The Bride of the First House (bride) wrote,
The Bride of the First House

Socialization Program for Sid, the Cockatiel

weather: drizzling
outside: 17°C
mood: okay
And if it doesn't work, at least it will provide me with some amusement. =)

He's getting smarter and smarter about not coming out from the safety of his cage. It's taking longer and longer to get him out. I have to chase him around a bit. He knows how to move and where he can go. But I eventually get him to fly out the cage door.

I'd notice that when he flies, the flapping of his wings shakes up a faint cloud of dander. Yeah, he's that dusty. So, I've taken to making him come out at least once a day to fly around, get some exercise, shake some of the dander off.

He's pretty messed up in the head, this little boy, birdinfoSid. If I walk away or into another room, he'll run after me, chirping and wolf whistling at me. Sid would follow me into the family room. He walks right up to my feet and looks up at me chirping like he wants something. But as soon as I put my hand out for him, he's defensive and starts biting.

I just hold my hand out and let him bite me. He has to learn that A) his biting has no effect and B) the hand isn't going to do anything to him. I'll sit there letting him bite-bite-bite, attack-attack-attack for a few minutes at a time. He has a sharp beak and bites pretty hard, but it's nothing I can't handle.

Here's the thing, he doesn't pierce skin or draw blood. And I know he can. Those are just warning bites. They're meant to startle me into leaving him alone. As long as I don't let him learn that biting works, he should mellow out to us in time. I watched a huge Amazon parrot take a chunk of flesh about the size of a dime off a staff's hand at the Night Owl Bird Hospital and they have to keep their hands perfectly still. Sid is nowhere near capable of doing that kind of damage. I think birdinfoSkippy walking on my arm with untrimmed claws gives me deeper gashes than the warning shots from Sid.

Anyway, I also brought out Sid's tassle toy from his cage. I want him to get used to touching it and learn to not be afraid of it. The problem with Sid is that he doesn't play with toys. He won't play with paper when we offer it to him, he doesn't chew on things that he finds interesting, he doesn't find anything interesting at all... if I let him roam free in the family room, he chooses to just sit next to my feet.

Although, lately, we've noticed that he's torn holes in the newspaper lining at the bottom of his cage. I guess it's a start. But I'd rather see him knotting up the tassle toy instead of the newspaper because I'm not sure about him getting the ink in his mouth =P

I cornered him with the tassle toy and let him attack that, which he did with voracity. When he stopped, I jiggled it and made some small ticking noises. He attacked it again. We played for a good 15-20 minutes. I feel bad pissing him off and stressing him out, but I want him to have something else to do. I don't want him to just sit there and do nothing. Or worse, keep grooming himself.

We need to find something that we can use as a treat because right now, there's really no "reward" for him. The only reward is to be able to go back into his cage, which doesn't help if the goal is to have him be comfortable outside of his cage. He likes millet, but I don't think he likes it enough to not mind it being handfed to him...

I think I'll try raisins when I get home.

Tags: sid

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