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Don't give up on the pellets. Have you tried offering him the Zupreen Fruity Pellets in Canary Size? They are tiny - about the size of a seed.
Many budgies do well with those.
 

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Sometimes, putting a new perch (or toy) on the outside of the cage within the budgie's view for a few days, then hanging it on the outside of the cage for a few days before putting it into the cage is the best way to get the bird used to new things. (how was that for a run-on sentence!)
Many birds have particular colors they really dislike. Remember that budgies see colors very differently than humans.
 

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You can also train Chiri to return to his cage without stepping up.

I have several untamed budgies that go back in their cage because I've used positive reinforcement training to teach them they will get a reward when they do so.
Initially, when I was ready for them to go back in the cage I would first dim the lights and pull down the shades in the room. If the radio or TV was on, I turned it off.
Then I would stand by their cage and ringing the bell on one of their toys while telling them, "It's time to go in your cage now!"
Once they went back into the cage, they were given a small bit of millet.
This method worked well and they now go in the cage when asked to do so without the lights being dimmed or the blinds lowered and the TV or radio can stay on.
Getting the millet reward is the best part of "going back home"
 

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I hope it will work for you!
I had fairly quick success with all my budgies (and lovebirds) -- it only took a few days -- I know it was less than a week.

I think that closing the blinds, turning off the radio and TV and dimming the lights was all a great "cue" for my babies that it was time to start thinking about bedtime.
Of course, the bell and the millet were the clinchers as they all loved millet.

I don't even have to use the bell and millet anymore.
I just turn off the radio, shut the blinds, dim the light and get out the cage covers and they all go directly into their cages onto their "sleeping" swings.
 
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