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RE: Help with new cockatiel

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Posted by: PHIggysbirds at Thu Mar 27 22:32:30 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHIggysbirds ]  

There are two approaches I can suggest, both seem to work I prefer one method but I will leave my opinions out and just let you know the options.

One option is the toweling method. This has worked great for some people and some books will tell you this is the best way to go. Using a hand towel or small bath towel take your cockatiel out of its cage with the least amount of "chasing" possible. Hold the bird securely so it can't get out of the towel but be careful not to press on the chest or catch the wings in an odd angle away from the body. Take your bird into a smaller closed room where it can be easily caught and hold it on your lap, speaking gently and rubbing on the back of the head (avoiding the beak). Be very patient, you will feel at first his heartbeat will have sped up and he will be frightened. Gradually his heartbeat will slow to a normal pace and you can keep holding him but loosen the towel more. Still keeping him covered but not quite so restrictive of movement. After a few days or when he seems more accepting of being removed from his cage or doesn't become as stressed you can try just having the towel lay over him loosely, gradually working towards removing the towel completely. Some people say they have luck with this method in a matter of days or a week, others say it takes a bit longer.

The second method works on the building of trust. You will need more patience and it will take more time but sometimes has better lasting results towards future training. First he will need to become used to your hands. Sit next to his cage with your hands resting against the side of his cage. Be patient. You might try watching to see what his favorite food or pellet is in his regular food mixture and removing that item. Maybe if he always picks out a certain color pellet first or if he seems to pick out sunflower seeds before the healthier pellets and seeds then remove that type of seed or pellet from his bowl. Offer that item only by hand. This may take a while but want of a favorite food will almost always overcome fear. Offer this treat through the bars with your hands on the outside of the cage. Once he is regularly taking this item by hand start only offering it through the open door of the cage, gradually making him come closer to the door or even hang out the edge of the door to get the treat. When he will readily step into the door or even onto the outside of the door you can work with getting him to step over or onto your hand for the treat. This process does take longer but it does help pave the way for future training.

If you want a bird who will allow scritches quickly and aren't worried about future training beyond holding or cuddling the first method should help you, if you want a bird more open to future training you might go with the second option. Personally I have a favorite method but am always willing to hear someone elses ideas and feedback on what works best for them. No two birds are alike and no two trainers are alike different methods will work best for different birds, people and circumstances.

Let us know how it goes and which one works for you.


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<< Previous Message:  Help with new cockatiel - xcardona, Thu Mar 27 18:47:31 2008