We recently acquired a young cockatiel a few days ago. I am trying to follow all of the instructions from the "bird person" at the pet store. I don't yet have a feel for the bird's range of behavior, or what might indicate a problem.
Today the bird appears to have injured the base of its beak, at the top, between the nostrils. There is a tiny irregularity but no blood visible. She has been sitting relatively still, facing the back of the cage.
I took Birdie out (creative name, I know). At first she avoided climbing on my finger. Next, he/she climbed right back into the cage. Then I tried again, got a somewhat more willing response to the finger, and lifted her up for a look-over.
I stroked Birdie, and she bobbed her head and chirped. I think this is normal, but she also kept closing her eyes, which I haven't seen before. I tried hand-feeding her some pellets, and she picked several up and cracked them, but didn't seem to eat. I put her back in the cage and she appeared to drink some water.
She was standing on the floor of her cage, but is now perched on the side of a food dish. She stands with her eyes closed most of the time.
Does this sound like something wrong, or just a sleepy bird? I have been calling around to try to find a vet that treats birds and is open July 4th.
In general, how readily do you take a bird to the vet? Are trips considered stressful and to be avoided except in obvious emergencies, or do you whisk them off the moment you see something unusual?

TIA,
Amy Dahl
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If this was my bird, at the very least I'd call the vet.
We recently acquired a young cockatiel a few days ago. I am trying to follow all of the instructions from ... is a tiny irregularity but no blood visible. She has been sitting relatively still, facing the back of the cage.

How old is the bird? Is she completely weaned? How are her droppings? New pets have to go through a period of adjustment, as do their owners. What does the beak injury look like?
Birds have a way of hiding their illness, until they are very sick. She needs to be seen by a professional. Even you, as a newbie, sensed that, or you wouldn't be asking the question.
Regards
How old is the bird? Is she completely weaned? How are her droppings? New pets have to go through a ... to be seen by a professional. Even you, as a newbie, sensed that, or you wouldn't be asking the question.

Thanks to both of you who responded. I have finally located an avian emergency vet and that is their advice as well.

I think the bird is 9 weeks old. I don't have a feel for the normal range

of droppings. The injury is a small irregularity, maybe 1 mm, in the tissue just above the smooth, hard part of the beak. The bird is supposed

to be weaned onto pellets, and we were advised to feed her mainly pellets with a little table food for variety. We hadn't started the table food; we're
all still getting acquainted.
What does it mean to wean a bird, anyway? Obviously, they don't have milk.
Amy Dahl
I think the bird is 9 weeks old. I don't have a feel for the normal range of droppings. The ... all still getting acquainted. What does it mean to wean a bird, anyway? Obviously, they don't have milk. Amy Dahl

Weaning means the bird is eating on its own, as opposed to being hand fed.
Is the irregularity actually on the beak, or the nares? Cockatiels are seed eaters, and need a variety of foods. IMO, an all pellet diet is not healthy or natural. They also need foods containing vitamin A.
Regards
Weaning means the bird is eating on its own, as opposed to being hand fed. Is the irregularity actually on ... variety of foods. IMO, an all pellet diet is not healthy or natural. They also need foods containing vitamin A.

Thank you. There are a lot of contradictions between the book I have, and the advice I received at the pet store, such as the pellet diet. I need to learn more.
How about grit? They didn't offer me any grit at the pet store, and the book is vague on the subject. In fact, if there's a good cockatiel FAQ, I'd appreciate a pointer.
I got Birdie out for another look, and she acted animated and normal. Put her back and she ate a bunch of pellets. I think I am going to wait twelve hours and take her to the local avian vet..in the interest of staying married.
Amy Dahl
We recently acquired a young cockatiel a few days ago. I am trying to follow all of the instructions from ... avoided except in obvious emergencies, or do you whisk them off the moment you see something unusual? TIA, Amy Dahl

Amy,
Just a quick note.
rit.
It will harm your tiel.
Fred
How old is the bird? Is she completely weaned? How ... newbie, sensed that, or you wouldn't be asking the question.

Thanks to both of you who responded. I have finally located an avian emergency vet and that is their advice ... all still getting acquainted. What does it mean to wean a bird, anyway? Obviously, they don't have milk. Amy Dahl

~~Amy: You mention in your post that your bird is 9 weeks old. At that age, it probably just left its parents (if it was parent-raised), or if it was hand-raised by someone in the pet store (taken from the parent birds at a young age and fed by spoon &/or syringe with handfeeding formula), it's very likely that it may still require some feedings. I don't have a formal definition of weaning at the top of my head, but basically it's getting the bird to eat on its own once it leaves the nest.

Your bird may not have been fully weaned when you took it home; therefore, you may still have to feed it by hand for a few days or so with the formula that was being used at the pet store. Have you checked with the pet store to see if the bird was eating on its own when you bought it?As far as a pellet-only diet, I'd advise you to feed a high-quality cockatiel seed mix and add pellets to the seed mix or put them in a separate cup. Millet sprays are also a great addition to a bird's diet. A diet consisting only of pellets is not a good idea at all. When you were suggested to feed "table food", what exactly was meant by that? You can offer all sorts of fruits and vegetables (raw, cooked, steamed), cooked rice and noodles, cooked bean mixes, small bits of high-quality dark breads &/or crackers, unsalted popcorn nuts in small quantities.

Some folks offer their birds the occasional treat of cooked chicken, tuna, hard cheese, yogurt. Your bird should also have a cuttlebone and mineral block in its cage. You shouldn't feed avocado, chocolate, alcohol, junk foods (chips, etc.) to your bird.
I think it would be a great idea to see an avian vet as soon as you can to sort out any potential problems. I'd also suggest you do as much reading as you can (books, on-line, etc.) to get a better sense of what your cockatiel needs to stay happy and healthy. Do a Google search ("cockatiel", "care of cockatiels", "cockatiels as pets") and you 'll get tons of information. Good luck with your new pet.
LindaA
We recently acquired a young cockatiel a few days ago. I am trying to follow all of the instructions from ... avoided except in obvious emergencies, or do you whisk them off the moment you see something unusual? TIA, Amy Dahl

Amy,
No grit.
It will harm your Tiel.
Fred
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