I got a yellow budgie from a pet store about three months ago and named her Mango. She's a very young female bird and still has not not gone through her first molt. Here's my problem: I haven't made any progress with Mango since the day I first brought her home. When I first got her, she was very scared. I gave her two weeks to settle in, only approaching the cage to gently change the food and water. I assumed she would be comfortably settled in by the end of two weeks, so at this point, I started to talk to her gently several times a day. However, after a week of talking to her every day, I noticed that I hadn't made any progress. Mango hadn't become any more comfortable than she was on her first day home. She sat completely still, wouldn't preen, and wouldn't eat or drink. Of course, three weeks is a very short amount of time, so instead of moving on to resting my hand outside the cage while talking to her, I decided continue to simply sit and talk to her until she became comfortable doing normal tasks in my presence. However, after doing this for three months, Mango is still the same: no movement, no preening, and no eating or drinking while I'm around. I haven't rushed anything at all either. Right now, I'm still just sitting and talking to her. I've made no attempt to handle her or anything, just try to get her to relax in my presence while I speak to her. I know this sounds super cliche, but I've literally done everything I could. I leave all sides of the cage covered, except the front. I play soft music for her when I'm not around. I move very slowly and speak in a soothing voice. I've never forced her to come out of the cage. On a few occasions, I have tried to offer her millet, but she still sits completely still. She doesn't fly around like crazy or anything, but I can tell from her body language that she is scared. She stands up tall and tense, thin as a stick, and won't do anything. Sometimes, she even starts doing the beak click thing that budgies do when they're nervous. I've also tried to sit farther away from her, but she simply refuses to relax when she sees me. I have owned budgies in the past, and all of them became very comfortable in my presence within two weeks, and took no longer than two months to tame. I've never had a budgie that wouldn't relax after three months of me talking gently to it. Once again, I haven't rushed tried to rush anything. I'm still just sitting and talking patiently. No hands or sudden movements or anything. I have absolutely no idea what's wrong. Is there anything I can do about this? I just want to earn her trust. From what I can tell Mango will still be the same in a year. 😞
It does take longer for some budgies to become comfortable on their new surroundings than it does for others. Is Mango's cage in a place where the family spends a lot of time? The more time you can spend interacting with Mango, the quicker she will come around.
Personally I would uncover the cage completely if one side sits against a wall.
If it is in the middle of the room then cover over 1 corner.
But covering the cage completely bar the front of it could be causing problems as she doesn't know where she is and can't see her surrounding enough to get used to it and settle in.
It is also possible that she is not suitable as a pet bird. All birds have their own personalities. I have had some I handreared that much prefer being in the aviary and I have others I simply handled in the nest like normal and even now in the aviary they come over to mob me and use me as a climbing frame.
Is having 2 birds an option here as she may just prefer company of another budgie rather than humans.
I only started covering the cage about two weeks ago, but now that you mention it, Mango's cage is in a corner, so I guess I should just leave it uncovered. It's wierd though, because she has been more active since I started covering the cage. Unfortunately, her cage is in a room where people rarely go, because my parents hate animals. I don't really have an option there. I, myself, however, spend quite a lot of time doing activities in there, such as studying and watching TV or playing video games. Getting another budgie isn't an option either, because my parents simply can't stand animals and sounds in the morning. If Mango's simply not suited to be a pet, do you think I should give her to someone who owns multiple budgies already?
Sorry that you feel you havenít made any progress, it must be very disheartening.
If you have consistently worked through the taming advice and it has made no difference at all, then Amelia may be right. Budgies are flock birds, they crave company, if she isnít going to connect with a human flock member then sheís unlikely to be content as a single bird.
I believe that when you make a decision to bring a pet into your home, then you are making a commitment to care for that animal. However, it appears that you ARE caring for her but may not be able to provide what this little bird needs to be happy. If your parents dislike sounds in the morning then pet birds arenít really the best choice - more birds usually means more noise as they tend to set each other off chattering.
There is still a chance that she will come around, but if you have genuinely, sensitively and consistently tried to win her confidence to no avail, then you shouldnít feel guilty about moving her to a place where you feel she will be happier.
Keep on with the taming advice but perhaps also look out for other options of rehoming too.
Best of luck.