Hi there. I have 2 wonderful boys that I adopted a couple years ago. They were rescues and had been through a few homes before I got them. I did lots of research and asked questions before adopting them. Though I've worked with them, they are incredibly skittish and afraid of my hands still but deeply bonded with each other. And honestly, I feel like they have accepted me and really like being around me though they don't like hands! I work from home, and as I work, they watch me and really become active and happy when I'm in the room. Maybe I'm a distant member of their flock? They are also really scared of being out of their cage. They have left it a couple times by accident but didn't like it very much. I haven't taken them to a vet as any type of handling/transferring to another cage is so stressful for them.
Anyway, though I did research, I wasn't clear enough on how limited I would be with these guys. I have a cabin out of town and planned on taking them with...transferring them to a small cage and driving with them. That's out of the question with these guys. I can only leave a couple days at a time now, and I don't have people close to pet sit for me. I don't mind that they aren't hand tame, though it makes taking care of them tougher. I can only clean their cage carefully with them in it while they are freaked out! Poor guys. I accept this, though, and try to give them the best home that I can with a clean cage, good quality food, and happy bird music playing all day long.
I'm contemplating finding a new home for them. I have never rehomed a pet, and I've had plenty. But I am really tied to my home with these guys. My dilemma is that I worry about the incredible stress that they would feel moving to another home. And I also worry about someone else bailing on them because they won't really bond much with a human. Would it cause them too much stress to find another home or could they adjust just fine? I'm really mixed...
Owning birds does put a huge limitation on one's ability to travel unless the owner is fortunate enough to have someone extremely trustworthy to care for them.
Having recently relocated to another state and no longer having access to anyone to care for my birds, I fully understand the situation you are currently experiencing.
I've accepted that currently having six budgies and two lovebirds means that vacations or other travel is not in the cards for me for several years, yet I recognize many people would not be happy if they were tied to their home by their animals.
Obviously the best thing for your budgies would be for them to stay where there are.
Anytime budgies are moved to a new environment where they are expected to adjust to different humans and interaction, it is going to cause the birds stress.
That said, only you can determine how willing you are to sacrifice your ability to leave home for more than a couple of days at a time.
Depending on where you are located, there may be bird rescue centers in your area that could help you locate a prospective owner that would be able to adopt your budgies without being bothered by the fact they are independent and skittish little souls, not amenable to hand taming and able to commit to loving and caring for them for the rest of their lives.
If not, and you are really unhappy with your current situation, then I'd suggest you begin the process of very carefully screening individuals to determine if you believe they would be capable of giving your birds a safe and loving home while fully accepting the limitations the budgies would place on their activities.
Best of luck in your decision.
Please let us know how the situation is resolved.
I don't get why you can't take them with you. Yes it might be stressful to them but it will only be a while and then they will be there. With You. Happy with you in your cabin. It would be much more stressful to them if you rehome them!
Not only that, but they will probably adjust to a new small traveling cage much more quickly than you expect. And, they will probably enjoy the drive. (But even if not, then the drive will end and they will be with you.!)
Also please don't give up on them in general. There's great advice here for taming your budgies. Be patient, keep working with them. They may never become cuddly shoulder birds, but you're gonna get further than you think you are.
Also - even if they don't willingly Leave their cage -(and I know others here may advise differently), but - my own non-tame budgies always refuse. But I take them out anyway, and work with them and they do relax and seem to enjoy it. Yours will be different in their own way too, I'm sure, but please don't give up on them!
Hi sorry I left out what I meant to say. Your budgies have had multiple homes. If you go ahead and take them to your cabin, despite their stress at going, and they realize you are still there despite the travel, that might go a little to help them be less stressed in the long term.
Thank you for the advice. I was checking my email and didn't see a message that I got a reply so I apologize for not getting back sooner! I really feel committed to these guys so I am trying to make it work. They had a tough go before me, and I would rather not stress them out even more. So for now, they are here, and I believe happy. Thank you! It helped so much!
fiddlejen, thank you so much! I'm not going to give up on them. I can't bear to stress them out with a new home because they have come out of their shells so much with me in the past couple years. But, when you say that you "take them out anyway," how do you do that? I have never handled them except to gently put them back in with a towel over them when they escaped by accident. I don't want to chase them around the cage with my hand. I'm afraid that it might make progress go backwards. What do you suggest?
Will they step up onto a perch if placed in front of them, if so you can start with that and slowly remove them from their cage, however don't push it, if they feel that their cage is their safe place then forcing them out will be a stressful event for them. If you open the cage door and sit by the cage and talk to them and maybe offer some millet at the door do they show any interest in it? When you adopt rescues you sometimes just have to accept them as they are, you usually don't know what their past experiences have been. One of my birds that I got from a rescue I don't think had ever flown before I got him, it was as if he did not even know how to fly. After he joined the rest of my flock he learned, but my point is that you just don't know their past so they may see their cage as the only safe place to be based on their past experience.
Yes Cody. Thank you! I think you are completely on target. This is the case with my birds. Their cage is safe. They are still freaked out by my hands, and I have tried the perch thing and it scares them...as if it's a snake or something! I do leave the cage door open at times, but they don't usually come out. One time, one flew out because he was afraid of something I was doing in the cage. His mate was very worried and calling to him from the cage. He flew into walls and ended up on my curtain rod and finally back on the outside of the cage where he figured out how to get back in when I opened the door which is up higher. They were so happy to reunite! I could continue to keep the door open, but I'm concerned about them getting hurt when flying around, hitting walls. It's stressed out flight, not relaxed flight. Hmm...
It is not uncommon for a bird that comes out of the cage because of being startled to fly into walls, furniture etc. because they are feeling they are escaping from whatever frightened them and are just bolting anywhere. If they choose to come out calmly on their own that is less likely to happen after they get to know the area. Sounds like your birds are more comfortable together in the cage, do they have toys in the cage to occupy their time?
This is also a bit strange, but they are not too interested in toys at all. They initially were really scared of toys, but after a couple years they finally started chewing on their cuttlebone, and one of them will engage a tiny bit with a hanging wood/bell toy. They mainly stay on their perches talking and preening each other and watching me work during the day. They have bird sounds/music playing all day, and they like that. I have a couple other toys in the cage, and they don't touch them, and they wont eat anything other than pellet/seed mix (only about 1/4 seeds though). I've tried fruits/veges many times, and they don't touch them. They were rescues from a bird/animal hoarding situation with way too many birds together in a cage. They are a bit of a mystery
I can completely relate, I also adopted 4 birds from a hoarder situation, there were over 300 birds in a home in deplorable conditions flying free everywhere. Those 4 birds had no desire for toys either.