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Excited to be here!

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Excited to be here!

Postby Telana13 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:50 pm

Hello everyone,
I am re-reading Michael's book and am finally making some progress with my Cockatiel, Tino, which is so exciting for me because until recently he wouldn't even take treats out of my hand and now he understands the basics of target training.
If anyone has advice about night frights that would also be great - Tino keeps damaging feathers on one of his wings due to night frights. I have tried adding a small light, covering his cage, leaving him uncovered, and leaving him partially covered with a small light on but I haven't noticed much of a difference.
Anyway, I'm happy to be joining the forum! :greycockatiel:
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Flight: Yes

Re: Excited to be here!

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:44 am

Hi, Telana and Tino, welcome to the forum! You did not tell us how old Tino is, if you have other tiels to keep him company or anything (yes, we are very nosy :lol: ).

Now, as to night frights.... I'll be honest with you, in my personal experience (and I will tell you about it below), it's always something wrong in the environment that is causing but it is not lack of light. For one thing, if you leave a light on during the night, no matter how weak, it will mess up his endocrine system (please reasearch avian photoperiodism, avian endocrine and reproductive system) and he will end up producing sexual hormones all the time (which is unheard of in nature and VERY unhealthy as well as physically uncomfortable, sometimes to the point of chronic pain, for them).

Now, I had a flock of around 34 cockatiels and none ever had a single night fright so this tells me that this is not something that is normal or natural for birds to have. When I moved back to NJ from Pa (where I had the large flock), my tiels started having night frights and I couldn't figure out what the problem was until I spent a night in the birdroom and saw that a sliver of light from a street lamp accross the street was coming in through the window and hitting one corner of the tiels cage. Once I put blackout curtains in that window, they stopped having them and never got another one again. So, it is not the lack of light but, at least in my tiels case, the fact that there is a light shining when there should not be any (no, the light of the moon and the stars is not comparable to artificial light).
But I also think that birds that are not kept exactly right and end up with chronic stress/anxiety can have them even without a light. People forget that captivity is VERY hard on parrots. They think that because they love their birds and get them toys and good food and training, the birds are happy - but they are not. No undomesticated animal can ever be happy in captivity, this is a known fact. Parrots, being highly social and intelligent suffer more than other animals. Tiels, in particular, are highly flock oriented so, when you keep a lone one in a human home, the bird suffers from stress and anxiety. It's not your fault, this happens to every single pet parrot - mine, too! But there are ways to minimize the inevitable stress: the right diet (for a tiel, it means very low protein, high fiber, low fat and high moisture), the companionship of, at least, a companion of their own species (this is especially necessary for aviary species like tiels), a super strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk (this is also essential for tiels which are extremely opportunistic breeders), many hours of out-of-cage (for companion species, it also means hours of one-on-one) and never clipping (they need flight to dissipate stress hormones).

The only other issue is age appropriate care (and this is a tricky one because birds grow up real fast on the outside and look like adults when, in reality, they are still babies) and why Tino's age is important because, for example, you should never train a baby (it messes up their heads something awful and ALWAYS backfires in the long term) and you should not feed it an adult diet (it's like feeding a toddler adult human food). So, is it possible that he is having night frights because he is stressed out? Have you tried keeping him at a strict solar schedule with complete darkness at night? If he is under 8 months, are you feeding it soft food? Free-feeding protein food? Is he clipped? Is his cage against a wall (this makes them feel secure)? In a quiet place at night (not in a room where there is a TV on, for example?)

If you tell us about him a bit more, we might be able to pinpoint the reason why he is having night frights.
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16979
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

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