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Hello,

I have 4 budgies, two males and two females. I've had one of the females for several years and she has always been terrified of me and I have never been able to tame her (her name is Taz which is short for the Tasmanian devil because that's what she is). A few months ago her cage mate died and although she was never very nice to her cage mate, she seemed lonely, so I decided to get her some new friends and is thus how I ended up with 4 budgies. I have been working on taming all of them and have made some real progress over the past few months. For a while now the three newer budgies have become comfortable enough with my hand that when I put it inside their cage, they will stand on it and eat millet off of it. Last week, Taz finally built up the courage to stand on my hand and eat millet from it which was a huge milestone for her. However, as of a few days ago she has randomly begun repeatedly biting my hand really hard when she is standing on it eating the millet. The bites are NOT playful and they are NOT accidental; she will deliberately stop eating the millet and will start chomping down on my hand in several different places very hard and aggressively and I don't know why she does it. I know you're not supposed to react to your bird biting you because it could cause them to want to do it more but it is very hard to ignore it when she's biting me so **** hard and in several different places and drawing blood. The bites hurt so badly that they will cause my hand to jolt in response which ends up scaring my other birds which is bad because I don't want them to be afraid of my hand after all the progress that has been made. I've tried to give Taz the benefit of the doubt over the years but I am beginning to think that she is just a bad egg. If anyone has any ideas as to why she might be doing this and how I can fix it, please let me know.
Please keep in mind that:
-They live in a flight cage that has lots of toys that they love that keeps them entertained all day. (Including swings, bells, and seagrass matts, which aren't visible in the attached photo but are there).
-They have ample amounts of well-balanced food & water
-I do not take them out of their cage because I am still in the process of taming them
-I only put my hand in the cage for them to eat millet off of when its daytime when they are awake & active
-I am a very calm & collected person and they live in a calm environment and I am pretty much always home
-Taz has aways been a territorial bird who doesn't like to share and doesn't like to interact with the other birds but still seems to like to know that they are there and that she isn't alone. But she is a very naughty bird.
(Taz is the yellow one, and the other three's names are Tabby, Tori, and Aqua)
Mesh Pet supply Line Art Gas
 

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Hi, Welcome to Talk Budgies!

Taz was probably never subjected to having your hand in her cage previously -- is that correct?
She may want to eat the millet but she also wants you to know that you are invading HER space and territory by having your hand in her cage.
Some budgies bite. I have two that will bite if given the chance to do so.
You can try getting her to step up from one hand to the other, or you can press lightly on her beak if she bites you which will make her lose her sense of balance and most likely she will let go.
You can also try distracting her with a toy if she starts to bite.

The purpose of this forum is to promote the BEST PRACTICES in the care of budgies for their optimal Health and Well-Being

Avian Association of Veterinarians

Now that you have mixed genders in the same cage, it is VERY important you do everything necessary to prevent breeding.
A heartfelt plea to forum members new and old
Tips For Discouraging Breeding
Before You Ever Consider Breeding Your Budgies
Guidance for Breeding Advice Threads

I recommend you remove the wooden dowel perches in the cage and replace them with natural wooden perches of varying diameters to help prevent pressure sores.
Pressure Sores
The information in this link will give examples of better options for perches:
Essentials for a Great Cage

I also recommend you cut any fabric or thread tassels on the toys back to no more than 1/2" for your budgie's safety.
Dangers of Rope, Snuggle Huts, Fabric and Tasseled Toys


Please secure the spring loaded doors on the sides of the cage.
Clips for Spring Load Side Doors

If you leave them un-secured and one of the budgies bumps it hard enough, the door can open and the bird's leg can get caught and broken.
(I'm speaking from experience here)

It also looks as if you have a mirror in the cage. Please remove it.
It is not recommended to have mirrors in your birds' cage as interacting with the mirror can contribute to your budgie(s) becoming aggressive and/or territorial.
Additionally, some budgies will begin regurgitating to the mirror to the point where they actually become malnourished.
You would be better off to give them more shredding toys instead.

I would also recommend you add at least four swings to the cage - one for each budgie.
Most budgies LOVE swings and they generally also love bells.
(Be sure you get stainless steel or nickel bells if you order any to avoid problems with heavy metal poisoning.)


A Healthy Diet for your Budgie
Quality Seed Mix
CuttleBones, Mineral Blocks and Manu Clay Roses
Safe Foods for Budgies
The Truth about GRIT

Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and all of the Stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
SITE GUIDELINES
List of Stickies
Posting on the Forums
Let's Talk Budgies!
FAQ
Articles
Be Prepared for Veterinary Care Expense
Avian First Aid
Quarantine IS Necessary!
Cage sizes.
Essentials to a Great Cage
Dangers to Pet Birds
Resource Directory
 

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Hi Kerrirae, wow thats a lot going on. And such a shame that Taz is acting like that after all the time you have known her, it must be heart breaking for you. I love this site, loads of people totally dedicated to making relationships work. There is loads of experienced budgie owners on this site and I'm sure they can help, and have my fingers crossed that there is a reason for it that can be resolved. kind regards Deano.

P.s. your cage is Fab and so are your Bridies x
 

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Name: Peeko. Age: 10 months Mutation: yellow face sky blue Fav treat: millet Fav toy: bells.
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Hello,

I have 4 budgies, two males and two females. I've had one of the females for several years and she has always been terrified of me and I have never been able to tame her (her name is Taz which is short for the Tasmanian devil because that's what she is). A few months ago her cage mate died and although she was never very nice to her cage mate, she seemed lonely, so I decided to get her some new friends and is thus how I ended up with 4 budgies. I have been working on taming all of them and have made some real progress over the past few months. For a while now the three newer budgies have become comfortable enough with my hand that when I put it inside their cage, they will stand on it and eat millet off of it. Last week, Taz finally built up the courage to stand on my hand and eat millet from it which was a huge milestone for her. However, as of a few days ago she has randomly begun repeatedly biting my hand really hard when she is standing on it eating the millet. The bites are NOT playful and they are NOT accidental; she will deliberately stop eating the millet and will start chomping down on my hand in several different places very hard and aggressively and I don't know why she does it. I know you're not supposed to react to your bird biting you because it could cause them to want to do it more but it is very hard to ignore it when she's biting me so **** hard and in several different places and drawing blood. The bites hurt so badly that they will cause my hand to jolt in response which ends up scaring my other birds which is bad because I don't want them to be afraid of my hand after all the progress that has been made. I've tried to give Taz the benefit of the doubt over the years but I am beginning to think that she is just a bad egg. If anyone has any ideas as to why she might be doing this and how I can fix it, please let me know.
Please keep in mind that:
-They live in a flight cage that has lots of toys that they love that keeps them entertained all day (I will attach an image)
-They have ample amounts of well-balanced food & water
-I do not take them out of their cage because I am still in the process of taming them
-I only put my hand in the cage for them to eat millet off of when its daytime and they are awake & active
-I am a very calm & collected person and they live in a calm environment and I am pretty much always home
-Taz has aways been a territorial bird who doesn't like to share and doesn't like to interact with the other birds but still seems to like to know that they are there and that she isn't alone. But she is a very naughty bird. View attachment 258488
Hi kerrirae, I have a similar situation with my budgie, Peeko, although I've had him for just over a year now and his biting is learned because he hated that I used to take him places while he was perching on my hand (cage, play areas, etc) he just doesn't like being moved around on my hand/arm. There was a point I trained him out of the biting, but out of nowhere he bit me again and the cycle started again. He bites immediately as he lands on me, even if he chooses/wants to come to me himself, if I don't have a treat he also bites continuously in several places. He doesn't draw blood or always bite hard though.

From what I have learned from the biting, birds only bite for the following reasons:

1. Out of fear. Biting is often a last resort if they feel threatened and if you have ignored or not noticed other warning signs before the bite.

2. To test what they have landed on (possibly your hand) if the surface will move at all or if it is safe.

3. Because they just don't want to do what you are telling them and, again, if you have not listened to or not noticed their signals before the bite, or they don't like something you are doing.

4. To get something they want - i.e. birds may learn to bite if biting you gets a reaction like putting them back in the cage or down which might be what they actually want.

5. And... Sometimes, they just like to bite because birds can be like that 🤷😂 it's how they communicate and explore the world around them. But in your case it sounds like there's a reason if Taz is biting you that hard.

Some things you could try.. if possible could you spend some time training Taz on her own if the other budgies seem to be fine? See how she is if she doesn't feel she has to compete with the others for millet or defend her territory? When you approach them, do you pay attention to their body language, eyes, etc? Learning their signals is the best thing to do first to avoid a bite. I can feel when Peeko jumps on my hand, even willingly, that he is in a heightened state by his feet and eyes. Do you hold the millet by your fingers? Have you ever sprinkled seed in your hand and held it out flat to them? Taz might respond differently that way. You could try asking Taz to step up on a perch or stock instead, or, try target training if you haven't yet to get her to step up and touch a thin stick with her beak - this may distract her from biting your hand.

I hope you find some of this helpful and good luck with Taz!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi, Welcome to Talk Budgies!

Taz was probably never subjected to having your hand in her cage previously -- is that correct?
She may want to eat the millet but she also wants you to know that you are invading HER space and territory by having your hand in her cage.
Some budgies bite. I have two that will bite if given the chance to do so.
You can try getting her to step up from one hand to the other, or you can press lightly on her beak if she bites you which will make her lose her sense of balance and most likely she will let go.
You can also try distracting her with a toy if she starts to bite.

The purpose of this forum is to promote the BEST PRACTICES in the care of budgies for their optimal Health and Well-Being

Avian Association of Veterinarians

Now that you have mixed genders in the same cage, it is VERY important you do everything necessary to prevent breeding.
A heartfelt plea to forum members new and old
Tips For Discouraging Breeding
Before You Ever Consider Breeding Your Budgies
Guidance for Breeding Advice Threads

I recommend you remove the wooden dowel perches in the cage and replace them with natural wooden perches of varying diameters to help prevent pressure sores.
Pressure Sores
The information in this link will give examples of better options for perches:
Essentials for a Great Cage

I also recommend you cut any fabric or thread tassels on the toys back to no more than 1/2" for your budgie's safety.
Dangers of Rope, Snuggle Huts, Fabric and Tasseled Toys


Please secure the spring loaded doors on the sides of the cage.
Clips for Spring Load Side Doors

If you leave them un-secured and one of the budgies bumps it hard enough, the door can open and the bird's leg can get caught and broken.
(I'm speaking from experience here)

It also looks as if you have a mirror in the cage. Please remove it.
It is not recommended to have mirrors in your birds' cage as interacting with the mirror can contribute to your budgie(s) becoming aggressive and/or territorial.
Additionally, some budgies will begin regurgitating to the mirror to the point where they actually become malnourished.
You would be better off to give them more shredding toys instead.

I would also recommend you add at least four swings to the cage - one for each budgie.
Most budgies LOVE swings and they generally also love bells.
(Be sure you get stainless steel or nickel bells if you order any to avoid problems with heavy metal poisoning.)


A Healthy Diet for your Budgie
Quality Seed Mix
CuttleBones, Mineral Blocks and Manu Clay Roses
Safe Foods for Budgies
The Truth about GRIT

Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and all of the Stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
SITE GUIDELINES
List of Stickies
Posting on the Forums
Let's Talk Budgies!
FAQ
Articles
Be Prepared for Veterinary Care Expense
Avian First Aid
Quarantine IS Necessary!
Cage sizes.
Essentials to a Great Cage
Dangers to Pet Birds
Resource Directory
Very informative, thank you!:)

Hi Kerrirae, wow thats a lot going on. And such a shame that Taz is acting like that after all the time you have known her, it must be heart breaking for you. I love this site, loads of people totally dedicated to making relationships work. There is loads of experienced budgie owners on this site and I'm sure they can help, and have my fingers crossed that there is a reason for it that can be resolved. kind regards Deano.

P.s. your cage is Fab and so are your Bridies x
Hello! Thank you so much for the support and for such kind words, I am greatly appreciative! :)

Hi kerrirae, I have a similar situation with my budgie, Peeko, although I've had him for just over a year now and his biting is learned because he hated that I used to take him places while he was perching on my hand (cage, play areas, etc) he just doesn't like being moved around on my hand/arm. There was a point I trained him out of the biting, but out of nowhere he bit me again and the cycle started again. He bites immediately as he lands on me, even if he chooses/wants to come to me himself, if I don't have a treat he also bites continuously in several places. He doesn't draw blood or always bite hard though.

From what I have learned from the biting, birds only bite for the following reasons:

1. Out of fear. Biting is often a last resort if they feel threatened and if you have ignored or not noticed other warning signs before the bite.

2. To test what they have landed on (possibly your hand) if the surface will move at all or if it is safe.

3. Because they just don't want to do what you are telling them and, again, if you have not listened to or not noticed their signals before the bite, or they don't like something you are doing.

4. To get something they want - i.e. birds may learn to bite if biting you gets a reaction like putting them back in the cage or down which might be what they actually want.

5. And... Sometimes, they just like to bite because birds can be like that 🤷😂 it's how they communicate and explore the world around them. But in your case it sounds like there's a reason if Taz is biting you that hard.

Some things you could try.. if possible could you spend some time training Taz on her own if the other budgies seem to be fine? See how she is if she doesn't feel she has to compete with the others for millet or defend her territory? When you approach them, do you pay attention to their body language, eyes, etc? Learning their signals is the best thing to do first to avoid a bite. I can feel when Peeko jumps on my hand, even willingly, that he is in a heightened state by his feet and eyes. Do you hold the millet by your fingers? Have you ever sprinkled seed in your hand and held it out flat to them? Taz might respond differently that way. You could try asking Taz to step up on a perch or stock instead, or, try target training if you haven't yet to get her to step up and touch a thin stick with her beak - this may distract her from biting your hand.

I hope you find some of this helpful and good luck with Taz!
Thank you fir such a detailed response, I really appreciate it!
Her body language seems cautious when approaching my hand and climbing onto it and then seems angry and aggressive when biting it and it is all very confusing. Even when the other birds are off doing their own thing and it's just her and I, she still assaults me.
I place the millet between my index and middle finger with the millet pointing vertically and my palm facing up. I have not tried placing the seeds in my palm but I will, so thank you for the suggestion. I also think I'm going to try to start teaching the birds to step up so maybe that will make a difference, like you said.
Thank you again for the response and I will update you if progress is made:)

Hi, Welcome to Talk Budgies!

Taz was probably never subjected to having your hand in her cage previously -- is that correct?
She may want to eat the millet but she also wants you to know that you are invading HER space and territory by having your hand in her cage.
Some budgies bite. I have two that will bite if given the chance to do so.
You can try getting her to step up from one hand to the other, or you can press lightly on her beak if she bites you which will make her lose her sense of balance and most likely she will let go.
You can also try distracting her with a toy if she starts to bite.

The purpose of this forum is to promote the BEST PRACTICES in the care of budgies for their optimal Health and Well-Being

Avian Association of Veterinarians

Now that you have mixed genders in the same cage, it is VERY important you do everything necessary to prevent breeding.
A heartfelt plea to forum members new and old
Tips For Discouraging Breeding
Before You Ever Consider Breeding Your Budgies
Guidance for Breeding Advice Threads

I recommend you remove the wooden dowel perches in the cage and replace them with natural wooden perches of varying diameters to help prevent pressure sores.
Pressure Sores
The information in this link will give examples of better options for perches:
Essentials for a Great Cage

I also recommend you cut any fabric or thread tassels on the toys back to no more than 1/2" for your budgie's safety.
Dangers of Rope, Snuggle Huts, Fabric and Tasseled Toys


Please secure the spring loaded doors on the sides of the cage.
Clips for Spring Load Side Doors

If you leave them un-secured and one of the budgies bumps it hard enough, the door can open and the bird's leg can get caught and broken.
(I'm speaking from experience here)

It also looks as if you have a mirror in the cage. Please remove it.
It is not recommended to have mirrors in your birds' cage as interacting with the mirror can contribute to your budgie(s) becoming aggressive and/or territorial.
Additionally, some budgies will begin regurgitating to the mirror to the point where they actually become malnourished.
You would be better off to give them more shredding toys instead.

I would also recommend you add at least four swings to the cage - one for each budgie.
Most budgies LOVE swings and they generally also love bells.
(Be sure you get stainless steel or nickel bells if you order any to avoid problems with heavy metal poisoning.)


A Healthy Diet for your Budgie
Quality Seed Mix
CuttleBones, Mineral Blocks and Manu Clay Roses
Safe Foods for Budgies
The Truth about GRIT

Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and all of the Stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
SITE GUIDELINES
List of Stickies
Posting on the Forums
Let's Talk Budgies!
FAQ
Articles
Be Prepared for Veterinary Care Expense
Avian First Aid
Quarantine IS Necessary!
Cage sizes.
Essentials to a Great Cage
Dangers to Pet Birds
Resource Directory
If the reason for her biting me is a result of me invading her territory, do you think she will acclimate to my hand over time and will become less territorial?
Also, I do have swings in the cage along with stainless steel bells and seagrass matts, all of which in the photo are being blocked by other toys thus preventing them from being visible in the photo. But I will definitely look into the natural wooden perches; I am not a very big fan of the current wooden dowels in the cage. And I have been meaning to trim the threads from the rope so thank you for reminding me:)
 

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Yes, IF the reason she is biting is because she feels you are invading her territory, she must learn to trust you.

Because she isn't used to your hand in the cage you are going to need to work with her slowly.
It might be easier for you if you had her in a separate cage than the other three budgies.
To build your Taz’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 or so, 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 or 3 more weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward Taz.
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.
If she bites, you can try one of the methods mentioned in the previous post.
In a few more days, you can begin your taming and bonding sessions.
Clicker training may be a good option for Taz.
Positive Reinforcement in Training.
Basics of Clicker Training

Always work at your budgie's pace.
Move slowly and talk reassuringly and calmly to her whenever you interact with her.

Glad to hear you already have swings and bells! 💜 💜
 

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Name: Peeko. Age: 10 months Mutation: yellow face sky blue Fav treat: millet Fav toy: bells.
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Yes. it's very baffling. Birds can be confusing. Sometimes it's hard to watch their every signals in the moment. I think target training will be a great way build Taz's trust while she is still not confident with your hands. Then you could eventually try to encourage her out of her cage using the target stick. Maybe she will be more receptive outside of her cage if it is a territorial response. I usually put quite a bit of seeds in my hand so it looks more seed than hand if that makes sense! Good luck, I hope you can work things out with Taz 😊
 

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Hello and welcome to the forums!

FaeryBee has given you great resources. Best of luck with Taz!!

Meanwhile, you’ve come to a great place to learn even more about the best of budgie care practices! Please be sure to have a look around the forums’ many budgie articles and “stickies”, included above, to ensure you’re up to date on everything! If you have questions after doing so, please be sure to ask as we’d love to help.

Please keep us posted!

Cheers! 👋
 
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