My wife gave up on trying to train and bond with Ricki after 3 months so I told her I would take over. She came from a pet store, but was still a young bird. I took her cage into a small carpeted closet, took the cage top off and started working on getting her to step up onto a short perch. In one week she was stepping onto it nicely (she has clipped wings). Week two she started going from her perch (still out of the cage) onto my finger. Week three she started coming out of the cage door on her perch. Then we would do finger work, ladder step ups, etc. Now no longer in the closet, she will come out the cage door on the short perch and ride back into the cage on my finger. But I can't get her to step onto my finger while in the cage. I spend time with my hand just resting in the cage, feeding her millet and apple slices (which she loves), but I cannot get this final training goal met, of getting her to step onto my finger and come out of the cage door. We had never had such a stubborn budgie, and I have had many over the years. I realize all birds are different, but does anyone have any suggestions? Ricki is very used to my hand outside the cage and will now get on it readily. Does anyone have any suggestions? I must say we have gotten quite attached to each other during this training and bonding period.
Last edited by Zeppurah; 12-30-2015 at 03:00 PM.
Reason: Needed to add something
I had a budgie that was the same, I would just leave her door open and she would always venture out on her own....she never did like my hand being in the cage, I guess it was a territorial thing. Once she did come out of the cage I would put her on her playground and have her hang out with me everywhere I would go in the house. I'm in the process of training my male budgie that I got three weeks ago.....fortunately he has a very large door to his cage that makes it easy to get him in and out while on my finger.
Make sure you're timing food-based sessions for the morning before she's had a feed. You can take food dishes out the night before make sure the motivation is high. Be sure each time they take a bite, they have to move a little more towards their next needed position - so stretching or a step - and guide her towards the door.
You may be better pegging the door open, then guiding her to the door for a treat and stepping up from there. That's what we did - then move to step ups in the cage from there.
Thought I would update on Ricki's success in taking the final "Step" in his training. I put him in a smaller cage temporarily -- less room for escaping and climbing. He wasn't traumatized by his temporary change of quarters, in fact he immediately did on step up onto my finger in his cage after minimal running around on his cage bottom. Now a couple of days later he readily gets onto my finger in the cage and seems to like coming out and riding around on my shoulder to go visit the other budgie in another room. So our "impossible-to train" budgie finally came around after lots of patience. Each stage has been very rewarding and I hope has formed a bond between human and bird. Attached is a picture we took this morning.