I've had my lovely budgie Cecil for just over two weeks now, and I love him to bits but I tend to be a bit of a worrier and I just want to check I'm doing everything right to make him happy and to progress toward taming him.
I got him aged 5 months from a pet shop and then travelled with him to my uni house. Overall he wasn't too nervous when i first brought him home and ate well, but I haven't seen him drink water ever, although there has been some evidence that maybe twice he's drunk something.
I've put toys in his cage, as well as millet and an egg and grass seed treat and a cuttlefish bone at different times. He's touched his rope toy maybe once, barely, loved the millet but the rest he's never touched.
He has four perches but he doesn't move around a huge amount - other than between his food and what we call his 'safety perch' when he gets a little 'spooked' if me or my boyfriend go to sit by his cage as sometimes this makes him a little nervous.
For the first week or so, I just read to him and spoke to him a little, which often would make him fall asleep. Occasionally he chirps and I respond and then he responds back, but not too much and it varies from day to day. Sometimes it seems as if he is mimicking me opening my mouth/making eating noises.
I live with my boyfriend who is reasonably taller and bigger than me and he seems to find him generally terrifying and massively prefers me, and a couple of times (he's not as sensitive and careful as me) he's accidentally frightened him - so I don't know if I should maybe stop him being around him as much as possible?
After the first week i began resting my hand on different points of his cage whilst reading to him - his reaction to this varies widely from jumping around, to not really minding.
I had planned to start putting my hand in the cage this week to get him used to it as I have seen this is sort of the next part of the taming process, but he flaps around uncontrollably even when i just start to put my fingers in, and I hate to see him so distressed so I stop - does anyone have any recommendations? Does he not trust me yet? Shall i continue putting my hand on the outside of the cage first? Or shall i keep doing it?
I have done a lot of research about owning budgies but it would be great to have some tailored advice, as I really want to do the best for my little Cecil and I get so worried I'm not doing things right, but I also don't want to miss the chance and not be able to tame him (I know it's a long process, and I'm fine with that, I just need some advice as to how to tell when to progress to the next stage and what is/is not okay)
Some budgies are more stressed and anxious than others initially.
I would suggest you have a long talk with your boyfriend and explain it is very important he move slowly with a calm and relaxed manner whenever he is around Cecil. If he is unable to do so, then it would be best to limit the time he is around Cecil.
After another week of resting your hand on the outside of the cage,
Try putting your hand just inside the cage door and hold it completely still. Talk to Cecil calmly and reassuringly the entire time.
He may try to get away initially, but should quickly settle back down once he realizes your hand is not moving anywhere toward him.
Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
You'll find most of your basic questions about budgies and caring for them will have been answered after you've read through all of them.
When I got to the petshop there were two I fancied - both of which the man said were likely to be boys, but Cecil seemed a bit less nervous so I chose him/her. I was planning on getting a boy, but I fell in love so I thought I'd just wait and see as the cere was more blue when I first got Cecil. I guess he could be a Cecile instead then haha Love my lil budgie either way! Thanks for letting me know though!
I couldn't help to notice the sandpaper at the cage's bottom. It's not recommended to use that as the material can be quite abrasive on the budgie's delicate skin and cause sores on your budgie's feet. It also poses a danger if your budgie happens to chew on the material, that can cause digestive upset and in severe cases contribute to crop impaction.
It's best to simply use plain newspaper to line the bottom of the cage.
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.
Thanks for all your help about taming and general care. I'll let you know how she's going with the slower taming regime!
Thanks aluz for the advice - I didn't realise, this is what I was told to get in the pet shop and I kind of just trusted their advice, but I'll amend this asap. To be honest as much as I love Cecile, I wasn't overly pleased with the service - they seemed very rushed and didn't seem to care much about answering my care questions, even though he supposedly owned budgies himself. I was a bit surprised he didn't mention anything like feeding them things other than seed (which i had researched myself beforehand anyway, and am trying to make more varied using the advice on here) and other things people have posted on here that I would have expected him to mention
But never mind, I'll change the sandsheets and thanks to the great advice on here, hopefully have a very happy and healthy little Cecile <3