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Thread: Baby hand-raised but extremely timmid tiel - advice needed

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    Baby hand-raised but extremely timmid tiel - advice needed

    Hi all,

    About a week ago I purchased a 12-week-old cockatiel. The bird has been hand-raised and hand-fed, and while in the breeder's shop, I was able to handle and hold the bird with absolutely no problems. However, since I brought him home, he hasn't gone anywhere near my hand. He will sometimes take treats through the bars, but as soon as I put my hand in the cage, he puffs up and hisses. I've previously owned 2 hand-reered birds and I've never come across one this timmid before! There's no biting, so far, but he just either backs away from me or goes down to the floor of the cage and will not move until I remove my hand! If anyone has any advice about how to show him that I mean him no harm and just want him to step up and trust me, I'd be very grateful.
    Many thanks

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    Re: Baby hand-raised but extremely timmid tiel - advice needed

    Hi!

    I am / was in a similar boat to you. My Ghost was partially hand-raised and was not shy around the breeder, but once I brought her home she was more skittish and hissed at me when I moved too fast for her taste. Be patient with your new baby! Ghost eventually came around on her own and started taking treats from my hand, happily waiting by the cage door. Your new bird might just be put-off by the new enviroment and new people. Each bird is different.

    My advice is sitting by the cage every day, softly talking to him. If he seems comfortable with that, gently place your hand onto the cage and keep it there until he ignores it. Then eventually you can start offering him his favorite treat. Just be slow, and he'll become your friend in no time Don't be detered by the hissiness, but acknowledge the message your bird is giving you with it.
    Last edited by Dragonsworn; 08-28-2017 at 08:09 PM.

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    Re: Baby hand-raised but extremely timmid tiel - advice needed

    Hi' Louise and welcome to the community. Loki gave you great information. Was your new baby dna tested. From what you write, my thought is you could have a girl. Females do tend to hiss more than males, and are more docile.

    Time and patience are on your side. Each day he or she will be more secure in your home, and feel safe with you. Get some millet sprigs at the petshop, and hang one in the cage. Also, in a week or so' try letting him eat off the top of a millet sprig. Also offer some fresh green leaf lettuce, chopped or shredded, and frozen veggies. Put some of this mix on a plate, sprinkle some of her seeds over the top, and place the plate on the cage floor. Also, take some of this mix, and put in a seed cup. Also, offer some fresh apple slices.

    Each day you will see progress. Do not lose heart. Soon, you two will be best friends. We will look forward to pics when she is settled in.

    .

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    Re: Baby hand-raised but extremely timmid tiel - advice needed

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    Hi' Louise and welcome to the community. Loki gave you great information. Was your new baby dna tested. From what you write, my thought is you could have a girl. Females do tend to hiss more than males, and are more docile.

    Time and patience are on your side. Each day he or she will be more secure in your home, and feel safe with you. Get some millet sprigs at the petshop, and hang one in the cage. Also, in a week or so' try letting him eat off the top of a millet sprig. Also offer some fresh green leaf lettuce, chopped or shredded, and frozen veggies. Put some of this mix on a plate, sprinkle some of her seeds over the top, and place the plate on the cage floor. Also, take some of this mix, and put in a seed cup. Also, offer some fresh apple slices.

    Each day you will see progress. Do not lose heart. Soon, you two will be best friends. We will look forward to pics when she is settled in.

    .

    Hi Ellen, and Loki.
    Thank you for this advice. I have tried offering apple but as yet he won't take it. The guy at the pet shop seems fairly confident he is a male. He will eat off a millet sprig through the bars and through the open door, but nothing else. I will try the vegies and spinach etc, but can you tell me if there is any vegetable that is toxic to cockatiels? The frozen veg here in the UK mostly comprises green beans, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, broccoli and cauliflower. Are these all considered safe? Just as a matter of interest, why frozen vegies?
    Many thanks
    Louise.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Baby hand-raised but extremely timmid tiel - advice needed

    Hi, Louise. For a list of all foods you can feed, and foods to never feed him, go to a website called Cockatiel Cottage. That is a credible website with tons of other information about cockatiels as well. I believe all of the frozen veggies you mentioned are safe. Cockatiels really are not much into fruits, but love the veggies. But keep trying fruits too. It is a goal to keep feeding fresh veggies every day, beginning with a small amount. They do not immediately eat them, and it takes patience and time for them to get used to eating them. When he does find one he likes',keep feeding it. He will develop a taste for favorites, over time. Some folks make a birdy mash. Google search the following..birdy mash recipes for cockatiels. Also, search for...birdy bread recipes for cockatiels. Fresh veggies of course are preferred. But frozen will work as well, be ause they are flash frozen fresh with no additional additives.

    The key is to feed each day, even if they do not eat them. Fresh veggies and fruits should not be left in the cage longer than 2-3 hours max. Time and patience will win for you.

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    Re: Baby hand-raised but extremely timmid tiel - advice needed

    Progress

    On Friday evening, my tiel managed to step on me while enjoying a sprig of millet from my hand, and stood on me for above a minute, the same thing happened yesterday, but today he seems to have gone back to his old routine and hits the floor every time I go near him. He hasn't yet come out of the cage. I think getting him out of the cage is going to be quite a gradual process ... I've never met such a timmid bird! I'm trying him with vegies as suggested and so far, nothing. But I'll keep persevering. I think, though, that the millet sticks are going to remain my main training tool until I manage to persuade him that I'm not a bad presence in his life! I don't know, though, whether to offer him the millet while he's on the floor, as it could be seen to encourage him to stay down there and not step up on me.

    The other thing of slight concern is his complete lack of interest in toys. I've put a couple of different toys in his cage for him to explore and again, nothing. Is this normal? I keep reading that birds need lots of stimulation and my last cockatiel absolutely loved her toys, and so does my budgie (especially if it involves a bell and makes lots of noise!) Is there anything I can do to encourage play?

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    Re: Baby hand-raised but extremely timmid tiel - advice needed

    Every bird has its own personality, Ihave had cockatiels that like their toys, and some that did not care for them at all. I think it is a good idea to start with one or two toys, and see if he will decide to play with them. You can always change them out for others you have on hand. It is still early as yet, since he is still settling in.

    I think he is trusting you more each day. The millet is indeed a great training tool. For now, you can use it in any way you can find to encourage him to interact with you. The same goes for the fresh foods. It takes a period of time to encourage them to eat those, so just take a day at a time.

    In another few weeks he could be acting the life of a loud and attention getting little guy. Check out Youtube for training tips, and also for tips on feeding. Search...cockatiel training. And...cockatiels eating their fruits and veggies.

    He definitely is improving. Keep up the great work you are doing. We will welcome updates any time.

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