How to Tame a cockatiel that bites (11 practical tips)

Cockatiels are small birds. They are the second most pet birds in the world. Being easy to be tamed, they are always the choice of bird lovers. Biting behavior is common for cockatiels. You need to give them special treatment if they do.

Being small, it is their natural instinct to fly away when a big predator approaches them. It is because they can’t fight. If they will fight, it will be a losing battle. In the end, they will give up. But how do they fight? They bite. They only bite if no other option is left for them. So, how to tame a cockatiel that bites?

  1. Look for the likely reasons why cockatiel is biting
  2. Approach him slowly and talk
  3. If he bites, put yourself back
  4. Keep yourself calm
  5. Praise cockatiel by giving him treats
  6. Don’t react if he bites, just say no
  7. Don’t let cockatiel perch on your shoulder
  8. Gain cockatiel’s trust
  9. Teach him to perch on your hand
  10. Return him back to his cage before he loses interest
  11. Pet him if he wants to be petted

Look for the reasons why cockatiel is biting

Cockatiels bite for some reason. Without any reason, they don’t show this aggressive behavior. If you are going to tame them , you might be doing some mistakes that are boosting their aggression. The first reason can be he doesn’t like you. Why? Because you may have forced him to eat or may try to play with him when he is not in the mood.

Many owners also tease the cockatiels, thinking it that it would be fun for them. But in the end, it has negative outcomes. Sometimes you buy a cockatiel that is already aggressive. In the past, he might have got a bad environment. His previous might not know how to take care of him. Maybe he didn’t have good relations with the other cockatiel companions living in his cage. These all factors are making him bite.

Maybe you scream or mock him when he bites you. This even makes the situation worse. First, you have to look for all the possible reasons and treat him accordingly. Don’t annoy him. If he did something wrong, try to cover the situation calmly.

A calm cockatiel can tame faster than an aggressive one. You have to keep him calm and have to show him that you are his friend. YOu are not going to hurt him.

Approach him slowly and talk

As we have to tame the cockatiel, we have to make him a friend first. We can only be best friends if both of you are calm. So, after knowing the reason for his bite behavior, it’s time to approach your bird. As you look giant to him, you are a danger to him. These birds, when they see a predator, they flew away. But in this situation they can’t, as they are closed in the cage.

So, for self-defense, they will use their beak to protect themselves and will try to bite you. You don’t have to put your hand in the cage directly. First, go close to his cage slowly and calmly. Try to keep the cage at eye levels. If the cage is on the floor, he will find you as a danger. You have to show him equality because the friendship’s base is fairness.

When you approach him, you should talk to him very calmly. Talk to him about what you have done today. Why do you want to be his friend? Call him by his name. If you don’t know his name, you can keep the new name. This will help you in the future because whenever you call him by his name, he will come to you.

You have to show your presence. For this, you can do anything. Place the cage in the TV lounge or the area where you visit a lot. You can also move his cage from one room to another room. Read books by sitting close to him. Even be his teacher if you are going to study school work. The main aim here is to show your presence.

This will help the cockatiel to understand that you are not the danger, you are his friend. This will build trust between you and the bird. He will automatically think that you are his well-wisher and are not hurting him. This will make the base.

If he bites you, put yourself back

As you are trying your best to tame the cockatiel. Remember, it is a time-consuming process. You have to keep your patience. When you are doing everything for him, he will get offended initially, but after some time, he will understand your intention.

During the taming phase, if he bites you , you have to put yourself back. Don’t tame him at that moment. Stop the process there. We can not tame him until he is not settled. If you keep continuing the process, chances are he might get offended more. Instead of building trust, you might end up of losing it.

Stop the process and wait until he calms down. It would be more beneficial for you and your bird.

Keep yourself calm and motivated

Yes! you read it right. You have to keep yourself calm and motivated. Many trainers lose interest as they find it a hard nut to crack. It is really hard but not that much if you did it correctly. You have to keep the motivation. For the initial days, you might not get the signals, but as the days pass, you will have a much stronger bond than ever with your cockatiel.

For motivation, you can watch YouTube videos, and join groups where people are discussing cockatiels. You can watch videos of cockatiel enjoying with their owners. Motivation is the key. It helps you tk keep consistency in training. If you will tame and train the cockatiel daily you are going to get the results very soon. As you will get the results , you will get more encouragement. At the end you will be able to gain trust of your cockatiel.

Praise him by giving him treats

Food is the best and fastest way to make cockatiel friend. They can not restrain themselves from eating their favorite treat. You can start with pop corns and then various fruits. Pellets are best as they have more nutritional value and their love towards them, too.

In this step, you have to feed your bird from outside the cage. He will not eat from your hand. If he comes closer, there are chances he might bite you. For example, you can take millet and feed him from outside. He would not hurt you as millet is long and your hand would be far from his beak.

Remember, the special treats should only be fed by your hands. By doing this, your bird will feel safe from your hand. He will not bite you, whenever you bring your hand closer to him. Favorite foods should only be given when cockatiel do something good. By serving him food, you are giving him a message that if you do this again, I will reward you with the millet.

Once he feels comfortable with you, you can feed him by taking your hand in the cage. Don’t do it too early. If you do so, he may attack you again. You can also say, “Very good”, whenever he does something good and feed him fruit along with it. By doing this, he will learn to listen to your commands.

Don’t react if cockatiel bites, just say no

If your bird bites you when you are closer to him. Don’t give too much attention to this act. Be calm at this moment and say loudly, “NO”. By doing this, he will understand that he has done a mistake. You also have to keep calmness. When you bring the food closer to him and again he bites, just say no and bring back the food. Say , ‘NO’ again.

After an hour you can repeat the same process. When he stops biting, you give him a treat of his favorite food. This is the way you can teach him that biting is cruel and if he do so he will not be able to get his favorite food.

Teach him to perch on your hand

As you are able to get some trust in your bird, you can train him to come over to you. This is the moment where we will teach him to perch on your hand. But before you should know that if your cockatiel is still biting you, you should first train him to stop biting. As he will stop, it’s time to take one more step toward success.

Now open the cage and put the wooden perch in the cage. He will not perch surely for the first time. It is a time-consuming process. You have to wait for some days for it to work. Bring the stick closer to his chest. If he doesn’t climb, you should touch his chest politely.

He may not come. At this moment, the food greediness will work. You can use millet and take the millet to the other end of the stick. He should only get access to the millet if he would climb the stick. For getting the food, he will climb up the perch. That’s it. Our major step is complete. Now it is easier for us to teach him to perch on our hands.

As soon as he doesn’t feel any hesitation from perching, it’s time to bring your finger into the cage. At this time, he will feel insecure for the first time. You have to touch his chest again. It is a sign that you have to climb. You should also use commands like,” Step UP”. So, he knows whenever you say this it means to climb.

Don’t let him perch on your shoulder

This step looks simple, but it is hard and time-consuming. You will be able to tame him within a month if you will give him proper attention. As he starts trusting you, you can put him on your shoulder and visit the whole house. Don’t put him on your shoulder too early. Make your bond stronger first. If you do so too early, he might think that you are nothing for him and may start biting you.

You also need to understand his body language first. He may use his beak to climb on your head and you may take it as a bite.

Return him back to his cage before he loses interest

Cockatiels are living organisms. Just like humans, they also get tired. You have to make him feel that you are special. Spending time with you is an honor for him. If you tame him too much or pet him too much, he may lose interest.

You want your bird to be happy. For this, if you feel that your bird is now feeling interested, set him back to the cage. Return him back to this cage before he loses influence. It doesn’t mean you stop spending time with him, Spend time as much as you can, but don’t irritate him. That’s the point!

Gain cockatiel’s trust by giving toys

The best way to gain cockatiels trust is by giving his toys. If your bird is alone , he can be into depression if you wouldn’t give him proper time. By having toys, your bird has something to do. Moreover, toys boost the mental health of the bird. It is an excellent source of entertainment for him.

Having nothing to do will lead to loneliness in the birds. As they are wild birds, they can’t survive in a caged environment. This can lead to sadness in them. They will become aggressive in some cases. This can also lead the cockatiel to bite you.

Make sure you must provide the basics needed for the bird. Food and water are not enough. He needs someone to talk someone with whom he would love to spend time. You can be his partner, but you can’t be there always. At this moment, you can provide toys to the cockatiel. If you play with him with his toys, you can also get his trust. There are many easy ways that can help you to gain cockatiels’ trust.

Pet him if he wants to be petted

If you have developed strong relations with your bird, your pet will come close to you. He wants your love now. You should pet him if he wants to be petted. Don’t ignore it. Petting your cockatiel will help you to make a strong bond with him.

You can pet him by touching him on his neck. Rub in that area. Rubbing on the sides of the beak is also loved by the birds. If they show comfort and don’t act angry, you should keep petting them. You should stop petting them if they avoid you and try to escape.

Every bird has a different nature. Some cockatiels like to be petted more than others. You should not force the bird instead gain the trust first. Although if you act upon all the above-mentioned tips, you can tame your cockatiel faster than any method.

Summary

You can tame any cockatiel if you give him proper time. Give him his favorite treat, if he gives you a positive response. Spend time with him more than before and talk to him more often. I hope these tactics work for you. If you need any help, feel free to ask.

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