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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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Old 06-06-2016, 03:27 PM
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I adopted my budgie BroJeremy about 2 months ago and I think we've gone through a strange recession in our relationship. Two days after getting him he would come onto my hand and out of his cage if I held out millet to him (he was pellet fed so he was OBSESSED whenever he had access to the stuff) I purchased the same pellet he was raised on and then it appeared that he learned that when I was home and he was out of his cage, he would get millet. I was trying to train him to come to me with it but then he started flying away and flying back in order to get his reward. He would do this repeatedly. I switched his main food to a seed and vitamin blend because I felt that he was refusing to eat his main food source in order to eat the millet when I got home. Since then, he had no interest in me or coming out of his cage.

I started leaving his cage open when I was in the room and then just going about my normal business. I have a fake branch clamped onto the outiside of the door with a couple pieces of millet on it and eventually after about two weeks he started coming out, but only to the branch.

I know long story, but is there any reasoning behind his behavior? Why would he be totally fine with coming outside of the cage the first couple of weeks and then over night having basically no reason at all? I should add, when he was still on the pellet diet I gave him a seed stick outside of his cage that he practically gorged himself on, then when he was back in his cage he sat on his perch, barely moving for like 3 days. I would put my hand in to have him step on to take him out and he would do the "don't touch me" noise, and a soft bite. Not agressive or fearful, more like he just wanted to be alone.

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Old 06-06-2016, 06:38 PM
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Do I understand correctly that you aren't feeding him any pellets? Only the seed blend? He should really be eating mainly pellets, try putting him back on that and make him work for his seed, either by foraging for it or as a training reward.

My little one is new and we go through some of the same things. Some days he wants all my attention and some days he doesn't want anything to do with me. Anything could be spooking him or he could still be settling in. I'm sure someone will come along and be more helpful. Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:41 PM
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I've been trying to incorporate Lafeber's nutriberries... It's supposed to be "All the nutrition of pellets + all the benefits and Fun of Foraging" pellets look so dull and boring and the ones they were feeding him previously were just filled with dyes... Have you heard of these?
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:16 PM
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greetings I've actually heard of that before.I used to give it to 1 of my budgie long ago.she loved them.but it took her awhile to eat them.hopefully your budgie will like them as well.oh by the way.welcome to the forum.so glad you joined us.blessings always
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:09 AM
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Once they start eating the pellets they will like them. Just because they look boring to us doesn't mean they aren't tasty to them! I haven't heard of that brand before but as long as it has seed in it then he isn't going to be encouraged to interact with you using seed as a reward. Just be patient with him and with yourself. Eventually you will find what works best for you guys and you'll be best mates in no time!


EDIT: As for dyes, I avoid them as well, I feed Mazuri brand pellets but I've heard good things about Zupreem which is widely available.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:48 PM
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One of the big problems though is that now without the millet, he is extremely on edge when he is outside of his cage. Heavy breathing (but not panting, his beak isn't open) and the slightest movement startles him. I can't think of what's been alerting him in my room. For the most part the blinds are down and the only movement I think is me... But if he flies to the ground and I reach down and call him over from across the room he'll come to my hand. I don't think he has a fear of me but I can't find any other reason. My birdie is a stange one!


PS, I think he's beginning his first molt, tiny patches of the stripes on his head are white instead of black, like they look like dashes instead of stripes kind of. And he's always grooming and itching himself as of late. Could this have anything to do with his behavior?
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Old 06-07-2016, 06:40 PM
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I feed Greyjoy the nutriberries and he loves them. However from what I've read since they are more a treat than a complete diet. But I figure he's at least getting some pellets and also the dried fruits and veggies. It was really the best I could find around here, but since joining the forum I'm realizing there is better food out there, I'm sure other more experienced members will have better suggestions.
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Old 06-08-2016, 02:39 AM
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Hi Glenna and to the forums!

Are you sure he was eating pellets when you got him? To me, his behaviour of eating millet and seed obsessively points to the fact that he must have been eating the bare minimum of pellets.

Either way, the fact that you switched his diet to one he liked more probably added to his change in mood. It does sound like he's moulting (perhaps his very first moult?) so that is the other factor that can have an impact on your relationship.

To me, it sounds like he started to see you as a provider of tasty seed rather than being tame because he wanted to be with you. Now that he has that seed, he's less willing to leave his cage.

You're off to a good start with the perches outside of his cage--that will give him a place to sit comfortably when he's in the mood to come out. Many budgies tend to be antisocial and less active during their moult, so that could be why he suddenly stopped coming out, in addition to the diet change. Now that he's comfortable and happy inside his cage (i.e with plenty of seed) then he is not looking to leave at all

I reckon you'll have to start from the beginning, just to see where he's at with taming. During his moult, give him some space to figure things out, but you should talk to him lots, sit with him and read, etc. and see how he reacts. You can progress to review finger taming, then stepping up, etc. Eventually you should gradually get him on a more balanced diet--Nurtiberries really should be used just as a treat, as they are high in sugar, and a seed-based diet isn't overly healthy. Budgies should have both pellets and seeds, as well as daily vegetables. I would say the first thing would be to get him to see pellets more kindly.

Some recommended brands include ZuPreem Fruitblend, Canary sized (yes, it has colouring in it, but budgies who never want to try normal pellets often enjoy these more), Harrison's, and Roudybush.

The conversion to a new diet should be gradual, so when you do start to get him used to eating pellets, be sure to do it gradually or he may revert to the hungry budgie he was before, where he'd do anything just to get some seed.

I hope this helps, I wish you the best of luck!

While you're around the forums, be sure to read through the "stickies" (threads "stuck" to the top of each subforum for easy reference) and Budgie Articles as they will have some valuable information to help you with your little one. If you have any questions after reading through anything, be sure to ask as we'd love to help!

Hope to see you around and keep us posted on how things go!
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