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feathery 10-20-2015 12:15 AM

Scaredy Quinn.
My baby Quinn came home yesterday, but he hasn't moved an inch from his perch. He hasn't been eating, and his poops went from watery green/white to black this morning. :(

He's less than four months old, and I'm unsure as to whether he's been weaned because the place I got him from was, to say the least, a bit sketchy. He comes from a breeder who probably mistreated him (he was stuffed in a cage with thirty other birds, it was clear the cages were never washed) and I'm worried that he'll have a hard time trusting me when the time comes.

There was a bowl of seed and a bowl of water in the cage, but that was it - I don't even know whether Quinn was eating previously. I know it's still very soon, but I'm so worried about him and I don't want him to be sad. :( On the other hand, he doesn't flinch away when I put my hand in the cage; he nibbled my finger and put his foot up on it.

Do any of you more experienced budgie owners know of ways to get your budgie to eat or drink? Should I be more concerned or will he be fine?

FaeryBee 10-20-2015 12:34 AM

Hi Angie and :welcome: to Talk Budgies!

Budgies are often submissive for a few days because they're terrified. Cover the top and three sides of the cage to help Quinn feel more secure. Play music on a low volume as that will help to soothe him.

Quinn may sit quietly and not move, chirp or sing.
If he sits near the bottom of the cage, you can scatter some seed on the cage floor so he can find food until it learns where his food dish is. You can also place a very shallow dish with a little water on the cage floor for him.

Do not handle or touch him for about 2 weeks.

To build Quinn’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 his 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 Quinn and begin your taming and bonding sessions.

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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 Quinn and hopefully seeing some pictures :photo: once he's had time to settle in. Rules and Guidelines
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StarlingWings 10-20-2015 01:02 AM

Hello and welcome :wave: to the forums, Angie!

I can't add anything to what FaeryBee has so expertly stated :) I'm sure little Quinn knows how lucky he is to live with such a caring momma and he'll perk up soon, you'll see. It's great you've decided to bring him into your life and I know you'll have lots of fun together.

We'd love to see pictures if you have them! It's great to have you with us and do ask any questions you may have as we'd love to help. :D


Pretty boy 10-20-2015 06:26 AM

Oh the poor little guy, cover his cage on three sides this will help him feel safe. Also get some Apple Cider Vinegar but it must have Mother in it. This is a natural probiotic add a couple of drops to his drinking water every couple of days.
Try to keep calm and talk to him, show him the feed dish and water dish, hold some seed in your hand and see if he will take some. Let us hope he is indeed eating properly for you .

Ilana 10-20-2015 07:49 AM

His world just flipped and he's fearful. This is pretty typical for new budgies. The advice you've gotten is perfect and I'm sure he'll come around soon. Covering the cage on 3 sides does help a lot. You might also get some special food like millet and offer it to him. The feces might look black because they're very dark green and are normal now (normal budgie poop is like a little marbled pebble), but if you think they're truly black a welcome/well visit with an avian vet would be a good idea.

One of my flock, Simon, was adopted from his first home and, in his new home, was so quiet for the first few weeks I just assumed he had a pensive personality, but at some point he became Mr. Congeniality and we count on him to be the chattery boy greeting every morning with a conversation. Just give Quinny a little time :).


feathery 10-20-2015 08:40 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Thank you all so much for your kindness and reassurances! Quinn had some seed the morning, when I offered it to him in my hand (a lot, actually - greedy little thing!) Thank you, Cathy, for your sound advice. I'm so relieved to see him eat at last. :)

Am I right in saying that I should avoid touching him for a week or two, now that he's been eating? Is there anything else I can do to make his transition seem less scary? His cage is covered on three sides and I've been playing the guitar for him - he seems to like that. I'm a new budgie owner and I really want my little guy to be happy. He's made me so happy already in the two days I've known him, and I truly haven't been this happy in a long time.

Thank you all again for the warm welcome. I hope I'll be able to become part of this community. Please do tell me if I'm breaking any rules; I don't wish to intrude.

(On a random note… I don’t actually know if Quinn's a boy or girl. That's why I chose the name! Here's the little guy (girl?) chowing down from a few minutes ago. Any opinions? Sorry for the terrible quality.)

Budgieholick 10-20-2015 08:54 AM

Hi and welcome
We need a clear shot of the bird to give our best guess as to boy or girl welcome to tb

FaeryBee 10-20-2015 07:40 PM


Since your budgie has eaten from your hand, you can begin your 2 week period by resting your hand inside his cage when you talk to him. If he is especially curious, he may decide to step up onto your hand when you offer him seed. This is a good way to begin bonding with him. I would not try to work on the "step-up" command for at least two weeks unless he approaches you, however. ;)

To determine budgie gender, a clear, in-focus close up of your budgie's cere taken in natural light is needed. Posting a full-size picture (you'll need a free PhotoBucket account) rather than a thumbnail attachment, will make it easier to view.

Please take a look at these links:
Examples Of Pictures To Post And Not Post - Talk Budgies Forums

Ilana 10-21-2015 12:04 PM


Originally Posted by feathery (Post 3242434)
I've been playing the guitar for him - he seems to like that.

That's wonderful! Funny, when I take my banjo out all the budgies, cockatiel, parrot, cat and four dogs go flying. I wonder what I'm doing wrong....


feathery 10-21-2015 12:19 PM


Originally Posted by Ilana (Post 3244009)
That's wonderful! Funny, when I take my banjo out all the budgies, cockatiel, parrot, cat and four dogs go flying. I wonder what I'm doing wrong....


I've been playing some Angus & Julia Stone songs - I hope that means Quinn will grow up to have wonderful taste in music! :P

He's been eating a bunch, and chirping a lot now after I played some budgie sounds for him. He's still a little less active than I would like, but maybe that's because he's tired. Budgies like naps, don't they? I don't often seen Quinny sleeping; the apartment complex where I live is loud even to me (drilling, yelling, inconsiderate neighbors!) I feel bad about it, and I wish there was a way to solve that problem. Anyone know where I can get birdie earmuffs? xD

Also, here's another (hopefully clearer) picture of when the sneaky little thing zoomed out of his cage while I was trying to change his water. I kind of suspect he's a girl now, but I know he's still young! Any second opinions?

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