Hi, this is Dr Jeanne Smith. What you've described is a common problem in baby cockatiels. A lit of them are already weak or clumsy fliers and then if they're given severe wing trims they have a viscous cycle of problems. They fall and break tail feathers and then fall even harder. I'll be right back with suggestions.
File attached (17M21M3)
First of all, yes trim the one feather because a single long feather is vulnerable to breakage or getting caught on something. You're going to have to be very careful with him until he molts for his first adult molt when he's about 9 months old. Keep him waist high iver any solid floors. Don't let him be up on your shoulder or on top of his cage. It's best if he's kept to carpeted rooms.
File attached (S1LQ3MG)
Do you think I should return the bird to the pet shop? Or will he be okay?
If he crashes on a hard floor he can injure his body between his vent and tail, it's a commom injury in cockatiels in his situation so you have to do yoyr best to keep him from crashes.
Is there anyway to train him to stop crashing or will he have to learn on his own
With care he'll be okay. When he molts in about 6 months you can stop being super careful. But if you aren't really attached to him it would be easier to start iver with a different bird.
He will crash because ge doesn't have enough tail and wing feathers to give him the loft to break his falls. It isn't about training, he doesn't have the equipment he needs to learn.
his poop is also quite runny, but this could be due to new environment and stress, correct?
It could be, or he could have a yeast infection or giardia infection, common in cockatiels.
after his molt in 6 months time, will it be normal and easy for him to learn how to fly? Or will he be at a disadvantage due to his inability to naturally start learning now? Will this also have long term affects on his confidence and flying ability ?
He should be fine after he molts. Just make sure you're keeping him prtected until everything has grown in so he doesn't keep breaking new feathers as they start to grow in.
Another q: is it a good idea to calm the cockateil by playing bird sounds? He freaked out and tried to fly this morning when he heard cockateil sounds coming from the computer
Soft music would be better. If he hears other cockatiels he may think they're in the room and try to fly to them.
from the photos attached above, would you say that his feathers are healthy and in good condition? we are slightly worried he doesn’t preen often enough and when he shakes he seems to lose balance. He manages to not fall off his perch though. In regards ***** ***** feathers, I am comparing them to my mature aged budgie who preens constantly and whose feathers appear in much better condition.
His unbroken feathers look normal in the photos. Maybe you could give him a spray bath.
Thank you so much for all this information, I really appreciate it.
I have tried to give him a spray bath, but he seemed to hate it. I will offer it to him every day :)
I have to put my own cockatiel in a small wire carrier to spray her because she hates it, too.