We have had our little friend for about 5 weeks now. He was purchased for my 8 year old son from a breeder. We were told he was about 12-14 weeks old when we got him. My family had a couple budgies when I was younger so I am (at least I thought I was) pretty familiar with them.
There have been some successes in training him so far - he will reliably step up on a dowel, he will sometimes step up on a finger (but immediately looks to get off), and from the start he has been very calm around our hands. He has never really been fussed about our hands in his cage, or presenting food to his face.
My reasons for posting:
1. He shows zero interest in treats - millet, fruits, veg or even a seed/ fruit blend the breeder had fed his birds before we got him. He eats a good amount of regular seed and his poops appear normal, so I don't think he's sick. It's more a problem that we can't tempt him or reward him during training.
2. He seems to be completely un-curious. He will not explore his environment at all, whether it's something new in his cage or when allowed out of his cage in a safe room. Whether in or out, he generally sits in the same place for hours on end. He rarely sings. He sleeps, or has his eyes half-closed, for what seems like much more time than the birds my family had years ago.
I know that lack of appetite and lack of inquisitiveness could be signs of either illness or shyness. As I say, though, we are perplexed because he otherwise seems to enjoy his seed; and he is so cooperative with finger training thus far.
Do we just have a very, very introverted bird?
Thanks for any insight...
I think some birds are less curious as part of their personality. He may come out of himself a little more with time.
When Skye was in quarantine, he was very much the same, he just ate and drank and stayed in the same position. As soon as he was introduced to the rest of the birds he'd eat millet, veggies and plays with all the toys. So I think some birds are a little more reserved on their own and that might be the case with your bird. Even though he's doing well with your family, he might take a lot longer to explore his cage and try treats for himself.
Food treats don't necessarily have to be involved in training. You can use your voice to your advantage and use praise words instead in a loving, positive and encouraging way. This is the method I use with my birds and with success, they respond well to my voice and positivity and as the training proceeds I also reward them with a favourite toy they love to play with and later on in training some of my pet birds are also rewarded with a little kiss on the upper chest area or a little petting on the cheeks.
From your description, it seems your budgie has more of a shy personality and it may take him a little more time to be fully comfortable in his surroundings.
Budgies respond positively to background noise, so you can turn the radio or TV on in order to encourage your budgie to sing.
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.
My budgie before the one I have now was very timid. She would rarely chirp at first but if I would play you tube videos of other budgies she would liven up. She also loved music and would chirp away! As timid as she was I would leave her cage door open and she would venture out and sit on top of it.....it was there where I would leave millet for her and she would eat it. It was during that time that I really got her comfortable with sitting on my finger....her wings were clipped so it made escape hard for her. I know there are mixed emotions on clipping wings, I for one don't mind it (as long as its done right and by someone who knows what they're doing) and I only do it when I first bring them home because I think for their enjoyment and health they should be fully flighted. Good luck with your budgie!
Your budgie may well be one that needs the interaction with a friend of the same species in order to be truly happy. Have you considered getting another budgie to keep him company?
If you do decide to get another budgie in the future, please be sure to quarantine it for a minimum of 45 days.
Quarantine means housing your new bird in a different cage in a different room as far away as possible from the room where your current bird(s) are housed.
Budgies mask symptoms when they are ill. Symptoms may not show up for over two weeks.
Often you will not even realize your bird is not well. Many budgie illnesses are airborne which is why you need to quarantine your new bird in a completely different room.
It is also a good idea to always take a new budgie in to see an Avian Vet for a "well-birdie" check-up. This allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet and the vet can establish a baseline for your bird in case of any future illnesses or injuries.
If you have not yet done so, 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'd love to see some pictures of your little fellow.