Hello everyone! I have been absent from this site for quite some time. You might remember me as "iluvprincey" but I have had to create a new account. Prince is alive and doing pretty well - he will be 5 this coming February. Today I decided to adopt another budgie from our local SPCA in hopes that Prince will enjoy its company. I brought home a lovely green male, about 5 years old, who I named David Bowie (Bowie for short). Currently he is in a separate cage from Prince and is at the other end of the house. The poor thing is very nervous and hasn't moved since we brought him home this afternoon! Apparently he has never been handled by humans and was living in a very crowded situation before being rescued by the shelter. Eventually, I will introduce Bowie and Prince but first I need to tame the new little guy at least a bit and also ensure that he is healthy. How long should I keep them separated? I know quarantine durations vary so I would appreciate anyone's opinion. Also, Bowie gets very agitated and flighty when I even just raise a finger to the cage, so how should I go about feeding him without upsetting him too much?
Thirty days minimum. Seeing as you want to tame him though you should probably go for sixty days quarantine and if you want to continue taming him alone there's no rush to introduce them.
They will be more interested in one another than you.
I've merged your old User ID "iloveprincey" into this new User ID.
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 for a period of 30-45 days.
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.
Covering the new budgie's cage on the top and three sides will help it to feel more secure.
You need to move very slowly and deliberately when you go do change Bowie's food and water. Make sure you talk to him calmly and reassuringly as you do so.
Budgies are often submissive for the first few days simply because they are terrified.
You can cover the top and three sides of the cage to help the budgie feel more secure. Playing music for him when you aren't around will be helpful as well. Budgies perceive no noise as meaning thime may be danger.
Taming and Bonding is all about helping your budgie learn to trust you and it takes a great deal of time and patience on your part.
You should never grab your budgie or force him to be touched.
To bond with your budgie, you need to build his trust in you.
He will have to learn over time that you will not hurt him, grab him and try to force him to allow you to hold him.
To build your budgie’s trust, sit by his cage and read, talk or sing quietly to him for a period of at least 10-15 minutes, 3 or 4 times day. After the 2nd or 3rd day, rest your hand on the outside of the cage when you talk to him so he'll learn that your hand is safe and will not hurt him .
After a week, rest your hand inside the cage when you talk.
Don’t make sudden moves, don’t try to touch him .
Let him get used to the idea that the hand is now in his safe place and not harming him .
After 2 weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward your budgie. If he becomes agitated, stop moving your hand and just hold very still until he calms down. When he's comfortable with your hand near him , you can offer him a bit of millet or a few seeds. In a few more days, you can begin your taming and bonding sessions.
Always work at your budgie's pace.
Move slowly and talk reassuringly and calmly to him whenever you interact with him .
Most budgies once they pass the "baby" stage, do not like to be petted or touched.
If your budgie does like to be petted, you should only ever pet his head, neck or chest area.
Stroking a budgie's back and/or tail stimulates its breeding instinct. Bonding means allowing them to choose to be with you.
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Thank you for your thoughtful response, and also for merging my old account with this one.
I have started reading to Bowie and will continue that in hopes of getting him more comfortable with my presence. For now he is in my room, completely separate from my other bird, and I plan on keeping it that way for at least 30 days. Do you think because he is older he will be more difficult to tame? He is so nervous it seems as though he's holding his breath. He doesn't move around his cage unless I go to change his food/water, at which point he tries to fly away out of fear. I've grown slightly worried as he hasn't eaten since I brought him home yesterday afternoon. Is this normal, or should I be concerned? I went out and bought some millet to put in his cage, so I'm hoping he'll be tempted by that.
Thank you everyone for your advice! Photos will be coming soon ?
It's difficult to say if it will take longer to tame Bowie.
That is certainly possible since we don't know if he was used to human interaction previously or not...
However, just helping him feel comfortable and slowly letting him come to trust you will be excellent.
It is very normal that he hasn't eaten yet. He's been thrust into a whole new environment and right now he's simply terrified.
Cover the top and three sides of his cage and play some quiet soothing music for him to help him feel more secure.
Giving him a bit of millet and even offering him some soaked in electrolyte solution would be appropriate.
The elecroylte solution will help to encourage him to eat and drink and will keep his system better balanced as he works through his stress.
Bowie is beginning to relax a little bit. Even though he still hasn't eaten any veggies or seed, he has been nibbling on the millet I put in his cage. Prince, being his noisy self, was doing his loud calling chirp this morning and Bowie heard him from my room and called back! They communicated for a couple minutes. I've attached some photos of the two. Prince is violet and Bowie is a classic green and yellow.