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Old 04-07-2015, 04:28 PM
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Default please help sweet Caillou!

We've had our parakeet Caillou a little over a month now, approximately 6 weeks. She still does not move around, play with her toys, or do anything other than eat and drink when she has to. Yet we can get her to perch on our finger. We take her out of her cage and let her sit on top which she does. We do perch her on top of the TV (she seems to like that) and she will only chirp at loud music, TV sounds, maybe once a day. We have two levels on our house and when we go downstairs to watch TV or do laundry we bring her with us. I have got her also to perch on top of my desktop monitor with a paper towel underneath to catch her droppings. She'll sit there while I work on the computer for an hour or so but again so still and quietly. No movement. It breaks my heart because I know this means she is still afraid, unhappy, or lonely. A short history of where I know we've gone wrong after researching more:

We were trying to get her to perch on our finger after the first day. We rushed the process and did not earn her trust, I think this may have caused a bonding issue. We should not have touched her so much. I feel like maybe at times she perched because she was afraid and not because she "wanted" to, if that makes sense.

When she was purchased at Petco we realized she was ill after we brought her home. After a few days she was displaying symptoms of a life threatening respiratory infection had to be taken to the vet and was prescribed antibiotics. So traumatizing for her, we had to hold her against will and give them to her for a week but they saved her life truly as she was very sick. So I think that was a horrible start for earning her trust. I've heard you should never ever grab a bird.

She's totally uninterested in her toys. No curiosity whatsoever in them in over a month. I've rearranged them, tried to show them to her etc. I have tried very hard to provide short interaction sessions with her several times a day. We do give her millet treats which she'll eat out of our hand. I'm concerned over her lack of movement though. No head bobbing, moving, going up and down her latter or perches, she just sits on the same rung on her ladder all day long unless I bring her out and put her somewhere else. Oh and I did get her to sit on my shoulder briefly for a moment and she flew off and back into her cage.

Does it just take longer to see them play with toys, move their head about, and chirp on their own? Is she just afraid because we've done so much with her in such a short period of time instead of letting her adjust more? I'm not sure what's going on and if maybe she's still ill and that's why she doesn't move but will allow herself to sit closely with us at the computer etc... Sometimes I notice her tail bobbing with her breathing while she's just sitting there but not sure how much of it is normal or not. We will be closing in on 2 months soon....so lost with why she's frozen all the time!

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Old 04-07-2015, 04:49 PM
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Hi Breezykeet,

Don't be too hard on yourself it sounds like Caillou went to a great home! Trust takes time to build and despite your fears I think you are making good progress.
She could still just be adjusting to everything and perhaps is not yet sure what the toys are. I wouldn't move them around too much just allow her to familiarise herself with them and where they sit in her house (budgies like familiarity rather than change).

You mentioned she had a respiratory infection after you brought her home, has she been back for a check up? I'm just concerned about the tail bobbing. Is she sleeping lots? She may need another course of antibiotics if the infection isn't totally cleared. Do you notice any discolouration of her cere or swelling etc.? Just wondering if there may be a sinus infection going on. If it were me I would bring her back to the vet to double check everything.
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Old 04-07-2015, 04:50 PM
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Sorry to hear your budgie had such a rough start. It's not easy when it starts like that. I was unlucky myself and brought home a sick budgie (unfortunately he didn't make it), and I did find that he spent all his energy on trying to recover rather than play and have fun. Has a vet checked him again to make sure he's fully recovered? Do you know how old the budgie was when you got him?

I've had two budgies prior to the one I have now. They've all had different interests in terms of what they like and don't like. The one I have now was very young when I got her. She was afraid of everything but very quickly learned to trust me. She hates being anywhere where she can't see, so the bottom of her cage is never in use. She doesn't like things that move either, so she won't play with balls.

To find out what your budgie likes, try leaving a variety of toys around. When you bring your budgie out of the cage, make sure it's easy for her to fly away if there's something she doesn't like to do. Try with a ladder and slowly move her to the bottom and see if she might climb up. Try with a swing and see if you can get her to step up. It can take many tries, and you don't want to keep trying and trying. Set a time limit - maybe 15 minutes. Don't worry if she refuses to do anything - she'll still get used to the training time. Do this a few times a day.

If you have a bell (budgies tend to like noisy things), show her that it'll ring if you move it. Maybe hold her at a distance when you try this so it doesn't scare her.

Everything is new to her, so she needs to learn one little bit at a time. My own budgie was afraid of new things in the beginning, but she's SO curious now.

Good luck with your little budgie
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Old 04-07-2015, 04:56 PM
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I had a budgie who did just that.
Didn't chirp or move just sat there and occasionally ate and drank.

What I did for my little Peety was bought her two friends. She's not tame now but at least she sings and moves and plays with the other two and is happy.
Perhaps your budgie is lonely. Try interacting with her as much as possible like whistling to her and scratching her head. Maybe that'll work.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:11 PM
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My first was 2 females and they did what you described. They never played. after I got 2 males they livened up and now play all day. If she is alone I would get her a bird friend. that should help but will be harder for you to bond i am glad you did the right thing and took her to a vet.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:23 PM
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If the room in which she lives is too quiet, then she's on alert for predators.

Try playing some budgies noises from YouTube to see if she perks up.

Or adopt a friend for her.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:26 PM
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Your sweet little budgie has indeed had a very rough transition to being with you at your home. After all she has been through I feel she is merely a bit over awed and still recovering from illness. I would get her checked once more by the vet, get some probiotics and sprinkle these over her food.
Offer her some different forms of toys hens like to shred, chew usually. bells, anything that makes a noise, climbing has she got a swing ?
Play her some music, budgie sounds, of course another bird will help her enormously but it will make the bonding harder. Some hens are more stand offish and tend to be quieter all budgies have their own personality just like people.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:49 AM
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You have lots of great advice above! I only wanted to chime in that you might not want to rearrange her toys very often if she's not playing with them. She might be afraid of them, and moving them around makes them like "new" again. I only rearrange my toys once every 2 months or so, because my Sammy won't play with them until he has very thoroughly made sure that they won't do him any harm, after observing them for a month or so.
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