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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I just wrapped up another 5 minute session with him, this time only single millet seeds, all successful. I snuck in some Harrison's pellets.. he just spits them out :( That's over two months of putting powder on or a wet mash with seeds.
🤷‍♂️
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Oh don't worry, I'm not giving up. Reading this forum I've come across how long this can take, some 6-8 months, and I'm certainly prepared for the long haul and am patient to a fault.

I've tried the zupreem fruity canary, roudybush nibbles, tops (they sent me regular sample instead of small so I cut them down), and harrison high potency super fine. Bird and I tried about 2 weeks each powdered and a week as a paste before trying the pellets on their own, no luck with any. When using powder, I've learned he will jump away from his bowl if the seeds are wet (i.e. sprayed to help powder stick). Since the harrison include a short expiration, I've kept trying to feed that over the last several weeks, paste covered offered first, then rest of the day powder covered (he'd only eat one or two seeds out of the paste before going on strike). To keep him motivated, every few mornings I start off with just seeds, otherwise, he picks up on my plotting shenanigans.

I just picked up some Caitec oven-fresh bites "small" for parakeets.. these things are too large but compared to all the other pellets have the most "flavor" and palatable aroma - very strong spice I think cardamom or clove? Yes, I've tasted them all.

This morning's training session was fun, on a totally empty crop - started with a small millet nubby, and it was apparent he was HANGRY by how he'd go for multiple chomps before I could get treat away. After he calmed down, we began the game. First, a few individual millet between my finger tips, then I'd switch to one of the pellets for a few tries, then back to millet. Here are the results:
- zupreem: he would attempt to bite only the yellow and orange ones, then spit them out. Wouldn't even try to bite for the red or green!
- harrison: bite, promptly drop or shake his head and toss it
- tops: one bite then he twisted his head with a total WTF look, eyes dilated.. every time.. I lost it snorting laughter and had to take a break because the snort spooked him into a fright flight
- roudybush: same as harrison (btw I want to like these but they look like dried budgie poop and it always catches me off gaurd and I can't tell whether to toss or keep)
- caitec: put his beak on the thing but then backed off, too big
- caitec, broken up into small pieces: he spit the first one out, but the second one he left in his beak and kind of played with it for maybe 2 seconds, then dropped it. I fumbled the next few so we stopped this for now

I also picked up some of the harrison birdie bread mix - I tried making my own a while back blending the harrison pellets, adding baking powder, but he wasn't ready. I think this time if I can get a little millet and seed mixed into the bread, and feed from my hand, he might take a few bites will try this today.

We're going to play this game all day, I'm crossing fingers he'll pick up one of them, maybe the caitec. Which is great news, except it's also the most expensive I think. Nice thing is it is easy to get, petsmart carries their rebranded version just in case I were to forget to order.

The daily change in his bravery has been amazing to watch :) Felt like almost not a big deal this morning, he even began reaching out when he noticed my hand moving towards him!
 

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Durrrr, I just wrote this post up about Harrison’s birdie bread, and then went back and somehow missed the segment where you talk about EXACTLY THAT. 🤦‍♂️ Don’t mind me. Carry on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
@JuneBird That's a fun idea. I'm trying to get him interested in both foraging and toys, and am planning on getting him accustomed to going to the bottom of the cage by teasing him with a little millet and seed. He gives up very easily if the food isn't immediately available (e.g. in pellet paste, or mixed with veggies, etc, he won't pick through it).

@Aozane I attempted home-made birdie bread with the Harrison's superfine pellets pulverized, added eggs, baking powder, and mixed in seeds/millet. Since you haven't done it before, it's actually a bit tricky to mix in the seeds/millet in declining quantities. Chiribiri had no interest in the resulting bread, not even to pick out the millet. I recently purchased some of their official birdie bread am going to make it this afternoon following some other projects.

The little booger he caught onto my game just now and turns around on his perch if it's not millet between my fingers 🤦‍♂️ The good news, at least he's eating just-sprouted seeds, about 30% of his current diet (it was either Cody or StarlingWings that pointed me in this direction, thank you!!). Getting him to pellets will take a lot of patience and time with this little guy :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
He's been moody, and not really wanting to train more than 4-5 clicks a couple times a day. So I'm just going at his pace for now. It might be because I installed one of those pumice safety perches in his cage a few days ago. He's been absolutely terrified of the purple.. uhm.. censored word thing, and expressing significant frustration now because I put some millet next to it in an effort to get him to overcome his fear. It's bittersweet watching him try a few times a day ;)
 

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He's been moody, and not really wanting to train more than 4-5 clicks a couple times a day. So I'm just going at his pace for now. It might be because I installed one of those pumice safety perches in his cage a few days ago. He's been absolutely terrified of the purple.. uhm.. censored word thing, and expressing significant frustration now because I put some millet next to it in an effort to get him to overcome his fear. It's bittersweet watching him try a few times a day ;)
it's good that you are trying though.
Fear is a perfectly normal thing in a parrot, but you want it to be of something rational.
A parrot who is scared of purple should have that worked on :) You don't want him to get used to being afraid of things and then said things vanish as he won't be able to grow and move passed things.

Now, if he's scared of a Maine **** that you have wandering the house, different story :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Hah, yah, I hope he gets over it. I also threw a large millet spray at the cage bottom this morning, it was entertaining watching him try to figure out how to get down there. It was not entertaining when he gave up and gave me an hour of alarm flock calling 🤦‍♂️
 

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Hah, yah, I hope he gets over it. I also threw a large millet spray at the cage bottom this morning, it was entertaining watching him try to figure out how to get down there. It was not entertaining when he gave up and gave me an hour of alarm flock calling 🤦‍♂️
There are some nice noise cancelling headphones on the market..
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Thank you! I am following that advice and have most of the new toys, hadn't thought about putting the perch up there. He's still afraid of it. He's also adamant about not going to the cage bottom so far, even though I've slightly rearranged perches to make it easier.

That said, he's been very cooperative with receiving millet treats all day, such that I changed the angle of my millet hand just slightly to make it a little harder for him to get to, putting my fingers slightly in the way. Following several training sessions today, he did the splits and put one foot on my finger! It was only a moment, because he scampered off after helping himself to three mouthfuls of millet, then squawked in anger and flew to the other side of the cage.

\o/
 

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Nine months! WOW! Were you passively or actively working on the taming?
A bit of both; she was a very, very skittish bird when I got her, anything would scare her (she was also TINY, couldn't have weighed more than 20 grams) so what I did is every single morning I would get up early, before others were awake (to minimize the stress of things going on in the environment) and I would uncover her, play soft music, and sit by her cage and talk to her. I would also talk to her a lot directly when we were all up and about, asking her opinion on things, telling her about stuff, etc. I'd take her cage with me (she was in a small cage at the time) whenever i'd be gone to another room in the house for a long period of time, which scared her at first, but she started to see me as a safe and consistent presence, I think? Anyways, I remember the day she came up to the bars of the cage, right up to my face, and just looked me right in the eye. I was so proud of her, I told her over and over what a good girl she was and promised her I'd always keep her safe. After this moment I gradually started offering her my hand, etc. like what you're doing with your little one. I would also keep her cage open on my desk a lot, and I put a perch right in the entrance of her cage door so sometimes she'd come out and sit there for a little bit before going back in. So it was a gradual progression, I think. I really wanted to let her trust me first which especially for her was the right choice.

This is why it bothers me so much when people say "i'm so annoyed my budgie won't sit on my finger after two weeks" or even "two months". Not only are all budgies different but in the end every budgie is capable of building trust, love, and friendship with their human flock irrespective of how long it takes to "tame" them. People with these expectations are only forcing their budgies to do things before they're ready and then perhaps never really getting to the point where their birds feel comfortable with them 100%. And in the end even if it takes a year or more you'll have so many more years ahead of you with your budgie that it's worth it!
 
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