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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
@StarlingWings That is both incredible and inspirational, thank you for sharing (what is likely the upteenth time on this forum) :) Gives me hope this greedy little dino nugget will be my buddy someday :) I realize it may take a long time for him to ultimately bond, but for now, I think I'm going to remember that my goal from a few weeks ago is first to get him comfortable with my hands so I can return him safely after letting him stretch his wings outside the cage.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Yes! Thank you FB! I had read your technique before and appreciate the refresher, and am hoping to get him trained to that. How long did it take your first one to make the connection?

I suspect it takes at least a few days if not a few weeks to get them trained for that. Right now I've no idea how Chiribiri will behave when I let him out - in the small cage, he couldn't wait to get out, but the big cage, still TBD whether he'll be happy to leave ot decides he likes his place. I need to be comfortable as well, and part of that comfort is contingent on having as stress free way as possible to get him back in, just in case he doesn't want to go back or can't figure out how. The first few days of course he'll be confused as he learns the limits of the room and also where his food and water will be. Being food motivated, I think it won't take too long, but I don't want to count on it.

BTW, it took four days to conquer the evil purple finger! Caught him sneaking a morning snack today! Then I will need to change position of this so he actually uses it, and hopefully I won't need to trim his nails, I am not looking forward to that.
 

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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"
I am going to try the bell thing with Percy and Lizzie, it is getting more and more difficult to get them in at night, they just sit up on the rope perch that is about a foot down from the ceiling and stare down at me as if to say "Can't get us up here" :LOL:
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
@StarlingWings as part nite owl, has she been trained with mail delivery yet? 😁

With the exception of yesterday, last several days have been a lot of fun: Chiribiri mostly learned to step-up!!! It requires I have full millet stalk in my hand, and usually I need to ask him twice, or bring my finger closer. I need to find a way to record this, how he decides to make the step up is both endearing and hilarious. Yesterday he was moody and surprisingly refused any and all millet, however, I wasn't too bummed because he finally munched on carrot more than a nibble, and hovered by the piece of carrot all day. Decided after a few failed morning attempts to leave him alone for the most part and just had our daily chats/whistling/nonsenseicles/vacuuming/etc.

His moodiness continued this morning, and moments ago I tried repeating step up again, and.. he did it on first request completely automatically, and had the most surprised look I've ever seen.. head and body super long-elongated bird moment wtf look... I don't think he was expecting to do that but he did. So much so he monched a couple millet bites as he attempted to fly off my finger in a total derp moment. What a goof :)

We're going to the vet today for a nail trimming. I'm not comfortable doing it myself. Hopefully, this won't damage our trust too much. I've tried a few ways to lure him into the small cage, and now procrastinated enough such that I have to grab him in daylight ugh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
Hello again! We have maintained very simple training daily. This past week has been challenging, likely because he's molting. Most days he would take 1-2 warm ups (click-treat-repeat), but would not step up. He also has become far more afraid of me for some reason, perhaps because I cut my covid hair after 2 years? Who knows. On days he did, I worked on trying to get him comfortable with me touching his claws (no luck here) or hopping to my finger from further away. Here's current progress.. it's tough to see due to angle, but he does hop about 6" to get to my finger in the last two following the step-up warm ups :) Excuse the dirty shell, I clean it 1-2 times daily but he just really likes that position.
I'm leaving for vacation next week, and he'll be with family for almost 3 weeks. No training will occur during this time, the home is not bird safe so we all decided to just give him a break, keep it to singing, talking, cleaning, and feeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Thank you! It will be interesting to see whether he actually does or not.. we tried step-up a couple weeks ago with another family member, and it was clear he was not as comfortable. Hopefully this means he at least recognizes me :)
He's also a total brat now with food.. last three days refused to eat anything unless it was his regular untainted seed mixture (even simply a little pellet powder made him abstain and flock-call in distress uh boy).
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Hahah, yeah, it's going to take a long time. I thought we had a breakthrough with diet a few days ago but it was only a fluke.

On the flip side, last couple days he's been very eager to train, this morning had him hopping almost across the cage width. When I put the phone/camera up, it spooked him a little, but still managed to get a 10" hop in on the second call. BOING!
You can see how his greed knows no fear. if I weren't going on the trip, I would consider letting him out of the cage next week. To be continued in March/April.
 
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