Hello everyone. About a month ago my partner and I bought two baby budgies from Petsmart. We have both had birds before and thought it would be nice to bring a pair to add some noise and activity to our home. The room where we spend the most time is ajoined with the kitchen, where a lot of cooking goes on, sometimes with Teflon, so we placed there spacious cage (18x18x24) in our spare bedroom where there is just a bookshelf and other odds and ends. Its a nice cage but has a large door...
First I should mention, these two were not handfed or tamed, yet have had their wings clipped for some reason. I assume to prevent a colony of budgies from establishing in Petsmart ceilings lol. Seriously though I regret buying from there. The clerk caught them as if they were baby crocodiles, quick snatch-and-grab. One bit him hard in the process, I should have just said forget it after that but anyway...
To say these birds are scared of people is an understatement. I know new birds are nervous but these guys have panic attacks, and I think its cause they cant fly properly, and this just makes them more afraid and confused. They spent the first week frozen in place on the perch. They appeared to be eating millet only but would not do so while either of us watched. Next week not much change, but seed shells seen on the floor, and the cuttlebone had been chewed. Yay, progress.
Third week, when I opening the door to change their seed, one flew out. Not very well though, and he crashed into a book shelf and slid behind it. We had to empty the shelf as it was quite full and heavy to rescue the budgie, who had his wings spread out and was shaking and panting heavily when put back in the cage. He seems OK but is even more nervous and prone to panic when we change the food or water. The other budgie is much more inclined to just freeze solid when approached. He did step on my finger but was gripping so tight and shaking so hard he obviously did not want to be there. Probably saw what happened to his buddy and decided this was the safest option.
Now into week 4 and these two barely make a peep, and will only eat when we leave the room. They have chewed the cuttlebone, but other than that there is no evidence they have explored the cage or toys, or really done anything other than go from one end of the highest perch to the other for food and water. I am not counting, of course, the pancicky-fluttering around the cage they do when approached.
So what should we do? I am becoming concerned they are ill or have been permanently traumatized. I have had two budgies before, and yes they required patience but did not show such obvious terror almost constantly and were very lively after the first week. I have not seen these budgies look even remotely relaxed or content since we got them. How long should it take for their wings to regrow?? Can budgies recover from early trauma and "forgive and forget"? Poor guys seem to have no positive associations with people at all.
The situation you describe is not out of the ordinary. Untame bird's can take differing amount's of time to settle in and not be fearful. They have each other for comfort, so they will require even more time and patience to become comfortable with you guy's. Read through some of the sticky's in the training and bonding forum to get an idea of what you can do, and what you should avoid for now. Our diet and nutrition section will give you some good idea of the direction you should take for their optimum health going forward.
The wing's will grow back at first molt, between 12-15 week's of age...
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
I'm sorry to hear things haven't been going well for you with your budgies.
How much time are you spending with them each day?
I would suggest doing the following to start getting them used to your presence so they will feel more comfortable around you.
Sit by their cage and read, talk or sing quietly to them 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 them so they will learn your hand is safe and will not hurt them.
After a week (or two if necessary), rest your hand inside the cage when you talk to your babies
Donít make sudden moves, donít try to touch them.
Let them get used to the idea that the hand is now in their safe place and not harming them.
When they are finally comfortable with your hand being in their cage for extended periods of time, you can very slowly start moving your hand toward them. If they become afraid and try to get away, simply stop until they calm down again.
Once they remain still when you move your hand toward them, begin offering them treats of millet or a bit of seed from your hand. All the time you are doing this, you should be talking to the budgies in a calm, reassuring voice. Budgies love high pitched "baby-talk" and if you use that type voice they seem to respond positively toward those sounds.
Good luck, Please let us know how things progress and when they reach the stage where they are comfortable enough to take millet from you we can move on to the next steps!!
To familiarize yourself with the forums, please take the time to read through all of the How To Guides, the FAQs and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
You'll find most of your basic questions are answered after you've read through all of them.
I'm looking forward to hearing all about your budgie and hopefully seeing some pictures soon!!
Hello and welcome, It is extremely hard to find reputable breeders and unfortunately just as we have Puppy mills the same applies to budgies.
Not all pet shops are in this category but many are. the young people who work there are not skilled or trained in how to handle birds and often the only , or first experiences regarding human contact are far from loving and caring.
Hence your problem, Deborah has given excellent advice please follow through and read the links.
Is the cage covered on three sides? This helps them feel settled and secure, also play some background music for them so they hear noise, silence is a sign of danger to budgies.
It will take time and patience but it can be done. We love seeing pictures here as well
This seems to me a bit long for both of them to be so inactive after being with you for 3 weeks.
Since they are in a separate room, away from your daily activities and noise, where it's quiet all the time, maybe they are too scared.
Maybe it would be worth bringing them to where you spend most of the time and only take them to the spare room while you are cooking.
The little incident with one ending up behind the bookshelf reminded me of a budgie I had - he flew right behind the stove, where there is about a two-inch space between the stove and the wall.
Thank you all for the kind words and suggestions!
Unfortunately I am beginning to think we made a serious error and our home is just not bird-friendly.
It is "open concept" meaning there really aren't separate rooms on the main floor, so having the cage there would be exposed to both the kitchen and the front door opening/closing. we also have a very naughty rat terrier, who has already showed us that he wants to eat these guys soooo bad. It is a rat terriers instinct to bark loudly to scare prey out of hiding...so that's what he does, gets right next to the cage and barks like crazy. So we can't really have birds where he can get access. That means a bedroom with closed door is the only safe place in our house, and, apparently from what I'm learning, even two budgies with each other for company will be lonely and frightened in this situation . The cage is too big to move up and down stairs often. I think when kept like this, and given their early trauma, they are unlikely to ever behave normally when we visit the room to spend time with them. Or will they? Our intention was to have fun pets to watch that we could 'visit' in their room and spend time with. But if they are just going to freeze-up and get nervous when we are in the room, this isn't going to work .
Does anyone else keep their birds in a separate room but still have a good relationship with them? thanks!
The cage is too big to move up and down stairs often. I think when kept like this, and given their early trauma, they are unlikely to ever behave normally when we visit the room to spend time with them. Or will they? Our intention was to have fun pets to watch that we could 'visit' in their room and spend time with. But if they are just going to freeze-up and get nervous when we are in the room, this isn't going to work .
Does anyone else keep their birds in a separate room but still have a good relationship with them? thanks!
It really depends on how much time and effort you are willing expend to have a good "relationship" with your budgies. Just stopping by for a 5 or 10 minute visit to your budgies occasionally isn't enough.
I have three lovebirds and two budgies (caged separately) that are housed in my upstairs 9x12 bedroom.
Additionally, I have two budgies that are housed in my living room (so as not to be exposed to the "hooligan" behavior of the others).
I specifically set aside a minimum of three hours per day that I spend upstairs sitting in my bedroom interacting with my "upstairs" birds.
Personally, if I was not able to do this, I would not feel I was devoting the time to give them the attention they deserve.
If you work, spending regular quality time each day with your budgies may not be feasible due to the layout of your home and the fact that you have a rat-terrier as well.
Should you determine that is the case, and you decide to rehome them, please do everything possible to find them a safe and loving home where they can be together. Separating the two at this point would be difficult for them.
I know this must be a difficult decision for you and I wish you all the best as you consider your possible options.
Ok so sorry for my last post I was feeling a bit dispondant and hopeless with the birds. BUT we decided we have to do our best to make up for this rough start and make these two happy. So, we first went and got a proper stand for the cage. It is now on wheels and much higher off the ground. We are going to put in our living room on the main floor, in a corner where they will have a good view but still be kinda out of the way. No furniture nearby for our brat terrier to stand on and bark/jump/whatever. We will stop using the non-stick pans (theres only 3) and self cleaning oven thingy (which makes me feel sick anyway) and febreeze just the furniture not spray in the air. Hopefully they will be happier down here, and the dog will learn to leave them alone (he is trained but just strong prey drive and still young). He will go in another room when the time comes to try to take the budgies out of the cage. And then we will just leave them be and get used to us being around! I just hope they can get over their bad experiences (mostly the green one who fell behind the bookshelf) and be happy!
By the way the blue guy is named Bobby and the green/yellow one Micky, after budgies I had in my youth. Bobby is the calmer of the two, Micky is the one who had the accident
Here's a pic of them and their cage. Can't really see them though sorry I will take better pics when they settle!
The cage you bought for your budgies is very nice.
I would suggest you use natural wood perches rather than the dowel perches. Natural wood perches have varying diameters which exercise your budgies' feet and lets and help prevent bumblefoot.
Perches such as these are all great choices to provide a wide variety of perching options:
Additionally, it appears the swing in the cage is a rope swing with tassles. Is that correct? If so, I would trim the "fringe" down to no more than 1/2" because your budgies can become entangled in the strings and severely injure or even kill themselves. Please be aware that you will want to keep a close eye on the condition of the rope on the swing and remove that toy if you notice the budgies chewing on it.
Ingestion of fibers can cause crop impaction.