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Eleni June 9th, 2005 09:37 AM

hand training an older cockateil
is it still possible to hand train a cockateil when they are older?

say 7 yrs or so,

i ahve a cockateil that my dad gave me, and beacuse she bit he told me i shouldnt try to hand train her, but Id like to give it a try.

she trusts me to a certain extent, she will whistle and strut for me, but when i put my hand in her cage or near her cage she gets defensive and flaps.

however i can get her to eat lettuce out of my hand if there is enough lettuce that there is a distance between her and my hand.

shes never made an attempt to bite me, so I feel she doesnt fear me specifically, that its more she fears someone intruding on her safe zone, wich her cage generally is.

any thoughts??


BMDLuver June 9th, 2005 09:53 AM

I have a scar on my finger where a cockatiel bit to the bone. Poor guy was an escape artist and got out of his cage but couldn't make his way back. When I picked him up to help him back in his cage he latched on. Surprising how strong their beaks are. The rest of his visit with us, I was babysitting him for a friend, he remained very well locked in his cage. All this to say that if you are going to try to handle him, just be careful not to get badly bitten. :eek:

Eleni June 9th, 2005 10:04 AM

I have a pair of leather gloves,

shes nto my first cockateil, tho ive never been bitten ill wear a leather glove, just in case.

im most worried about not tramatizing the bird, she seems quite happy, adn I wouldnt want to upset that, but I also know how happy birds can be when they ahve alot of itneraction with their owners

honey not being hand trained limits out interaction somewhat, i can talk and sing and whistle to her, and provide her with toys and treats and such

but at the end of the day she really could use more one on one interaction id think

BMDLuver June 9th, 2005 10:25 AM

Have you ever offered her spaghetti? I know that my friend did this with his cockatiels and because it's long, they nibble along getting closer to your hand. Apparently they love spaghetti. Might entice to get closer to your hand.

Eleni June 9th, 2005 10:27 AM

ohh i never thought of that actually

i was using lettuct to bring her over, but she only goes as close as she absolutly has too.

ill try spagetti today and see how she reacts.

i tried one some of her seed in my hand, but she just stared at me, diddnt come close to me for the food at all


Cactus Flower June 9th, 2005 11:57 AM

Are her wings clipped? They are much easier to train when they are clipped, as they feel they [I]need[/I] your arm as a perch. And I would suggest trying with your arm first, rather than your hand, because it [I]is[/I] more like a perch to them, and it seems to make them feel more stable. You can train her to step onto your hand once she is comfortable with your arm.
Make sure her cage is kept at a level that is lower than you when you are standing. Birds have a "pecking order", and feel superior when they are higher than you. This will come across as a "I don't have to do what you're asking me to do" attitude.
Does she ever come out of her cage? I would entice her out of her cage (let her stand on top of it, or climb around on it), and then close the door. Let her hang out on the outside of it for a little while. Then approach her slowly, with your hands behind her back. Just stand there and talk to her in a soothing voice for quite a while. Eventually, slowly approach her with your arm at the level of her feet. Bring it right to her feet, and rest it there with it gently touching her. If she doesn't step up voluntarily, move your arm in a little further, putting soft pressure on her legs, so she will have to step up or move.
This may take some repetition.
When she does eventually step up- continue talking to her in the soothing tones. Don't walk or move around. Just chat with her for a while, open the door, and let her get back inside her cage. THEN give her a treat. Leave the door open for a little while longer, and eventually close it.

Eleni June 9th, 2005 12:12 PM

her wings are clipped, however she is higher then my level so maybe thats part of it.

she refuses to come out of her cage so far, i leave the door open and she doesnt seem to even entertain the thoguht of coming out.

i saw a stand alone perch tho that is a swing, and she loves her swing, i wonder if i got one for her and set it beside the cage with the door open, maybe her interest in swings would entice her.

i think its just so foreign to her, that someone wants to handle her, and shes not sure what to think on it

poor thing, shes a real sweety, shes sings and whistles away all day long, just figure it will be nice for her to ahve one on one interaction


Cactus Flower June 10th, 2005 03:05 AM

I noticed on the lovebird thread you said you have a mirror in her cage.

Removing the mirror will make her more interested in socializing with [I]you[/I].

Eleni June 10th, 2005 08:32 AM

I never thought of that.

its not that she ont socialise with me, she just wont leave her cage to do ti hehe

she prefers to be at a distance

but ill try that

Cactus Flower June 10th, 2005 02:29 PM

Yes, she thinks she has a buddy back in her cage, so might be reluctant to leave her friend.

Many birds have mirrors in their cages. There's nothing wrong with that. But during training, they usually make sure that there isn't one in there. They recommend waiting until after training is complete, and the bird already has formed trust in you, and a good bond. Sometimes you have to take it back out, if she starts showing a preference again for her "buddy", rather than you.

Good luck, Eleni :) .

tenderfoot June 11th, 2005 10:35 AM

I have a 20+ year old male Cockatoo who was originally wild caught in Australia way back when. We are his 3+ home and he has a mate. When he arrived here last year his previous person would never touch him and would basically herd him with a stick when she wanted to move him about. He was bitey and very timid. Today he comes to me faster than the female does (and she is very affectionate), he lets me pet him all over and he is easy to catch when he is out of his cage. We are so thrilled that we could turn this little guy around and that he seems so happy.
The point of my tale is to say that I believe it is never too late to make a positive change in someones life and in their relationship to you. Good Luck!

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