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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

Relatively new here but I recently adopted my boy Arby and there's a few concerns I have regarding his health and wellbeing.

For some context, we purchased him from a small pet store just over a week ago. The owner seemed to be under the impression he was only 12-14 weeks old when in fact it was more likely he was 12-14 months old! (his irises are a light grey). We took him regardless as the other budgies in the cage were younger and seemingly not very interested in socialising with him. I should note that inside the pet store he was seemingly fine with people around, but preening an awful lot. His cage was clean and he had access to a variety of food and toys.

After getting him home and giving him a few days to settle, I noticed that Arby was constantly tugging at the leg ring he has. It's a silver metal one and dated as '22' - I assume this is supposed to indicate the year he was bred?

As it's very obvious he's over a year old, I'm inclined to believe he might have had this leg ring forced on him before he was sold to the pet store. His behaviour indicates he's terrified of hands and I often see him shaking even when I'm on the other side of the room. He's already chirping and quite comfortable in his new home, but seemingly scared of all people.

Can I expect to see him adjust further in the following week? Would having the leg ring removed just add to his stress?
 

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I would give him a few weeks to settle in and become a bit more comfortable.
Since you got your bird(s) from a pet store, or a breeder who doesn’t socialize their animals; your bird(s) is going to need a couple of quiet weeks to settle in. They can seem “tame” at first, but this is likely just because they are frightened and submissive.


Start by resting your hand on the outside of the cage for 5-10 minutes a few times a day. Talk to them as you do this, in a quiet and steady voice. Read something to them if you like ;)
After a week or two of this, you can move to just placing your hand "in" the cage. You can use their behavior as a judge on this one. If they actively retreat from your hand, even when it’s on the outside of the cage; they aren’t ready for you to go to the next step. Once they start to essentially “ignore” your hand, then you can move on.
The next step is to put your hand in the cage. Don't touch them, go near them or even move. Just rest it there for the same 5-10 minutes a few times a day and continue with the quiet, steady speech.

Your bird(s) will eventually begin to acclimate to you and slowly move up to investigating your hand. Then you can work on treat placement in the hand to see if you can then lure them to step on it to eat from it (again without moving).

And then you go from there.
:)

This could take weeks or even months of work and is entirely up to the bird. You may get lucky and have a very outgoing animal that tames in a short period of time, or you may have a more timid creature on your hand that requires a lot more from you.

Birds require far more patience with training than dogs and cats do. They all know instinctively that they are "prey items" and we are basically asking them to ignore that natural response when confronted by a larger predator (you).

You can also use their voice as a measure of their comfort.
A whistling/chirping budgie is not a scared budgie ;)
:)

Grey Wood Font Twig Electric blue

As for the leg band, I would say that when you make an appointment to have him seen by an avian vet for a baseline checkup (very important), ask them what they think. All bands are removable, and the vet can determine if it was close-band applied or done when he was older. Closed bands can only be applied shortly after hatch, so if this is the case; he probably just likes to play with it.
If it’s an open band, it could have been forced on him at any time (which may explain why he’s picking at it).
Grey Wood Font Twig Electric blue
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for the advice!

We unfortunately had to upset him with a move to a new cage as the one we had first bought for him was too small and actually ended up breaking. Since the new cage though he has seemingly perked up more and actually chews on the toys rather than the leg ring.

A vet trip will be happening in due course anyway but I think he is definitely going to need a few more weeks of quiet time as suggested! (y)
 

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I would definitely have the leg band removed by your Avian Vet.
Leg bands can get caught on toys or areas of the cage and cause serious injury.

Taking the budgie to the vet sooner rather than later is always best.
It's important to have a well-birdie check-up to ensure your budgie is in good health initially.
 
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