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Question about Cockatiels-

My parents have had their cockatiels for 14 years now, Cleetus and Clementine. My parents are moving into our house and so the birds have come with them. When we lived there as teenagers, these birds were super social- but after a few years without my sister or I playing with them daily, they've clearly suffered some social neglect. I moved them into my house (with 6 kids!) today and into a new, clean cage and all that but they've been shaking now for a few hours. What can I do to gradually help socialize them again to make them used to being around people? I would love for them to be the way they were when my sister and I were teens- super social, and loved being handled.


Asked by MamaCarterof5 at 3:56 PM on Aug. 11, 2010 in Pets

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This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • slowly integrate them from their previous environment into the one you want for them.
    They just moved from what I expect is a quiet home - simulate that with putting them in a low traffic quiet part of the house.
    Slowly introduce them to company a few minutes at a time. over a series of weeks .
    Over time (take it SLOW) they will come to enjoy the company and can become the wonderful feathered friends you know from childhood.

    Answer by FooLynRoo at 9:24 AM on Aug. 12, 2010

  • I would cover their cage with a light blanket. It helps them feel more secure and then they can get used to the noise a bit, without too much stimuli at once. Also is it cold or drafty where you put their cage? That could cause shivering too.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 3:59 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • That is a LOT of change for birds to handle, especially birds that old. They are in a new home, with new surroundings and more commotion than they are used to, plus you put them in a new cage. To be honest, I would be very surprised if they weren't shaking. Some birds would have heart failure with even one of these changes, let alone all at once. Your best bet would be to put them back in their old, familar cage and then move them into the quietest room of the house to let them gradually get used to their new surroundings. Everyday go in & give them fresh food & water & a bit of attention & gradually let them warm up to you again. Eventually you'll be able to take them for visits into the main living areas & let them warm up to the rest of the family. With time & patience, they'll adapt & be comfortable in your home.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 4:06 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I would probably start with keeping the kids away from them for a while and start gradual. Adults first and then gradually introduce the kids. I would probably talk to a bird vet, they would have more info.

    Answer by JGRIMMER at 3:59 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • They are usually kept covered every night from about 9pm until the morning when the sun comes up and someone wakes up to uncover them (mom said, between 7-8am). It's not drafty at all. When I went to move them from their old cage into their new one, they wouldn't even get on my finger, I had to literally wrap my hand around them into order to place them in the new cage. They used to just hop right on my finger and come out of their cage but they were terrified of me. Since my parents got older, they havent got them out much I'm told.

    Comment by MamaCarterof5 (original poster) at 4:04 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I have a Cockatiel and it is good that they have each other. I agree with both above posters. Keep the children away from them, keep the room quiet and slightly cover them with a sheet, but enough to let them still see out. They will adjust, they are just creatures of habit and are used to their old cage. Play some soft music for them too or the radio on low volume. Get them a mirror for inside the cage, mine loves his mirror and a toy or two.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 4:06 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • Oh, and as for the new cage, put it in the room where you eventually want them to live full time. When you are starting to socialize them with the rest of the family, do it in the room where the new cage is and let them use it as a safe zone - nobody bothers them when they're in the new cage. This will both help them to adapt to the new cage & their new family.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 4:08 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I can't let them stay in the old cage, the bottom of it had begun to rust, it just wasn't safe for them to be in anymore. I will cover them up partially and leave it so they can still see out. Is there anything else I can give them? I did stop at superpetz and got them some vitamin drops and stuff for molting in stressful situations. I used to feed them banana chips as a treat, I'm wondering if I could get them to warm back up to me if I tried giving them those again.

    Comment by MamaCarterof5 (original poster) at 4:18 PM on Aug. 11, 2010

  • I say leave them be for a few days, just let them get used to being in a new house, with new people around - don't try to "force" them into socializing yet. Once they start to look around more, act more interested in what's going on around them, pay more attention to them, talk to them, etc, but give them a few more days before trying to take them out of the cage. They really just need time. I had a pair when I was a teen and I had the same issue when we got them, and they were fairly young. Take their age into consideration too - maybe they're just getting old and tired and cranky and don't want to be as social as they used to be.

    Answer by 4time-mom at 5:39 PM on Aug. 11, 2010