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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 07-21-2016, 10:55 AM
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Default What am I REALLY teaching them? Help with taming budgies.

Hey everyone!

I had the epiphany that everything you do around a budgie is teaching them something, as they are smart little boogers. Every interaction you have with or around them, they observe it.

When I initially had them (Spock and Worf), I was accidentally underfeeding them for the first week or so by adding too many pellets into their food (which they won't touch yet) and not providing enough seed. I think this is why they so boldly climbed into my hand to eat millet before.

Now that I've upped their food to 1 tbsp seed and 1/2 tbsp pellets per bird, they just ignore, ignore, ignore when I put my hand in with a bunch of millet in my palm. I will wait 15 minutes and they just climb around the cage. I eventually give up because I have to go places in the morning and my arm is tired! Once I give up, I put their food bowl in, and they hop down to it immediately.

When I do this, what do you think they are learning from it?:

1- If we wait long enough, she will take out the big scary hand and put in our tasty seed. Hand is bad, but if we ignore, it go away.
OR
2- We saw the hand didn't hurt us, and after the hand came our tasty seed. Hand is not bad. Hand brings food.

Thank you!

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Old 07-21-2016, 11:07 AM
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I would say they are at Stage 2 at the moment.....your hand = food It's a very good start...
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:17 PM
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Im not an expert at taming by any means but I think its good that they see the hand bringing food to them and its not grabbing them its giving them something...another thing I would do seeing as you already put your hand in the cage without spooking them is I'd sit my hand on their perch (gently for you dont want to knock down the perch like I did with my first Budgie ) and sometimes they will be afraid if you move too near them but keep a distance they accept until you can perch your hand beside them, eventually they dont mind...once they get used of a still hand slowly begin to move your fingers a little at a time while still remaining on the perch as if your hand were one of themselves. If they take off dont follow them just keep your hand on the perch for a while longer. If they come back to perch beside your hand then thats great if they dont try again later. Dont grab or force it they will eventually perch on your hand. It may only be a fleeting touch at first almost as if they accidently brushed against you but it will happen. Somet Budgies tame easy at other times it can take lots of patience. If you can manage it interact with them several times a day even if its only to say hi for each time you interact with them in a positive way you are building trust and even though you might not feel it they are already beginning to befriend you. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:17 PM
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I'd honestly say a combination of both. I'll explain my thought. You're right that they are very very smart. And my birds would do the "if we ignore her she will go away" routine. But also they do see that hand=no hurt+brings food==OK.

What I would recommend is not do the millet, taming sessions along side of feeding time. So, maybe if you feed them in the morning (I do too) then do the taming session in the evening.

My schedule is, morning, feed pellets and seed, I work all day, I come home and feed them their eggfood/veggies (they are molting so its eggfood). Since they are in my office while they eat that I just hang out in there and surf the web LOL. Then after they have had that available for 2 ish hours and are full and happy. They like to play for a bit. THEN I do the hand taming session with them. Sometimes I do the hand taming sessions before I feed in the evenings.
On the weekends I mix it up and do the hand taming sessions in the afternoons between feedings.

Also, Id like to add. Something I read on here and have changed. I have multiple food bowls in both my cages. I have one that is filled full with ONLY pellets. Its always kept full and always available to them in their cage. It sat untouched for weeks LOL. I also just left it, untouched. But now they eat it. Actually sometimes over the seed!

My morning feeding is to add a second bowl to their cage with just seed in it for them. When I get home in the evening I dump that and put the eggfood/veggies in that same bowl.

Make sense LOL!

Edited to add: My birds are not all the way tame. But they do readily come eat millet from my hands, as well as step up to let me take them from the cage and put them back after play time. Its been 3 months. So making progress
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