Ask Lafeber


March 18, 2020

Big change in attitude

I have a pair of cockatiels. The male sings constantly and is very happy and showy. He and the female have gotten closer and finally tried to mate for the first time yesterday and than again today. From that time the male hardly sings. He spends alot of time with his eyes closed even though he is not asleep. He is not active much at all. He goes into the next box and sings until she joins him and than goes back to just sitting with his eyes closed. He is eating very little. When the female gets close to him he is loving and will preen her or they will put their heads together and just rest a minute. I’ve tried everything to get the male back to his chirpy self including putting a millet stick in the cage daily….talking to him all day. .playing videos of other cockatiels singing and he will open his eyes for a second …look at me and shut his eyes again. His poop looks normal but small.. He seems to be in good health its just the big change in his personality
….what is going on?
Thank you


Hi Pamela,

When you allow a pet bird to be a breeder, the bird’s personality will change. He will soon get to the point where he will not let you handle him and he may even attack you to protect the female. Birds vocalize to communicate and when they are chirping and singing, they are generally trying to attract a mate. Now that he has her, he no longer needs to be as animated. As a breeder, he will soon spend all of his time with his mate, either in the box or on top of it. He may change back some after they go through the breeding process – whether they are successful or not. But generally a breeding bird does not want to be a pet once they have a mate.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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