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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.
Thread Description:Is a large flight cage a hindrance?

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  #1  
Old 09-25-2016, 10:58 PM
lbeckman (Leah)
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Default Affect of cage on training/taming?

There's a potential adopter interested in the bonded sisters Callie and Lily. They are currently in an open top cage that I don't think will go with them (it's a Kings cage--a tad expensive to give with an adoption, and while it's technically large enough, it's one of those cages where the largest dimension is the height, so not actually ideal). I'm debating what cage to suggest they get adopted with. Not my decision, but one of the many possibilities is the Prevue flight cage they came in (they and most of the rest of their large family!!). I'm wondering though if it's more difficult to tame budgies in a cage that large--it would seem that particularly with two bonded sisters, they wouldn't have a lot of motivation to get close to that potentially scary hand!

At the moment, Callie and Lily will both eat millet from my hand if I'm holding a sprig of it. Both will eat very eagerly through the cage bars and outside of the cage, Callie eagerly with my hand inside the cage, Lily had to think about it more, but she couldn't let Callie eat all of it. They get out of cage time daily and I can easily "flight direct" them back to their open top cage. (It's a pretty amusing process, particularly when I need to get Emma out as well as get them in....) I expect them to backslide in a new home, however.

Other cage possibilities are another open top cage that fits the dimensions for two budgies (the way it opens, however, is not as conducive to my "flight directing"), or the white Prevue 30x18x18 cage.

My big concern is that I am not sure how tame they will ever get and I want them to have out of cage time. They have made stunning progress, but they are still not finger trained, and I don't know if they ever will be. While some people can cope with untamed budgies having out of cage time, it really depends on the setup whether or not that would be feasible. On the other hand, maybe being in the 30x18x18 cage would help the taming process along.

Any thoughts or ideas appreciated, including guesses on the likelihood of them becoming tame enough to easily get them back in their cage without "flight directing"!

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Old 09-26-2016, 05:43 AM
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Even though taming may be a bit more difficult, under the circumstances I think Callie and Lily would be better off with the large cage. That way if the people who adopt them are unable or unwilling to spend the necessary time training them they will at least have room to flutter about and play inside the cage.

I've had untamed budgies that are given out-of-cage time and which were taught to go back into their cage fairly easily.

Initially, when I was ready for them to go back in the cage I would first dim the lights and pull down the shades in the room. If the radio or TV was on, I turned it off.

Then I would stand by their cage and ringing the bell on one of their toys while telling them, "It's time to go in your cage now!"

Once they went back into the cage, they were given a small bit of millet.

This method worked well and they now go in the cage when asked to do so without the lights being dimmed or the blinds lowered and the TV or radio can stay on.

Getting the millet reward is the best part of "going back home"
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:41 AM
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Ooohhh, terrific idea! I can start working on them going back into their cage on their own now! Millet upon return to cage is already part of their routine.

Their potential adaptor is involved with a dog rescue so I'm assuming she has lots of experience with clicker training and being patient.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:40 AM
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Excellent!
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:33 PM
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We've started!! First steps: they are now leaving their cage through the regular door--thought they had better get used to that--and I'm luring them back to their cage with a millet sprig. For the time being, I'm letting them come in through the top as they are used to. They are getting much more comfortable coming up to my hand to get millet. Lily, who is a little more shy about it, is now barging in to get some too, so I'm going to have to start using two separate sprigs.
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Old 09-27-2016, 08:08 PM
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Awesome! You are incredible.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:20 AM
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That's wonderful progress!
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:41 AM
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Lilly and Callie met their potential adapter today and it was a "yes" all around. Callie and Lilly were more shy than usual (of course!), but they still ate millet from Ms. Adopter's hand, showed off how darling they are when they preen each other, and gave us a short serenade.

Ms. Adopter is perfect for them. She has worked with traumatized dogs so she completely understands the "go at the budgie's pace", etc. I kept on asking, "how do you know that?" about things and it was a combination of the work with dogs, research she has already done, and her mother works with birds. While Callie and Lilly have made stunning progress and might actually end up hand tame, we wanted make sure that any potential adapter would still be happy with them even if they did not. She said it before I did: "I'll enjoy them and love them for who they are."

I'll miss them, but they are clearly going to a terrific home and there are more budgies waiting in the wings, so to speak.

And in terms of the cage, which started this thread, she had already gone out and bought them a one. It's an open top one like they have, but bigger, so she can do the flight direction thing to get them back in if need be.
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Old 10-09-2016, 10:12 AM
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That's great news! It's wonderful Lilly and Callie will have a safe and loving forever home with a person who is willing to love them for who they are.

Well done, my friend!
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Old 10-09-2016, 01:36 PM
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That is wonderful!

I am so glad that these sisters will have such an amazing home to go to

Fantastic job
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