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  #1  
Old 10-12-2015, 06:20 PM
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Cool New budgie - looking for advice!

Hey there,
Just wondering if someone could give me a little advice about my recent new arrival Will be around 11 or 12 weeks old.

Backstory: he (or she.. easier calling him a him for now haha, though I have a feeling he is a she) has been here for 2 weeks now. I don't think the breeder hand tamed them as such, but they weren't afraid of people. New guy (still thinking of a name!) has a large cage (about 40cmx50cmx65cm) with perches, food dishes, water etc.
Seemed quite happy and content, even just the day after getting him, he would follow anyone in the room around the cage, tweet, eat food in front of us, etc. Happy little birdie! That day he also seemed very eager to get out of his cage, I was a little iffy about that as I knew you should leave them in the cage for the initial period for them to get used to it. But after a few days, it felt mean to keep him in... he would chew on the bars, try to squeeze past my hands whenever I opened the door, try to open the doors with his beak etc... so I let him out, which he seems to love lol. He flies around chirping happily, and usually perches on top of the curtain rail.

I've had him a few weeks now, and one problem is that he just can't seem to tolerate being in his cage. In all his waking hours (if not eating) he's constantly chewing on the bars (I tried putting his cuttlefish where he normally chews but he just chews the bars around it >.<), trying to press his way out etc. The cage is safe, and there's no way he can hurt himself trying to escape, it's just not feasibly possible to have him out all the time like he wants to And lately when I have been getting him out, he is becoming trickier and trickier to catch to go back in his cage... all he seems to do is perch and chirp constantly.. which I don't have a problem with, he just seems to not want to go back in his cage unless it's to sleep!

I have tried training him with millet. It works great when I take him out of the room his cage is in, I've taught him to step up, fly to my hand, etc, and he gobbles down that millet. He's friendly, loves perching on my shoulder, and even likes head rubs! However when it comes to the room where his cage is, he won't even touch millet, flies away whenever you come near, even if I'm not trying to get him back in his cage.. all he wants to do is perch and tweet.

TL;DR all budgie wants to do is escape cage to perch on curtain rail and chirp, won't go back in cage at all unless for sleep.

Any advice on how to train him to go back to his cage when he refuses millet... trying to catch him is taking longer and longer each day as he gets craftier! Wings are not clipped, would prefer to keep it that way, though if he continues being this crafty he might have to get them trimmed!

Also, the cage has plenty with perches and a few toys. I have ordered more toys, currently waiting for delivery... but he doesn't play with any of his current ones anyway. Any ideas of easy toys I can make while the order is shipped? I would buy from local pet shops, but charging $10 for a little plastic mirror or perch is a little too expensive unfortunately.

A last query... some help sexing him would be nice, I've been trying to hold off naming until it's apparent what sex he is
https://i.imgur.com/u94It9z.png
https://i.imgur.com/VrhgmtF.png slightly better lighting and he's trying to escape.. typical

I've owned and tamed budgies before but his little guy is just stumping me on what to do!

Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 10-12-2015, 06:33 PM
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Your budgie sounds a lot like how Jimmy was when I first got him and honestly, when I got Jay as company for him, he settled a lot more and wasn't as bothered about coming out. Sometimes I open the cage for them and they are content to stay in, though they usually come out for a bit.

How long does your budgie have you as company for?

When Jimmy went through the same issues as you're having with returning to his cage, I used to save his millet as a treat before bedtime, or whatever time he needed to get his food and I'd simply close the cage doors while he was eating. No stress.
Again, when Jimmy was alone, he never played with his toys but he did just sit in front of his mirror all the time, so I'd advise against getting a mirror for a lone budgie.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:34 PM
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First of all, you are extremely lucky to have a budgie this tame and friendly within a couple of days very impressive!

The best way I can possibly think of to get him in the cage is through positive reinforcement. Buy a dog clicker from your local pet store and stock up on her/his favorite treats. Start by clicking the clicker and giving your budgie a treat. Continue doing this until your budgie starts showing signs of expecting a treat after a click. This could be running over to where the treats are given or acting extremely excited. Whenever your budgie goes back into his/her cage to eat/drink or when you put him/her back in, click the clicker and give him/her a lot of praise and love but don't forget the treats! Eventually, your budgie will learn that if he/she goes back into the cage, they get a yummy treat and attention.

Hopefully this helped. I have never had an experience like this but I wish you the best of luck!

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Thank you Deb for the wonderful photo!
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:30 PM
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Hi and to Talk Budgies!

I have untamed budgies that go back in their cage because I've used positive reinforcement training to teach them the will get a reward when they do so.

Initially, when I was ready for them to go back in the cage I would first dim the lights and pull down the shades in the room. If the radio or TV was on, I turned it off.

Then I would stand by their cage and ringing the bell on one of their toys while telling them, "It's time to go in your cage now!"

Once they went back into the cage, they were given a small bit of millet.

This method worked well and they now go in the cage when asked to do so without the lights being dimmed or the blinds lowered and the TV or radio can stay on.

Getting the millet reward is the best part of "going back home"

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Old 10-12-2015, 08:45 PM
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Therm View Post

How long does your budgie have you as company for?

Again, when Jimmy was alone, he never played with his toys but he did just sit in front of his mirror all the time, so I'd advise against getting a mirror for a lone budgie.
Thanks for the advice, guys

I went down to my local pet store and grabbed a mirror for him, and he's been sitting in the cage staring at it for the past hour... so I think he likes that

Generally I'm in the room with him any time I'm not at university or work.. so pretty much all the time haha.

I've got a clicker lying around, so I'll have to try that when he can drag himself away from mirror-friend

Last edited by FaeryBee; 10-12-2015 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:48 PM
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I don't mean to burst your bubble but mirrors are generally not recommended for solo budgies that are alone a great deal of the time.

The budgie will become obsessed with it thinking it is a real bird. He may begin feeding it and become aggressive if you try to interact with him.

I would remove the mirror and try giving him more personal interaction.

[I think you may have mis-read Therm's post and I've highlighted the important part in the quote in your post below]
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
I don't mean to burst your bubble but mirrors are generally not recommended for solo budgies that are alone a great deal of the time.

The budgie will become obsessed with it thinking it is a real bird. He may begin feeding it and become aggressive if you try to interact with him.

I would remove the mirror and try giving him more personal interaction.

[I think you may have mis-read Therm's post and I've highlighted the important part in the quote in your post below]
Whoops I did misread that silly me..
But, yeah I had heard mirrors weren't good for bonding with birds, but I may just keep it in there for a short while in any case. If it encourages him back to the cage, which is the biggest issue at the moment (I'm afraid my having to catch him with my hands may harm the training and trust we're developing), he's totally loving and friendly usually. He was reared with lots of other birds, and constantly calls to the birds outside... for a few days or a few weeks I may just leave it in there until he can adjust more to not living with company. But no, will definitely not be keeping it in there long term, had a family member with a mirror obsessed budgie! Will have to see how it goes!

In any case, he has stopped chewing and banging on the bars of his cage, which is a plus as I'm afraid he will injure himself.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:19 PM
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I'd suggest trying some toys like these for him:







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Old 10-12-2015, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
I'd suggest trying some toys like these for him:







He has one like the third image, but doesn't touch it at all unfortunately :L I've also ordered some like the first and second, should be arriving any day soon.
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