We’ve had our budgie almost 5 months. We’ve been working with her daily, sometimes a few times a day, offering her treats etc. She still doesn’t want to have anything to do with us. She will not get near our hands and sometimes still runs from us. She made friends with our rabbit, which was very cute to watch. She would groom our bunny and run around with him, but if we got near she would return to her cage as fast as possible. The rabbit is now back in his outdoor cage and so we are back working with her even more. She is still so untrustworthy of us. What should we do? I’ve thought about getting another budgie- perhaps a hand raised one- to give her some companionship and possibly help her see that we aren’t bad. I don’t know. I’m frustrated with her for sure.
I also wanted to add she’s just now going through her first molt. Since we’ve had her. Before this one she had no bars over her cere. So I’m guessing she’s about 4-5 months old?
Being frustrated with your budgie because she is afraid of you is counter-productive.
It's important to remember she is a little bird and is acting on instinct.
The key to taming and bonding with a budgie is gaining their TRUST.
Adding another budgie at this time will simply compound the problem and I do not recommend that course of action.
It's important to have regular and consistent sessions each day with your budgie (what is her name?) Budgies love routine.
I'd suggest you back up and start by allowing her to get used to your hand.
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 her to be touched.
To bond with your budgie, you need to build her trust in you.
She will have to learn over time that you will not hurt her, grab her and try to force her to allow you to hold her.
To build your budgie’s trust, sit by her cage and read, talk or sing quietly to her 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 her so she'll learn that your hand is safe and will not hurt her.
After a week, rest your hand inside the cage when you talk.
Don’t make sudden moves, don’t try to touch her.
Let her get used to the idea that the hand is now in her safe place and not harming her.
After 2 weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward your budgie. If she becomes agitated, stop moving your hand and just hold very still until she calms down. When she's comfortable with your hand near her, you can offer her 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 to her whenever you interact with her.
There are many things to take into consideration before getting another bird.
1. If you decide to get another budgie in the future, please be sure to observe quarantine for the new budgie.
Quarantine means housing the new bird in a different cage in a different room than the current bird (as far away from the room the current bird is in as possible) for a period of 35-45 days.
Budgies mask symptoms when they are ill. Symptoms may not show up for over two weeks.
Often you will not even realize your bird is not well. Many budgie illnesses are airborne which is why you need to quarantine your new bird in a completely different room.
It is also a good idea to always take a new budgie in to see an Avian Vet for a "well-birdie" check-up. This allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet and the vet can establish a baseline for your bird in case of any future illnesses or injuries.
My issue is that we've done all those steps. We've talked with her, we've put our hand on her cage, we've let her step into our hands with treats and stuff and she's sorta hit a wall. She is doing less than she's done before now. I'm just wondering if she's one of the birds that doesn't like humans at all and sorta wants to keep to herself? I know they are all different. She's just extremely unfriendly at times, even lurching at us like she wants to bite. (She doesn't, if you leave your hand there she barely touches you...) I don't understand why she would still be scared of us because she's been with us over 4 months - and she's just going through her first big molt from what I can tell - so she's still very young. We've done all the steps suggested in all the stickies here and still VERY little success...
I'm curious about her age. You mentioned that she had no bars on her forehead when you got her, strongly suggesting that she's older than you may think. Although she's going through her first molt with you, is it possible that it's not her "baby molt". If she is an older bird, taming would often take a lot longer (depending on her experience before you had her). Have you posted any photos of her? You seem to be doing everything right.
Deborah has given you the best advice on taming...building trust.
I did post some. Everyone said she looked to be less than 6 months old when I got her. She was parent raised I know. I’ve been letting my daughter work with her and today I tried it and she’s actually done okay. She still bites some. But she seems to like me more than my daughter. Which is not ideal, but better than her not liking anyone 🏻
To be honest, I think you're still rushing her. Four months is not a long time at all, and trust doesn't have a timeline. It's possible to gain her trust even if she's a bit more nervous around people. My girl was one of those birds who was very, very skittish of everything.
I worked with her slowly and at her pace and despite it taking at least a year before she was comfortable with everything, she really started coming out of her shell after that and now she's extremely bonded to me and is very curious and fearless.
Be patient and try to keep yourself from expecting her to act a certain way. She'll let you know when it's time to move on to other steps
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
I just didn't know if her current attitude would be what stuck or not. She's not my first bird, but my first parakeet. My daughter so desperately wants her to sit on her finger and stuff.. Feels like it'll never happen. Although, yesterday I worked with her quite a bit. She seemed to respond pretty well to most of it. I could tell she got tired pretty easily because she'd start biting so thats when we stopped. The problem i keep having is that she will fly off my hand from time to time (her wings were clipped when we bought her, but they are starting to grow in. She can't fly far, but she can guide herself down.) After that it's a disaster trying to get her back in her cage - because shes on the floor and doesnt' realize she needs us to get back home. I've read through the stickie post of "how to get your budgie back into the cage" and I've tried a perch she's used to (she runs), I was able to get her to get back in her cage by putting her cage on the floor - but that's tedious with where her cage normally sits.. Any suggestions?
Your budgie does not yet trust you and until she does you aren't going to have very good luck with taming and bonding.
No matter how much you or your daughter want the budgie to behave in a certain manner, you are going to need to realize that you must go at her pace.
Some budgies take longer than others and some never really want to be handled by a human and prefer to be allowed to "just be a bird".
Budgies are not "cuddly" animals and many do not like being held. If they do decide to perch on your finger it may only be for a very short time and then they are off exploring something else. Trying to force your budgie to act in a certain manner is simply going to cause the bird to trust you even less.
It sounds like everyone is stressed out and the entire relationship with everyone needs to be reset.
Start over. Sit in the same room as your budgie but don't interact really with her for a couple weeks, minimum 2 weeks. Feed her and clean her cage, obviously, but don't try to pick her up, don't try to make her do anything. Talk gently and quietly to her while you are doing your chores with her. You can even read a book aloud or sing nicely so she sees you and your family are not a threat and not going to bother her with things she doesn't want to do. Don't do this right beside her cage, just be in the same room so she can see you are there but not threatening. Leave her cage open if you'd like so she can feel free to explore if she wants, just make sure the room is budgie safe.
My girl budgie, Lemon, is 4 years this month. I've had her since she was 3 months old. She is STILL very distrustful of anyone other than myself or my husband, and even then he is NOT allowed to touch her and I am only allowed on her fickle terms. Her cage mate, Sweetie, is the gemstone of budgies in that he loves everyone and everything and loves to cuddle with me. Getting a second budgie is not going to guarantee that your bird will learn you and your human family are to be trusted.
One thing I find that really helps is developing a routine with key events that your budgie can rely on. Key events for my two are a good morning song I sing while uncovering them, a good night song when it's time for bed, and if I need to put my hands in the cage I will point in the direction I'm going to move my hand and reassure Lemon I'm not going to touch her - literally 'No touching Lemon, I'm changing your water, I'm going this way Lemlem" - and NEVER have I broken this. By doing this and remaining consistent Lemon feels safe and secure.
How old is your daughter? Who else other than yourself and your husband and daughter interact with your budgie?
News! We’ve been super slowly working with Holly. She’s doing a lot better now that we aren’t paying her much attention actually. And tonight- for the first time ever she hopped up on my daughters arm. She was confused with her hair being wet I think and it was enough curiosity to make her hop up. We’ve been doing all the stuff we normally do (talking to her, etc) and she now is starting to want to be more around us- since we haven’t been pushing her as much I believe. Wanted to share the good news.