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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Taming and Bonding


Taming and Bonding Taming and Bonding is all about helping your budgie learn to TRUST you. This requires time and patience and does not happen overnight.

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  #1  
Old 01-27-2016, 09:25 PM
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Default A confused bunch of questions

Hi there. As I've posted elsewhere we just got Roly, a beautiful little 7 week old budgie who we were told was male but is probably female. Roly has been handled since he grew feathers so came to me already tamed.

Now I'm feeling probably 90% sure Roly is a hen, and the way she has been acting makes me wonder what sort of pet she will be and if we should have a second one too.

Background: from the age of 11 I had pet budgies and eventually bred them through my teenage years. After getting married my husband and I have had two pet budgies. When they died we decided not to get another because we had human babies. But now they're bigger we decided to get Roly for our kids to have a pet, and we were both missing budgies anyway.

So, I've had tame females before but I've never had a solitary female. So the tame females were basically, used to us, happy to be handled, but could take it or leave it. But I don't know if that's because they were female or because they weren't solitary. I've had solo males and they've been so attached-- thinking they're humans, talking, following us around, preening us etc.

Now I've noticed a couple of things about Roly. One is that she is fully hand tamed, but doesn't like to step up on a finger- she bites if she's approached from in front. Instead she likes to be picked up with a flat hand from above! She prefers to be sitting on us somewhere like an arm, and loves to be held and have her head scratched. The other thing I've noticed is she doesn't seem happy in her cage, unless she doesn't know we are there - if we are in the room she runs back and forward along the bottom of the cage until we get her out. She eats and drinks and sleeps happily but she seems to want to be out with us. But unless she's held and stroked she isn't that happy out of the cage either and just wants to run away exploring the house and calling out to distant birds.

I don't know how much of this is because she's a baby, because she's female, or because she's alone.. how much might change with time. But if she is always going to be unhappy in the cage maybe she does need a mate. We weren't going to get two, but that was mainly to have a tame pet- my experience with the solo boys was that they were so easygoing and happy with anything whether in the cage or out with us. I had a bad experience with getting a second one a year or so after having one tame male. He was super bonded to us but became withdrawn and different when the new one came, developed some stress symptoms, and only became his happy old self when the new one eventually died! So I don't know if it's better to get a new one sooner if we got two.

So... I'm going to have a go at turning my confusion into some questions for you guys:

1. Do you think her wanting to be held/lots of contact and come out of the cage is because she's a baby?
2. If so will that change and she'll get happier in her cage?
3. Being female, and the personality I've described, do you think as she grows up she'll get any more bonded to us and be happy to just sit and chill?
4. Being female is she likely to lose some of her tameness and need us to keep on working at her staying tame, or will she be like the boys I've had who were just so happy to be with people once tamed ?
5. Is all this still just settling in behaviour do you think, or is she actually quite needy?
6. If so do you think she'd be better off with a mate?
7. If so, is it best to get another hand tamed baby soon, and raise them together so there's less chance of her being territorial? Or is it better for keeping them tame if she's alone first?
8. If we get it from the same breeder does it still need quarantining? He quarantines all his new birds thoroughly so in theory the babies should only ever be exposed to the same environment.
9. If we get a new one is it ok if it's male or is it too hard to have them not breed? What would two females be like together? I know how to breed budgies but I also know not to without the right set up, so I'd definitely be taking all measures to avoid it. But I don't know if it'd be unpleasant for them to be in breeding condition and unable to breed?
10. How long do you think it'll take before I can know more clearly which way Roly is going to go in terms of her tameness/pet potential and coping happily in her cage?

Thanks for your patience!

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Old 01-27-2016, 09:41 PM
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1. Yes, at only 7 weeks old, she is a very young baby and is craving closeness and attention because of that. She's been separated from her parents and siblings and you are now her surrogate.

2. Yes, but you'll have to help her learn to be happy in her cage.
You can do this by teaching her how to play with her toys, giving her a reward when she goes back into her cage, providing special treats in the cage, etc. Otherwise, she is going to train you rather than the other way around.

3. Each and every budgie has a unique personality whether they are male or female. We have members who have extremely sweet-tempered female budgies so if you work with her and she views you and your family as "her flock" she will want to spend time with you.

4. Again, this depends on the individual bird. It has nothing to do with gender.

5. She's a VERY young baby. Many breeders don't allow their budgies to leave before 8 weeks at the earliest. She is wanting to be reassured she isn't alone.

6. No. I think you should keep her as a single budgie for at least six months. Take the time to bond with her and learn about her personality and unique quirks. If you decide later on that she needs a friend you can get one later on.
Having a friend does not mean the budgie has to be a "mate". The budgie can simply be a friend and the two do not need to be bred.

7. It is easier to have two tame budgies if you give the first one time to bond with you before bringing in another bird.
Introducing the two birds properly (if and when the time comes) will go a long way in ensuring the first one isn't territorial.

8. If you get another budgie from the same breeder a few months from now it will need to be quarantined.

9. If you get another, getting a male is fine. There are ways to discourage breeding.
When We Don't Want Eggs! - Talk Budgies Forums
That said, you must always be ready and willing to house the two separately (whether you get another female or a male)
IF the two do not get along because sometimes that happens. And no -- there is no way to know ahead of time if it will or will not.


10. I think you need to give little Roly a minimum of three months and preferably six to determine her level of tameness, pet potential and learning to be happy. She's still a tiny baby and prefers to be with her "flock" and wants to held and be snuggled. That isn't going to last -- once a baby is about 3 months old, it becomes more independent and many won't want to be petted at that point.
By the way, only pet her head, neck and tummy. Stroking a budgie's back and/or tail stimulates the desire to mate.
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Old 01-27-2016, 10:50 PM
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Thank you, that is all very reassuring, thanks for slowing down my spinning head lol. Poor baby. She'll be 8 weeks tomorrow.
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Old 01-29-2016, 03:33 PM
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1.) From my experience raising and breeding budgies, they love being around people when they grow up an "only bird" and are also use to being handled all the time. This is regardless of their age and sex. Budgies are flocking birds, so they'll consider their owners as part of their flock and want to always be around them. If you put her in her cage and leave the room, she might feel unsafe and lonely.

2.) Since Roly likes being handled and is your only budgie, she might prefer to stay outside her cage when people are around. It'll make her feel more comfortable since budgies congregate into flocks. I use to have a budgie (one of my chicks from breeding) who would throw a fit and make a bunch of noise until I let her out of the cage. It got to the point where I would just let her have free roam of the house pretty much all day long. If I left the room, she'd fly onto my shoulder and come with me. However, when I put her with all the other birds, she stick near them instead. It really depended on where she was at the time, but she always stayed friendly with me and always wanted to be around me.

3.) If you don't get another bird, I'm certain that Roly will become more bonded to you and your family as she gets older. This has nothing to do with being a female or male. She's an only bird and thinks of you as her flockmates.

4 & 5.) If you stop giving her attention from this point out, she may start to mellow out a bit. Same thing for males. However, I don't recommend ever doing that. Once she bonds with you and your family, she will always need attention from you guys. She will be happiest around you. Her acting needy is normal behavior. If you were another bird, she'd act the same way.

6,7.) I always recommend buying a second bird, even if you plan to be attentive bird owners. Females are aggressive towards each other, so it'll have to be a male. To keep them from breeding, just don't buy items for the cage that will encourage it. You should definitely get another hand-tamed bird, however, an untamed bird will tame up pretty quickly from watching the way Roly acts with you. The choice is up to you guys.

8.) Even when I bought untamed birds, I'd always put them in the same cage as the others. I've never quarantined any of my birds. I'd separate breeding parents from the flock, and then the chicks from the adults, but that was it. I've always kept the babies together with other babies, even with chicks from different parents. I don't see how quarantining is at all beneficial.

9.) To keep your birds from breeding, just don't get a nest box. If there's a nest box, it will encourage your birds to breed. If there isn't a nest box, nothing will happen between them. With that being said though, sometimes hens will use their food dishes as nest boxes, so I suggest getting an external feeder or a feeder with a cover on it.
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royale View Post

8.) Even when I bought untamed birds, I'd always put them in the same cage as the others. I've never quarantined any of my birds. I'd separate breeding parents from the flock, and then the chicks from the adults, but that was it. I've always kept the babies together with other babies, even with chicks from different parents. I don't see how quarantining is at all beneficial.
When bringing another budgie into your home environment from a friend, pet store or breeder, quarantining the new bird away from your current bird is actually very important.

Quarantine means housing your new bird in a different cage in a different room as far away as possible from the room where your current bird(s) are housed.
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.

https://talkbudgies.com/your-budgies-...important.html
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:25 PM
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I agree and strongly recommend quarantine procedures whenever bringing home a new pet bird. It's not worth the risk to jeopardize the health of the other bird or a whole flock by introducing a recently acquired new bird who may be hiding an illness that can be spread to the flock and ultimately end in tragedy.
If the new bird happens to have a mild case of scaly face mites that is undetected, that can have a big impact on a flock scenario and it would be more difficult to control the infestation, not to mention it would be that much costly to treat a whole flock and disinfect an aviary instead of just one bird and a cage.
During the month long quarantine time we will have a better idea on the bird's health and before properly introducing the new bird to the potential new friend or flock (it's not just a matter of placing the budgie in the same cage as the other budgie, as this may not be well received by the older budgie and can lead to fights and territorial behaviour), it's also advisable to take the budgie for the first wellness check at the avian vet.
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:20 PM
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I agree with FaeryBee and Aluz.....I would never want to risk the lives of my current birds by bringing in a new bird that hasn"t been quarantined for the right amount of time. Is it hard waiting for putting your birds all together....YEP it is. I am doing that waiting game right now. I cant wait to see them all flying around together. BUT I will. Please be very careful who you listen to when it comes to the safety of your babies. Their lives depend on you...and I know you want what is best for them....even if you have to wait a little while. The moderators on here know what they are talking about. They have all helped me with my flock and learning more and more about proper care of them.
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:48 PM
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Don't worry- I've always quarantined and will again if I get another bird. For now I'm reassured that Roly is acting her age, so am not as worried that we need to rush out and get a second one. If she seems to need it down the track we will.

I was mainly wondering about quarantine if they've both come from the same place. Or, if say you were to take on an adult budgie that had been kept solo. Like if your friend had one they needed to give away. And both birds had lived alone for a few years. Would that count as quarantine?
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:33 PM
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Even if two birds came from the same place, when you get them months apart, the new bird should be quarantined.
You have no way of knowing for certain there hasn't been a contaminate or illness in the place of origin during that period of time.

With regard to getting a solo adult budgie from a friend...
IF you know the person well and have first-hand knowledge the bird has not been ill in the last 6 month period and no other birds have been in the household, you may be comfortable with introducing the budgie to your current budgie (or flock) without observing the quarantine period.

Hopefully this helps clarify the matter a little more for you.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:50 AM
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I've never quarantined any of my birds. I didn't have a single problem. Whenever I'd bring a new bird home (which wasn't very often because the rest of my flock after bird #4 was acquired through breeding) I'd alway take a trip to the vet first. All of my birds came home in perfect health.

But with that being said, I do agree with everyone else. What I should have suggested in place of not needing to quarantine your bird, was that you could also schedule to go straight to the vet.
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