Hi, my name is Jane and I'm fairly new to the forum, I have asked a question a short while ago and the advise I was given was fantastic, thank you. I am also new to owning a Budgie, I bought my little Rocky BalBudgie who was about 12 weeks old at the time, from a breeder, around mid February and was advised by the breeder that he is hand tamed.
However it's nearly two months since bringing him home and I have to admit I'm struggling. Rocky is not frightened of either myself or my other half and will step up onto our hands and is quite comfortable, albeit on his terms. However that's pretty much it, he refuses to come out of his cage, and the advise given by the breeder is to lift him out of his cage, which, to me, feels like the wrong thing to do. Also, when we bought him the breeder had clipped his wings which is not something Im going to continue with, so I can imagine it could have been quite daunting for him as his flight at first was not brilliant, I would, also, want him to come out and go back to his cage on his own accord. I have previously followed the advise of the breeder and when he is out he his happy to sit with us, but, recently, I'm afraid he is getting worse as he has realised where his cage door is and just flies back in, his flight has improved and is quite good.
The routine we have with him is that during the day we place him near the window (draught free) we have a large garden with plenty of wild bird activity to keep him entertained, and in the evening he is moved to a different area of the room away from the window. I'm now thinking maybe the window wasn't such a good idea, but I just want him happy, but by doing this maybe it's preventing him bonding with us. Please could someone advise me I desperately want to bond with him and I feel he is drifting further away, I've tried to hand feed him, which is disastrous it's like he doesn't know it's his food, I've talked to him and he does sometimes show interest, I've also placed various toys in his cage but he doesn't have much to do with them occasionally he chatters to his mirror and seems to like music when it's on. I have tried a bird bath and same again shows very little interest it's almost as if he has no idea what it is. I'm so sorry for the long question but I'm desperate please can someone help me on how I can bond with Rocky so we have a happy Budgie who will be happy in our company and play with his toys.
I recommend you remove the mirror from the cage straight away. Budgies can quickly become obsessed with their image as they think it is another bird.
They may become aggressive, territorial and/or begin regurgitating to the mirror to the point they become malnourished.
Having the cage by the window during the day is just fine. When you are not around, playing music or the TV for him will help him not feel so alone.
With regard to taming and bonding -- it takes time and patience and a regular routine. You also have to be realistic. Just because YOU want Rocky to bond with you doesn't mean he necessarily wants the same things. You have to be willing to enjoy him for who and what he is no matter what.
Bonding is when a budgie chooses to be with you because that is what it wants to do.
To bond with a budgie, you have to make yourself interesting to the point the budgie thinks it's fun to be with you. (This can be easier said than done depending on the bird).
Recognize also that now that Rocky is more easily able to fly, he has a way to move away from you when he wants to. When a bird's wings are clipped they have no choice but to be submissive (which is really unfair to the bird!)
I don't believe forcing a budgie to come out of its cage is a good method for taming and bonding.
Leaving the cage door open and allowing Rocky to determine if/when he wants to leave his "safe place" is a much better option.
Putting a perch right outside the door of the cage and a play gym either on top of the cage or nearby may entice him to explore.
Since Rocky doesn't show much interest in toys, it may be necessary for you to show him how much fun they are. For example, if the toy has a bell, you ring the bell and exclaim in an excited tone of voice that the bell is ringing, look at the bell, etc. The same goes for other toys.
Many budgies aren't interested in bathing which is fine. Some budgies enjoy bathing and others don't.
There are various things you can try. You may also find Rocky ignores the bath for a long time and then suddenly will decide to try it and will end up liking 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 them 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 them in 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 budgies like 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.
Take each day as it comes and enjoy the journey with Rocky. Try not to focus on "how you want things to be" and enjoy things as they are as you work with Rocky to help him learn to be more trusting of you.
Over time, you'll reap the benefits!
I'm glad Rocky is doing well! You've been given great advice from FaeryBee. It's going to take lots of time and patience to get him to trust you, and aside from that, it's important to let him go at his own pace. It doesn't matter if he doesn't want to come out of his cage, for instance, it's nice to give him that option but ultimately that's up to him. Also, he may be approaching puberty which would make him more reticent to coming out of the cage
Hi thank you both for responding and I apologise for not getting back sooner. I think for starters I'm going to limit his time near the window, although I do know he gets enjoyment from looking out the window as we have a big garden with quite a lit of wild bird activity. I'm hoping by doing this he will start to show an interest in his cage accessories. At present, despite, me trying to interact with him and his toys he is showing very little interest in them. I am also trying him on various fresh foods and he is only interested in his seed, I've also put Millet in which, same again, has a little peck at it but still prefer the usual seed. As for his mirror he only shows interest in it sporadically. I have ordered some stick on perches to place around the room so hopefully he will warm to them and want to cone out more. On a plus side he does listen when I talk to him and he will come on my hand, the only thing is when I move my hand to the door he jumps right off again, but I guess that's perseverance.
Rocky doesn't want to come out of his cage and is telling you so by jumping off of your hand when you move it toward his cage door.
Don't try to force him to come out.
Let it be his decision.
Rocky sees his cage as his "safe" place. he He should be allowed to stay inside his cage as long as it takes for him to feel confident in taking the step outside the cage into the big world of the room around the cage.