We've been trying to get our two budgies hand trained. We got them only a month ago, so I understand progress is slow. Marty is much more adventurous than Milton. Milton is very skittish. We got both the birds to the point where they would eat from our hands, and Marty would even sit on our hands to eat but Milton would only eat while on his perch.
Then suddenly, both of them took big steps backwards. Both seem terrified of our hands. Marty will eat from our hand with loooots of gentle coaxing, but Milton refuses. They'll fly to the other side of the cage to avoid our hands.
I don't understand what happened. It was like one day things were going very well, and the next day they weren't. They're both healthy and otherwise happy. They sing and play a lot in their cages.
Does anyone else have this happen? Maybe know what can be done. It seems like we have to start from the beginning.
Actually, what you are describing is very normal and often happens so don't feel you did anything "wrong".
Sometimes taming and bonding is one step forward and two steps back.
Starting over from the beginning is exactly what you need to do.
Sit by their cage and hold your hand in their cage, keeping it perfectly still.
Sing, talk or read to them and let them get used to your hand just being there without expecting anything of them.
In a couple of days, they will feel more comfortable with your hand in their cage.
Then you can hold your hand in the cage with some seed or millet in your palm.
Don't move your hand toward them, let them decide to come to you.
Once they become comfortable choosing to come to you for a few days, you can begin working on the step-up command with them.
greetings and welcome aboard.I agree also with faerybee on this.sometimes that does happen,but not to worry.I think they'll come around to you again One day.faerybee advice should help you a lot on regaining there trust again.
Blessings and keep us posted.
princess Gracie Barber welcomes you all and blessings
Marty seems to back at about 80-90% from where he was. He will eat from our hands again, but he still kind of panics a little when we put our hands in his cage. Milton has shown no improvement, yet. She seems really scared when we put our hand in the cage. She'll fly back and forth from wall to wall.
I meant to post another update a while ago, but I haven't had the time...
Anyways... Both birds regressed with their training again. We used to use millet, because both birds love it and would happily come to eat it from us. But now neither one will approach our hands. Marty had a slight improvement, but has since grown afraid of our hand again. It's frustrating because I want to be able to let them out of their cage so they can play and have exercise but how am I supposed to get them back inside if they wont let us get near them?
On another note:
We separated the birds for a while because we sensed that they weren't getting along. They wouldn't fight violently, but they would bully each other over the use of toys and feeding room. So we bought them a much larger cage. You could probably comfortably fit 5-6 birds in it, but our two birds seem to keep bullying each other. We have four food dishes and plenty of toys. It seems like they will both go to wherever the other bird is purposely to bother them. Both birds do it equally to each other. I wasn't sure if this was a "pecking order" type behaviour, but if it continues, I may have to separate them again, which is sad to me. I want them to be friends.
So, I guess... in conclusion, I have two unhappy birds and I don't know why.
They have lots of space. Lots of toys. Fresh food made for them every day. They just seem to dislike each other and dislike us.
So, in your opinion:
Would it be better for me to leave the birds alone and let them adjust, or should I keep on with trying to hand train them despite it being obviously something they don't like?
I worry that leaving them alone will get them even less likely to come to me, but training them might stress them out...
From your description it really seems that your budgies aren't compatible and since you have given them a chance by upgrading their housing arrangements and the same issues with the constant bullying persist, then in order to avoid the situation from truly escalating into vicious fighting, it's best that you house your budgies on separate cages.
It's possible the stressful environment they have been in due to the bullying has hindered your budgie's training and by separating them and dividing your time in training each budgie individually, you will see better results.
The information on the stickies at the Taming and Bonding section will be very useful during this journey, so be sure to check it out.
Good luck with Marty and Milton!
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.