Is my budgie hand-taming going backwards? - Talk Budgies Forums


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  #1  
Old 06-17-2016, 08:51 AM
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Default Is my budgie hand-taming going backwards?

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum, and I'm new to taming budgies. I had a budgie growing up, he was beautiful! But my dad put all the hand taming work in while I reaped the rewards haha.

Bit of the back story..
My husband and I got a young budgie (Snowy) about 2 months ago and we've been going through a step by step, slow moving, hand taming guide using millet incentives. He hadn't been introduced to hands before we got him. I interact with him morning and evening and my husband, who works from home, interacts throughout the day. He even puts Snowy's cage in the office with him for company each day!

The issue:
It's been going well, I think, but I'm worried about moving too fast and I can't see a lot of signs he really does trust me and is bonding. One day he will be happy sitting on my finger, cleaning himself or stretching, the next he will only stay if I have food. Last weekend he sat on my shoulder playing with my hair and cleaning himself for a long time, and didn't want to go back to his cage. He hasn't done that since. A couple days ago he sat with my husband and I in the lounge room after work for a long time before flying away. He sat on my shoulder, then my husband's, then my head haha and wandered around a bit.
I was very excited about that progress, but when I went to feed him the next morning he refused to step up even though he was very hungry. He would only stretch past my finger and reach to the little veggie dish I give him each morning.
I wasn't working that day (yesterday) so tried interacting through the day but most times when I put my finger in the cage he would start breathing quickly and his head (not neck) feathers puffed up.
This morning he was a bit stubborn again but after a little he hopped onto my finger and was fine being half in, half out the cage. In the evening he seemed happy to come out to the lounge again particularly because he had millet to nibble but as soon as it ran out he got restless, tried to climb my head, kind of fell off and then wanted his cage.

So with all that explanation (sorry, I'm not very good at short and concise), what I'm wondering is, do you think I'm taking this step too fast and this is a sign he's going backwards with trust? Is it possible he's a bit moody some days and just doesn't feel like human interaction or is that not a big issue with budgies? Is it okay that he will still only come out of his cage with a millet incentive?

It's hard to know how long I should spend with him out of he cage and whether he is happy with it or not. I think maybe the outside world is the scariest thing? I just want him to trust me so I've been taking it slow, but maybe not slow enough?!?! Wish the little guy could tell me how he's feeling

Thanks so much for reading through this - any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 06-17-2016, 09:04 AM
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It sounds to me as if you are doing really well with your training. As you have said, there are days when they just don't want to interact, this is natural - they are only human after all! We all get moods.

I always tell people to take their cues from the bird...if he seems to want to play then encourage it. If not, leave him be for now. Rushing him is the worst thing to do as he will almost certainly rebel. If he is not keen on hands coming in then use a perch to get him out on.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-17-2016, 09:25 AM
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Hello, it is always so tempting to want to do all you can to interact with a new budgie baby. I can understand this, however you must remember he needs to become completely trusting and feel safe for things to happen . Not all budgies like to be human orientated just like people they have their own preferences and likes.
The breathing heavy is a sign of stress for him so perhaps you are going a little to fast for him at this stage. Reading his body language is a huge help as a guide for you.
Have a read through these links.

New Budgie Arrivals - Talk Budgies Forums
Articles: Budgie Training and Bonding - Talk Budgies Forums
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:09 PM
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Greetings and welcome to the forum.I agree with our friends here as well.it takes a lot of time and patience to earn the trust of a budgie.but I believe you are doing good so far .it took me 3 months almost to earn my budgie trust.but for some reason it slowed down lol?

I wish you good luck and many happy years with your budgie.blessings always
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:44 AM
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Thanks everyone for your replies good to get some reassurance and Cathy I will certainly go through those links some more - thanks! When/if he does the heavy breathing again I'll make sure to slow it down. Hopefully it won't be long before he will want to come out without needing the millet treats
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:32 AM
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Hi there and to the forums!

It sounds like you definitely know which steps to take to gain Snowy's trust!

He sounds very cute, and a real character, too. I agree with the advice above. Sometimes, he may feel a bit overwhelmed, so it's important when taming to let him show you when he's ready to move on to something more so he's totally comfortable. Doing trust work like sitting next to his cage and reading out loud or just spending time with him in the same room with "no obligations" will also help.

Meanwhile, he may soon be coming upon his "teenager stage" if he's around 6-7 months old. At this time, budgies may become more withdrawn and moody from the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies. Either way, the thing to do is to watch his body language. If he doesn't seem to want to step up, that's fine, just back away and let him enjoy his time how he pleases.

I hope that helps and we're looking forward to meeting Mr. Snowy when you get a chance!

Also, be sure to read through the rest of the forum articles, as well. There is tons of useful information that will probably be useful as you continue working with Snowy! If you have questions after reading through everything, please do ask as we'd love to help.

Hope to see you around!
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:52 AM
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Thank you StarlingWings I really want to put a photo up, if I remember I'll do that tomorrow! I keep thinking about it but I never catch him in a good position for a photo haha.
Interesting to hear about the teenager phase, I'll definitely keep that in mind over the next couple of months. I think he's about 5 months old now. Thanks again!
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