My new English budgie was handfed amd she is currently coming up to three months old. She likes people, loves head scratches, but still doesnt like to step up unless she is trying to get out of the cage or trying to go somewhere like to get food.
I am teaching her to step up right now but I noticed she will usually bite (not really a bite, more like a nibble) my my finger before stepping onto it. I usually ignore that because i feel like she is just trying to make sure my finger is stable.
But when I'm feeding her, she will always bite (real biting, but not painful) me to get more food. I know it isnt because she is being mean or is mad at me, but she is doing it to get food from me. I usually just leave my finger so she knows thats not the answer to making my hand leave, and I try not to give her any treats either in those moments but its hard because it always happens when I am trying to feed her to train her.
So what do I do in these situations? Is leaving my hand there the right thing to do or is it teaching her that its okay to bite me?
I also noticed that is likes to bite the metal bars of the cage. Even when she is outside of the cage. Does she simply need more chew toys? Im not sure what to do because none of my other budgies have ever bitten me for any reason whether they were handfed or not.
I am not the expert on training, but since no one else has replied yet, I will give it a try. My experience with my last budgie was that she could get nippy, especially when in breeding condition. It did help to give her more to chew on and to tell her to be gentle when she was munching painfully on my hand. You might also try using a dowel or something other than your finger with her while you are first teaching her to step up. That way she can get more confident before you use your finger. I hope something here is helpful. Good luck!
Goldenwing has given a good suggestion to try using something other than you finger while training to step up. A few things to keep in mind, birds use their beaks to investigate things and that may be the case with the nibble on your finger depending on the strength of the nibble. As for the actual biting, birds will bite for various reasons, it could be to get you to back off or it could be that she has learned that biting produces an action by you that she desires. If you are feeding her and she is biting she may think that if I bite I will get more food. Three months is still a baby, don't expect too much too soon. Try Goldenwing's suggestion of using a perch for stepping up and if she steps up then offer a small reward. Does she have cuttlebone or mineral block in her cage?