I have 2 budgies, and I'm very new to them. I got them a week before Christmas as a gift, so it's been 3 weeks.
They are still incredibly scared of me, I can't even change the food in the cage without the green budgie (Icarus) losing it and flying to the furthest point from me The blue bird (Iris) has begun to only slightly hop or flutter away for a few moments, but lets me pat her gently soon after, but not for too long.
At this rate I feel I will never be able to let them out of their cage because they will just fly away and I've tried lots of tips I've found online but it's not helping. I don't even think Iris is letting me pat her.. I think shes figured out if I pat her for a few moments I leave them and might leave some strawberries. I know it might sound bizarre..but I really think it!
Speaking of strawberries, I noticed the birds beaks were a bit flaky. I read to introduce more fruit and veg and cuttlebone. Cuttlebone was fine, but fruit and veg is a no go. I couldn't get them to eat anything but seeds, however I tried strawberries and it was a winner. The only winner. Iris adores them, and Icarus watched Iris for a while before he tried it.
The thought of having these lovely birds and never letting them out of a cage makes me incredibly sad, and the thought that I can't encourage them into a healthy diet makes me feel awful as well.
Am I hoping for things to move too fast, or should I be concerned none of these things are even close to being achieved.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, a large flock of budgies live very close to me and often sing. My birds start chirping and are obviously excited. They jump on the walls of their cage where the doors open and sing louder. This just ads to me feeling like a terrible budgie owner.
i am sure one of the lovely experts here will have some words of advice
i am no expert, but i will just say that you should not be discouraged. it can take ages to tame a budgie - it took about 3 months before my lemmy actually wanted to sit with me; i was googling "my budgie hates me" for weeks - and as you have 2 at once, it will take longer.
you are not a terrible budgie owner. your birds have no predators, they are comfortable, they have all the food they can eat, and they have one another. getting two tiny prey animals to trust you, as an enormous predator (in their eyes!), will take time, that's all.
We have had our 2 since August and we still cannot touch them. Sunny will come into our hands if he is on the floor but just cause he knows he gets lifted into the cage, lazy begger hehehe. I used to think Goldie Locks hated me. When I went near the cage she did the same as your guys, like some one was chasing her and she tried to get away.
It has taken time and patience of standing and talking to them for, her especially, to stay where they are on the perch and not run away. Goldie actually talks budgie back to me now and does not run away if i put my hand on the cage .
Iknow this will be a longer process as there are two of them and we are not rushing things.
The cage doors are open all the time we are at home and if the lorrikeets are around they call out to them incessant ly lol.
Persevere, they do not hate you, they will come round. Spend some time talking to them, about anything, you hate work, just washed up and it made you fingers wrinkely, anything lol.
Oh and its taken months for them to eat anything other than snow pea shoots lol. Try lightly cooking veggies, chopping them different sizes. Mine like the rocket leaves torn up a little but the corn to be cooked and left whole not cut up
You should trim their wings. To do this just cut off the Primary feathers on one wing, get someone to help you and make sure there are no doors open for the bird to escape. By cutting just the primary feathers the budgie will not be able to turn properly when flying and will topple to the ground, if the budgie can still fly after this trim the secondary feathers too. I know wing trimming may sound cruel, but it is for their own good. Trim a budgies wings every1 -2 months.
Also, the birds you purchased could be adults, if so, it will be harder to tame them. An adult male will have a completely royal blue cere (nose). Females will have a brown cere. But always remember, patience is the key.
Budgies purchased in a pet store are difficult to train because many of them come from bird mills. Kaytee company supports and runs bird mills in Florida under a different name.
Best thing to do is be patient and realize you may not be able to train them to trust you but you can show them how to fly safely by taking them into a small room for a while, like the bathroom for flight lessons. For a while I worked at a Petco store but not for them and customers said they had a hard time taming parakeets. Best bet is too late for you but to get a hand tamed and fed parakeet from a breeder.
I dont think you are doing anything wrong. It will take months maybe years to tame them
you can still let them out. Put them in the back room, bed room and let them out and close the door. they can find the cage on their own. do not chase them for that will spook them and cause them to hit the wall. they know how to get back to the cage on their own.
I had my birds almost a year and they are still not tame. They are at the point they will eat millet from myhand and they are relaxed with me but i still can not hand handle them. It will take a lot of time to tame them but every bird is different.
The best thing to do is be patient. I find it's important to bond with them. Spend a couple of hours a day with them. I never tried to tame my budgies until a few months ago. Whenever one of my budgies became unwell my parents wouldn't let me take the little one to the vet and they'd end up dying, so I didn't want to get too close to them. Anyways, things have changed and I've started doing some hardcore bonding with them. Within the first week of me bonding with them, they became much happier and calmer in my presence. Before, they used to go silent when I entered "their" living room and would stare at me uncertainly. Now, they love it when I spend time with me.
Anyways, I'm sure you'd like to hear how I've gained their trust so quickly, eh? Well, I began reading them stories from one of those classic fairy tale books for kids (my favourite from my childhood!). When I read to them I'd try to engage them in the story, just like a parent might do. I'd show them the pictures, ask them what they thought might happen next, etc. It really seemed to get them to become engaged with me. Listening to music also helped. Just taking things slow allowed me to gain their trust. Sure, they're not at the point yet where they'll eat from my hand, but at least we set the groundwork for it.
Hey, you mentioned that there's a flock budgies near your house. I guess you live in Australia then? If you do live in Australia, try giving them fresh eucalyptus branches, peppermint tree, and hibiscus. From what I understand, budgies seem to instinctively know to eat eucalyptus and peppermint tree. You should hopefully be able to get them to eat more greens that way.
Samantha, Charlie, Ju, Rumi, Lara, Pollo, Ziggy, and Alice
Rest in Peace
Sam, Nova, Joey, Maria, and Scarlet (March 4, 2014)
Tb is a great place to learn all sorts of tips and valuable information regarding your budgies.
Firstly have you got the cage covered on three sides, this helps them feel safer and more relaxed. Sit near the cage as often as possible and simply talk to them, read out loud . When you are filling the seed and replacing water gently move around and talk the same way to them. try some green broccoli, carrot, lettuce, Mean while red through the stickies here on the forum for future tips when needed.
Please don't get discouraged. Think of it this way - you have their whole lives with them. Budgies can live to be in their teens, so what's a few months or even a year in the getting-to-know-you process? Nothing if it makes everyone much happier in the long run, ne? Keep trying. Respect boundaries. Read, sing, talk to them. Make them feel like they are important to you. Take them to the vet and maybe get their wings clipped and, after bird proofing the room, let them out for a while every day. The freedom will make them much happier, I think. You can do it, I know it!
Thank you so much to everyone that replied in this thread. I can't stress enough how much the positive words made such a difference for me!
I even got enough courage to let the little friends out in a room! Let me tell you that I didn't know I was scared of birds flying until now It all turned out fine though! Iris was too scared to leave her cage but Icarus loved flying around the room! I read another thread that said to throw a towel on the birds to catch them, so I did. I put him back in the cage, and too be honest, he seems more relaxed around me! He doesn't freak as much.
I really appreciate the advice you have all given. I'm going for a walk soon so I'll pick up some eucalyptus branches as mentioned in this thread