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Last Post 24-12-2012 11:20 AM by  SharonH
Raiden, his yelling and my shiftwork
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Doug
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11-12-2012 12:31 PM

    Hey all,

    So Raiden my rescue cockatiel came to live with me almost 8 months ago via the Socttish SPCA. He was originally handed in due to "keeping the baby awake", he was 6 years old at the time and aparently female (but not).

    As I volunteer there and was considering a cockatiel at the time I decided to take him but its become clear he has a bit of a yelling issue. I ignored it as best I could for the first 7 months but its not improved at all. The past few weeks I have switched tack and have relentlessly caged him at the first yell, and covered him if he persists.

    This tactic has met with some success, though Im dumfounded that he still doesnt seem to get it. Nonetheless, its arresting the yelling immediately and allowing me to spend much more time with him and I think our relationship has really felt the better of it

    So what's with the shift work ?

    Well, Ive just found out today that as of january we are being put onto a 4on/4off shift pattern, basically this means 12 hour days and Im worried that with Raiden being a lone 'tiel he will regress back to yelling more.

    I bought him a radio some months back and have it come on at regular times during the day to keep a sort of routine, but Im dreading only being able to spend an hour or two with him each day when Im on shift.

    Its been mentioned before (not here) that 'tiels being flock birds he might benefit from a companion, but taking in another to "fix" this one didnt seem responsible. Its perhaps an option though, as is finding him a new home if it's best for Raiden.

    What do you think ? Is this new pattern likely to cause him stress or lonliness ? Any ideas on how to compensate ? Or will it be a difficult adjustment but eventually he'll settle into it ?

    Thanks for any advice, he came to me as a lone bird but that doesnt mean he should end up lonley...

    Doug
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    22-12-2012 12:34 PM

    No suggestions on this ? Its been confirmed that we're switching shift on the 12th of January so I guess we'll find out then what effect if any. My friend on the same shift as me also has a cockatiel, but he's had her since a chick so she has none of the behavioural issues Raiden has so she may be a good basis on which to jusge.

    On the subject of behavioural issues, I concluded that caging him has had no effect on his yelling, he quickly got used to it and just carried on yelling. Ive stopped that as a tactic and have continued to just ignore it, which unfortunately has meant a return to multi-hour yelling sessions and he has now introduced aggression into the mix

    Starts yelling, I ignore him, time passes, I go back through and then he attacks me. Thats two days in a row this has happened, I really dont know what to do with him now

    Doddie Kent
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    22-12-2012 2:18 PM
    Just a thought - is it possible that Raiden was originally an aviary bird? Cockatiels can be wonderful companion birds, if that's what they choose. By 'aviary bird' I mean does Raiden want to interact with you (or anyone?) or do you think he'd be happier with other 'tiels? Some birds just are not interested in people. Could you not take in another cockatiel for a week or two, just to see his reaction? Perhaps he'd be better as a member of a small flock - three/four birds - inside the house?
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    Helen W
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    22-12-2012 4:27 PM
    I read your original post and felt for you, but didn't really have an answer. Having had Joey (seen left) in the past, I know how noisy tiels can be. Small birds with big personalities. Joey used to love having the radio or TV left on for him if he was alone, so there was always some noise in the room.

    I sincerely hope that your shift changes don't upset Raiden any more, you never know, maybe the 'routine' of it will become familiar to him. Please don't give up on him and consider Doddie's question carefully - she has an awful lot of experience with birds. Please let us know how you and Raiden get on x
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    SharonH
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    23-12-2012 11:57 AM
    Like Helen, I read your original post and felt for you, thought about it and then it dropped off the unread list and I forgot to reply to you.

    In my experience, birds yell when they want something, and it's a case of working out what it is and how to satisfy the need without making a rod for your own back. Many of the single birds I have come across have been sole companions, usually of older people and have been with them from morning until night and expect that from you. If that is the case then a strict routine might well help. If he's human oriented a friend is unlikely to help, but many little birds do do better with a friend and are less demanding of human company as a result. So it might be worth asking your friend to bring his over and see how interested Raiden is. That might give you an idea of how best to help him, and yourself.
    Doug
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    24-12-2012 10:54 AM

    Thank you all for the replies
    Helen, I leave a radio on for him when Im at work between 10am and 3pm every day, I had hoped that would give him some sort of routine to go by but who knows. Perhaps the steady shift hours will be an improvement.

    Doddie, I take your point about perhaps being an aviary orientated bird, he sometimes interacts and is nice. He'll bow his head, he'll whistle his little jingle, but in general he's more inclined to talk to the corner of the door or march up and down on the floor and get aggro if I approach him.
    Im not sure where I would get to "borrow" a cokcatiel for a week or two, and my friend in work is a work colleague rather than a social friend so him bringing his bird over isnt really an option (a good idea though). I think one of my mum's friends has a cokcatiel so perhaps I could arrange to take Raiden to visit them ?

    Sharon, Im really not sure what he wants at any time. The lady who brought him in had just had a baby, Raiden is already 6 years old but it's possible she didnt work and was with him all day, who knows. As I say he sometimes appears keen to interact and will whistle his jingle and I'll do the same and tell him how talkented he is, but then like a switch the yelling starts and he will become more aggro than friendly. In fact the past few days he has taken to sitting on the clothes horse in the kitchen and yelling relelntlessly, and being actively aggressive towards me if I approach him.
    It comes to bed time (MY bedtime) and he will refuse to move off the clothes horse and attacks me if I try to encourage him - ie step up, shoulder, moving the clothes horse etc. In fact having attacked and bit my face half an hour ago, he is now sitting on my arm preening happily as I type - Im at a loss as to whats different.

    Its been such a bad experience the past 8 months though I would be really hesitant about taking in another bird to be honest, I would certainly be willing to try him with another bird but I think it would be a case of rehoming him if that is what he needs.
    The only time he seems to be content is when we're in the shower. He will sit on top of the shower rail looking happy then dose off for a nap. He can be so sweet sometimes when he wants to be I just feel like IM the one causing HIM the problems bacause there obviously a nice wee bird in there.

    Thanks again for the replies, I really do appreciate it It seems like the next thing is to try an introduction then - Im off work now until the 4th January so hopefully I can arrange something.
    Also, have a lovely .. "crestmas" from me and Raiden

    SharonH
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    24-12-2012 11:20 AM
    It doesn't sound as if Raiden is a hand reared bird, they are usually much more tame than you describe. It may be that he is a parent reared bird that someone has tried to tame or that was more tame, and/or a hand reared that was neglected when a baby came along. There is a huge difference between birds that are hand or parent reared. My parents have cockatiels in an aviary that will whistle, talk to an extent, and like to interact but they are not at all hand tame (a visit to the vet led to one of them being christened Osama) and Raiden sounds similar to that.

    Are any of the Scottish mob near Doug? It sounds as if he could benefit from someone else having a look at Raiden. But from what you say Doug, I suspect an indoor aviary with others of his kind, might be the best thing you could do for him.
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