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Cockatiel question for Leaford, or any other bird people..

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Liberate_Yourself, Dec 9, 2008.

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  1. Liberate_Yourself

    Liberate_Yourself Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Nov 14, 2008
    My girlfriend's male Cockatiel is driving me insane!! He likes to scream at the top of his little bird lungs all day long when she is away, and rarely gives it a rest. I blame her for spoiling him and "giving in" when he does that.. haha

    He also doesn't take very kindly to me, as apparently she is his "mate", and I am a threat to him.

    I came up with the idea to clip his wings, just once, so that he doesn't have as much freedom to tell me to f-off and fly away, and learns to trust/rely on me. What are your thoughts on this? I have tried numerous times using different methods to get the little guy to like me, but he is pretty determined not to. The only time that he lets me near him is when he wants his head scratched, and that is only when he is cuddling with her. I suppose he feels a bit safer with her around. Even then, when he gets his fix he tries to bite me and runs/hops away.. :rolleyes:

    Any tips or suggestions would be awesome!
  2. dc2k08

    dc2k08 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    May 21, 2008
    nah, don't clip his wings. he's just jealous of you. let him have his space. bring him some treats and get on his good side. keep petting too.
  3. PeteMcArthur

    PeteMcArthur Super Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 27, 2008
    Pluck, then lightly roast with a chestnut stuffing. Just about get a meal for one.
  4. smokindeuce

    smokindeuce Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Sep 22, 2008
    You could always get him another feathered friend... that would keep him quiet and probably stop the jealousy thing - they don't call them love birds for nothing you know! :rolleyes:

    If that's not an option, a mirror in his abode might help - he'll either be very vain and spend all day looking at his own reflection or alternatively actually think his reflection's a mate and spend all day trying to impress his new found illusionary lovebird.. just depends how clever he is really.:oops:
  5. smokindeuce

    smokindeuce Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Sep 22, 2008
    And I thought I was being cruel.. :rolleyes:
  6. PeteMcArthur

    PeteMcArthur Super Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 27, 2008
    No, not cruel, you wring it's neck first. Do you think I'm a sadist or something:)
  7. Soot

    Soot Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 11, 2008
    Belfast, UK
    Pete - you just ruined my keyboard!

    Funniest post I've read here in a long time!
  8. syntaxevasion

    syntaxevasion Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    May 17, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    Dexter! WORD!

    Sorry.. no idea on the bird.
  9. Liberate_Yourself

    Liberate_Yourself Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Nov 14, 2008
    HAHAHAHA!! Thanks guys.. I WISH that I could slow roast that thing sometimes.. he has somehow escaped his cage on a couple occasions now, with only me at home.. and I've had to chase him around with a blanket and try and throw it over him. needless to say when I carefully grab him he bites the hell out of my fingers.

    He is so damn sweet to my girlfriend though..

    And to clarify, I have literally tried what I feel is everything that I can possibly do. Treats, talking nice, lots of petting(when he allows it), etc. etc.. Nothing seems to work.

    We thought about getting him a friend, but we think that he will teach that one to scream, and then we will be stuck with two screamers.

    Mirrors do nothing, he is vein, but would rather scream than look at himself. Recently, we discovered that he loves to nest in paper bags, so we put one in his cage and he seems to have a couple hours of silence from time to time.

    (P.S. I absolutely love Dexter.. that show is simply amazing.)
  10. madog

    madog Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 18, 2008
    Oregon - USA
    We have a Cockatiel too -"Pretty Bird"
    A.) A interesting fact about them they can live for 30 years with proper diet -
    (Better get on its good side)
    B.) They do get nicer when in pairs. or with constant attention the are a flock species. When they act up a gentle but firm tap to the top of the beck and a firm no works with ours - Usually followed with some pouting - From the bird that is.
    C.) When fully grown they are as smart as a human 5 year old - However they CAN have a temperament of a 2 year old!
    d.) the more attention the better - Try winning it over with some cheerios good for them and cheap!
  11. Liberate_Yourself

    Liberate_Yourself Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Nov 14, 2008
    Good info! I'll definitely try some more to win him over.. if not, then I am going to rush out to a pet store and get him a new buddy. We were actually looking at some companions for him, and I found the sweetest Cocaktiel that I have ever seen. We decided against it at the last minute, but I sometimes wish I had picked him/her up that day.
  12. e-pipeman

    e-pipeman Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Oct 16, 2008
    Brown Edge, England
    Have you considered obtaining a cat? Cat's like small birds - but in a "different way".
  13. leaford

    leaford Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Actually clipping his wings for a while is a very good way to re-tame an out of control bird. Make him more dependant on you, then work on drilling in the "step up" command.

    Say "step up" while pushing your finger against his leg, forcing him to step up or get knocked over. Then praise with a gushy "Gooood Boy," and repeat several times. When you get him to where he will lift his foot when you tell him to step up, even if your finger is not there, you will have taught him not only a trick, but that you are the head of the flock. "Step up" is a very important foundational command for bird training.

    And for that matter, keeping their wings clipped is much safer for them. There are too many dangers in an ordinary house for a wee little birdie.
  14. leaford

    leaford Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Deuce, they DON'T call them lovebirds. They call them cockatiels. They call Lovebirds lovebirds. Different species altogether. And I wouldn't reccomend either a mate or a mirror if you want it to be a social bird. Either one can result in the cockateil transferring all its afection to the new mate and breaking the bond to the owner. Not always, but often. My ex and I bred cockateils and quickly learned you can have pets or a breeding pair, not both.
  15. ZambucaLu

    ZambucaLu ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Nov 23, 2008
    Central NY, USA
    I have 2 female cockatiels. They supposedly were hand raised but they have tried to bite me from day 1. I, unfortunately, do not have the time to work much with them so I used to wear gloves when I reached into the cage. Now they don't bite me but they do hiss at me...little! :mad:

    I was told the females screech but the males whistle and have been known to whistle such tunes as the Andy Griffith theme. I wanted males but they only had females left.

    And you talk about screech? A loud noise, or a siren....and off they go! I could never make a video with them's hard enough talking on the phone!

    They've come around some but it's taken a long time...but I guess if I have 30 years, what the heck! :rolleyes:

    Cheerios? I'll have to try that.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help :rolleyes: guys are TOO funny!

  16. leaford

    leaford Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    It all goes back to instincts. Males and females are both intelligent and capable of learning songs or words. But males have the instinct to show off to compete for mates while females have the instint to hide unseen and protect the nest. That's why males have bright crests and patches, while females are drab. Females take more work, but can be taught to whistle instead of screeching.

    But you have to teach it something that is acceptable noise. Birds are noisy, and you will never teach a bird to be quiet. You might SCARE it into silence, but that won't be healthy for it. You have to teach it acceptable ways to make noise.

    Start with the noises they make on their own; pick one that you like, or can tolerate. Usually they;ll have made up some of their own little tunes, pick one and reward her when she does it, with praise and attention. Keep an ear out, and ty to reward her every time she repeats it on her own. It may take some time before she makes the connection to her whistle and your praise, especially if she doesn;t do it often on her own, but be persistant and she'll start to understand that if she whistles like THIS she will get THAT (praise, petting, scritches, a sunflower seed, or some such).

    Once she clearly understands that she is getting a reward for whistling her tune, start introducing a command. Next time she whistles the "good" way, say the command word before you reward her. Repeat that for a while.

    When she's used to that, get her attention and repeat the command word two or three times with a pause in between. If by chance she does the whistle, reward her as if she had done it to obey your command. Most likely she won't, though, so repeat the command a few more times.

    Do that now and again until finally she DOES do the whistle AFTER you gave the command, and then you heap all kinds of praise and rewards on her. More than usual. SHe will be racking her little birdie brain to figure out what she did right, and how to do it again. Repeat that last step for a day or so, and she will figure it out.

    Once you have taught her that she can do the good noise and get attention, and that if you give the command she should make her good noise, you have a foundation for teaching her not to make the bad noises.

    Get a clean squirt bottle filled with water. Sit back in easy shooting range of the cage. Wait for the bird to be a bird and make a horrible noise. Squirt the little ****. Square in the face, if possible. After the noisy ....... recovers from her shock from the unexpected face full of water, say the command word for the good noise. And heap on the praise and rewards if she does it.

    Keep that up for a few days, and she will start to get the idea.

    Now bear in mind that that will not STOP screaming. It will give her an acceptable outlet, which will reduce screaming. And, it gives you a tool to impose discipline and stop a screaming attack. But birds scream. The only quiet bird is an unhealthy one. Get used to that.
  17. Mr.Darcy

    Mr.Darcy Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    May 16, 2008
    it sounds a bit like being married leaford...
  18. Grenage

    Grenage Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 21, 2008
    Portsmouth, UK
    You err, normally get sprayed in the face when you're naughty, Darcy? ;)
  19. PeteMcArthur

    PeteMcArthur Super Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 27, 2008
    Only if he's very lucky
  20. Mr.Darcy

    Mr.Darcy Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    May 16, 2008
    UK not married,so its usually Mace...;)
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