set you back any. And to be honest, if she is hand tame, this will not be for that many days at a guess.
    When she is out you need her relaxed and happy to come to you or at least step up when asked.
    The skinny Bird description worries me as it means she is not comfortable with the situation. When they are relaxed they can look like they are a little puffed up.
    You have not said how her crest is. This can tell you a lot about how she feels.
    http://www.biseinen.com/shango/tielbodylanguage.html

    It is difficult for me to be precise as I am not there reading the situation. And I would need to see body language to give you a clear picture of how I would go forward.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    She's got fluffed up at almost any time of the day, even when outside. She doesn't seem to be afraid of hands, but doesn't trust me with picking her up. I have read everything I could about crest. It is normal, slightly bent backwards.

    Taking her out thrice a day for half hour. Would this be a proper way to approach?

    Update: I just noticed she ate a lot of food since she had hardly eaten the past two days. I hope she feels better.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    Hi, and welcome to the community. How old is your baby tiel, and did you get her from a Pet Shop or from a private breeder. I ask that question, because if your little baby is not at least 12 weeks old, then you need to be sure she is getting enough seeds, because most likely she has not been trained to eat seeds, and may need some baby bird food supplement to keep her growing. I would suggest you get a food scale and weigh her every single day. Early morning, before you feed her is a good time for weighing. Also, I would give her some "millet" which you can get at your local pet store. Millet is on a stock/sprig, and I would break one in half and offer it to her. You can hang it in the cage until she is more familiar with her surroundings, and then you can reach your hand out to hear with the millet and see if she will eat some off the sprig. Are you feeding seeds or pellets or both? If you are feeding pellets, my recommendation is to limit the pellets to "very few", and mix them with a good seed mix. I would not feed any more than 10% of pellets to her seed mix. Personally, I do not feed pellets to my birds. I prefer natural foods like seeds, fresh veggies, fresh fruits, whole wheat bread pieces, dry cereals that are not full of sugar such as grapenuts, cherrios, oatmeal, quinoa, rice krispies, to name a few. You also need to watch her water intake to be sure she is getting enough water.

    When you speak of the lump on her chest, I agree with Clive that most likely is her little crop. To me, that signals that she is very young, perhaps not the 12 weeks old that I spoke of above. Generally, breeders do not let their birds go to homes unless they are at least 12 weeks old. Some of them keep the birds longer. It is very stressful for a baby bird to have to leave its parents and its environment. I always put myself in the place of the bird, thinking how lost I would be if I had to leave my siblings, other bird friends, parents, etc. to live with a human person.

    Yes, I would just let her adjust to her cage for now. If you leave the cage door open, she will decide on her own when to come out of cage. That may take a few days. Do not force her out. And I totally agree, that if you let her fly free, it is very important that you do not have hanging mirrors on the wall, or anything that she can hurt herself, such as electrical cords, or electrical appliance cords like a microwave, or kitchen appliance. She could get electrocuted.

    As to a question that most likely will be asked, I will address wing clipping. I would never clip my birds wings, because if they are not clipped properly, the bird may never grow them back, and then your bird has lost its freedom to fly for life. Also, wing clipping takes away the heart and soul of a little bird, because they were created to fly. I would go to Youtube and search for "Clicker Training", as well as training a cockatiel. There are some great videos there, and you can see how people train their birds that are fully flighted. You do not want your bird to not be able to fly. If they are not clipped properly, they will fall on their face and fall when they try to fly. If you are letting her fly free, then be sure the windows have blinds that you can close, or curtains that will help her to break her fall if she does fly into windows. Personally, I would take her in a small room of your home to train her before I let her fly all over your home. Birds can be injured while out of cage flying. I have read of some that had severe injuries, because if they hit a wall or any object very hard it can hurt them internally, and even cause death!

    And finally, I would consider taking her to an Avian Vet or other Vet for a baby check up as soon as possible. That way, you can have her evaluated and establish a relationship with a Vet should you need one. Baby birds can starve to death very fast, even when they are eating seeds. So, I would suggest using that scale every day, as well as having her evaluated at a Vet and having any questions asked and answered, would make your experience and journey with her much more peaceful.

    The small amount of money you may need to spend, will be well worth the peace of mind you will have to move forward with her.

    We love pics so do post some of her when she is more familiar with her surroundings. Sit with her each day, and even sit by her cage, talk to her and eat a snack so that she will see you eating. She then will most probably eat some seed herself. And get some fresh green veggies like leaf lettuce, broccoli, kale, fresh sweet corn, etc. etc. Chop all of them up very fine, and put some in a separate food cup, or on a plate on the cage floor. I would not mix then in her regular seed cup, but you could mix a few seeds in with the mix. Fresh veggies and fruits must not be left in the cage any longer than 2 hours, because of the possibility of them going rancid and then making a bird sick. You also need a cuttle bone (you can get one at a Pet Shop), a mineral block, and I would consider taking a fresh hen egg, boiling it, and then crushing the boiled shell and put some in her seed mix, each day. Female cockatiels need lots of calcium. And if you are not feeding pellets, I would suggest getting a bottle of birdy vitamins at your local pet store, and putting a couple of drops of the vitamin in her seed cup once a week. I would not put them in the water. Even though the bottle might say to do so, I do not recommend that because the water can go rancid with them in it and also make her sick.

    Good Luck! I hope to see you on the forum often!
    Last edited by maxollie; 04-11-2015 at 10:24 AM.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    Okay I'll carefully follow these.
    But the problem, as I said earlier, is that she never wants to stay inside the cage, she always wants to be out. I described the details in previous comment/post.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    I did read and understand about her not wanting to be in the cage.
    But it has to become a safe place for her.
    And she needs to learn that she cannot always be out and about.
    Set limits now, as later this can become a problem.

    Could there be any reason she does not feel safe in the cage or is it just that she wants to be with you. I doubt it is the last reason as yet.
    I am wondering if she knows about cages.
    How big is her cage. Too Large. Too small. Overcrowded. Location.

    And when I say fluffed up I do not mean like a sick bird. It is a relaxed bird that should look more round than a bird on edge and has its feathers pulled in tight. (skinny you said).

    It is common for them to not eat those first few days, if not sure of what is going on. And another indication she has been uncomfortable.
    Please let her settle in the cage. Or a small room somewhere where she can fly around, but have her cage there.
    Another point is only feed her in her cage. Place all foods in there, then later she will want to go there to eat.
    Later: Not now.
    Let her come out of the cage on her own. Do not take her out.
    Your main goal at the moment is to form a bond with her, this will pay dividends later.

    Maxollie added some good comments to mine.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    I also would ask how big is the cage? One thought I have is for you to take a nice white towel or sheet and cover the cage three sides with the front uncovered for a short period of time. I have found that covering the cage makes a bird more secure and not so afraid when they first come home. Also, since you said your bird has been hand fed, it also most probably is a case that he/she was also socialized (held and fed quite frequently), and she wants to be right on your body, or close by. You really need to work with her immediately to stop this behavior. If you do not try to stop it, then you are going to have one very clingy bird who will display all kinds of behavior to get his/her way to be with you out of cage all of the time. And that simply is not healthy or possible for her. You will need to nip that desire in the bud very quickly. Give her some treat, toy, or food in her cage to focus her attention on. And I would suggest you do not put a mirror in her cage either. A swing would be fine, although I have found tiels are not into swings as much as smaller birds like budgies or lovebirds. The cage should be at least 20 wide/ 20 long/ and 30 high (inches). They need plenty of room to spread their wings and move around the cage.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    The cage is very big. I have put in 3 toys so far, nothing that might scare her though. I also have been covering the cage from 3 sides.
    The reason I have been taking her out is that the store asked me to. They said if you don't she will revert to her wild behavior and will become scared of human hands.

    So I should just let her be in the cage for now all the time?
    For how many days should I not let her out?

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    Let her adjust to you and her home.
    Again you are the only one who can tell when to let her out.
    She will not revert to wild if she was hand tame, so don't worry.
    What you are looking at is not freaking her out in any way. Be calm and let her set the pace. You will be fine, so will she.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    Okay.
    Thanks guys

    Update: She hasn't asked to be taken out since this morning. Has eaten well. Stopped lying at the bottom of cage. Started playing with one toy out of 2.

    I guess this is a good sign? I'm talking to her in a calm voice sitting near her cage. How many days should I do this for? And what should be my next couple of steps towards bonding?

    You guys have been very helpful. Thank you everyone!
    Last edited by boobootiel; 04-12-2015 at 12:00 AM.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    I don't know why she would be lying at the bottom of the cage. That definitely concerns me. How long was she lying on the cage floor. I had mentioned and asked how old she is? Did the Pet Shop folks give you any information about her at all? How old she is? How long they had her in the Pet Shop, her history as far as illness, or any other information about the breeder?

    Now that you have shared she is lying on the cage floor, I am concerned she might be an older tiel, rather than a baby tiel. I have known pet shops to sell older birds and not inform you the bird is not a baby or young bird. You had mentioned you thought you saw an egg in her tummy, and now with you saying that she was lying on the cage floor, that often times is the behavior of hens who are going to lay an egg. And if a hen is egg bound, and cannot lay the egg, she will die. So I really feel you need to take her to a Vet for an evaluation check-up.

    I agree with Clive, that a hand fed female should not have any problems of being afraid of you if she is kept in her cage for a short while. However, ALL birds are afraid of "hands", especially when you bring them home, so that statement that was given to you, by the store clerk, in my view, is not accurate. If you were not told her age, then in my view, you need to call the Pet Shop and find out. Sadly, on occasion, Pet Shops bring in bird stock, and cannot sell it immediately, and the birds have to stay in the Pet Shop for sometimes months at a time. Further, often times they just sort of skirt over any questions you have and do not give accurate answers.

    I share this information with you because I purchased a cockatiel hen at a Pet Shop several years ago, and was told it was a baby tiel. Fast forward only 3 months, and she started laying eggs. If she were a baby, she would only have been about 5 months old at the time, and would have been too young to lay eggs. Sadly, Pet Shops have one goal and that is to sell their bird stock.

    I would watch her very carefully and if you see her back on the cage floor, you will need to pick her up (she might try to bite you, but you need to look on her underside and see if you can see or feel an egg inside of her (close to where she poops). If you feel any hardness (like an egg) in there, then you need to get her to a Vet right away.

    As to bringing her out of her cage, you can do so whenever you chose. I would not set a limit on days she has to remain in the cage. Perhaps bring her out for a max of an hour, and then put her back in. You can use a small perch, or a wood dowel to have her step up to bring her out of the cage if you are concerned of her biting you.

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    There are no avian vets in my city. There are only people who know a lot about birds. I have confirmed her age is below 12 months. She was lying at the bottom for the first 2 days when she didn't wanna be in the cage. Now that she likes being inside, she goes to the floor only to eat.
    I did take her to the pet store to see if she is sick, they said she is feeling a little weak and they gave me vitamin drops that I'm supposed to add to her food.
    In case she does have an egg inside her, what do I do?

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    Re: Female Cockateil

    Are there any regular vets in your City? And how did you confirm her age to be 12 months? I am disappointed that your pet store even confirmed that she seems "a little weak", but did not offer to direct you to a regular Vet, if you don't have any Avian Vets in your area. When a little bird is "feeling weak", that is a big red flag, in my own opinion. And who determined your bird is a female? Could you please post some pictures of your bird for us so we can take a look at them. Generally, cockatiels as young as 12 months old are not easy to tell the sex. Normally, a bird will never lie in the bottom of a cage when it is healthy. It may sit on the perch and be very quiet and even scared of hands and the environment, but in my view would not be lying on the bottom of the cage. I've homed birds for many, many years, and have never experienced this behavior with any of mine.

    The only way to determine if there is an egg inside of her is to find a bird owner or a person who you say"knows alot about birds", and have them take a look at her. I still stand by my opinion that she needs to be seen by a Vet ASAP! With the store clerks saying she is "weak", that really is disheartening for me!

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