Taming Cockatiel Guide  



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Training Cockatiel Guide














 Your Guide to Taming cockatiel and pet birds

      The best way for taming a cockatiel is buy obtaining a young bird. If you buy the cockatiel from a breeder than it is easier as you can just ask the cockatiel age from the breeder. If you buy from a pet shop, you may have to check their leg band. Some leg band will have year of birth of the cockatiel. However, not many cockatiel in Malaysia will bear a ring (leg band), therefore, you may need to ask this information from the pet shop.

      For taming purpose, before you release or house your cockatiel in an aviary or big outdoor cage, you should keep the cockatiel in a smaller cage (a cage that you still able to move). This cage should be provided with good perching material, variation of good food and fresh water. Then this cage should be put in one corner of the house which have many activities going on. (you may choose to put the cage in the living room if most of your family member spent most of their time here – watching television). The cockatiel have to be given time to adopt to their surrounding and they have to get used to people – lot of people. (it is easier for you if you have a cockatiel which didn’t nervous when she saw people). This can be access by observing the cockatiel. If they didn’t bother much about people’s activity in the room and start to preen their feather even during the time that many people had their activity going on, that mean that the cockatiel start to feel comfortable with people. This means that the taming process could be start soon.

     Taming cockatiel have to be done patiently. We can conduct the taming process at least two or three short session everyday. If you busy for certain period, at least it has to be conduct once a day. You have to be reminded that each individual bird is different and their ability and speed to learn is different in each individual bird. Therefore some bird will learn faster than other birds. However, taming pet bird birds can’t be rush, it should be done slowly based on the birds readiness. One more thing to remember is we shouldn’t use glove to handle or during this taming process as it will make the bird not comfortable and some will afraid of the glove.

     During the first week, when you go closer to the cage (but please keep a distance to avoid the bird from nervous). Do not go too close, but make sure it is not too far. The bird must able to see you and she must aware that you are observing her. You may choose to give her a name and each time you approach her you should call her name softly. End of the day, the bird will know that it is her name and you are coming to her. You also should call her name each time you approach her to give her food. This will win her trust on your voice and yourself and able to make the taming process easier.

     You should be friendly and always treat your cockatiel as your friend, give her lots of respect and “space” (I mean mentally). You may talk to her every time you approach her cage to give her food and drink. If possible, find out what is her favorite food and reward her whenever she behave or achieve some milestone of the taming process.

     After the first stage, you can continue the taming process to next stage, this can be done during giving food to her.  You can begin with giving your cockatiel the food, but you shouldn’t move away form the cage. This is to train your cockatiel to accept your present. At first she may hesitate to take the food. You can correct this and encourage this by moving back some step away from the cage. Moved away slowly until she take the food. If she take it, that mean that is the “space” that she need at this time. This taming process should be done everyday and you can observed that the bird will take the food at the “smaller space”. However keep in mind that this process must be conduct slowly and patiently. If the bird show any sign of worry or tension, the distance should be keep at that point until the bird feel comfortable. You must win her trust and as the time went by, they should feel comfortable to take the food even when you are so closed to her.

     The third stage of the taming process should be start after the second stage is complete. In this stage, we will train the bird to take the food from our hand. During this period, the bird is comfortable to take food when we still stand by the cage. Firstly, as usual  you should give her favorite food and stand by the cage. However, you may reduce the food and if the bird finish the food, she might want more. You will have to hold the food by tour hand beside the cage and offer it to her. If she didn’t take it, then put it in the food container and let her take the food. Repeat this training process until the bird confident to take the food from your hand. However, please note that the food given is here for this training is her favorite food additional to her normal diet and food supply. Please do not starve your cockatiel as it is not ethical and I also offence the practice. The taming process may take time and you may able to do this after several month depend on each individual bird. However, I would like to ensure you that this process is worth you time and it will help you understand your bird better. You also will be proud that you able to do this difficult and challenge task!





Cockatiel Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications

The Complete Pet Bird Owner's Handbook (Revised Edition) by Dr. Gary A. Gallerstein

Avian Medicine: Principles and Application (Abridged Edition) by Dr. Branson Ritchie, Dr. Greg Harrison, Linda Harrison & Dr. Donald W. Zantop

PETsMART.com Specials

Blue Ribbon Parakeet-Cockatiel Playpen
Blue Ribbon Parakeet-Cockatiel Playpen

Ideal for those times when you want to let your bird spread his wings and interact with the family.

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4 February 2003

To Contact me :
Phone: 603-7877-9785
Fax: 603-7877-9785
Email: info@pet-cockatiel.com

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November 2003