I just got a budgie 4 days ago from a local Petsmart, and I have absolutely no idea how to tame it. It seems to be pretty young, because the black bars on its head don't quite go all the way down to its cere and it doesn't have a ring around its eyes. Its nose is still pink, so I can't tell whether its a male or female yet. Anyways, here's the problem: I just found out today that I'm supposed to leave the bird alone for 1-2 weeks to let it settle, and that I'm not supposed to try to put my hand in the cage yet. The thing is, I already screwed up that step, because I stuck my hand in the cage on the first day and tried to lightly pet it. Of course, it ran away from my hand, so I just let it be for the rest of that day. The second day, I took it out of the cage and it flew all over the house. It eventually landed on the chandelier, where I had to wave a broomstick at it to attempt to make it come down. Once it came down, I grabbed it as lightly as I could and put it back in the cage. I know... Already off to a bad start. Anyways the past 2 days have been interesting, because the bird's ok with me slowly stroking it's feathers, it will step up on my finger when I press lightly on it's chest, and it will eat from my hand. The problem is that the bird is still scared of my hand. I'm able to get it out of the cage without force, but it always flies away when my hand gets near it. I know it's specifically my hand, because it doesn't run away from me when I get near with my hands down, or if I use a stick to push against its chest. Also, the bird seems to be very uncomfortable with my presence. I mentioned that it will eat from my hand, but only if I stay perfectly still, and any little noise will make it panic and look around for threats. My question is: what should I do now that I've screwed up the first step of letting it adjust to it's new environment? I've seen many videos of tame budgies on YouTube, and I would like to have a realtionship like those with my budgie. What should I do?
Budgies are often submissive initially because they are terrified. The fact your budgie allowed you to pet it, etc. was not because it had any trust or confidence in you - it simply felt it had no choice.
Taming and Bonding with any bird is all about TRUST. You must help your budgie learn to trust you so that it makes the choice of wanting to interact with you.
At this time, you need to take several steps backward and go back to the very beginning for your budgie's health and well-being.
Continuing to try to force the issues and move forward without developing the basic trust necessary is only going to cause more problems in the long run.
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 there 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 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.
Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
You have been given great advice by FaeryBee here. Like she said, try to work backwards. Be patient, and try not to make any sudden moves. I think it would have been best if you had researched the taming process (and everything else of course) before bringing home a new bird. Be sure to read all of the stickies on the site, they are very helpful! Good luck!
You've been given great advice above. It's not too late to build a strong bond with your budgie but you're going to have to reverse everything you have been doing so far and follow the steps listed above
It's important to recognize that there's not a set timeline for bonding or for trust building, even if you do all the right things like taking it slow and at his pace, and not pushing him. By continuing to interact with him at his pace he will continue to trust even more in you.
When you do interact with him, do it without conditions, i.e don't make him associate coming on your hand with being forced to come out of the cage if he doesn't like that.
Meanwhile, you've come to a great place to learn even more about budgies! We're so glad you've decided to continue your budgie research and journey with us here We look forward to seeing you around the forums!
Be sure to read through all of the forum's many articles and stickies that we have here! If you have any questions after reading through everything, be sure to ask as we'd love to help.
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
You've been given the best information on taming a budgie. You can't force a budgie to do what you want and have it want to be with you. Go back several steps as Deborah has said and over time, you'll have a very enjoyable bird. Good luck.
I agree with all the above, just restart as though you’ve brought him home today.
Don’t worry; you haven’t ruined all chance of forming a good bond - remember that other members will at times have had to catch their birds to administer medication etc - They are skittish birds, very easily startled, but build trust slowly and he WILL forgive you.
Hi everyone, thanks for the great advice. Here's some more questions: How am I supposed to clean the cage for the first 1-2 months if I can't take the bird out of the cage yet? Also I heard that you should give your budgie a bath every other day. Do I just avoid doing this for the first 1-2 months?
You do not have to take the bird out of the cage to clean the cage, just go very slowly. Do you have a cage that has a tray at the bottom that slides out? If so slide it out very slowly and change the papers at the bottom and slowly slide it back in. Remove and replace the food and water containers slowly as well. You do not need to give your bird a bath, some enjoy a bath, some don't. Let the bird get comfortable with you and the surroundings and then you can offer it a shallow dish with water and if it wants to bathe it will or get something like this https://www.drsfostersmith.com/produ...m?pcatid=16514 to put in the cage.
You don't have to bathe your budgie; birds don't need to bathe so you should not force him to. As mentioned above by Cody, you can offer him a shallow dish of water (no more than 1 inch of water) after a few weeks of him settling in, or put in a birdie bathtub such as the one linked above.
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Some budgies enjoy bathing and others don't.
There are various things you can try. You may also find your budgie willignore the bath for a long time and then suddenly will decide to try it and like it!
I'd suggest you either put a shallow bowl with water in or on top the cage or get a Lix-it Bath to attach to the cage and provide your budgie the option of bathing every few days.
You can also try placing a few fresh basil leaves or some lettuce leaves in the water. That may interest himin the bath.
Some budgies love to rub against or roll on wet leaves.
You can hang wet romaine lettuce or kale leaves in the cage or place them in a shallow dish in or on the cage to see if your budgie likes them.
Some budgies enjoy being very lightly misted with room temperature water.
Do NOT squirt the water directly on the budgie.
Aim it up into the air and let the water mist settle down over the budgie gently.
You should be able to easily tell if he likes it or doesn't want any part of it.
Some budgies do enjoy playing under a light trickle of water in the sink.
Other budgies simply don't enjoy bathing which is fine as all budgies are cleaning and oiling their feathers when they preen.
If your budgie is shaking his head, tail and feet after he’s been in the water, that’s quite normal. It’s like a dog shaking after it gets wet.