Ask Lafeber


November 16, 2021

I got 25 days old cockatiel now I am hand feeding he is not interested and bites me

Hey, I got a 25 days old cockatiel and after spending a day It is not interested in the formula and eating very less it sometimes try to bite my fingers when I place it on my hand. I want to tame It and want to build trust he is 27 days now approx what to do



Has someone else been handfeeding the bird? Was it just now taken away from the parents? He is too old to be taken from the parents, but too young to wean. When you try to begin handfeeding a cockatiel at this age, it will resist being hand fed because it wants to be back with the parents. You have to remove a cockatiel between 2-3 weeks in order to hand feed it. By 25-27 days, they are too alert and are about ready to leave the nest box. They start to pick at food, but they need the parents to keep feeding them. Even if someone else was handfeeding him, he will resist a new person trying to hand feed him. He doesn’t understand the change. You can’t force feed him or you will risk causing him to aspirate and then he will most likely die. But if you can’t get him to eat, he will also die. You have to be patient and get him to eat one small drop at a time. He may get hungry enough to give in and start eating for you, or he may keep fighting you and get too weak to eat. It’s a really bad age to start this. Just be patient with him, feed a little at a time but don’t force feed him, talk to him and reassure him. You can offer him some soft foods like cooked brown rice with chopped veggies, thick formula in a small cup, soaked pellets, scrambled eggs. Also offer some spray millet, seeds and small pellets. He will hopefully start to pick at food and will probably wean early. As for him being tame, again, be patient and give him time to trust you.

Thank you for asking Lafeber.


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