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  #1  
Old 08-03-2016, 10:44 PM
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Default Is he really biting or just "beaking"?

Hi friends,
I've had my budgie Tiki going on almost 2 months now(he is roughly about 6 or 7 months old), and I have a bit of a concern about him "biting". My husband and I have been letting him out of his cage for the past couple weeks and ever since then, he has started to nip and bite more. Before this, he did not bite me at all and would let me pet him and would step up on my finger readily most of the time when I prompted him to. So I thought that perhaps he was ready to be let out of his cage more often.

It seems like he still sees his cage as his "safe house", and I feel like he is still wary of the world outside of it. Now, there are times (not all the time, but more than he ever has before) where he is reluctant to step up on my finger unless I keep my finger under his belly for awhile with slight pressure until he eventually steps on, or if I have millet he'll be more inclined to do so. Other times he'll step up with no hesitation without the millet. He will also occasionally nip,or bite at my finger when I extend it to him to get him to step up. Tonight he bit at my finger 4 times in a row, and then getting onto it afterwards! Again, he has never tried biting me like this before we started taking him out of his cage, it seems. We have stopped taking him out a few days ago, to see if that changes anything.

Another thing that's concerning about this situation (as selfish as I may sound,so I apologize), is that it appears that Tiki is less hesitant to step up on my husband's finger, than my own. There are occasions where he will be stubborn about it,like he is with me lately. I will add that he has been bitten by him before, but not to the extent that I have!

I want to develop a bond with Tiki, and I'm worried that he hates me,due to his recent behavior. I'm also worried that he's forming more of a bond with my husband, because of the fact that he steps up more readily for him and doesn't bite him as much!

I will also mention that when he bites, he has never drawn blood and only a few times he has left a "dent" in the skin, but they can still hurt! (pretty much the equivalent of being pinched quite hard). When he does it, most of the time I just let him do it, because I know if I pull my finger away quickly or yell at him that may entice him to do it more. He does not display the classic warning signs of a real bite (crouching down, spreading out tail feathers,etc)So, is he really biting me? Or is he just beaking? And why is he doing this?

It doesn't seem like he is fearful of me or my hands, as he never runs away when my hand approaches, will take millet from it, and will even eat out of my palm with no problems.


Last edited by VeiledSkull; 08-03-2016 at 11:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2016, 04:18 AM
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I would assume that Tiki is still wary of you and his biting is to warn you off.

Have you looked through all the training and bonding sections of the forum?

It seems you are making good progress with him but he may have gone as far as he is comfortable going right now and pushing him to step up more frequently during his out of cage time is making him nervous. he may be telling you to back off.

I also wonder if you are trying to bond more frequently than your husband and he steps up more readily for him because he doesn't try so often?
You seem to really really want this bond with him and maybe are trying too hard. Tiki may feel a little more stressed by the amount of time, or the length of time you are trying.
This may not be the case but I thought it might be something to consider.

I would give Tiki some time to get more comfortable out of his cage and relax a little with the stepping up for now. Remember to keep the session short and fun and rewarding for Tiki and don't try to do too much at once.

Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by VeiledSkull View Post
It seems like he still sees his cage as his "safe house", and I feel like he is still wary of the world outside of it. Now, there are times (not all the time, but more than he ever has before) where he is reluctant to step up on my finger unless I keep my finger under his belly for awhile with slight pressure until he eventually steps on, or if I have millet he'll be more inclined to do so. Other times he'll step up with no hesitation without the millet. He will also occasionally nip,or bite at my finger when I extend it to him to get him to step up. Tonight he bit at my finger 4 times in a row, and then getting onto it afterwards! Again, he has never tried biting me like this before we started taking him out of his cage, it seems. We have stopped taking him out a few days ago, to see if that changes anything.
He will always think of his cage as his 'safe house', which is a good thing. He needs his own special place he can call his own to feel totally safe, it will help him feel more comfortable and safe overall.

Please don't leave him in his cage as a form of punishment. You don't want him to see his cage as a bad place! I would argue to leave the doors of his cage open for a while each day without engaging him; show him that he can be in his cage or out and about and be safe. Budgies are very curious; he will come out sometimes on his own. Stay in the same room as him, obviously, to make sure he doesn't get himself into a lot of trouble. I'm not saying give up on training him for step up or what have you, just just him a bit of space. He's not a machine, he will get annoyed sometimes.

If it makes you feel any better, my Sweetie does a lot of different tricks including step up, but his cage is his sanctuary; he will more than happily step up outside the cage but he won't even go on my flat hand in the cage. I'm alright with that because I want him to feel safe there, that if anything ever scares him he can (and does) fly right back to his cage which makes it much easier for me to check and make sure he's okay rather than try to find where he's hidden himself in a fright.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:35 PM
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Thanks guys! Very helpful advice so far.I shall give it a try! I was just curious if maybe he has gotten angry at me or something for taking him out of his cage more often into the big scary world,lol.

I failed to mention in my original post that Tiki can be reluctant to step up while inside the cage.

UPDATE:When I got home from work today, he happily perched on my finger several times without biting!
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Old 08-05-2016, 06:30 AM
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Hi Jessica, Tikki could well be tired when displaying this behaviour. My Budget gets quite cranky at night time if he is not in his cage and the door shut for the night. Budgies do not have good night vision, This is why they like to be settled for the night before it is dark. Budget will only ack ack me or bite if he was napping, standing relaxed and settled, or does not want to be moved from where he is.
Some budgies do favour one person over another just like people some budgies are more female orientated or others are male orientated.
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Old 08-05-2016, 12:32 PM
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yeah budgies pick people over, some they like, some they don't. Not sure they are gender specific, my observation with Cloud, he is person specific. He likes certain people and want to fly and land on them regardless of gender, but he refuses to step up on finger for some people.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:44 PM
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Jessica,

Great advice given so far!
Tiki could also be showing his more territorial side. Many budgies prefer their parronts to leave their cages alone, and are a bit of a diva about it, such as my own little girl.

She is fully tame and etc., but definitely does not like for me to put my hand in her cage without food, either to rearrange her toys or to get her to step up. To her, its invasive and disrespectful. Now, not all budgies react like this, but many certainly do. If his behaviour continues, it's possible that Tiki feels like that, in which case you should try to interact with him more outside the cage.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:55 AM
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Hi Jessica,

I've been wondering the same thing about my budgie who is about the same age as yours. He's been biting lately, but it doesn't seem like angry biting, more just like rough housing. We play a game where I cup a ball in my hands and he jumps around from finger to finger tossing the ball, head-butting it, and chewing it. But sometimes he goes after my fingers instead, which can definitely hurt, though it doesn't leave a mark or anything. When we play he is always free to go back to his "safe zone" whenever he wants, so I don't think it's because of stress. At this age (7 months-ish) they're just becoming adults, like teen-agers, right? So I'm not too concerned about it yet because I think he's still just getting to know his own strength.

But then again, maybe your situation is different and it is the stress of coming out of his cage. I definitely think you should give Tiki the option to come out everyday. Give him somewhere to hang out that's safe (I bought a play gym for this purpose), so he can get used to it without having to be on your finger. If he was stepping-up on your finger inside his cage keep practicing it inside the cage. Wait until he seems comfortable being outside before trying it there. It took Apollo a while before he wanted to come out of his cage. And he would only do his tricks inside, where it was safe, for even longer.

Also, don't worry if he's forming a bond with your husband. It's a good thing that he trusts him, and it doesn't mean he's not going to bond with you. My budgie definitely has different opinions about different people; he and I have a great bond, and he is also totally in love with my boyfriend. But each of us had to earn his trust individually. So be patient with your little guy and concentrate on developing your relationship with him, one step at a time.
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Old 08-12-2016, 02:11 PM
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This is very useful stuff as I have noticed my little fellow does not like me trying to get him onto my finger in his cage. He doesn't bite but he does scurry away. I have been persisting as the books I have read say you need to be able to get them to do this but I guess budgies don't read books!

I was planning just to stop doing this anyway as I can easily get him on my hand and back to his cage when he is out but it is good to get confirmation.

Also I am pleased to learn the word "parront"!
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:44 AM
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Thank you all for the helpful input!

I have been trying to lay off on getting him to step up so much. I have been noticing more that he can even get moody with my hubby and not cooperate with him so maybe it isn't so much an issue of favoritism? Lol. He probably does have his own moods certain times of the day-he seems to be more willing to step up during the day than at night when he's possibly tired and grumpy (which makes sense)
In a nutshell,I've been respecting his space a little more. If it's apparent he doesn't want to be on my finger, I back off and try again later.
Hubby and I have been taking him out of the cage again-this time by placing his playgym on top of the cage and leaving his door cracked open so he can go back in when he feels like it. It looks like he is slowly getting more comfortable being out of his cage When he's taken out, he doesn't try to rush back inside as much as he used to and I even found him eating food from a dish I had on the playgym. Maybe he's relaxing a bit now?
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