Help Agressive Cockatiel

by Megan Wright

I rescued a male cockatiel that had fainted in my backyard on a really hot day about 5 months ago. We took him to the vet and he was fine and i decided i'd like to try to tame him. I already have a tamed cockatiel so i didn't think it'd be so hard. I've been waiting for him to get used to me and the family before taking him out but he hasn't at all he runs away whenever we go close to the cage.

I started reading some pages by someone called The Bird Lady that said i should try and stick train him first but that only if i really couldn't get him out of the cage i should use a towel which i thought was wrong but anyway. So i've had him out a couple of times and he is ok getting up onto the stick if i put it in front of him but the bird lady says to put my finger there instead of the stick after a couple of times and everytime i try this he takes chunks out of my fingers.

Now the bird lady says to just move into the bite no matter how much it hurts but i don't want to end up with shredded fingers all the time. I wanted to know if i should keep trying or just give up and settle with the fact that he will never be tame and loving like my other bird

Comments for Help Agressive Cockatiel

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Jun 18, 2009
by: Linda

Hi Megan, and glad you wrote to us. Firstly, all Cockies can become tame and loving birds. This one may very well have been abused which has made him angry with people. Don't take this personally as he is doing what is called "acting out" where he will bite the one he's with if he can't bite the one who hurt him in the past. Keep using the stick to get him out of cage for a while. Birds feel "invaded" when we put our hands into cage and some will always bite. Another thing to try is to open cage up and let him come out on top of cage and then try and pick him up with your hand. Make sure bird is always at eye level with you. If they are "taller" than we are, they are then "king of the mountain" in bird talk and feel superior and more powerful. This is part of the natural pecking order of a bird flock. Always have him at eye level in the cage and out.

As the lady said, when he attaches to you in a bite, gently move into it instead of pulling away as that is how we get "ripped" instead of just bitten. It takes self control because birdy is biting, but will not result in such a bad bite if you will move into him. All that means is just don't automatically pull back as it makes them only hold on tighter and makes any bite much worse. I've tamed and trained wild caught parrots directly from Jungles, and moving into the bite was the only to survive a big old mean parrot who hated me on site for many, many reasons! This was way back in the days when importation was still legal. They ALL tamed down and became really sweet pets. Not saying they never bit their new people, but mostly they were excellent parrot citizens.

Don't give up on him, just do things a little differently. It may take longer with him. Just keep in mind that he has most likely been abused, and he will need extra time to trust a human again. He flew away from whoever had him for a reason, and abuse may have been it.


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