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Question
Posted by: Jane | 2010/04/20

-|- atiel questions pls

Hi,

We have recently (about a month ago) been given a male hand reared -|- atiel  we''ve been told he''s about 3 months old now, so he''s still very young. We take him out and play with him (his wings are clipped)  and he gets a lot of exercise in that way.

I have a few questions please:
1. I worry he is lonely- do they need companions??
2. we hang his cage under the patio in the shade during the day if the weather is decent- I''m concerned that he may feel chilly if the wind picks up- can I buy a nest or something to put in this cage- will he use it?
3. he''s not very friendly! I handle him every day  in fact when I get home from work I take him out the cage and let him play on top of it, or he ''flies'' off and plays with houseplants or sits on my shoulder while I cook etc. BUT- I want to stroke him and he won''t let me- he growls and gives me a warning nibble! Is it true that he will loosen up the more we handle him and he''ll eventually learn to like affection? For now, he likes to be outside his cage playing, but we''re not allowed to try and stroke him or rub his head!
4. Is he getting enough time outside his cage if it''s like 2hrs an evening? Perhaps more ont he weekend?

Thanks!
Jane

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Jane

I have a limited knowledge about birds, best to buy a book of do some reading on the internet.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2010/04/20

To answer your questions in sequence:
1. He sounds like he''s getting plenty of attention, so he won''t be lonely.
2. A nest isn''t going to be any use, and actually he''s not going to use it anyway. He should not be in a draught, or in direct sun without the option of moving into the shade, and he also needs to be kept out of the way of predators. I know a hawk or a crow is unlikely to get to him in his cage, but the fright of a close encounter could kill him.
3. Some birds are friendly, some not. There''s a theory that male birds bond best with women, and females with men - I think that may be partly valid but it''s certainly not inevitable. Patience is the key. The ''growling'' may be a bit of fear - take it easy, be gentle, and hopefully he''ll come right.
4. He''s getting plenty enough time out of his cage - some birds NEVER come out.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Cybervet | 2010/04/20

Dear Jane

I have a limited knowledge about birds, best to buy a book of do some reading on the internet.

Reply to Cybervet

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