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Thread: Please help with squealing baby tiel

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    Proud Birdie Momma Brand New Egg bbraven's Avatar
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    Please help with squealing baby tiel

    Hey all. It's been years since I posted here, but this has always been a helpful place, so I figured you folks might be able to help me out.
    I recently got a new tiel, a three month old whiteface female that we've named Izzy. (my beloved Stoli passed at 13, and I needed a new feathered friend) So, she's beautiful and adorable. She's taken to pellet and veggies, and she loves to be loved. She's already picking up commands. She's sweet, but there's a problem...

    She makes this squealing noise that is freaking me, my husband, and even my cat out. I've read that babies basically only know the "wee-ooo" to locate their flock, and the low skrreee noise that means "I need something." Well, that's what she does all the time. Her body language says she's happy, but that sound.. How do we get her to make other sounds? In adults I've only heard that sound when they're frustrated or in pain, so it's freaking me out. Tonight she just kept doing it, it went on for a long time. I was petting the cat, and Izzy leaned against the bars of her cage and was just making that skkkrreeee sound. Not loud, just pitiful. I tried petting her and the cat at the same time, but she kept doing it. She does it when she's eating, when she's getting petted, just for everything. She can have the body language that shows happiness and make that sound. She'll eat her favorite food and make that sound. What can we do? Will she grow out of it on her own, or do we need to teach her sounds? If so, how? We've never experienced this before, so we're at a loss. All my other birds knew lots of sounds by the time I got them.

    Thank you for any help you can offer.



    (BTW, I can record her, but I don't know the best way to add video here.)
    Last edited by bbraven; 07-21-2019 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Edited to add photo
    Briana Blair
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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Please help with squealing baby tiel

    Hi, and welcome back. Congrats on bringing Izzy into your home! I love that name! The sounds you here are what I call baby sounds. If you were to go to an aviary where new babies are with their parents, you would hear that sound all of the time. Izzy is still a baby, really, so she has not quite taken a step toward giving up that sound. Since she is eating, and drinking, it is not because she is hungry. It could very well be she is liking the attention you are giving her, and wants you to constantly be in contact with her, as her mom and dad did, but, your best response is to ignore her, if she is well fed, and you have provided her with some one on one time. It is best to ignore her, because you do not want her to have separation anxiety from you as she gets older. That problem is very difficult to deal with, because they constantly flock call you, when you are out of the room, and do not want to play on their own. Right now is the time for you to nip that problem in the bud.

    Try giving her a new toy of some kind. Have a few toys, and change them out, periodically, so she can play with a different one. When she is out of cage, set a time limit for her to be out. I think 1-2 hours max a day is a good time.

    It will not be easy to have to ignore her, but she will learn to accept that. Cockatiels, as you know, are very intelligent. Try giving her a new treat now and then as well. We will watch for your updates. Do not lose heart. Time and patience are on your side.
    Last edited by maxollie; 07-21-2019 at 04:39 PM.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Please help with squealing baby tiel

    Another thought I have today, is that if she was hand fed by the breeder, that too could be causing her to squee more, because baby birds that are plucked from the nest and are fed, and socialised, get very used to human touch, and think they need to be touched or held all the time. So my suggestions above would also apply to that situation as well.

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    Proud Birdie Momma Brand New Egg bbraven's Avatar
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    Re: Please help with squealing baby tiel

    Thank you for the welcome back.
    We named her Izzy, kind of after Eddie Izzard, since the shop wasn't 100% sure she's female, and well, Eddie's kinda fluid that way.

    Everything about her seems great except the sound. I've never had one so young before, so this was new to me. She was hand fed at the shop, and they let customers handle the birds, so I guess she was really used to that. Here we give her a little out time when we first uncover her, then she comes to the table with us at mealtime, and she gets a bit more play time in the evening. It's really hard getting her back into the cage, so you may be right that she just wants it too much.

    I've made her a variety of toys and I made a YouTube playlist of cockatiels singing and people whistling songs, I figure that may encourage her to make other sounds. It's good to know that this should stop on its own. Thank you for responding. I've been searching the internet and didn't find a lot of useful information on the topic.
    Briana Blair
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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Please help with squealing baby tiel

    I would say the handfeeding and all the attention she had most likely caused her to crave the attention, but that is OK! She will grow out of it. I can sense your love for her, and love makes all the difference in our friendship with them. With your prior experience, with StoIi,you will find a way to prevent her from getting the separation anxiety I mentioned. Having a 13 year old, tells me you were an awesome caregiver to have him so long. It had to be very sad to lose him! Rest in peace, Stoli!

    I am sorry, if I sounded rather matter of fact in ignoring her. I did not mean that in an unkind way. I can surely understand better, now that you posted above. She no doubt misses the birdies and the environment of the pet shop, and any friends she made there too. Cocatiels do love music. My male, Penny really gets upset if he doesn't get to hear classical music on the radio, every afternoon. He is not much into TV, especially male voices. He is 1 1\2 years old.

    We will welcome your updates anytime. Thank you for your post.

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    Proud Birdie Momma Brand New Egg bbraven's Avatar
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    Re: Please help with squealing baby tiel

    I do love Izzy already, she's a wonderful little bird. She started trying to peep and beep last night, so we have hope. She's already picking up commands too, which is wonderful and cute.
    Stoli was so dear to us, it was heartbreaking when we found he'd passed in the night. It was such a shock. We'd recently taken video of him (https://photos.app.goo.gl/rD8TBvWGJjfBjwVT6) and he seemed so happy. I guess it was just his time.

    I didn't think you were unkind, I understand. It's always hard when you have to teach them not to want you every minute.
    Izzy doesn't seem to care much about music yet, but I'm sure she'll develop likes and dislikes in time. Stoli would dance and sing every time he heard "Dead but Rising" by Volbeat. I wonder if she'll like that too.
    Briana Blair
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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Please help with squealing baby tiel

    You will find that most females do not speak words, talk, or whistle. They do make cheeping sounds, and love music, but you may not see her dance. As she gets older, you will see her doing nesting rituals, and they are by nature, always thinking of eggs, babies, mating if she had a mate, and being a "mom"! I would suggest that you refrain from touching her under wings and body, but give her head scritches instead, because touching hens tends to get hormonal behavior started at about 9 months to 12 months of age, and single hens can lay eggs without any male in the home at all. Single hen egg laying can be very challenging, because they can become chronic egg layers, and that means laying eggs all of the time. It can compromise their health.

    Be sure to give her plenty of cuttlebone. You can even crush some and mix with her seeds. That will keep her calcium levels in good shape, should she lay eggs in the future. Also, fresh green veggies, especially kale, have good calcium content.

    In the past, I did have a hen, Oliie, who became a chronic egg layer. Hens really feel our love for them, and I think that strong bond we have with them makes them want to lay eggs, because they consider us to be their mate.

    I sm thinking if you begin not touching her now, that may prevent the egg laying. However that is not a 100% given, just a hope on my part.

    We will welcome your updates anytime.

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