I am about to start clicker training my budgie, and have a question about the very first step. When teaching the budgie to associate the click with a reward, how much treat...in my case it will be millet...should I allow him to have between clicks? Just a few millet seeds or should I let him eat for longer? I am guessing that only a few, otherwise he'll no longer be hungry and everything will come to a halt very quickly. I don't want to frustrate him, however by taking the millet away too quickly. I'm sure that every budgie is different, I'd just like some thoughts on what has worked for others.
I/ve seen on some videos one click-one treat. In case of millet I find it impossible, so I am just giving one small peace of branch per click. That is my experience, but I am new in click training also
When I started clicker training I first let him have a good nibble on the whole millet for a few seconds. I then reduced that down to holding one millet seed pod (glob, bulb whatever you call it - the collection of seeds) and then I got it down to one single millet seed between my fingers.
I did this over only a few sessions so it was a very quick reduction. I wouldn't worry about annoying the bird, the point of it is to see it as a reward and they quickly understand this.
I've written all about my clicker training experience on my blog, I wont post the link here but if you would like to read it send me a message and ill share the link with you. I started when Reggie was already hand tame and there was a reasonably strong level of trust between us. He was becoming my friend and so he was interested in what I was doing which definitely helped keep him interested. I don't know what stage you are at but if you haven't already mastered step up training I would do that without a clicker first - get the trust and then start having the fun with the clicker.
Ill keep an eye out for your message if you want my link
We are not quite hand tame yet, but getting there. He'll eat millet from my hand but is still skittish about being taken out of his cage. I've decided to back off a bit and continue getting him more used to my hand before moving forward.
Owner of a budgie, a cockatiel, two rabbits, and two aquariums.
What I do with my boys is click and hold out a nub of millet. Depending of if they did something that earned a 'jackpot' or just routine stuff I will let them eat more or less of the nub before I take it away. They get 1-2 nubs a night each and once they finish off the millet nub I call it a night with them.