How to tame 2 budgies, if one bullies the other when treat is given?
I've had a pair of budgies for about 3 months now. One male, one female. They are about 6 months old. We spend a fair amount of time around them (my husband is retired & I work part time.) The male is bonding to me by coming toward me now & flirt-pecking at my finger while bobbing his head. I'm thrilled - it seems real cute!
At first, the female was bossy, but that only lasted a month or two. Now the male is bossy. This comes into play when we hand feed them millet spray. I try to teach them "step up" at that time too.
But the male, Calvin, will only eat for a minute before he jumps back in the cage & chases after the female, Hobbes, to make sure she's no where near the millet (or even thinking about millet!) Then he comes back for more millet.
She won't even eat the millet if Calvin is able to chase her. She'll only eat it if he's on the floor or locked in the cage. (Their wings are clipped but quickly growing in.)
I don't want to antagonize Calvin by doing something he dislikes by putting him on the floor & then he sees she's being fed & then he may dislike me or distrust me.
I don't grab them at all so that slowly in time they may become more tame. Eventually I'll try the clicker training, but haven't yet.
Hello April...Your situation is a little different than is normally experienced, as the female usually seem's more dominant, and set on imposing her will. Use of millet for training reward purposes can be very beneficial as you have found. I would suggest limiting it's use now in light of this developed problem to one on one training session's. Continue with your bonding/taming work, and when you have reached a point where you can get one or the other to step up or come out of cage, start training session's with each bird separately, using the millet at that time. You could speed this process up by housing in separate cages. Cages placed ext to each other would allow them to enjoy each other's company while making it easier for you to tame/bond with each one at separate times. Trying to tame/bond with two will require much more time and patience on your part, but you can be successful. Have you been able to spend some time reading the stickies in our taming/bonding subforum ? Lot's of great advice there....
He came down from Heaven unto this earth below
He came down from glory and praises untold
He came down to man fashioned in their way
He came down to rescue, He came down to save
Jonah has offered you excellent advice and I agree completely with his suggestions.
If you'd like, we can make this thread into a "Training Journal" for you and you can continue to update your training progress in the thread as you go along. If you'd like to do that, just sent me a quick PM.
Thank you for your input. I'll try to feed the millet to one of them when they are out of the other's site. Sometimes when one is in my hand, I can slowly turn around so the other that is left in the cage can't see the one eating the millet. But in a couple minutes, they start calling to each other, with a shrill alert chirp! It's cute! But sometimes that will cause the female to stop eating the millet anyway!
We don't want to separate them though because we primarily enjoy watching their antics. We get a lot of laughs from that.
I was just hoping this situation was common and there was a little trick for a workaround. Thank you very much!
Last edited by AprilW; 06-17-2017 at 08:12 PM.
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I had this problem with 2 budgies a couple of years ago. One of the "clicker training" ladies suggested: Reward one budgie for staying on a perch while you work with the other. I tried it, and it really worked! It's a long time ago, so I don't remember more details.
Oh, I just remembered a trick where, after the reinforcing click, the budgie would have to move away from the training area to get the actual treat.
When I started clicker training I got in the habit of having one of my boys in their carrier within sight of the other but out of the way as to not interrupt my training session. Nether appeared to be jealous of the other and it kept the one I was working with from getting distracted by concerns of where the other was. Its a practice I still do today during my clicker training sessions. If one of them is tame enough for you to easily get in and out of a spare cage/carrier during training sessions that might be an option as well. Best of luck to you!