My budgies are sending me mixed signals but I think they hate me
So I got my two budgies a year and a half ago and have not been able to bond with them. I spend a lot of time around them and trying to earn their trust but can't seem to reach a point where I can get them to be even slightly comfortable with my hands on the outside of their cage.
The weird part to me is that I am kind of getting some mixed signals from them because they will often yell at me when I leave the room and on a few occasions when I have the cage open, one of my birds will pick around with my hair if I lean into the door. They also seem to be having "conversations" with me sometimes. I can get them to eat millet while I'm holding it, but it has to be sticking out several inches from my fingers otherwise they won't go near it and cling to the side of the cage.
I am really confused and feeling like a failure right now. I don't want to give up on them because I care a lot about them but I hate how every time I try to feed them or get close to them they look at me like I'm the most horrible thing they've ever seen. Luckily they seem healthy despite being terrified of any food that isn't seeds or pellets because I can't even coax them into a travel cage to go see a vet. At this point, I'm even considering just letting them live the way they do now and getting one that was hand raised and hope that it will bond with me so they can see that I'm not going to hurt them because I really don't know what to do at this point.
I could really use some advice on where to go from here because I really don't want to give up on them but I'm very discouraged.
I forgot to include some other details that might be helpful in pointing out where I'm going wrong here.
My two budgies are sharing a cage in my room, the cage is 22x12x35 inches but the doors are often open so they can fly around the room when I'm home. I spend a lot of time in my room so they're pretty used to me being around and talking. I got them both from a generic pet store instead of a breeder which might be part of the problem as I think one of them had been bought then returned because I noticed one of her wings were clipped when I brought her home, so she might still be traumatized from that, but I'm not sure. They are also both female.
Even if the budgies are out frequently, they really should have a larger cage.
Budgies don't "hate". They may be afraid of you but they don't hate you. Some budgies simply do not want to bond with people and prefer having interaction primarily with their own species. There is nothing wrong with that.
Since they are afraid of your hands, don't force them. When you sit by their cage to interact with them, put your face close to the bars and talk to them calmly. You may find they will come to the bars to "visit" you as long as your hands are not within their sight.
I would not get another budgie at this time if I were you. I would concentrate on the two you have now and learn to enjoy them for who they are. Simply watch them interact with one another. Ensure they have a large cage and everything they need for a safe and loving home.
Re-read the stickies at the top of the forums and try to learn as much about budgies as you possibly can. You may find that understanding them as birds and accepting them as they are will go a long way in helping you stop feeling discouraged. Enjoy their uniqueness!
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.
If there are no Avian Vets in your area, then finding an Exotic Pet Veterinarian who has experience in dealing with small birds is the next best option.
Faerybee has given you a ton of useful information. You should focus on your girls and don't get another one. The fact that the one has clipped wings don't force them to bond with you fast, some takes months or even years. My female budgie don't even come near me until recently and i didn't even bothered, heck she even shivers sometimes, she is bird after all. When approaching make it slowy and always keep at eye level, turn a bit sideways too since ee humans have 2 big frontal eyes and we look like predators staring at them like tasty meals. Try to get them more larger home if you can, and always observe them as they are 2 females, they tend to bicker a lot for territory make sure you have an extra cage if it comes to separating them.