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#256589 - 09/01/14 02:51 PM Cage cover  
Joined: Jul 2014
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Sydneysmom05 Offline
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Hi there,
Sydney is about 6 months old, she's a female cockatiel. At night I have been using a sheet to cover her cage- it's light enough in color where a good amount of light gets in from the light we keep on in another room overnight. I am aware of night frights, so I may be going overboard on the amount of light she needs.

There are days when she has seemed very cranky and louder than usual, and after putting her cover on earlier than usual a few nights in a row i realized that she was overtired. However, if she hears us in another room I will without fail hear a little 'peep' hours after she has covered.

Any suggestions about ways to minimize outside noise? Could there be too much light? Should I try a darker sheet or a cozzy cover with a nightlight visible? I do believe that a lot of her screaming is stemming from being tired, and I want her to be as well rested as possible!

We could probably wheel her cage to a somewhat quieter room downstairs - would that stress her out or should I give that a try?

#256590 - 09/01/14 04:27 PM Re: Cage cover [Re: Sydneysmom05]  
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Elliott Offline
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I don't have enough info personally, but other members will respond with ideas regarding a sleep cage.

#256595 - 09/02/14 12:07 AM Re: Cage cover [Re: Sydneysmom05]  
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Charlie Offline
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Cockatiels are such independent little characters. We had a male normal for 15 years and he died at almost 30 years. He grew up in a laundry room and was very vocal about bedtime when we had him. He continued to be in our family room but there is just my wife and I and we have a quiet household (our Cockatoo sleeps in another room). As soon as the day began to darken, he would tweet like crazy until we covered his cage with his lightweight blanket that would not completely block all light.

I think every case will probably be different with these guys but you will learn together, over time what works best. I hope other caretakers can offer more explicit advice. These are delightful little birds. I would try to keep the room quiet enough for her to get quality sleep and trying another room is always a good option.

Welcome to Mytoos and let us know how things progress! smile

#256598 - 09/02/14 02:21 AM Re: Cage cover [Re: Sydneysmom05]  
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Beeps Offline
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Just seeing this now. There definitely could be too much light. Do you notice a difference in the frequency of night frights with or without the light on? It might be helpful to keep a journal.

I've heard theories that keeping a light on can actually make it worse for frights because then the bird (prey animal) can see shadows if there is movement (even from things outside) and it scares them, whereas they wouldn't have seen it in the dark.

My parents have tiels, and they strive for as dark as possible for their birds.

The screaming may also have nothing to do with her amount of sleep (but good idea to keep a journal and look for patterns) but could have something to do with being lonely, wanting attention, not knowing how to play with toys, etc. How do you react when she screams?

#256602 - 09/02/14 03:50 AM Re: Cage cover [Re: Sydneysmom05]  
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Sydneysmom05 Offline
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Thanks for the warm welcome and responses! We will definitely be trying to keep that room quieter, and tonight I covered her at 7, so she will have about 11 covered hours.

Slightly separate topic, but to follow up with my handling of calling/screaming:
I've been trying to use positive reinforcement with Sydney since I've had her. I only take her out of her cage when she has been quiet, even if it's only been for 30 seconds, and try to increase the intervals. If she is alone in a room and hears a door close, phone ring, my voice in another room, she begins calling, which cod go on for up to an hour. I could tell that her tiny bird voice is screaming with all of its might! I actually have a 'contact call' with her (my husband gets a real kick out of it) and I try to call for her before she starts screaming for me. I've found that if I call back when she starts it makes the screaming worse

She does very well with toys, particularly ones with Popsicle sticks; she will go through 10 sticks a week!

I've created foraging opportunities in her food cup (coffee filter with holes in it). I would love to remove her cage grate and give her more opportunities to forage on the ground but I'm nervous that she may consider anything she finds 'nesting material.'

She is such a fabulous little bird- full of personality. Lately she's been doing a 'bat bird' move- hanging upside down and flapping furiously for several seconds.

I should mention that she does very well with clicker training - I've taught her a few tricks (very quickly). I wonder if there is a way to work on screaming with a clicker.

I'm also aware of the typical calling hours (dawn, noon, sunset) and so I put on my best bird voice then, hehe.

#257097 - 10/22/14 01:03 PM Re: Cage cover [Re: Sydneysmom05]  
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Sydneysmom05 Offline
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Quick update:

Covering Sydney's cage earlier has helped tremendously with her fatigue during the day. As I've gotten to know her better I can pretty clearly read when she needs a 'nap' during the day and as she matures she is better at settling herself down.

I continue to be amazed at how much personality this little girl has. She is so inquisitive, intelligent, and affectionate - although I am very diligent about sticking to head scratches and spending more time training than just holding her. She loves her misting baths and looks forward to them!

Although smaller than cockatoos, cockatiels are certainly not 'starter' or 'low maintenance' birds, although NO 'pet' should be labeled as such in the first place!

#257123 - 10/30/14 07:00 PM Re: Cage cover [Re: Sydneysmom05]  
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AJMontyBird Offline
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I agree with you completely! In terms of personality, cockatiels are very much like miniature cockatoos. I miss my boy dearly. frown


My flock: Monty (Eleanora/medium sulphur crested cockatoo), Benjamin Button (European Starling).

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