New cockatiel

by Hollie

Hello. We just bought a new cockatiel, its not tame yet, and its only 6 weeks old.

We spend alot, but not too much time with it a day and offer it treats sunflower seeds by hand.

We do back away to a comfortable distance for it to get to know us but doesnt seem to even want to be tamed.

How can I tame a Stubborn, haard to tame bird?


Comments for New cockatiel

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Jul 13, 2009
New Cockie
by: Linda

Hello and good day to you! First, you will need to engage your bird or it will not want to be tamed and trained. Cockies can and do give pretty hard bites, so get ready for that. I would start with the taming by using a stick or perch to get it out of its cage with. Your hands will be seen as a major threat at this point, so you want to work with the bird with an extension of your hands first.

You can use a shorter stick that will fit easily into bird's cage. Put stick in front of chest down toward legs and press it gently to bird's body and say UP. If the bird will not get on stick at first, keep trying until it understands you mean it no harm. After he does step up on stick, say something like, "GOOD JOB!" and either put bird back in cage or onto a playtop or perch. Use the stick each time you pick up bird until bird is getting up quickly and staying on the little perch for longer periods.

If bird flies off, use the perch to pick it up from floor. Always say UP when wanting him to step up. The taming of a bird is a process, and you don't need to rush it, and you need not become frustrated or stressed as your bird will pick up on this, and will refuse to do anything. Continue to talk and sing to your bird, and offer it some treats. If bird is freshly weaned, now is the time to get him on a more nutritious pelleted diet like Harrison's grind size appropriate for your bird's size. Tracie carries that one and another organic mix, so check them out and see which one you wish to try out.

Treats need to be limited to fresh organic dark greens, yellow and orange veggies, but not too much of any of them. Apple is also good in small quantities as it causes stomach upsets in too large a serving or too often. Cockies do like apples, so you may wish to use this as treats after a lesson. Keep your lessons limited to no more than 15 minutes as after that bird is tired, and your work will start going downhill.

Start getting him on your offered hand after he has practiced with the stick and knows you better. Do this first while he is outside his cage on a playtop or perch. Wait to put your hands into the cage until you can pick him up outside cage with your hand. Birds are very territorial about their cages, and a hand can be seen as a threat.

Birds take a while to trust humans, so first time you offer your hand, you may get bit. If bird bites, move gently INTO the bite which means, do not pull away quickly as bird will just hold on that much tighter and rip and tear your skin. Move gently into bird's chest, and he will release you without tearing your flesh. Tracie has some good training information on site, so take a few minutes to look it over.

Keep us posted on your progress. Even tame birds bite sometimes--basically, birds do whatever they feel like doing at any given time! Welcome to the world of parrots, and many blessings, Linda

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