Ask Lafeber


January 11, 2023

My cockatiel stopped liking me after I brought him

Hello! I hope you can help me with this 🙁
The thing is, I have had my 1st tiel for about 8 months. He was everything to me. After some rough months of bonding he finally let me touch him. He used to come to me and ask for head scritches and he loved to be petted. Now, I felt pity every time I had to leave him 1 or 2 hours and I bought another tiel. My god. I regret it so much. I thought this new tiel was a male (that is what I wanted since I did not want to have eggs laid) and in the end the seller didn’t know how to properly sex it and it is a female.
My cockatiel completely forgot about me to the point I can’t even pick him up! They bonded to each other in the 2-3 weeks the new tiel has been here. They mate A LOT. My old friend pets his new companion like I did with him, not sure if that is a natural behaviour in birds. Sometimes I pass by and he tries to bite me. I am depressed. I don’t know if I’ll get my old tiel back an regain his trust. I would also feel bad if I separated them. I don’t know what to do. Could you please give me an insight on what should I do? Thank you and greeings from Argentina



The only way he will be a pet again is if you find a new home for the new bird. They haven’t been together that long. Otherwise you wil be dealing with eggs whether you give them a nest box or not. It wouldn’t have mattered if the new bird was a male. Adult birds only have one companion. You were his companion, but by getting another bird, he naturally chose another bird over a person – they almost always will given the option and regardless of the sex. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t just as happy with you, just in a different way. If you don’t want to rehome the new bird, you are stuck with a pair of birds that you will never be able to handle, plus the added responsibility of keeping her from laying eggs all the time. Even if you don’t let them sit on the eggs, she will still lay eggs. This is unfortunately a common mistake owners make, and a common misconception that their bird needsanothr bird for a friend. It doesn’t work that way – adult birds do not have bird friends, they have a single mate. Most bird owners work and leave their birds home alone. The bird will adjust to the owner’s schedule and play with toys and nap. A happy birdwill entertain himself when he is alone. So you have a tough decision. The only other option is to see if a breeder will trade you a baby for your pair.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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