Taming Celeste, my three-month-old female budgie is proving to be harder than I thought.
She approaches my hand with no hesitation if there are seeds on it, and even follows my hand if I move it to the opposite part of the perch.
But if my hand is empty and I put it near her (standing still, not trying to touch her in any way), she immediately starts biting hard, again and again, until I pull my hand back (but I try to bear the pain so that she doesn't learn that biting makes me leave). She isn't scared, she just bites.
I have read on the forum that biting might be a sign of frustration. She is indeed in a stressful situation, she lives with her parents and she is often left out.
Her father, Sid, sometimes interacts with her and sings to her, but he is also bossy from time to time, while her mother, Stella, doesn't like her at all, and occasionally even attacks her when they are on the same perch, making her fall to the bottom of the cage. Celeste is afraid of Stella and flies away every time Stella approaches her.
Could this frustrating situation be the reason why Celeste is so aggressive toward me?
Should I put her in a different cage, in another room, temporarily and try to tame her while she is alone?
Thank you in advance.
I know taming budgies is not easy, I tried to tame Sid for years, but he only gets on my hand to eat seeds.
But if my hand is empty, he gets away from it (same for Stella, who is afraid of me), so I wasn't prepared to Celeste's aggressive behaviour.
Anyway, since I can't buy another cage for now, I only have two small cages to house Celeste, unfortunately:
- A bird cage, which is about 16 x 10 x 18 (inches).
- A hamster cage, which is about 18 x 11 x 12 (inches).
I am thinking about using the hamster cage, not only because, as I have read on the forum, a wider cage is always better than a taller one, but because Celeste has slip claws on both her feet and she wouldn't be able to climb the vertical bars of the bird cage.
The hamster cage has horizontal bars, so I think it would be more suitable for her, even if it is low.
In any case, I would leave the cage open for several hours a day, so that its small size wouldn't be a problem.
What do you think?
Yes, put Celeste in the hamster cage.
She is going to need to be housed in a cage of her own on a permanent basis and I'd suggest you start saving up to buy a bigger cage for her.
Keeping her in a separate room and spending time with her one on one will help her to learn to trust you over time.
I will probably save some money to buy a bigger cage for Sid and Stella, using the one they currently live in to house Celeste, as it is big enough for a budgie, but not for two or three.
Anyway, thank you, I didn't realize how important it was to separate Celeste from her parents.
I should also consider to get a male budgie when she will be older and tamed, since I don't want her to feel lonely or never interact with her own kind.
You do not necessarily need to get a male budgie for Celeste. Two females can get along together quite well.
I'd wait at least 6 months - you may find that Celeste is quite happy as a solo bird, many budgies are as long as they get regular attention on a consistent basis each day.
Okay. When she will be in the new cage, how many days should I wait before starting to tame her (to let her settle in)?
By the way, I have two big food dishes that I removed from Sid and Stella's cage because Stella had tried to empty them to lay new eggs, when I had just removed the nest. (I replaced them with small dishes, as you told me to do.)
Now, can I put the big dishes in Celeste's cage? Or could she be "stimulated" by these nest-like dishes to lay unfertile eggs, even if she is alone?