June 24, 2021
So, you've found the perfect feathered parrot home. You get this beautiful bird, and you're hooked. So, after finding this perfect bird, you bring him home.
That lovely little spunky bird you bought is no sitting stone still as a rock on his perch, not chirping, playing or moving. He is not eating and isn't drinking. Now you start to worry about the well-being of your beautiful bird.
DO NOT PANIC!!! Your bird is in a very new environment, so it's natural for him to feel this way. He's been taken away from what he knew and is still adjusting. Let your bird settle for a couple of days, talking quietly to him in a soft voice. It's normal for him not to eat for a day or two, which is normal and not to be worried about.
What can you do?
Most birds that have been purchased in a pet store are on a seed diet. I suggest not changing their diet too rapidly since your bird may not be willing to try new food. If they were on a previous seed diet, I suggest putting daily seeds. Don't just fill the food bowl with all seeds as it might be hard to tell if they ate. Offer spray millet close to where he is perched so that he can eat a tasty treat with more comfort in his new home. He may be too uncomfortable to go to his food bowl in a strange place. After about a week, I suggest introducing healthier food options filled with grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.
When your bird is settling in, try not to handle him right away. The main reason why I suggest you leave your small bird inside for a couple of days is that small birds have one advantage over their counterparts: small birds are FAST fliers, unlike a big bird like a grey! If you immediately try letting them out, oftentimes, they can end up flying very quickly into a wall and injure themselves. Be willing to understand the pace that your bird is willing to go at. Some birds are quick to socialize, and some birds can take months to get comfortable. Allow him to get used to his new home. Sights and sounds are all new to him, and he needs to settle to make sure all is safe before he is comfortable enough to be that birdy you saw playing before.
If you can, try to purchase toys that you have seen in his old case so that he can have something familiar with them. If he is being re-homed from a different home, ask about his likes and dislikes and make him feel more at home. The less change he goes through, the more comfortable he will feel.
Once you see your bird feeling more comfortable, you can let him out and play with him and start working in your new environment. If you have bought a recently weaned baby, please note that going to a new home can cause regression. The baby will not eat and will bob its head and beg for food. It will need to be brought back to the breeder to be hand-fed, or else the baby could slowly starve to death.
Covering the cage on three sides might help the bird feel more secure since it only has to watch for danger in one direction.
Frightened birds hold their feathers close to their body. Cockatiels put their crests up. They might huddle in a corner or rock from side to side. Terrified birds will threaten by snaking their neck out and hissing. None of these are good signs, and if you intervene by attempting to handle a frightened bird, you are likely to get bitten.
Work on handling your bird away from the cage in a small space can help your bird ease off a bit. Offer your bird good things by hand, for example, by dropping a treat in a food cup as you're getting to know your bird. Work up to holding the treat and then using it too enticing your bird out of the cage. I personally really like the method of waiting for the bird to come out of its cage or carrier on its own terms and having a treat outside the cage so it can enjoy it.
I hope that these few tips can help you get your new bird adjusted to your home.
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