On April 6th my girlfriend and I (after many months of discussing and planning) decided that it was the day we were going to find the first addition to our family.
The plan was to visit as many pet stores in the area (we ended up looking at 4) to get a blue male and name him Pippin. However, as we all know, the best laid plans of mice and men...
We ended up falling for the very first Budgie we saw. A petite, gorgeous, yellow and purple female named Viola (Italian for Purple).
We've exploited her passion for millet to train her as best we can. When we brought her home I stuck a spring of millet in the cage to help her adjust, but after that branch was gone we only hand feed it to her to help with training. After the initial "getting to know each other" for 10 days or so we began training.
It took her a day or two to get used to our hands (and eat millet from it) and once she did that I taught her to step-up in about 3 sessions over the course of an hour. Since then we've progressed to taking her out of the cage (although she always flies back in after a relatively short time) and she will walk up our arms to eat millet on our shoulders, but doesn't hang around for the after party.
Objectively I think things are going quite well but she seems to have regressed quite a bit in the last week or so. I think it might be because I cleaned and re-arranged her cage at about that time, and since then she has been more skittish than usual. It could also be that I am pushing her too much too fast (my partner has a much softer heart than me
), so I think I will dial it back a bit and maybe have more quietly sitting near each other time rather than always trying to train her whenever we interact.
Eating wise she initially wouldn't touch the pellets, so I used the grind them up and sprinkle them in the seed trick, then have been slowly adding more over time. I've gotten her up to a 50/50 ratio, but she seems to only finish off the pellets late in the day when she knows we won't give her any more millet, usually after complaining about it.
There are a few things that I shouldn't but do worry about a little. She seems to sleep with her eyes open, I've read this is pretty normal but could indicate that she is stressed and still doesn't feel safe. Although I've gotten her on pellets at least she still won't really eat her fruits or veggies. She will sometimes nibble a bit of carrot or taste some apple, but she generally ignores them.
The other things that worry me are that she is usually very quiet unless she wants something and very rarely chews or plays with her toys. The few times we have seen her playing she makes happy budgie noises, but this happens very infrequently when we are there. She mostly just stands around looking very regal, so at least her personality fits her name
I will continue to make and swap out toys, hopefully we will find some things she likes to chew and play with.
As if to undercut my last point, my dearest did manage to snag this short video of her playing with a toy, so I will leave you guys with something cute to watch.