Moody Cockatiel

I have had my cockatiel for about a year now. He has always been so sweet and affectionate. He would let me pet him behind the head and he would never bite. I even taught him how to make kissing sounds and whenever I was around he would give me kisses. But now I dont know what is wrong with him. He trys to bite me every time I want to get him out of his cage. He doesn't want anything to do with me. Some mornings I have woke up and his wings will be really bloody. I think its because he flaps them and hits then on the cage. Or because he is falling off his perch.I dont know how to make him stop. What is wrong with him? And how do I keep him from hurting himself?

Comments for Moody Cockatiel

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May 25, 2009
Moody Cockatiel
by: The Vet

One thing that may be causing this is that his cage could be too small. His cage should be at least 20 x 20 x 30 h. His attitude is affected by the size of the cage and he may not want to come out through a small door opening. Larger cages have larger doors. Having the ability to fly will also change his attitude and make him more aggressive. If his wings are not clipped, you should consider having that done. This attitude can also be caused by not enough light in the room. Birds like bright light so they can see well. If his room is dim, then he needs more light. He should have a full spectrum light to get the benefit of the UV light. This will improve his nutrition, his feather quality, and his attitude. Many times an attitude change is caused by illness. If your bird is not feeling well he could behave this way. I recommend that you have him examined by an avian veterinarian to be sure he is healthy. You cannot look at a bird to tell if he is healthy. He will need a thorough vet exam with blood work. Your bird should go in annually for well-bird check ups and vaccines, too.

Flapping in the cage, especially at night, is called night frights. Something spooks your bird at night and makes him thrash. This breaks blood feathers and you see blood on the cage and the wall from this. Being in a small cage makes this worse. We do not know what causes these night frights, but putting in a small night light often helps. I do not recommend covering the cage. This often makes it worse.

Dr B

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