|Hyperactivity in birds?
||[May. 23rd, 2007|09:26 am]
The Bird Cage: where birds come to roost
I have a seven year old normal grey male cockatiel. He seems to be unlike the other cockatiels I've met in that he's always... hyper, for lack of a better word. He runs back and forth on his perch all the time and often appears angry. The only way he settles down is if I keep his cage in my bedroom and keep things as quiet as possible for him. I know birds usually like to be in the main room of a house with their people, but Jake hates it. He's completely uninterested in any toys I've gotten him except for, occasionally, bells. Even when he plays with a bell, after a few minutes he gets mad at it and tries to rip it apart until I take it away for a while. The only things he will play with happily for any amount of time are socks, so he always has a sock hanging in his cage (which I take out daily and check for loose threads etc.) When I take him out of his cage he's happy for about an hour, then he gets angry and starts to nip so I have to return him to the cage. I've tried placing him in multiple areas of the house and making sure he has things to look at and to stimulate his mind, but it seems like he gets over-stimulated almost instantly. He frequently needs his cage covered so he can nap (he's incapable of it on his own), and after a nap he calms down for a bit. Basically, he acts like a child with ADHD. I feel terrible for him and like I must be the worst caregiver in the world since he's always so unhappy. Does anyone have any advice for how to keep him even a little more content?
He's on a mostly-seed diet, though I've tried to slowly switch him to pellets multiple times and he just won't eat them. He gets fruit and vegetables and occasionally a bit of boiled egg or cheese, which I have to hold in my hand to get him to eat. If I just put it in a dish he ignores it completely. Any advice on how to get him to eat a healthier diet willingly would also be appreciated.
I want him to be healthy and happy, but nothing I've tried on my own seems to make a difference. Would a mate possibly help? I've considered getting him one, but I don't want him to pass his bad habits on to another bird and end up with two unhappy ones.