Bird Veterinary

Have Bird Questions? Ask a Bird Specialist.

Ask a Veterinarian,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

How to prevent my cockatiels from preening themselves on my…

How to prevent my cockatiels...
How to prevent my cockatiels from preening themselves on my shoulder, which is one of their favourite things to do but not not for me as I don't like their fearher dust spread when preening?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Bird Veterinary Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
He is now almost 4 month old now, going through his first adolescent molting. He is less obidient than when he was a baby. Whenever my hands got closer to him he would willingflh step up to my hand even if that means going off my shoulder. But now when he is on my shoulder he refuses to do so as he wants to stay in my shoulder.
He can climb along a small chair I'm sitting on to reach my shoulder, even if I put him down to the floor.
Answered in 4 days by:
3/26/2018
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,877
Experience: Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
Verified

I'm August Abbott Cert.Avian Specialist; ownr N.CA Parrot Rescue. Allow a few minutes to review & respond (please ignore site offers for phone svc)

Ask Your Own Bird Veterinary Question

You're right about him entering his adolescent years and we all know how difficult that is with a human! Cockatiels are just smaller and wear feathers, but nonetheless have 'attitude'.

The most important thing is that you teach with kindness, gentleness and by accenting the positive.

The best way to curb the preening while on shoulder is to keep your buddy occupied. I know people who wear those plastic chains (most bird supply stores and regular hardware stores like Lowes will have them sold by the foot) with a bell or two attached should be fun for the 'tiel, but you might prefer the preening after a while.

Also, never let the bird make the decisions. When he doesn't want to come down, gently and nicely remove him by scooping him up with both hands and placing him where you want him - and give him a treat. When I had a tiel in the sanctuary, a 'cookie' was always his favorite thing in the world. I bought them (cockatiel treats) at a local bird supply shop, but you can offer a piece of graham cracker or an unsalted banana chip or something else that he likes, but that's also healthy.

This way he'll associate coming off your shoulder with a reward and he'll more likely do it when you ask.

With 'tiels it's not a matter of discipline, it's a matter of reward. Birds do not respond well to negatives or punishment. They will often lose the loving bond you've worked so hard to establish when negatives and punishments happen - and it may be impossible to get their trust back.

Sound like something you can do?

August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,877
Experience: Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
Verified
August Abbott, CAS and 87 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Does trimming their feathers lose their trust in us? Since they isn't like it.
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Don't like it
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
can you recommend any online store that sells a sticker necklace for bird owners?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Plastic necklace

If your bird has learned to fly, giving what's called a 'baby trim' is fine. Actually, they may bond more to you with this since the trim prevents them from flying UP or far. Just trim the first 4 feathers on each wing down to the length of the next feather below it.

Since they'll need you for 'up' - they learn to trust and rely on you - rather than them being in control of everything

One supplier I love is www.DrsFosterandSmith -- excellent quality and the things they sell are consistently better than expected.

Do some shopping though and check Amazon along with Chewy.com

I LOVE how attentive you are! Wonderful owner!

Ask Your Own Bird Veterinary Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a bird veterinarianLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask August Abbott, CAS Your Own Question
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,877
7,877 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research

August Abbott, CAS is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found "JustAnswer" on my Google search -- you are now in my "Favorites" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete!

Bev & GeorgeBoca Raton, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Pat

Dr. Pat

Bird Veterinarian

3,596 satisfied customers

25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds

Dr. Bob

Dr. Bob

Veterinarian

2,854 satisfied customers

35 years in general practice, including avian.

Dr. MD Stafford

Dr. MD Stafford

Veterinarian

233 satisfied customers

20 years in private practice, contract veterinarian Dickerson Park Zoo and attending veterinarian Missouri State University

Fiona Steel

Fiona Steel

Veterinarian

224 satisfied customers

BVMS MRCVS

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

220 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

allpetsdr

allpetsdr

Veterinarian

142 satisfied customers

I have been practicing for 10 years. I work with exotic pets, dogs, cats, small ruminants, camelids and pigs.

Dr_Kitty

Dr_Kitty

Bird Veterinarian

122 satisfied customers

Mostly experience with chickens and ducks.

< Previous | Next >

Related Bird Veterinary Questions
I can't set aside 2 hours a day for my cockatiel and I have
Hi I can't set aside 2 hours a day for my cockatiel and I have two cockatiels which means 4 hours a day. What ls the best way to keep cockatiels in the cage while maximising the satisfaction of their … read more
Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo
Veterinarian
BA
2 satisfied customers
Salkin) is it normal for weaned baby cockatiels to have
for Dr Michael Salkin) is it normal for weaned baby cockatiels to have reduced appetite compared to before weaning? My almost 4 months normal grey seems to love play more than eat for the past two wee… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
My 3 month old normal grey cockatiel recently started to
My 3 month old normal grey cockatiel recently started to have some feather fallen off when he flew off my shoulder or preened himself. Could this be due to feather mites as he is too young to molt.… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
I have a lovely new Alexandrine. She is very sweet and often
I have a lovely new Alexandrine. She is very sweet and often preens my fingers (so I know she's comfortable with my hands) and ear. I should mention also that she is very new to us having only being b… read more
Dr. Gwen
Dr. Gwen
Veterinarian
Post-Doctoral Degree
358 satisfied customers
I have a 18 year old cockatiel male who has been healthy up
Hi i have a 18 year old cockatiel male who has been healthy up to now but since the weekend has refused food and appears to have wekness one side and cannot climb down to reach his food so have change… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
Our cockatiel flew into the ceiling fan.His food door came
Our cockatiel flew into the ceiling fan.His food door came open and all of a sudden he was flying around. It hit him in the wing and he is shaken up. It was about 45 min.ago. His left wing is shaking … read more
Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan
Veterinarian and practice owner
Doctoral Degree
5,376 satisfied customers
My bird is mostly sitting in the corner of her cage with feathers fluf
My bird is mostly sitting in the corner of her cage with feathers fluffed. Eating and drinking and when I approach her she gets up and acts normal. She gets on her perch and preens and then later she … read more
Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan
Veterinarian and practice owner
Doctoral Degree
5,376 satisfied customers
My road Island Red lost her feathers on her belly - her belly
My road Island Red lost her feathers on her belly - her belly is a little swollen and the skin is red and warm (warmer than the other chickens) and the feather are not growing back - she seems perky a… read more
EmergencyVets
EmergencyVets
Emergency Veterinarian /Medical Director
Doctoral Degree
368 satisfied customers
Hi,I have a 17 to 18-year-old cockatiel and his face is starting
Hi, I have a 17 to 18-year-old cockatiel and his face is starting to look raggedy. I'm scared that he may be plucking. Is it, by any chance, molting season? There are a lot of little feathers in his c… read more
Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus
468 satisfied customers
my budgerigar charlie in a cage on his own inside our house
my budgerigar charlie in a cage on his own inside our house he is 5 months old we have had him 10 weeks always whistling and starting to talk. 2 days ago he went silent and just sits all fluffed up. h… read more
Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan
Veterinarian and practice owner
Doctoral Degree
5,376 satisfied customers
Hi, hope you had a festive holiday. My question is this
Hi, hope you had a festive holiday. My question is this: I have had my parakeet for about 7 years now. We bonded right from the beginning. He would spend hours with me on my shoulder, on my head while… read more
Dr. Elaine
Dr. Elaine
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
1,186 satisfied customers
cockatiel: home today..bottom corners of his cage..seemed fine
Came home today to find my cockatiel in one of the bottom corners of his cage. He's seemed fine up till when i came home from work today... He took five minutes or so to move from that spot but clambe… read more
Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan
Veterinarian and practice owner
Doctoral Degree
5,376 satisfied customers
My cockatiel is 16-17 years old as is his companion - both
I need immediate advice concerning my elderly cockatiel. He has acted a bit listless the last few days, when on the bottom of the cage, I would see him rock back and forth occasionally, which is not h… read more
Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan
Veterinarian and practice owner
Doctoral Degree
5,376 satisfied customers
started keeping himself puffed up, can this be a molting issue
I have a parotlette and recently he has started keeping himself puffed up, can this be a molting issue?… read more
Dr. C
Dr. C
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
415 satisfied customers
my 15 year old cockatiel is very quiet, feathers fluffed up,
my 15 year old cockatiel is very quiet, feathers fluffed up, trembles a little, pants a little, also sometimes his droppings are very green. From being very tame and always ready for a fly or even jus… read more
Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan
Veterinarian and practice owner
Doctoral Degree
5,376 satisfied customers
Hi, my 3 yo male cockatiel broke his wing whilst experiencing
Hi, my 3 yo male cockatiel broke his wing whilst experiencing a night fright. I am convinced that he got his wing caught between the wire of his cage. When I purchased the cage I thought bigger the be… read more
Dr. C
Dr. C
Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
415 satisfied customers
Yesterday morning I went to uncover my cockatiel and I noticed
Yesterday morning I went to uncover my cockatiel and I noticed that "she" was holding the top part of her wing out from her body. I let her out of the cage and she tried to fly to the chair where she … read more
Dr. Jodi Lynn Smith
Dr. Jodi Lynn Smith
Medical Director/Staff Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
689 satisfied customers
I have 2 cockatiels that seem healthy. They eat, drink and
I have 2 cockatiels that seem healthy. They eat, drink and void normally, as far as I can tell. They live in a cage that is 8 feet tall and 4 feet square. They used to fly to the floor to graze for dr… read more
Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat
Bird Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
3,596 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x