We just brought home an approximately one year old male budgie today that we purchased at a bird show. The seller offered no information other than he is not tame. Our new budgie, Cosmo, fluctuates between sitting on his perch and then suddenly flying frantically from side to side. He is able to see and hear our other older bird Cato, in a separate cage on the other side of the room and he sees Cato out of his cage and flying. My husband and I are speaking soothingly to Cosmo. What else can we do to help his fright since we are afraid he might hurt himself? Also how long do you think this frantic flying will last? Finally, he has his flight feathers and do not know if he was allowed to fly in an aviary, so should we initially cut his flight feathers in hopes it will be easier to tame him or leave them alone so he does not get further stressed?
Don't clip him. That will only freak him out more. I'm not sure what to say about the frantic flying, but maybe you should move him to a different room (if you can) if the other bird is making him do this? Someone with more experience should be able to help you more.
Quarantine means housing the new bird in a different cage in a different room than the current bird (as far away from the room the current bird is in as possible) for a period of 35-45 days.
Budgies mask symptoms when they are ill. Symptoms may not show up for over two weeks.
Often you will not even realize your bird is not well. Many budgie illnesses are airborne which is why you need to quarantine your new bird in a completely different room.
It is also a good idea to always take a new budgie in to see an Avian Vet for a "well-birdie" check-up. This allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet and the vet can establish a baseline for your bird in case of any future illnesses or injuries.
I do not recommend clipping any budgie's wings - especially one that is a year old and has been used to free flight.
Taming and Bonding is about TRUST.
Clipping a bird's wings only makes it submissive - it does not in any way help the budgie learn to trust you.
In Cosmo's case, clipping his wings would make him more depressed and despondent which will exacerbate his anxiety.
You can cover the top and three sides of the cage to help the budgie feel more secure. Playing music for him when you aren't around will be helpful as well. Budgies perceive no noise as meaning there may be danger.
Taming and Bonding is all about helping your budgie learn to trust you and it takes a great deal of time and patience on your part.
You should never grab your budgie or force him to be touched.
To bond with your budgie, you need to build his trust in you.
He will have to learn over time that you will not hurt him, grab him and try to force him to allow you to hold him.
To build your budgieís trust, sit by his cage and read, talk or sing quietly to him for a period of at least 10-15 minutes, 3 or 4 times day. After the 2nd or 3rd day, rest your hand on the outside of the cage when you talk to him so he'll learn that your hand is safe and will not hurt him .
After a week, rest your hand inside the cage when you talk.
Donít make sudden moves, donít try to touch him .
Let his get used to the idea that the hand is now in his safe place and not harming him .
After 2 weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward your budgie. If he becomes agitated, stop moving your hand and just hold very still until he calms down. When he's comfortable with your hand near him , you can offer him a bit of millet or a few seeds. In a few more days, you can begin your taming and bonding sessions.
Always work at your budgie's pace.
Move slowly and talk reassuringly and calmly whenever you interact with him .
Most budgies once they pass the "baby" stage, do not like to be petted or touched.
If your budgie does like to be petted, you should only ever pet his head, neck or chest area.
Stroking a budgie's back and/or tail stimulates its breeding instinct. Bonding means allowing them to choose to be with you.
From the questions you've asked, I would recommend you take the time to read the information available throughout the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
Thank you for good information;I have perused the articles but still need guidance. I've had Cosmo for a week and a half. I have taken him to our bird Vet for his well birdie check up and he is in good health and the Vet thinks he is only about 5 months old. He is quarantined in a separate cage and room from Cato. When I work, I bring his cage beside me in my room and talk gently to him. He is generally much calmer. I place my hand in the cage from time to time (not moving it) and he mostly doesn't get too excited. I have opened the cage while he is in the room with me and he has remained inside, preening and even napping. I bring him in his his cage downstairs to the family room when we watch TV (different room than Cato) and & open cage as I sit near the cage. Last night he came out of the cage and flew around the room and then behind a chair and I gently caught him & returned him to his cage. My concern is this: He sits calmly even eating and then all of a sudden flies frantically from side to side or hovers in the cage. I try to speak with him softly but I don't know if he is suddenly afraid or simply wants to fly. Last time he did this, I took him into the bathroom ( I had covered the mirror, closed toilet,sink and the door) and opened the cage door and spoke gently to him but he never came out. As soon as I closed the cage and returned him to his normal location in a quiet room where he can look out the window, he began to fly back and forth and hover again. What is going on with him? Do I need to have his wings clipped so he can come out of the cage and not get into mischief? It is very disconcerting to see him so agitated and I am afraid he will hurt himself.
What do I do about the cage in the interim until Cosmo is tame?
But in the mean time while he is NOT tame, shall I open his cage when I am in the same room as him and allow him to get out? If he does get out and gets into trouble (i.e. behind couch or bookcase) should I simply lure him out with his cage or wait for him to come out by himself or should I "rescue" him gently? Or shall I leave the cage closed except when I am working with him to try to tame him?
Also, shall I also try to keep him in one spot (the spare bedroom upstairs where he sleeps) and visit him as I can since I'm worried that bringing him to my work room which is next to his room and then downstairs in the early evening is maybe too stressful for him. Do you think I should leave him in one spot even if there is not a lot of interaction? There is definitely more interaction if he were downstairs but Cato, my older parakeet is downstairs so he can't stay in that room yet and I don't want him to sleep in my Family Room where we watch TV since our dog sleeps there (the dog does NOT stress him since she is old and deaf and really shows no interest in the birds). Once the quarantine is over, I will move him downstairs in the same area as Cato. Thanks.
It's important that if you left your bird out, the room is bird proof and ideally, block any areas where he can fall behind.
I have had many of my (un-tamed) birds out in my bird safe room and they only fall to the ground if they misjudge something. They then just fly back up again once they have recovered for a moment or two.
I would put some large books on top of the bookshelf, where he can fall behind it (cover them in newspaper so there are no accidents left on them and maybe pull the couch out a little further so if he falls behind that there's plenty of room for him to walk out and fly up alone.
You trying to pick him up while not tame can cause more stress and panic.
But at the same time, if you're happy to let him out, I don't see any harm in letting an untamed bird out, but do agree that wing clipping is something that is suited to you, and not Cosmo right now. If he's a year old he's spent all that time able to fly free. In certain individual circumstances there is a need for a wing clip but just to stop him flying to aid bonding isn't really the right reason, IMO.
I would also leave the cage in one room for now. You can spend time with him now and then.
As Cosmo will eventually be moving in with Cato, he will soon enough have a budgie friend to keep him company and be a lot happier and calmer.
It's great to have you here with us; you couldn't have come to a better place to learn even more about these beautiful birds!
Congratulations on getting Cosmo! Obviously, he has every right to be scared and nervous right now. You're doing great in spending time talking to him, etc., which will make him feel more at home.
However, I wouldn't let him out or put your hand in the cage for a few days. Ideally, you should have let him settle in for a full two weeks without doing that, because he will then have more confidence in his environment.
As mentioned above, there's nothing wrong with letting him out of the cage after a few days to explore, but just make sure you have plenty of time to help him get back to his cage if he doesn't by himself because when you're in a hurry to get somewhere, it just stresses everyone out more. If he doesn't go back in by himself after a few hours, you can offer him a perch to step up on so as to not stress him out with your hands.
In fact, I wouldn't even try to tame him for a bit and just spend time with him. You'll soon know when he's ready to move on to taming-- i.e he will not be freaked out anymore with you next to his cage, will seem curious and alert, etc.
Additionally, be sure to look through the forum's many Budgie Articles and "stickies" (threads "stuck" to the top of each subform for easy reference) to stay up to date on all the best practices for caring for budgies. If you have any questions after reading through anything, be sure to ask as we'd love to help!
We look forward to seeing you and your adorable budgies around the forums!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic