My two Cockatiels that are not hand raised.

by Jayme Lindsey
(Delaware, oh USA)

I recently bought two Cockatiels from a pet-store near where i live. They are beautiful birds but its been a month now and they are still are afraid of me. They don't fly around the cage in fear like they use to but I cant get them out of the cage and when i do its a chore getting them back in and one made me bleed. I have tried talking with them, sitting next to the cage with food in my head or treats and all the do is run away. I just don't know what to do. I don't wanna get rid of them because its not their fault really. But what can i do to get them to trust me enough to where i can just hold hold?

Comments for My two Cockatiels that are not hand raised.

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Mar 14, 2013
by: Anonymous

I just want to say::
"Your birds are wild meaning they are not tamed. By putting them both into one cage, you are defeated before you even begin."

That IMHO is just labelling. And we're all good at labelling when it comes to parrots unwanted behaviours & movements.

I HAVE 2 untamed cockatiels, living together in a cage. I was told the same thing but thankfully I chose to work with the birds as they were & they're both bonded to each other AND very friendly & tame to us :) Please do not ride them off because they're housed together. Lots of patients, time to allow them to trust you & train & tame them from the beginning. You can work with each of them separately out of their cages & still house them together.

Do not ride your birds off just because of their situation now or because people tell you you're already defeated. All that is doing is letting them & yourself down & them having a miserable life & being re-homed. Give the birds a chance & you are NOT defeated!

Mar 13, 2013
Training two birds
by: Tracie

The most important thing when training birds is developing a relationship of trust. Sometimes this takes a long time, sometimes it happens quickly.

Please read the training and health articles on our Parrot Training page for help in training your birds.

It may be difficult, or even impossible, to train two birds that share a cage. They are bonding with each other and have no need to attach themselves to you, most likely.

Mar 13, 2013
My two Cockatiels that are not hand raised.
by: Linda

Your birds are wild meaning they are not tamed. By putting them both into one cage, you are defeated before you even begin.

Get another cage for one of them and keep the cages in close proximity so birds can see each other all the time. Before you begin any training, both birds have to be examined for infections or other physical problems by an Avian Vet ONLY. Do not take them to a dog and cat vet unless they are also licensed and trained in bird care. Regular dog and cat vets do not know how to diagnose or treat birds and will give wrong diagnosis and way too much meds in the wrong dosages for birds. Most dog and cat vets use the "shotgun approach" to treating exotic animals which ends up hurting and even killing those exotics, so you want to have an Avian Vet for your birds. While at the Avian Vet's, have both birds' wings clipped so they are unable to fly all over the place and get hurt. Have them clip ONLY the 4-6 Primary Flight feathers, and these are the long ones at the ends of each wing. Do not allow them to cut any higher as this causes immense and chronic pain.

Once your birds have been diagnosed and treated or cleared for physical issues, you can find some traning materials on this site.You will be looking for taming birds before training them. Once they are separated into two cages, and after they are seen by avian vet, use perch to get them in and out of cage. Your job will be a lot easier working with one at a time instead of both together. Two wild birds together will fight for each other with you as the common enemy, so you will have to get another cage for one of them. Basically, when you pair up birds, they lose some of their need for human interaction, so you'll want them in two cages for quite a long time.

As for getting bit, this will continue even once they are tame. All birds bite at some time or another whether tame, handfed baby or whatever. Parrots are exotic wild animals. Taming, training and getting them to trust you stops most of the biting, and still, on occasion, you can and will receive some good bites. With the larger birds like Macaws and Cockatoos, these occasional "bites" can be actual attacks causing much more damage than a little bleeding. Keep in mind your birds will always be wild birds at heart because they will never be domesticated.

Hopefully this information will help you and your birds. Trust is earned not freely given and takes time. Use the perch to get them out and into the cage until they are ready for your hand. The human hand is seen as very threatening to wild birds, so give yourself and them a break and use a perch.


Mar 13, 2013
be patient & step back
by: Anonymous

Take a step back & slow down. Slow & steady wins the race :)

Your birds are terrified! They are in a new home with new humans & you are trying to get the birds out of their cage too quickly. They aren't ready for this & the more you try & force this the worse they can get, so slow down. Talk to them, feed them, offer a treat, keep the cage shut & your hands to yourself for a while longer & let them adjust properly. Give them the time they need but rushing things will not only set you & the birds back but it can cause them to become aggressive.

When you offer a treat, offer it open hand, palm up & talk calmly to them. If they freak out, walk away & try again later. They need to learn to trust you & this takes time.

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