Hi, sorry to come here again asking for advice...
But, here I am
I have had my budgies for 2 years, almost 3, but they aren't tamed yet! I have tried everything. There were periods where they would jump on my hand without any food in it, eat from my hand, and sometimes jump onto me when they were outside their cage and I was close by.
However, these periods come and go... and I feel like they will never be tamed
So, how can I tame them? I have read many taming threads and advice but my birds just seem annoyed with anything I do (and one of them prefers my little sister over me)
Here is what they currently do:
- Will take millet if they are outside their cage or inside, but they are too smart and know all my tricks when I try to get my fingers closer
- Will sit close by if I am near their cage, and they won't leave to a higher perch as long as I am a suitable distance away and don't scare them
- Do the blinking game thing (if that actually proves anything? I dunno)
- Whenever one of my birds gets spooked, I can just tell her "it's okay" and she'll go back to preening or whatever she was doing
- Sometimes when I take a bowl out or put one back in, one of my birds will nibble my arm or bowl, or both of them might jump onto my hand if it's the food bowl (and if they are hungry enough)
- If I pretend to nibble something I am offering them, they become more interested, and *might* nibble it, but it is not a guarantee
- I go to school monday-through friday, and come home around 4ish.... but I change food and water bowls before I leave, however I do not have much time to do anything super big taming-wise.
- I have 3 sisters, and my little sister is really obnoxious and likes to scare my birds on purpose.
- My birds cage is on the floor, it used to be on the window but we moved it since it's getting cold. The area does not get much traffic except for my little sister passing through to get to the drawers behind them, and me of course
- Sometimes my mom messes with their cage (not to hurt or scare them) and my mom also does not understand how to be gentle, so it scares my birds
Also, I have noticed one of my birds is less scared(?) than the other one, she won't run away quickly as soon as I put my hand in to refill a bowl, it's like she is tempting it.. like "I am too comfy on my perch, I am scared of the hand but I don't feel like moving..."
So, any help is appreciated! Where do I start from here? Thank you!
It will take time, patience and a consistent routine if you want your budgies to become more tame than they are at this point in time.
Can you work with them at the same time every afternoon for maybe 15 minutes?
I would suggest you try to find a way to move the cage up off of the floor. Can it be placed on a sturdy table, nightstand or a low chest of drawers?
Having it on the floor isn't going to help the birds' level of trust.
If you can commit to working with the budgies each day, then start working on a simple command such as step-up giving positive reinforcement (such as millet) when they do so.
Re-read the links below and consider whether or not you want to try clicker training with them.
I personally don't give you a lot of hope on further taming, considering especially the behavior of your little sister and their cage placement, it's too much stress and they're very confused as to what's safe and what's not. If you could have them to yourself in your own room, that would be the best solution. Birds are not people and small birds in particular are prey to many other species. They need to trust what humans do, to be tame.
@FaeryBee: I can work for 15 minutes each day, even more if I can, that's not a problem...
Also I am afraid there is no place else to put the cage, but they will be moved back to the window sill when it gets warmer.. however I can move my sister's drawer so she does not have to go behind them anymore, will that work at all?
@philw: I understand... I will see what I can do about my sister, I think if I tell my mom she will stop, because she never listens to me! She is 10 by the way, so she is old enough to understand what she is doing. There is no else place to put them because all our rooms are filled, however the room they are currently in is the most quietest.