In frustration, I tried the "flooding" method of training with one of my budgies and I'm really worried I've lost his - and his friend's - trust for good. Is it possible to regain a budgie's trust after handling them against their will, or do budgies hold grudges?
I really regret just grabbing Hubris and holding him against his will, but I've made so little progress with taming them and it's been seven or eight months since we brought them home. I'm at a loss as to what to do.
First, please understand that not every budgie does become tame. Some just aren't cut out to be a hand-tame companion. They're tiny little parrots with full-blown personalities that we just need to accept and respect.
Grabbing your bird was surely not the wisest choice, BUT I think most of us have had to catch and hold budgies against their will to treat illness or injury, for examinations, etc. You'll need patience and let them have time to realise you're not always going to grab them.
Still, you will never have any guarantee that your birds will get as tame as you would like them. I have rescues who spent long years in terrible environments and ended up very hand tame, after months and sometimes years in a safe environment; I've had birds who have never been mistreated and just don't like human company all that much. In the end that's their choice, I fear, and not ours.
I would at least like to be able to handle them without scaring them, so I can put them into the travel cage for vet visits and such! I'd be sad if they both turned out to be standoffish, but I wouldn't abandon them just because of that or anything.
Before today, one of them (Gnosis) would step up onto my finger if he could see I was holding millet, but I neglected socialising them for a few weeks due to illness and he stopped doing that, so I think at least Gnosis has the potential to be friendly?
Give him a little time to settle down again, apply lots of patience and millet.
I know this is really hard, but try not to go into it feeling nervous or anxious. Your birds will be calmer when you are. Spend time around them, talk to them, sing to them, just let them see you be there and close and safe.
I'm no expert but you may have better progress by putting each bird in their own cage for awhile. Keep the cages side by side so they can still enjoy each other's presence. Work with the one who was stepping up for food before and get him back to showing some trust in you, and the other bird seeing this may make him a little easier to try and tame...pic's...we need pic's....
He came down from Heaven unto this earth below
He came down from glory and praises untold
He came down to man fashioned in their way
He came down to rescue, He came down to save
The first step in taming and bonding is to gain your budgies trust.
I suggest you go "back to the beginning" and work on doing that.
To build your budgie’s trust, sit by his cage and read, talk or sing quietly to him for a period of at least 10-15 minutes, 3 or 4 times day. After the 2nd or 3rd day, rest your hand on the outside of the cage when you talk to him so he'll learn that your hand is safe and will not hurt him.
After a week, rest your hand inside the cage when you talk.
Don’t make sudden moves, don’t try to touch him.
Let him get used to the idea that the hand is now in his safe place and not harming him.
After 2 weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward the budgie and begin your taming and bonding sessions.
Budgies have their own personalities and think for themselves. They are great companions and we as humans tend to forget they all are individuals.
People see or hear of amazing budgies doing all sorts of tricks and interacting with their human flock mate. The first reaction is" Oh I want one"
To have a budgie that is extremely close to you and bonded is a rare but unbelievable experience I am very lucky as I have one such bird, but I have two others who are far happier with their own company .I respect their choices and love them for them.
In saying this you need to be with your budgies as often as possible , show them your caring side. Talking to them in a silly voice, reading out loud simply being in proximity. take things slowly and patiently they will most probably become curious and want to interact once they learn you are not going to chase and grab them. Good luck it is a lovely journey and full of many wonderful moments.