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Why does my hand-raised Cockatiel hate me/life?

Last week, I purchased a beautiful hand-raised pearl cockatiel.

I've wanted one since I was a kid, so I'm not really all that surprised at how things have turned out.
Oh he was placid and happy enough at the feed store, hopping onto the nice owner's finger when beckoned, and accepting of a head scratch and a bit of millet.
Leaving the store, the clerk smiled at me, misty-eyed, and said "Oh, I'm going to miss him!"

"Wow!" I thought. "I can't believe I'm finally getting the sweet, loving cockatiel of my dreams!"

Silly, silly me.

From the moment I opened the carryhome box and beheld the hissing, snapping, hellspawn within, his personality has been about as charming as an elderly adult film star's anus. He hates my other birds. He hates me. He hates life, the universe, and everything.

When he's in his cage, he sits silent and unmoving on his perch, staring sullenly at the wall.

When I've gently pried him out of his cage for morning and evening free time, he sits on top of his cage staring sullenly at the wall, snapping and growling when my poor retarded parakeet Albert, who is just *desperate* to make friends, gets too close.

The only time he *does* willingly move is when my canary, Captain, alights near him.
That's when the Michael Myers Theme Song starts playing, and he begins to creep slowly towards Captain in the most serial killer-ish way possible (Albert hobbles along worshipfully behind him).

I don't know what he intends to do to Captain, but since all this wretched bird can do is hate, I can tell it's not good. Captain can tell too, it seems, as he always away before he gets within lunging distance. Thankfully he's flighted and Dickheadkatiel's wings are clipped, so he'll never catch him.

I should note that Dickheadkatiel is not afraid of me. He WILL sit on my finger/shoulder and robotically eat millet if pestered into it, but he makes it clear he is enjoying it about as much as an ice water enema. Any attempts on my part to touch him in any way results in him sidling away while making a noise that I can only describe as the sound of a 300lb woman in a rubber girdle thigh-sliding down a stripper pole. Nothing says "Eff off and die" like that sound.

Anyone here experienced the same problem and/or know how to make Dickheadkatiel's personality any less awful? Will he ever change? Am I really going to have to spend the next 20 years with a creature that's so unpleasant?

Keep in mind I went out of my way to find a locally bred, hand-raised cockatiel. Jerkatiel is NOT a fearful, flighty, parent-raised basket case like you find at PetCo. He's MEAN, he's not untamed.


he may be stressed out and it may also be that he has bonded to the other people and probably wont bond to you some cockatiels are like that i also got a male from a person and he was hand raised and hand tame and once he was brought home we couldn't touch him and he would bite and everything so he turned into a strictly caged bird let me note that he only had to stay in the cage because he could fly and would go after my other birds he was ok when he wasn't being touched he would sing and all . i hate to say this but you may have to return him to the people you got him from and find a baby cockatiel that is hand tame that way it will bond to you because it really sounds like it is more of a bonding issue than anything some cockatiels can become very aggressive. But really it sounds to me like he is not going to bond with you because he is most likely already bonded to the people he was bought from. just a few more words of advice Always find out how old the bird is before you buy it try to stay at the age of 4 months and younger i hope this Helps ...Good luck!


If you wanted hand-raised it is better to it yourself so the bird bonds to you and you alone.

It seems that you also no longer enjoy the bird so I would suggest taking it back to the people you got it from.

Get a young one and start again.


I love this story...too funny! But unfortunately too close to home. My boy Lola (was supposed to be a girl), at the age of one year suddenly turned evil. He is more than willing to "step up" on my finger to leave his cage-no fear there. He has bonded closely with me, having to have me in his sight at all times. He will follow me anywhere I go in the house and he also likes to cuddle and sit on my leg, knee, or chest. However, once out of his cage, it's a different story with "step-up." Now rather than stepping up, he tries to turn my finger to hamburger if I so much as dare to get it anywhere near him, even down to racing across the floor a foot or two to attack. Obviously, returning him to his cage has become a nightmare. The last few times I have had to use the towel method. I hate that, but also don't want to him to be caged all the time. He is not at all afraid of me, but wants to be out of the cage 24-7 and seems willing to fight for that.


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