Help!!! My husband got me a cockatiel as an early Christmas present. I've ordered a book on their care but it hasn't come yet.

For the most part, we seem to be doing okay. The bird (Piper) has been here for four days and he's eating fine and starting to adjust. I can take the food and water dishes in and out of his cage without scaring him to death now. He had been totally silent until today when he "yelled" for me to come back when I left the room.

My question is: during the evening he treads (paces) back and forth on the floor of the cage and seems agitated. I don't know what he wants. He paces forward, he even paces backward, and appears to be really worked up. Is this normal? How do I respond?
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Help!!! My husband got me a cockatiel as an early Christmas present. I've ordered a book on their care ... paces forward, he even paces backward, and appears to be really worked up. Is this normal? How do I respond?

Have you handled him yet? Does he get time out of his cage?
"Money is truthful. If a man speaks of his honor make him pay cash." Lazarus Long
Help!!! My husband got me a cockatiel as an ... really worked up. Is this normal? How do I respond?

Have you handled him yet? Does he get time out of his cage?

I haven't handled him. I thought I should give him some time first. He's about eight weeks old and had only been at the pet store for about a week. The person at the store wouldn't even pick him up (she caught him with a net) because she said that they bite really bad.

I've been sitting beside the cage and talking to him for 10-15 minutes every little while all day. And I move my hands in and out of the cage to move the food dishes around and I've added some perches, etc. At first he went into an absolute tizzy if I just came near, but he's doing better. I'm a little nervous about trying to pick him up.

Any suggestions on how to go about it? Also, the store kept them in a big playpen type thing so I don't think he's been in a cage before...

Thanks for the response.
Does he have toys?
Help!!! My husband got me a cockatiel as an ... really worked up. Is this normal? How do I respond?

Have you handled him yet? Does he get time out of his cage?

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He does, but he ignores them. Mostly he climbs up and down the cage.
I haven't handled him. I thought I should give him some time first. He's about eight weeks old and had ... in a big playpen type thing so I don't think he's been in a cage before... Thanks for the response.[/nq]Sounds like he must have been parent raised. You can tame him, but it will be a job. Your doing the right things, it just takes lots and lots of time. Millet makes a good treat to feed by hand. Hold a spray for him and only let him have it while you hold it. They love the stuff. After doing this long enough he will start to loose his fear of your hands and begin to trust. He needs out of the cage time.

If his wings are not clipped, it would be best to do this one time. Have someone who knows what they are doing show you. You do not want to do too much, just enough so he can't get lift, and fly off and be hard to catch again. Spend time with him as much as you can and in time he will bond with you, it just takes time. Have fun, they can be a great pet.

"Money is truthful. If a man speaks of his honor make him pay cash." Lazarus Long
Have you handled him yet? Does he get time out of his cage?

I haven't handled him. I thought I should give him some time first. He's about eight weeks old and had ... store wouldn't even pick him up (she caught him with a net) because she said that they bite really bad.

"They"??
Look, this airhead at the pet store doesn't know what the hell she's talking about, or (perhaps AND) her store doesn't have a decent source for hand raised, hand fed cockatiels.
Parent-raised tiels can be made somewhat friendly toward humans, but the vast majority will never be as sociable and accepting as hand raised tiels. My advice would be to return the bird to the store and get a hand raised one instead.
For the most part, we seem to be doing okay. The bird (Piper) has been here for four days and he's eating fine[/nq]Have you tried to contact a vet that sees birds? If not, that would be the first order of business. Take him to there and the vet (or vet techs!) will give you lots of good information, including what to feed your cockatiel. (This is the age where you need to introduce all the foods to him that you want to feed him over time. If you don't do that now, it could be much harder to feed him right as he gets older. If you introduce new foods now, he'll get used to trying new things.) Don't get suckered into having blood drawn unless you feel like it; it's not necessary.

Just have them clip the wings and toenails (if necessary), and give the bird a basic exam. They might want to look at the poop under a scope to look for parasites again, that's up to you. Your vet will probably be able to tell you if the bird was parent-raised or if it's just freaked out because of the change (and because it senses that you're not entirely comfortable with him)! Nothing that you've said here is inconsistent with a hand-raised bird that has been adopted by someone unfamiliar with birds.

Make sure you don't give the bird too much attention now, and whatever you do, DON'T come back into the room because he "weep-weeps!" at you to come back. You don't want him to he'll turn into a maniacal little monster who demands your attention. Give him just the amount of attention you know you can maintain over the long term. Let him out of his cage periodically every day, and make sure you place the cage someplace where he can be part of what's going on most of the time so that when you're not giving him direct attention, he is still getting stimulation. At night, make sure he gets 12 hours of quiet. Covering the cage isn't necessary, but it's a good habit to get into and it will give him the clear sign that it's nite-nite time.
Give him time to get into his toys. He'll eventually figure out how much fun they are. Keep mirrors out of his cage.
There are a gazillion things to learn about keeping birds, and you can't learn them all at once. The best thing you can do is take the bird to the vet. Some of the books out there are bunk! You might also see if there's a bird club in your area. You don't have to join, but attend a meeting or two just to make contact with someone who can mentor you through this important time with your bird.

Good luck, and don't hesitate to e-mail me directly if you have any questions. I'm not an expert, but I've had parrots for 12 years and I've bred cockatiels. I've raised hand-fed babies as well as parent-raised babies. I've never had a bird get sick or die on me, so I think I've done pretty well!
Lesley
I don't think that's an option. I'm just gonna have to do what I can to tame this one!!!
I may not have experience with birds, but I've had more than one dog that no one else could handle and I have goldfish who come when they're called!!!
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