So I've just received a hand tamed and reared baby budgie recently and I've quarantined him from the our current male budgie. It's being kept in a different room (over a week already).
Problem is unless he is sleeping or eating, he's constantly wanting to get out of his cage. He spend hours trying to bite through the cage and jumping at the bars.
He has no problems with my hands, and when I try to get him comfortable with my hand in the cage he just jumps on (unless I have food in my hand) and runs out of the cage up my arm a little.
He seems to like coming out and sleeping on my hand, or in the fold of my elbow and even my shoulder. I also have a problem of getting him back in the cage. Unless I kinda push him in and quickly shut the door, he would never voluntarily jump back in.
Sometimes he jumps down and runs around the floor to explore but I have trouble getting him back on my hand. I've been using a towel to kinda grab and catch him.
Any ideas on how to tame and bond with him?
It's just so different from my first budgie as he was your textbook non hand reared bird who slowly opened up to me.
You can show him that the cage is a fun place to be and and that it's not going to harm him.
Try making the cage more pleasing and appealing for him. Add some fun toys like swings, rope toys, bells, toys with bells and some foraging toys. To show him it's fun, play around with the toys yourself for a bit and make him excited and curious. I'd often put some pieces of millet and seeds/pellet on some of the toys so they can get used to it and think of it as a good thing. I put the millet pieces a bit high so they could try and find a way to get it.
If you give in and let him out each time he wants to get out, he'll catch on and think like "Ah. So If I keep going like this, I'll get out of the cage!" Maybe set a particular time of the day from now on at when you're going to let him out and eventually he'll get used to it.
But for now, I think you should let him get used to the cage as it is important for him when he's alone and if something ever happens. We'd want our birds to think that the cage is one of the safest places there could be for them and one of the funnest.
If everytime he gets "loose" and you're trying to get him back to the cage by throwing a towel at him, he'll get frightened. By throwing a towel at him and then transporting him in the cage, he'll think of the cage as something more terrifying and as a "punishment". Maybe when getting him back to the cage, place his favourite food/treat at the cage entrance and wait, or encourage him. You could also get him to step up on your finger and then slowly out him back to the cage. I don't think you should push him in the cage, just wait a bit and let him step in the cage himself. You can attach a perch on the outside of the cage so he can get used to it (he can be close to the cage but outside, so he can analyse).
Thank you for the suggestions. I never thought that he may think the cage is punishment. We've put a few more toys in his cage now with bits of millet around the cage and inside the toys. I did actually offer him the door earlier and he jumped back in.
Although as we speak, he is still going nuts trying to bite his way through the bars. I've got a longish perch that I'm going to use to pick him up from now on.
We will see how it goes, I'll keep the thread updated. Thanks again!
That's great! Just make the cage as fun as possible and give lots of love and care for it as well as your gorg bird!
One of the other reasins for cage biting may be because he wants attention, to sharpen their beaks, possibly bored or he really just wants out of the cage, Play with him lots during the day, read a book, play gentle music and just talk to him. He'll eventually become much calmer and hopefully stop.
I'm sure you already have this but make sure to have some cuttlebone, mineral blocks for him as well as some perches to wear down and sharpen his beak and claws. Feed him lots of veggies and fruits (as starting early will help a lot for the future)~
Looking forward to it! Good luck! I'm sure you'll do fine! Never give up heheh. Keep the determination going! Will be here if you have any more questions.
I'm a little confused as you say he is hand tamed, as I read it he will jump up onto your hand to escape his cage?
It sounds like he has been out of his cage for as long as he would like before you got him.
If he was used to being held and interacted with he will want out of the cage, as this is what he is used to.
I would work on step up, to help get him use to being moved around from his cage to a play gym or back.
You've received some great advice so far. The problem is he doesn't see his cage as his "home" yet--a lot of free reign at the breeder's house and a new environment often causes that behaviour. As suggested above, it's important to establish a routine with your little guy, for example, only letting him out before his dinnertime every night for a few hours, and then putting him back in. If you give in every time he begs to come out (by biting at the cage bars) then he'll learn it's a good way to leave "confinement". However, the more time he spends inside his cage, he'll start to fee comfortable in it and enjoy his time in the cage as well as outside of the cage Although it may seem cruel to ignore his pleading in the beginning, it's the same as disciplining a human toddler--they have to be told "no" once in a while or they will grow into spoiled brats
I hope that helps! Your little one is a cutie What's his name?
Meanwhile, be sure to read through the forum stickies and articles to ensure you're up to date on the very best of budgie care. If you have any questions after reading through everything, please be sure to ask as we'd love to help
Hope to see you around and good luck!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Hey everyone. Thanks for all the replies. As hard as it is to endure, we have been ignoring him when he has been begging to come out. We've made a little perch that comes just underneath the cage door, so when we open the door he can come out just to relax. After a few hours of him napping and chirping on the perch, he realised he needed to go back inside to eat. This has got him realising that home is where the food is, which has him voluntarily wandering inside the cage now. Thanks for all the suggestions.
He's gotten a few toys with hidden millet in them which has been great. Thanks for the help, we will see how it goes over the next few days.
Another update for anyone following the thread. His name is Maverick, although he may be a girl, it's a bit too early to tell.
So it's been a rollercoaster few days with this adventurous budgie. We finally got him realising that his cage is home and is where the food will be. We were also letting him out and about in the room and letting him explore. He was responding to calls and step ups really well and eating out of our hands. Even sleeping on our shoulders and on our chests/wherever he felt like relaxing.
One of the toys he has is called a 'pipe dream' and we would put millet and brocolli inside it for him to find and eat. We came in after leaving him for no more than a few minutes and he tried to crawl all the way through and was actually stuck inside it. My partner carefully pushed him back, it was frantic for all involved. I've attached a picture of this toy just to let you guys know it may not be suitable for a smaller bird.
Now onto today. Last night we found he kept on trying to jump from his cage to the floor/desk/chair nearby. His cage is about 1m off the ground. He's jumped off our hands before from heights like this and has happily roamed around. I assume he know wants to roam around the room a little more as he is becoming more comfortable. So this morning we found him just lying on the ground limping and strugging to walk. Off to the avian vet we go. Vet does the checkup and finds a suspected dislocated knee. Poor guy is now in a splint and we will be heading back in a week. Vet and staff loved him as he isn't shy of a cuddle.