My cockatiel ET

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ET - the cockatiel
Hi, my name is ET and I'm a normal grey cockatiel hen.

Almost newborn
I got my name since I looked like ET when I was a baby.
I was born the 4th of January 1994.

Nymfi and Zorro
These are my parents, Nymfi (mom) and Zorro (dad). My mom passed away in november 2005, at the age of 15 years 7 months. My dad was very sad, after all they had spent more than twelve years together. Nowadays I and my dad live together in the same cage.

Anyway, back to my story. My parents decided to have babies even though they didn't have any nest box, my "mom" went on vacation and was going to give them a nest box when she came back. My parents decided thet they didn't want to wait, so my mother lade a clutch of eggs on the bottom of the cage and they began to incubate them. They had lade eggs before but never paid them any attention. My "mom's" friend had to go and check on my parents while she was on vacation, but luckily no egg hatched during that time.

newly bornI was the only chick that survived out of two. Since I was laying there on the bottom of the cage floor I sometimes crawled around and got cold so my "mom" had to put me back in the "nesting" corner again. When I was about ten days old I got bitten on the side of my neck and one foot by my mother or father. They had been too distressed about the whole situation. My "mom" stopped the blood and called the vet, she could only hope for the best and see if I would survive.

My "mom" decided to take care of me herself and now a big adventure began for me.

Every morning I had to step on the scale to be weighed, "mom" noted my weight and then she made me some breakfast. She fed me with a syringe directly in my mouth. After breakfast she put me in a little box which she put under her shirt, so that I wouldn't freeze, and off we went to her work. There I had another bigger box and above it a lamp, so that I would get some heat, I was too young to keep my body temperature up by myself. In the beginning I ate once every two hours so that kept my "mom" a bit busy...

ET and her food box
Me with my own food box at "work".

ET getting attentionAt work I had fun because some of my "mom's" co-workers loved to pet me and I got a lot of attention. At home I had another box where I slept and even there I had a lamp above it in the beginning, that made me feel warm and comfortable.

I got my own godmother, her name is Maria and sometimes I visit her. When I still was a baby I was extremely curious on things and wanted to examine everything. I will never forget one time when I was visiting my godmother and ran around on her kitchen table, and there were so much interesting things to investigate everywhere, so I eventually fell down from the table.

When I was there my "mom" and godmother decided to have some coffee. My "mom" managed to cover her cup with her hand. However she didn't manage to do the same with the other before I had flown down from her shoulder and tried to land on the edge of that cup. A little un-sturdy on landings that I still was resulted that my feet ended up within the cup instead of on the edge of it, and I began to scream. It was so hot and I couldn't get up from there by myself. My "mom" quickly picked me up and ran to the tap and rinsed my feet in cold water. After that incident I watch carefully not to get too close to cups and glasses. I can walk to the edge and look down and that's it for me.

ET taking a bathI love to take a bath and when I do, I'll get very wet. Sometimes I will get some help drying up with the hair dryer and I like it a lot. I'm usually with my "mom" when she goes to the bathroom and there I got my own place to perch on. When she takes a shower I will get some small fine drops of water on me where I'm sitting. Then I'll go crazy and spread my wings out so that the drops will reach everywhere.

ET after bath
This is how I look like after taking a bath.

When I was around one year old I decided to lay eggs. It didn't go so well and the egg didn't come out even though my "mom" smeared some oil (which I didn't like) in an effort to ease up on things. The only thing to do was to go to the vet and there I've got some help to get rid of the egg. Even though I was screaming and it did hurt a lot, I didn't bite the vet, that tells you how kind I am towards you humans. I went home, I didn't eat much and my "mom" called the vet again and I got some medicine because I got some infection after the removal of the egg.

In the fall same year I started to lay eggs again and this time everything went well. I was incubating them and watching over them like a hawk. I was very aggressive against my "mom" when she wanted to change the food and water in my cage. After three weeks I realised that no babies would hatch...

A couple of weeks later I began to lay eggs again and a new incubating period began. But after that I decided that it was enough. I lade one last egg on my godmother's bed and then it was over. Thought my "mom"... only a few weeks later it all started over again and I just couldn't stop producing eggs.

TinoIt was time to call the vet again and my "mom" asked how she could stop me from laying more eggs. The vet said that my "mom" had to make my days shorter, either by covering my cage or not having so many lamps on in the evenings. I stopped laying more eggs but I was really tired because I had put so much energy and so into that egg laying business. I was doing this during four months. My "mom" was a little shaken after this incident, so she decided to get me a boyfriend. She called a cockatiel breeder and bought me a nice guy, according to her that is. She called him Tino (after the colour lutino).

I thought it was terrifying in the beginning. I didn't want him to come too close to me. I was really scared and I never totally overcame my fears for him. However we could perch next to each other and sleep without me getting anxious. Sadly enough Tino passed away on April 6, 2001 for unknown reasons, he was alright one day and not the next. My "mom" sat with tears in her eyes with him in her hands, gently stroking his head until the end. So now I'm alone again, and my "mom" hopes that I won't start laying eggs once again. I'm now twelve years old (2004) and until now I haven't laid any eggs since that horrible fall.

If you only knew how much I've travelled. I've flown very far, but not with my own wings. I've travelled by boat, car and bus. I've also been in Finland. However I've calmed down a bit with that travelling stuff nowadays.

I still favour to be with my "mom" or another human being. I like to be scratched on my head and neck and to put my head under my "mom's" palm. I use to sit on my "mom's" ankles and sleep when she is lying down on the sofa watching TV. Sometimes I eat from my "mom's" sandwich or plate, or trying to steal some of her snacks. My favourite food is toasted bread, pasta, rice and cooked potato.

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