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Go Back   Talk Cockatiels Forums > Cockatiels > Training and Bonding

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Training and Bonding Give and recieve tips on training and bonding with your cockatiel here.

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  #1  
Old 01-05-2017, 10:38 PM
frozengirl frozengirl is offline
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Question Mark Okay to train an untamed cockatiel?

Hello,

I read somewhere that you should not train your cockatiel until they have bonded to you and became tame. Is this true?

I taught my re-homed cockatiel to target a stick for a treat but now I am wondering if it is still okay to do that with him? He seems happy to do it.

He eats from my hand but wont step up. He doesn't trust me enough yet.

Also , I noticed he is a bit cranky an hour before I put him to bed. Is this normal male cockatiel behaviour? I went to give him some millet before bed (Just a little bit to remind him i'm his friend) and when i took the millet away he beaked his perch then made an angry noise and also beaked his foot. Disturbing. I decided to stop interacting with him an hour before bed or later because of this.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:43 PM
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Also, since he is a 2 1/2 year old rehomed cockatiel, will he ever trust humans ? Is him eating from my hand a good sign he will become tame or no? I am curious if its even possible to get him to bond with me , as someone mentioned to me on another forum that unless a cockatiel was hand raised by humans they will not bond with people. I do not know much about his past except for he was with a mate for 1 year until the person sold them both to the petstore. The pet store then sold the female 3 months ago. I met my cockatiel Pablo in the pet store 6 weeks ago. So the pet store told me they sold his mate off. He looked lonely and sweet so I took him in.

Last edited by frozengirl; 01-05-2017 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:44 PM
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Default Okay to train an untamed cockatiel?

You should tame him first, so he isn't so stressed.

That's great you Taught him that. That can help with hand taming.

My cockatiel Elvis is like that. My tiel doesn't like bed time, so he throws a fit!

He will trust humans.
That is a sign he is starting to trust you.
Hand raised birds bond quicker. I've had 2 birds that weren't hand raised, and they bonded to me. And my other 4 birds were hand raised but only 2 bonded with me. It only depends on how much time you spend with the bird.


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Old 01-06-2017, 02:07 AM
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I think personality of the bird, and how much time the owner is willing to invest, is what for the most part makes for a tamed/bonded bird.
And him eating millet from your hand seems like a good sign!

It is ridiculous to say that only handfed birds can and will become tame and bonded. It often makes it easier, as they are used to be around and be to handled by humans. That doesn't mean a bird must be handfed for this, though.
Puck is the sweetest bird and the biggest cuddlebug I have encountered in birdshape so far. He was not handfed (this is illegal in the Netherlands, unless the parents have cast off the chick. So emergency-save-the-chick-from-starvation only). But he was handled by his breeder every day, from the moment he hatched, and this lady invested a lot of time handtaming all of the chicks. (she only had one or two breeding pairs at a time to be able to spend enough time on all the chicks)

A friend of mine has a lovebird that was handfed/raised, because his parents refused to feed him. Although Bobby doesn't bite, he really only lets his owner and his owner's boyfriend give him scritches, and usually through the cage bars only. His owner commented on how incredibly tame Puck is. I think Puck may just have a more mellow character
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:04 AM
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Whoever told you that has no clue what they are talking about. My father in law doesn't hand feed his baby tiels and the ones that my husband and his brothers handled all the time are very nice birds and very tame. Consistency is key in taming. Target training is a good way to tame so I would continue doing it.

I'd also like to point out that behavior/disposition is inherited. If the parents were sweet, the babies are more likely to be sweet, hand fed or no. I didn't hand feed my babies and I had one pair that gave me the absolute sweetest little girl. I had another pair whose babies I handled the exact same amount of time, but the parents were not very nice and it showed in the babies. And it's also important to remember that not all birds are going to ever fully accept hands. They may step up but they may never accept scratches. Just keep that in mind when you're working on taming.

As to the fit before bed. You took the millet away. He's not going to understand that and if you do that every night, he's going to start associating that with bedtime. Why are you taking it away? I'd leave it in the cage and see if he doesn't react better to bedtime with getting to keep the millet. If the piece is too big, you can cut it smaller so he doesn't get as much but also doesn't see you taking it away from him either.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:01 PM
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I took the millet away because my arm gets tired after awhile holding millet for him lol.

I decided to stop interacting with him in the evenings because he gets cranky. I once offered him seeds from my hand and he hissed at it in the evening. During the day he will cautiously eat seeds from my hand (Has only been doing this for a week or so now). If I move a toy or change his water in the evening he opens his beak at me and sometimes hisses then proceeds to attack his perch. I give him 13-14 hours of sleep every night.

He is 2 1/2 years old, as far as I know. Pet store said the original owners said he was 2 and he was at the pet store for 5 months.

My vet also said he had a bruised wing (I think from hitting the wall in my room when I let him out) and he attempts to fly when I introduce my budgies in the same room that are flighted. My cockatiel was clipped when I got him.

I know I should keep them apart until his wing heals, but does anyone know how long that takes? Also , should I not allow him to interact with my budgies until he is more tame? I was hoping my budgies would teach him that pellets and vegetables are edible but now I must wait til his wing heals. I give him fresh kale and carrots and brocolli all the time but he doesnt eat any. I also mix some with the seeds in the morning. I leave his pellets in the cage 24/7 but he never eats them. For the first few weeks he nibbled on them a little but now he never does.

The vet said he was underweight at 85 grams. Since he only eats seeds , what should I do to get him to gain weight? The vet also said I should towel him every day to get him used to a towel. I think I'd rather not do this as it will probably make him angry at me. I decided if he is ever tame enough to ride my shoulder, I would get him used to a towel on my shoulder first and slowly introduce him to towels.

Last edited by frozengirl; 01-06-2017 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:41 PM
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You could cut a smaller part from the millet and keep this in the cage? Then when you are done with the training you can leave the piece behind. I agree with roxy about it possibly having to do with him associating things.

When I wanted my tiel to learn to eat pellets, I mixed them up with his seed. Toik him a while, but he now eats a 50/50 mix of pellets and seed, plus fresh vegetables. Maybe that is worth a try!

Can't really help you on how long it would take for his bruised wing to heal... But as an indication for healingtime, until you have a more definite answer: in humans a sprained ankle will take 4-6 weeks to heal and a bruised ankle (bone) a maximum of 3 months, but the latter shouldn't cause any extra pain.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:51 PM
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I prefer to keep different bird species separately. I'm not a huge fan of budgies and I used to keep my brother in law's. He had a hen that was mean and my tiels were afraid of her. Too much stress on them, so I never let them around each other.

Healing is just gonna take time, everyone heals at a different pace. As for getting him to try different foods, take all the food out at night and then offer him whatever you want him to try for the first hour or two in the morning. After that first couple hours, put the seed back in the cage. He will try the food as he gets less afraid that it will try to eat him.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:29 PM
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Well my budgies are not mean. They are both males, bonded to each other and very sweet. They preen each other, never fight. So far they tried to give my cockatiel some kisses but Pablo (Cockatiel) tried to pretend bite them so they fly off. When they fly, Pablo thinks he needs to fly as well, so that is why I seperated them for now. (So his wing can heal) Pablo would willingly attempt to get closer to the budgies and follow them. But if they try to get close to him he then wants to pretend bite them. Love hate relationship? lol. Mind you they are still very new towards each other, I only introduced them 2 weeks ago. Also Pablo calls out to them a lot.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:45 PM
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I'd just be very careful as that pretend biting can turn into real biting really quick. It's totally fine to keep them in the same room and do supervised out of cage time, but I wouldn't house them together. And I wouldn't leave them alone together.
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