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!
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!