I bought Bert 4 weeks ago from a local pet shop, but I'm really struggling with him and feel like he's very unhappy. He's approx 9-12 weeks old (pet shop was confident about this, and he still has head bars and black eyes). I'm out at work from 9am-6pm (radio left on), but I spend every minute of the evening and early morning with him. I occasionally work from home. He has a large cage with a variety of perches, swings, bells, hoops and shredder toys (it's not overcrowded). I don't have him clipped, but he is missing his long tail feathers so doesn't fly brilliantly.
He was terrified of people and hands to start with, and would madly flap round the cage during food bowl changes etc. After 2 weeks and lots of patience he would stay relatively calm when I put my hand in the cage, and occasionally eat some seed mix from my hand if I kept still for long enough. He likes being talked to, preens himself while I do my make up in the morning, and often greets me with a stretching/feather fluffing session when I come into the living room. So I feel like he kind of enjoys my company.
However, its now been 4 weeks and he's not made any further progress in the last two weeks. If my hand moves he won't go near it, and still approaches with extreme caution if he wants to get any seeds. I have no idea how to progress to the step-up stage with such a nervous bird, and would really appreciate some advice. He is completely disinterested in anything apart from seed mix - he has some millet spray hanging in his cage which he occasionally nibbles but he never seems keen. He's terrified of all fruits and vegetables and won't go near them, and doesn't seem bothered about sunflower seeds or nut pieces. Does anyone have any ideas of alternative treats I could try?
The reason I mentioned him being sad is that when I'm not stood by the cage talking to him he just sits quietly on the highest perch and does literally nothing all day. He doesn't chirp or make noise, apart from occasional very loud contact calls. He doesn't explore his cage or play with anything. He just seems very bored, anxious and sad to me. I kept 2 budgies as a teenager which never stopped doing things and were happy little feather babies - Bert is just so quiet in contrast that it makes me feel like a terrible 'mum'.
Will a budgie like Bert ever properly bond with a human, and if so how long can it take? How can I make things progress with him, and am I just being impatient? If anyone has any stories of nervous budgies who eventually bonded with you I would love to hear them, and details of what you did to win them round.
I was considering getting a hand-tamed budgie as a cage mate for him. I thought this might perk him up and show him that humans aren't too scary. But I live in a small apartment and I worry about the noise that 2 budgies would make. My boyfriend already can't stand it when Bert has his occasional shouting session. Would getting another be a bad idea?
Sorry for the long post!