Cockatiel "clicking" and jerking

by Susie
(Springfield, SC)

Hi, My 15 year old cockatiel has been making a clicking noise (but it's not coming out of his mouth), his body jerks and his feet are constantly moving to accomodate the involuntary jerking movements. (about every 5 seconds)

This went on all night and kept both of us up. I think he has the hiccups.

I'm concerned that this could lead to a heart attack. He hasn't slept in 12 hours.

I just offered him a millet spray and he ate enthusiastically, but he's still clicking and jerking.

He had some corned beef hash yesterday. I know that's a no-no, but he loves it and has eaten it many times before. He takes it right off my plate. He didn't have a lot.

I do not have an Avian vet, or any vet near us. We live in the country in South Carolina. And we are poor and have no credit so I couldn't afford a vet visit anyway.

Any advice you have is much appreciated.
Thank you !

Comments for Cockatiel "clicking" and jerking

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Aug 13, 2017
foot taping
by: Anonymous

my cockatiel just started doing it

Sep 23, 2013
Same problem is here
by: Anonymous

my cockatail have same problem. :(

Sep 09, 2011
Cockatiel "clicking and jerking"
by: Susie

Thank you for your help.

I appreciate all advice and help.

The good news is that he isn't twitching and clicking anymore. And he's eating fine and even whistled a little bit today.

I will look into your pellet suggestions further.
I had tried switching him over to the Exact brand (colored stars that smell like Fruit Loops) (bought in Pet Smart) a couple of years ago, but he doesn't like them and won't eat them. But as you have pointed out, these are not recommended anyway.

So thank you again !

Best regards, ~Susie.

Sep 08, 2011
Cockatiel poisoned possiibly
by: Tracie

I know it is hard to hear a person's "voice" over the Internet, so please don't take my "voice" negatively.

The simple truth is that if your bird gets sick and you will not take the bird to an avian vet then it will die. There are not any over the counter remedies.

You CAN change the bird's diet, if it lives, and it will have a MUCH healthier life and less chance for illness.

Your bird should be eating a healthy pellet diet, healthy meaning not colored pellets or cheap pellets that have sugar and a bunch of chemicals in them. You should only feed table food that is not seasoned and is organic, because their tiny organs have to process and filter out all the bad stuff sprayed on food or put in the food by manufacturers.

Our Avian vet suggests you feed Harrison's or Roudybush pellets for 80% of the diet and only 20% healthy treats. Do NOT share your food unless it is chemical free and not oily.

Most vets will take payments, but make sure you go to an avian vet, because dog/cat vets often kill birds from lack of experience and training.

If your bird lives, then please cut back on something in your household budget so that you can purchase good food for your birds and stop feeding table food. Also, if the bird flies around your home, stop this because it can lick or chew something toxic and have this condition you are speaking of. Even a ceiling fan potentially is toxic metal.

Please read our Switching Birds To Pellets article and other helpful health articles on our Parrot Training page.

Again, I am not attacking you. My first few birds died because I did not know how to care for them. We all have to start somewhere and what we don't know, we simply don't know. I feel bad, but I didn't know any better. I appreciate your posting your question here so that you can help your bird. :-)

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