So for those of who read and replied to my posts about m first budgie Houdini, you may know that I had planned to get a new budgie around Christmas as a sort of "present" for Houdini. Houdini gets lonely, and my schedule is increasingly more busy. In the fall, I will have to leave Houdini at my parents' house when I go to college, so I thought getting her a friend might lighten the blow of me leaving.
If you haven't been following, I'll briefly catch you up. I've had Houdini for nearly four years now. She's suffered some trauma, and she no longer flies. She has a little attitude, but she's never been aggressive. She's definitely a momma's girl though, and is very noisy when I'm not giving her direct attention while in the room (doing homework, cleaning, etc.).
So I did get my new budgie on Christmas Eve, so it has been just over a month, and I ended the quarantine yesterday. Gizmo (the new budgie) seems to be IN LOVE with Houdini. I'm not kidding, he coos at her all day, sits in the corner of his cage that's closest to hers, climbs the walls of his cage when I take Houdini out to play. Houdini seems interested, but not nearly as excited as Gizmo, which is completely understandable and expected. I'm just glad that neither bird seems aggressive toward the other, and hopefully Houdini will adjust in time.
So I have a few questions, the first being what tips can you give me on introducing them into one cage, and what signs I should be looking for that they won't do well together? Also, how long, approximately, do I wait before letting them out together, and then putting them in one cage? I know to rearrange and clean the cage first, and to add new toys. I just mean any tricks that anyone has picked up that might make the transition easier for Houdini.
Also, how do I hand/finger tame Gizmo? Houdini is pretty well tamed but she doesn't fly. Gizmo does, so I wonder how that'll turn out when I let him out, and how I'll get him back in his cage. I've never tamed a flying budgie, so I would just like some tips on that as well, if you would be so kind.
Thanks for all the help, and I know I can be a bit clueless, but you have to start somewhere, right? That's what the forum is all about.
For the first couple of weeks, you can keep the cages close by so that your budgies have time to get used to their presence. Once they both show signs of being receptive and of wanting to meet, you can allow them to have out of cage time together on neutral grounds (away from cages).
Depending on how they behave you can then continue with this arrangement and later on decide if they can be allowed to share a cage or not.
The information on this link will be of use: https://talkbudgies.com/new-budgie-ar...o-budgies.html
It's fairly easy to tell when budgies don't get along together as there will be constant bullying, chasing around and heavier fighting.
Ideally, it would have been best to establish the foundations of trust with your new budgie during quarantine, by spending time with the new fellow and by making an initial connection to him and this is done by spending time sitting close to their cage and talking to him in a calm, positive, encouraging and reassuring way.
Once your budgie show signs of being more receptive to you when interacting with him, you can slowly place your hand near the cage to offer your budgie a little treat to eat in between the cage's bars. Later on, you can slowly place your hand inside to offer the treat and to encourage him to perch on your hand/finger. During these training sessions, it's important to read the budgie's body language and to respect's the safe boundaries set by the budgie.
When it comes to taming and solidifying the bond, it's important to work on a consistent manner and to use positive reinforcement techniques.
You can keep short 20 - 30 minutes sessions for 2 or 3 times per day depending on your availability.
You will find a lot of good in depth information on the sticky threads located at the top of the Taming and Bonding page, so you can check them out.
Introducing Houdini and Gizmo in neutral territory for the first few times they meet is important so you can gauge how Houdini reacts to Gizmo's attention at that time. He may be a bit overwhelming to her at first - especially since she is unable to fly.
With regard to getting an untamed budgie back in the cage -- this method worked for me:
It's best that you use a small bird-safe room for out-of-cage time.
I have untamed budgies that go back in their cage because I've used positive reinforcement training to teach them they will get a reward when they do so.
Initially, when I was ready for them to go back in the cage I would first dim the lights and pull down the shades in the room. If the radio or TV was on, I turned it off.
Then I would stand by their cage and ringing the bell on one of their toys while telling them, "It's time to go in your cage now!"
Once they went back into the cage, they were given a small bit of millet.
This method worked well and they now go in the cage when asked to do so without the lights being dimmed or the blinds lowered and the TV or radio can stay on.
Getting the millet reward is the best part of "going back home"
Wow, that's actually very interesting. I might try that. As for introducing them on neutral territory, I do have a setup for that already in place. I've allowed Houdini to get a good look at Gizmo through the cage bars, and she seems intrigued, but I can see how Gizmo might be overwhelming for her at first. I'll try to keep the forum updated on the whole thing. I'll let Houdini adjust to the thought of another bird before going any further.
I will be checking in on this thread for updates as well I look forward to meeting Gizmo and hearing how he and Houdini are getting along. I love the names you've picked out for the two of them by the way
"The LORD your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in His love; He will sing and be joyful about you." ~Zephaniah 3:17
I've started letting them out together to play on the gym, and although Houdini was uneasy at first, she is showing major improvements! I let them sit on the gym and watch TV with me, and I catch them taking naps side-by-side. The only time Houdini pecks Gizmo is when I'm talking to them or giving her attention. I assume this is a pecking order thing, because she isn't hurting him, just kind of saying, "Hey, this is my mommy! I was here first!" Otherwise, they are getting along great. I am thinking about moving them into the cage within the next week or so, since they are getting along well. Gizmo loves her and is very patient and passive. Not at all scared or aggressive, just full of energy, and actually gets Houdini excited and playing while I'm not looking directly at them. Also, I noticed when I first brought Gizmo in the room, Houdini stops whistling to me as much, like she was mad at first. Now, she's whistling like normal, even when they are playing together. All in all, showing good signs, right?