I recently got a new budgie after my 3rd passed away.
A small female about 2 -3 months old. I've had her for about 1 weeks now and from day 2 she spends her time always trying to escape her cage. I let her out ever day for a few hours to which she settles right down outside. After a few hours I get her back in (though she's got into the habit of flying away).
She gets some food the sits for 5 minutes then goes straight to trying to get back out, chewing at the bars, trying to lift the doors (I've secured them) and digging in her food (had to put a lid on to reduce the mess, she climbs inside now and digs). She sits doing this for a while until I give up and let her back out.
I'm not sure if I should ignore her until she settles down inside with her still being new, or cave and let her out all day. I tried once just leaving her outside and she showed no sign after an entire day of wanting to go home even ignores going back for food unless I put her back.
I don't mind her being out, I hate having them caged up and love to company, but the way she acts in the cage none of my other past 3 birds did it so this is new to me.
She used to go to the window and try to get through the glass but she has stopped doing that now. She now enjoys landing on my computers and just sitting chirping, which is nice.
She gets on my finger no problem (often flies back to the computer though). I've tried offering her millet or seed from my hand but no luck with that yet.
She's new and adjusting still I know, i'm just not sure if I should ignore her behavior trying to get out so she settles down. Again she gets out, but then immediately after being put in after a few hours of flight time she goes nuts trying to get back out.
Oh Also the cage is full of toys. She hasn't got round to touching them yet though, i've tried ringing the bells and such to show her. No interest yet.
No advice from me I'm afraid. I'm on my first ever budgie but I'm really interested to hear what the collective wisdom has to say. My boy also digs frequently in his food, I didn't realize that this was indicative of his wanting to get out. It is very painful to watch though so I can sympathize with you.
My Cloud was exactly the same when he was a babie, even though I let him out everyday he never wanted to be in the cage and throwing out all his food on the floor look me in the eye and going checking the door if I opened it for him. His habits went away as he grew up, but until he was 5-6 months old every time he saw me, he was doing all kinds of things to be let out of his cage. Not sure what could be done better, you already have plenty of toys, do you have a flight cage, does cage a lot of space, may be that will help her move around more in the cage and hoping habits will go away as she grows Storm is a very cute girl!
Some budgies can have different reactions while they are in the process of settling in to their new environment, and this includes the cage, not just the room they are in.
At this point in time, your budgie is not associating her cage as a safe place, she is scared and that's why she is reacting that way, by being very agitated and wanting to get out of the cage and trying to dig her way out of the cage by using the food containers.
You can help your budgie to settle in by covering the cage on 3 sides (leaving the front part of the cage uncovered) and having some soothing background music for her. During this time where your budgie is adjusting to her new home, you can also work on establishing the foundations of trust by sitting close to the cage and by talking to her in a calm, positive, encouraging and reassuring way.
It's important early on to establish a scheduled routine for out of cage time.
This in the long run will avoid behavioural issues where the bird ends up by not accepting or associating the cage as their ultimate safe place to be in.
As to the going inside the food dishes and kicking the seed out, the explanation for this behaviour will depend on context. Very young budgies will exhibit this behaviour as a way to reminisce the time they spent on the nest. Broody females looking for a place to nest can also find an open food container as a potentially suitable place for nest. And then there are budgies that when trying to escape the cage will try to use the food dishes in an attempt to break free and get out of the cage.
Yeah the cage is big enough for 1 or 2 birds. It has a small door at the front that drops open. I have another cage from my other birds that's wider but smaller height and has a big open latch door on the front. I used that for 2 birds together. Since it's just storm and me now I chose to use my first cage which is just the right size with enough room to roam and play but obviously her main exercise is outside.
Hopefully she'll calm down. I tried ignoring her earlier while making this topic and she went to the door and started chirping for me after about an hour of going crazy trying to get out.
I've caved and let her back out. She's now on top of my monitor falling asleep. Hopefully in time she'll calm down and know when it's time to stay home and play with her toys to keep her entertained.
She settles down fine at night when I get her in and put the cover over like most budgies. As soon as that cover comes off she goes straight to trying to get out.
I do agree with aluz that establishing a routine (as much as that is possible) is the best way forward forward. But then you must steel yourself to stick to it!
I'm a new budgie owner, still on my first budgie for many years (now 3months old) so can't speak with any experience other than my own observations of one! bird during that time. But Storm does remind me of mine, Peta.
I wonder if Storm, rather than purely wanting out / escape from the cage is perhaps actually wanting to be closer to you. You say she calms down once out and she settles once close to you, even falling asleep on your monitor. So she seems to feel secure when close. And she settles in the cage once her cover goes on and she accepts it is time for sleep.
Perhaps Storm is, like Peta, also a very strongly people-focussed budgie?
Peta has, since she hatched, wanted to be handled and "enclosed", with hands or anything else she can find to do that--she burrows under or in anything she can find, including twice climbing into my sleeve & out at my neck half an hour later...and the lining paper on the bottom grid of the cage. She plays pulling it up, going under & coming out, playing "Jaws" or that underground monster (in that great film with Kevin Bacon...??), stays under there and often falls asleep there. (At first, I was "Urrgghh, where the heck IS she??").
We have already talked about this on the forum of it being a leftover part of her wanting to be cosy in the nest with her siblings. Each budgie is different and this is the way she has been and still is.
But also (like many budgies, I think) she wants to be as close as she can to me (or anyone else around, though it's usually just me). It has to be as close as possible. For instance, always on or very close to my hand, whatever I'm trying to do. And perching on my glasses isn't nearly close enough, it has to be wedged upside down between the lens and my eye...and she will stay there & fall asleep if I let her Any eye will do....no preference for left or right (I kid you not! If I was ever capable of taking a snap, believe me, I would!! But while half yellow-blinded, that's tricky.)
Anyway, apologies, have side tracked .
If you set up a routine with Storm, whatever you decide it will be, and then you should ignore her shenanigans (however hard that will be at first) and don't relent till your planned time .
But don't let her think it's you "eventually relenting", but rather let her see you making very obvious "preparing-for-out-time-coming-up-soon" actions so it is you making the decision, not influenced by her. (I do things like move a playstand closer, put a bath and toy ready and get a treat millet bead (from the tin she knows is the source of all goodies!). Then you can let her out on your terms, have fun, interactive games together / let her fly around and spend time asleep on your monitor if she wants.
Like any child, it's your relenting that is going to teach her that her keeping going with her wanting-out behaviour equals you caving in / giving way / letting her out & getting what she clamours for! But your staying firm equals her learning a better way for both of you.
Once she has grown a little more and become accustomed to the routine, hopefully she will accept it and become your best-behaved loving budgie!
Does any of this make sense? Or any help? Or of it's on the wrong track, I would be keen to know what you and others think. Sorry for the long- windedness
Ana told me about the importance of a routine and my life with my birds is amazing because of it. I work the same scheduled hours during the week and over time, the birds are used to being caged during the day and coming out when I'm home. As I have so many, and depending on circumstances, they don't always get to come out, but they know and do very well with their routine. Even at the weekend, when I am home all day, they are very content in their cage and like to come out in the evenings like usual.
I do occasionally vary their routine at the weekend and if I plan to just stay indoors, I might let them out all day and all of them at once, just as a treat. And again, they are very good when this happens.
Cheers for the posts folks. I'll try being firm tomorrow and let her out in the evening. Try get a routine going. My last 3 just seemed to form a routine and never tried to get out, though again I let them out most of the day anyway. It's just the going crazy in the cage that was concerning me mostly .
If you are home during the day, you could perhaps plan to have several out of cage times at intervals? This is what I do, timed to be when I would normally be home. So it's usually first thing, after a cage clean out, middayish and again after my evening meal, while not watching Eastenders but rather, her favourite David Attenborough. She has the hots for him and strangely, so do I
You've been given great advice with regards to Storm's want to leave her cage all the time.
Routine, as mentioned, is key, and so is not "giving in". If she sees that every time she acts agitated, you let her out of the cage, her behaviour will continue. Soon, she will start to like her cage more and consider it her home, so she will enjoy spending time there. In fact, I wouldn't let her out for at least a week, as it is usually advised when bringing a new bird home that you don't try to touch them or let them out of the cage for at least a week so they settle into their cage and begin to see it as their "safe space".
I'm sure with a new routine, little Storm will settle in and will be less anxious to get out.
Meanwhile, be sure to read through the important threads at the top of each subforum (called "stickies") and the Budgie Articles to ensure you're up to date on the best of budgie care! If you have any questions afterwards, please do ask as we'd love to help
I hope to see you and beautiful little Storm around the forums!
Best of luck!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic