Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Victoria, Australia
I housed a male and female cockatiel together and they never fought. However, they lived in a larger size aviary with room to fly around a bit and space to get away from each other. In a smaller cage and what sounds to be a rather stressful environment, this may not be the case.
You really have to be patient with birds. I would personally just leave the cage door open, don't touch the birds, don't approach the birds and just let them decide the limits of their comfort zone. Animals are naturally curious, and I've found if you ignore them for long enough they will want to know what you are doing. You need to get them to be comfortable enough to approach you. You can't force anything with animals.
My female was never tame. When we got her she hissed at you, bit you and used to huddle at the back of her cage shaking. While she never became fully tame (she lived outside) she would eventually take food from my hand and come groom my hair.
You really need to use positive enforcement. Our cockatiels loved grass seeds and millet seed so I'd hold out that and they be so busy eating they wouldn't realise I was slowly moving it closer and closer towards me. Gradually our female realised I was only meant good things so she became less stressed in my presence. I used to put my finger next to the perch and just leave it there while she was eating, and from time to time she'd hop onto it.
I don't profess to be a bird expert or anything at all, but this is just some of my experiences. I really recommend either finding a good breeder, or joining a reputable forum or club (yes gasp you may actually have to expend some money in the process) and just taking whatever information you are provided and adding it to your tool box.
Birds are as much a commitment as a dog or cat, and you really want to nip any behavioral problems in the bud as it will make your and their lives hell.