View Full Version : I have bird questions..........HELP!!!! (Long story)

06-01-2009, 02:29 AM
Ok so my mom and dad got this Cockatiel named George from an old friend. The people who had him had put him down in the basement because their dog would not leave it alone and barked at it all the time etc.. So yeah anyhow, the bird got covered up most of the time when the kids went down there to play as it made too much noise. George has not been out of the cage for a year, had his wings clipped in a year. He was a real mess two days ago when they got him. Now he has calmed down some being with my parents. They have him in the living room right beside moms chair, and my dad sleeps in there so the bird is not hardly ever alone, they are retired. They talk to him and he just sings up a storm!! He goes right over to the side of the cage and turns his head and all that when they talk to him. His toys were all old, and his food was yeah gross, so today we went and bought him some new toys, new food, a play yard, and a cage for out on the deck. Well we tried to get him out so that we could clean the cage really good IT IS GROSS and I could clip his wings. Needless to say there was no way!! He tried to bite as soon as you touch cage, then when I did get the door open he went nuts!! I tried to offer my finger at first, so did my mom, we tried letting him come out on his own, not interested, I tried to get a hand towel over him, also not working!! He can fly!! So he is quick and very very afraid!! So we gave up, and just did the best we could, we cleaned a little at a time, changed all of his toys to the new ones, changed out perches, and gave him new food, and treats. He ate like he had never seen food before!!! Then he went around playing with everything!!! He was really happy!!! He sang and talked and played for a really long time!! He has obviously been neglected, and I guess forgot how good it feels to be loved on. My training tells me to take baby steps to gain his trust, and so on. But that is all textbook stuff. I want to hear from people who have actually kept birds. Raptors are one thing, they are big and can be manhandled! Talons in one hand and head in the other! But they are wild and we only catch them and make hawk burritos so that we can give medical care, not so that we can love on them. Sure I could just grab him and get him out and then force him to be still wrapped up in a towel while I clip his wings but that is not going to help his trust issues at all!! Just make him more afraid of us! So I really do not know what to do with him. How do you guys think this should be handled?? I mean treats can only get you so far, and with George that is about a foot from the cage!! I see that he is really happy as long as you keep your distance, so that is a good step. Any advice or tips or tricks would be really appreciated!!!! I will post a pic of him as soon as I download them.

06-01-2009, 02:32 AM
IDK gayle, I barely know what parakeets are, but love everyones pictures :)
GL with the bird..

06-01-2009, 03:16 AM
With all the cockatiels I've had they always end up being very tame; then again they have never been so mistreated!!! I think going slowly, with lots of love, treats etc is the best thing to do. Your right - you could pull him out and get the job done with the wings, but it will not benefit the trust at all. I think what you have been doing sounds good. Good luck!!

06-01-2009, 03:17 AM
I'd just force him, hold him down and clip his wings. He doesn't trust you anyway, so it won't harm your relationship, but he will be easier to tame once they are clipped, and I think that makes it worth it.

And as for diet, make sure you don't just give him seeds from the pet store. This is what Wiki says about cockatiel diet:

Although Cockatiels in their natural-habitats of Australia eat mainly grass seeds, captive Cockatiels feed on either dry, sprouted and/or soaked seeds. A diet of only dry seeds is inadequate for Cockatiels and/or any parrot species' optimum health. Avian veterinarians recommend pet birds' diets be supplemented with foods such as:

* Whole Cereals & whole Grains : Amaranth, Barley, Couscous, Flax, whole-grain Pastas, Oat, Quinoa (truly a Fruit but used as a Cereal), whole-Wheat, Wild-Rice, whole Rices.

* Edible Blossoms & Flowers: Carnations, Chamomille, Chives, Dandelion, Day Lilies, Eucalyptus, Fruit tree's blossoms, Herbs' blossoms, Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Impatiens, Lilac, Nasturiums, Pansies, Passion Flower (Passiflora), Roses, Sunflowers, Tulips, Violets. Note that the leaves of some of these plants are poisonous to Cockatiels.

* Greens &/or Weeds:
o mainly ; Bok-Choi, Broccoli &/or Cauliflower leaves, Cabbage leaves, Collard greens, Dandelion leaves, Kelp, Mustard leaves, Seaweeds, Spirulina, Water cress...
o occasionally & sporadically ; Amaranth leaves, Beet leaves, Carambola (Starfruit), Chards, Parsley, Spinach & Turnip leaves. All of these feature high Oxalic-Acid contents that induces production of Calcium Oxalates (crystals/stones) by binding Calcium & other trace Minerals present in foods & goods with which they're ingested. Possibly, leading to Calcium deficiencies &/or Hypocalcemia in minor cases. Liver's &/or other internal organs' damage or failure in more severe cases.

* Fruit (except Avocados which are toxic): all Apple varieties, Banana, all Berries varieties, all Citrus varieties, Grapes, Kiwifruit , Mango, Melons, Nectarine, Papaya, Peach, all Pear varieties, Plum, Star-fruit. Pits and seeds from every Citrus and Drupe species must always be discarded as they are intoxicating. However, achenes and tiny seeds from pseudo and true Berries (Bananas, Blueberries, Elderberries, Eggplants, Persimmons, Pomegranates, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tomatoes) are all okay.

* Legumes: Almonds, Beans, Lentils, Peas, Nuts and Tofu.

* Grains' and/or Legumes' SPROUTS: Adzuki beans, Alfalfa beans, Buckwheat, Lentils, Mungo beans, Pinto beans, Red Kidney beans, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds. Caution with only Lima and Navy beans' sprouts which are toxic.

* Vegetables (except Uncooked Potatoes, Uncooked Onions and all Mushrooms): Beet, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Cucumber, all Cabbage varieties, fresh Beans, fresh Romane Lettuce, fresh Peas, Parsnip, all Pepper varieties, all Squash varieties, Sweet potatoes, Tomato, Turnip, Yams, Zucchini.

* Pellets specifically formulated for Cockatiels, for Platycercinae (Australian Grass Parakeets) and/or for small parrots are all healthy additions.

* Other fat-free, healthy and nutritious human foods.

06-01-2009, 09:38 PM
You have received some excellent info thus far. It was very decent of you guys to rescue this little guy. I have a rescued parrot so I know how it is.

First off, can you tell me what kind of perches he has in his cage?

As has already been mentioned, food if very important. It cannot just be seeds...these are nutritionally deficient and will just cause problems in the long run. See if you can buy a nice pellet brand, like Zupreem or Lafebers, although the former is often more readily available in pet stores. It might take a little work to get him to eat pellets if he has never had them before. With my conure, I just mixed them in with the seed he had been given and gradually decreased the amount of seed offered until it was only pellets. He now loves the stuff. There are other ways however.

They also need an assortment of well-washed fruits and veggies, and cooked foods like whole grain bread and pasta are good as well. Some birds eat them some don't...just try offering a variety in a multitude of ways and see what works. There are some things you definitely shouldn't feed, like avacado, chocolate, highly salty and fatty foods, sugar, etc.

For hand-taming, you can teach him to step up by using a perch instead of your hand, although at the moment I would recommend that you don't force it. He will need possibly several months to get used to his new home, to the point of wanting to be touched. Let him come around on his own terms. It sounds like you are already doing everything right...just having people sitting next to his cage and talking softly to him will do the trick. Eventually you can rest your hand in the cage, not making any movements toward him, just to show him your intention is not to harm. Let him come up to you if he wishes. Have you also tried getting him to eat out of your hand yet?

As for the wing-clipping, don't grab him and forcefully cut them. Take him to a vet that knows avians and get him a thorough checkup to make sure he's alright, and then have the vet clip the primaries while you're there.

tailfeatherscommunity.com and the birdchannel.com pages all have excellent info and forums of helpful people. :)

Sorry for the book! If you have any further questions please feel free to ask, I have lots of experience with parrots. :)

06-01-2009, 09:48 PM
Take it slow!
Take it easy!
Gain its trust but work with it slowly.You cannot be too pushy but be consistant.It may take a while but the bird will see it calm down.
metallspuerhunde has some good advice!thumbs2:

06-01-2009, 10:02 PM
(I wanted to add that is tailfeathersnetwork.com, not community lol)

King Tut
06-01-2009, 10:08 PM
Very nice of you to try to help this little one out. My wife (Chazbot on here) and I have "rescued" a few birds from owners/pet stores where they were neglected (we now have 21 tiels). For the most part over time you will be able to gain some trust but it does happen (even with tiels) that you never get them to trust you completely. We have 2 that we rescued (approximately 7 years ago) and they still bite (as hard as they can) and freak out when we try to handle them (do clippings and such). Some of our other rescues are still a bit afraid but allow us to hold and care for them (then again none of ours are crazy about their wing clippings)
First and foremost - Get him to an AVIAN VET if there is one anywhere near you. When they are neglected for this amount of time there could be medical reasons for his behaviour.
1)Small steps at a time are best.
2)Clip his wings anyway you can right now so he doesn't injure himself in the cage. Even if it means taking the whole cage to the vet so he can be examined and have his feathers and nails clipped
3)Try to keep his diet to pellets for now.
4)You can try coaxing with a treat but it sounds like he was very abused and this may not work.
5)Make sure you remain calm. Our birds can feel when we are out of sorts.

If you have any questions my wife has been raising tiels for almost 18 years now. That is her area. Contact her on here and I am sure she will be glad to help you out with anything you need.

Good luck and I'll say a prayer for that little one for you.

06-01-2009, 11:03 PM
Wow thanks for all of the advice!!!!! You guys are the greatest!!!!! As far as perches he only had the one size perches and they were just the wooden rods that slide in there. We got rid of two of them and added one of those that is rough, like sand covered kinda stuff and its twisty, and then a smaller one that is larger at both ends that is also that rough stuff. I know from class that they need different sizes and textures.
I will go check out that site!!!
He is going to go to the Vet Saturday!! One of my teachers is an exotics vet.
I tried getting him on a perch but he knew that I had a hold of the other end so he would not get close to it.
My parents printed out many many pages of what sort of foods to fed him. They have that 100% down!!!!
It is a good point that he needs them clipped to help train him and so he does not get hurt. I think that maybe I will not do it this time though, have the Vet do it, so he does not see me as such a threat.

06-01-2009, 11:24 PM
Being nothing like a bird expert but having some experince with birds in the past as well as those I have now I would say be calm and let it take some times. It is amazing the progress you can make in just a few hours in front of the cage with patience and a few grapes.

One of the ones I have now was butchered when it came to clipping in its last home and is very protective of its wings despite being very friendly outerwise. I let it sit in my hands and I pet it on the wings every day and it is learning that it is nothing to be afraid of. Well see how it goes when it comes time to clip it but that is a long time away considering the stae it is in now.

As for clibbing. I can say that it isn't as hard as one feel it to be. You know that I were very hesitant before the first bird but now 10 birds+ later I can say that it is easy if you are careful and don't stress it.

06-01-2009, 11:31 PM
Yeah I have clipped wings before, I just think that if I am going to be around this lil guy everytime I am at my parents house I do not want to just grab him out of there to clip his wings. It would scare him so much more and then he may be afraid of me forever. So I will let the vet do it, and we will just keep talking to him, and giving him treats until he wants to come out of there. I think that once we get him out of the cage, he will calm pretty quick with us loving on him all the time and all the fun things he will be able to do. And once he is calm then It will be very easy to clip his wings.

06-02-2009, 12:18 AM
You might be right. having to grab him might be bad for your relationship allthough I don't think the actually clipping will be. Not worth taking the chance if he is going to the vet anyway.

06-02-2009, 01:19 AM
Awesome! Good luck to all of you and be sure to keep us updated.:19:

06-02-2009, 01:38 AM
I will for sure!!!!

06-02-2009, 06:01 AM
This is the only pic that came out ok.

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/data/500/thumbs/henry.jpg (http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/fishpictures/showphoto.php?photo=12854)

I will take more.

06-02-2009, 10:33 AM
He's gorgeous!!!:19:

I'd definitely get the vet to do the wings. I clipped my Budgies wings, and ruined any progress I had made with taming,...:scry: