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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

The title pretty much says it all. I adopted a budgie 11 days ago, a 6 months old female from a breeder. However, I think that she hasn't been hand fed or haven't been in interaction with hands other than to grab her and put her in the box.

I put her cage next to my desk in my bedroom where I am most of the time (I study mathematics and am a TA). I did read a lot about how to gain trust and bond but despite the many differences, all of them are based on the fact that budgies love millet. However, my budgie just doesn't really eat millet. If I stay very still holding the millet at one end so that my hand is just outside of the cage, she will eventually take some bites after like 15 minutes of just looking around and even closing her eyes.

So, I tried to leave a branch in the cage next to her perch so she eats it and realise she likes it but she just leave it there. She talks a little from time to time but most of the time she just stay there perched. I even leave the cage door opened and put her seed cup next to the entrance of the cage. She will go eat some with the door opened but wont go outside the cage.

I talk to her, sing a bit, put relaxing music and even read to her. I know that 10 days is not a lot but I read all of the articles that says after a week or even a day the budgie should start moving and playing and she doesn't really play or move that much hence I am a little worried.

So, that being said, here are my questions (I am also opened to any suggestions or things I might be doing wrong)

-Should I buy a bigger cage? The one she's in right now is 24x24x24 inches
-What other treat could I use beside millet if she doesn't like it
-Should I move the cage sometimes or just leave it there for now?

In other words, I would like her to see me not as a threat so she can start moving around and having some mental stimulation and be happier because I really feel bad watching her in her perch. She seems to be relaxed sometimes for example she falls asleep next to me if I'm reading or not moving too much. She stretches and sometimes do that thing where she puffs her feathers and kind of shake and she beaks grind at night.

Also, I worked in a ranch with horses for many years and also in a dog rescue shelter as a trainer so I'm used to scared animals however birds I have 0 experience this is all very very new to me!

So, this is it. I am sorry for my English my first language is French and thank you!
 

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Hi there:
Give it time with the bird and millet, and perhaps leave small bits in the cage without your hand there for several days, let her discover it for herself. Birds require a lot of patience (a lot). Mine took a couple weeks before he discovered millet.

Cage size information: Cage sizes.

There are many forum stickies here that are very helpful, especially on approaching the bird the first few weeks, nutrition, overall health etc. Hopefully one of the mods will see this thread and comment on cage size and your other questions.

What's your budgie's name?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi there:
Give it time with the bird and millet, and perhaps leave small bits in the cage without your hand there for several days, let her discover it for herself. Birds require a lot of patience (a lot). Mine took a couple weeks before he discovered millet.

Cage size information: Cage sizes.

There are many forum stickies here that are very helpful, especially on approaching the bird the first few weeks, nutrition, overall health etc. Hopefully one of the mods will see this thread and comment on cage size and your other questions.

What's your budgie's name?
Hello,

Thank you for the advices. Her name is Dalie (didnt know she was a female for a week and just kept on calling her Dali afterwards haha). She seems to be very on her guard with me. She ate millet once or twice but mostly she stays on her highest perch and sleeps. Sometimes if I leave the room she'll do those kind of short calls (don't know how to call the sound haha). Also her wings are not clipped and I read that its gonna be much harder to tame. I'm pretty much always in the same room as her.

She came out of her cage twice this morning on her own then flew in circle and then finally landed next to her cage (on my drawer that I never use). I don't know if its good to let your budgie out if she's not hand tame but I have been able to make her hop on a stick and put her back in the cage. I think I should just leave her alone for some time and allow her to be curious on her own time.

I just read so many articles about how you should interact with your budgie on day one and how it should love millet and just be tamed in a week if you do it right. I don't really know if it's true for pet that haven't been hand fed and without clipped wings.

I guess I will just try to leave her alone it just breaks my heart to see her never having exercises or playing maybe she still need lots of sleep because she's young or maybe she just is wild. She is scared to death of her toys so I took them out because if she flew into one she would start screaming.

I guess I just hope there would be some kind of documentation that would be legit and took account for the birds that are not instantly in love with millet haha.

Anyhow, thank you for the advice I'll wait for her to be curious more than scared. (I read to her every night to sleep so she can associate my voice with relaxation haha).
 

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It will take time, just continue to be patient, take it very slow, and don't try to rush anything. Don't be discouraged, either. Dalie will discover the millet :) It sounds like what you are doing is good, just let her learn and discover on her own and she will figure out to trust you. You are lucky she hops onto a perch and lets you return her to her cage. The only thing is be careful of rushing things.. based on the info here at this forum, the general approach to new budgies is to let them settle in for about two weeks in their cage before changing up things. This will of course, vary bird to bird, depending on where they came from - everything from spicy pigeon and budgiefan16 who have hand-raised chicks that are already talking, or me who found a "wild" one and had to stuff him with antibiotics for 7 weeks.

Keep us posted on her progress!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So Dali is now eating a lot of millet. Took a while but she ended up eating it while I was holding the spray by the other end. It's been 3 weeks and she's not very talkative. I try to talk to her as often as I can while I'm working. I still read to her 30 min every night (lol) to the point where as soon as I put the cage cover (I only cover 2 sides and the top and half of the front), she moves to the side of her perch where its not covered, so I guess she likes it.

I'm not a very loud or talkative person in general so I find it hard to be convincing when I talk to her. Anyhow, right now what concerns me is the fact that she still doesn't really move around in her cage. She mostly stays on her highest perch (which is a dowel perch, I know it shouldn't be she doesnt want to go out of her cage at all I keep the door opened all day long she left for like 5 seconds twice in a week).

So I would like to take her out to change perch setting (I just received some natural perches). However, I can't get her out and I don't want to freak her out by moving her favorite perch. Is it okay to move perches like that or will it freak her out? Her cage is not that big so I can't just add perches and also I would like to get rid of the higher dowel perch even tho its her favorite, should I?
 

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Hi!
That's awesome she's now interested in millet! Just take your time with it, everything at her pace. Same with singing and movement and everything, she will eventually warm up. Some birds will do so more quickly, and others will take a long, long time. The key to remember is that birds are not like dogs or cats, which will can be much more quick to gain confidence and befriend the humans.

Rearranging the cage.. tough call. I think the more experienced members should weigh in on it. If it were me, I might be impatient enough to just do it, but do it quick and decisively. Then again, you are making progress with her, so maybe give it another couple weeks with millet treats and maybe a hand-held perch, so both of you can build confidence in letting her out of and returning to the cage.

By the way, I just had another thought. It would be a good idea to seek out an Avian Vet as @FaeryBee has pointed out, and at minimum, get a wellness check. Especially if she's poofed up or lethargic. Birds tend to hide any other symptoms.
 

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Hello and welcome to the forums!

It's great to have you with us and FaeryBee has given you great advice and resources above.

With regards to rearranging the cage, the reason its her favorite perch is because of the location, not the material, so when the time comes you can just put a natural wood perch up there instead of the dowel. Since she's so fearful right now I think it's best to leave the cage as it is for a few more weeks since even very "tame" budgies generally are bothered by cage rearrangements (since you're touching "their" stuff, hah) so it would probably stress her out a bit.

I'm glad she loves millet now, however keep in mind it is very high in fat and lower in other nutrients than her normal food so should be given as a treat only.

Just so you know, the articles you read are false. Every budgie is different and on top of that all birds need two weeks at least to settle in before you should try and interact with them other than talking through the cage bars. Some budgies take months or years to fully feel bonded with their human "flocks" but this doesn't mean that it isn't going to happen. The internet wants to make people believe there are instant solutions to everything but the truth is that with regard to birds especially trying to rush the process or force yourself on the bird is going to lead to birds who act "submissive" and not "tame".

Clipping wings for the sole reason of preventing a bird from getting away from you is like tying down any other animal and essentially giving them no other choice but to submit to whatever you are making them do. Unfortunately many misguided budgie owners still think this is what makes a bird "tame". Like with all animals, taming is about trust, love, and mutual respect, and as in human relationships, comes with time and patience.

So the best thing you can do is take it slow with your little lady. Just wait for her to do things at her own pace. Its not a crisis if she doesn't want to come out of her cage; it's her safe space and she likes it in there. Eventually she may want to come out more and eventually she may not, giving her the option is what's important. You can put a few perches on the outside of the cage too to give her someplace comfortable to sit if she decides to come out.

Be sure to ask if you have any questions after reading through the resources linked by FaeryBee above.

Best of luck and keep us posted!

Cheers 👋
 

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I'd love for you to get a larger sized cage for Dalie when you are able to do so.
The bigger the cage, the better. Length is more important than Height as budgies fly laterally.
Ensure the spacing between the bars is no more than 1/2".

Would you be so kind as to post a picture of her and her cage?

If Dalie is afraid of her toys, then put them near her cage (within her sight line) for a few days.
After that, hang a few of them on the OUTSIDE of the cage for a few days so she can see they will not hurt her.

After she gets used to seeing them on the outside of the cage, you can introduce them (one at a time) slowly into the cage.

Be patient with her and be sure to update us on her progress!
Best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello,

Thanks to everyone for your advices it is really helpful!

I am lucky to have a cousin who is an avian vet so she came by to see her and she says she seems to be healthy.

As for the cage, I do know that it is too small. I wasn't there for the choosing of the cage. I did try to add a natural perch I bought but the cage is just too small and she was freaking out by it.

I have the budget for a bigger cage only, I don't know if she would just freak out to be in a new cage even if on the long run I know it is just better. My mom went for the cage and the budgie (with good intentions). So here is the cage with a bic pen for scale:
Pet supply Wood Wood stain Hardwood Gas
Product Pet supply Wood Gas Composite material


And here are the perches I got (from amazon, since the pet shops around my appartement which is near an university are not incredible) and also the natural perches are too big for the cage. So I'm guessing a new cage would be necessary but is she gonna be even more fearful of everything if I do this transition?
Wood Round-nose pliers Art Hardwood Jewellery
Pet supply Wood Gas Hardwood Flooring


Thanks again for all the advices I really appreciate it!
 

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It’s best to do the transition. She will adjust and be better off in the long run.

If you direct message me with you budget, I can help you research for the best cage to get her.

By the way, does your Mom have the receipt for the cage?
If you carefully clean it, certain pet stores will accept the cage if you return it to where it was purchased. (I’ve returned cages to pet stores in the US)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello,

The new cage arrived today. I just finished setting it up(more perches are coming soon) but is this a good layout of the perches?

Grille Hood Pet supply Mesh Automotive exterior


Also, how could I introduce her the new cage without a total trauma?

Thanks again!
 

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Hello,

The new cage arrived today. I just finished setting it up(more perches are coming soon) but is this a good layout of the perches?

View attachment 261109

Also, how could I introduce her the new cage without a total trauma?

Thanks again!

For the layout in a cage like this, I would attach the perches to the front and the back of the cage and give her a lot of "empty" space in the middle (maybe leave one in the middle for her to get used to short trips on and then see how she does). This will be her glide path when she flies, so you don't need to block it with anything.

Ditch the long wooden perch there and put some paper towel or ink-free packing paper on the cage floor. You can sprinkle some seed on it to encourage her to forage a bit!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you I did that and yeah it makes sense. I opened both cages and she eventually flew into the other one.

Now with my other question haha. Since I did change her cage I was also thinking about moving it, because right now she is right next to my bed. I have a free wall that is in front of my bed like the most far away place and also next to my workdesk. So would it be a better place knowing I have a small shelf above the place I would put her?

And finally, should I put.my desk so my profile faces her or my back ?(since I leave cage door opened all day long but she doesnt come out, I was thinking maybe if she didnt see my face she would be more willing). Also, she would be away from my bed which will maybe make her sleep better.
 

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Thank you I did that and yeah it makes sense. I opened both cages and she eventually flew into the other one.

Now with my other question haha. Since I did change her cage I was also thinking about moving it, because right now she is right next to my bed. I have a free wall that is in front of my bed like the most far away place and also next to my workdesk. So would it be a better place knowing I have a small shelf above the place I would put her?

And finally, should I put.my desk so my profile faces her or my back ?(since I leave cage door opened all day long but she doesnt come out, I was thinking maybe if she didnt see my face she would be more willing). Also, she would be away from my bed which will maybe make her sleep better.
Hello and welcome to the forums!

It's great to have you with us and FaeryBee has given you great advice and resources above.

With regards to rearranging the cage, the reason its her favorite perch is because of the location, not the material, so when the time comes you can just put a natural wood perch up there instead of the dowel. Since she's so fearful right now I think it's best to leave the cage as it is for a few more weeks since even very "tame" budgies generally are bothered by cage rearrangements (since you're touching "their" stuff, hah) so it would probably stress her out a bit.

I'm glad she loves millet now, however keep in mind it is very high in fat and lower in other nutrients than her normal food so should be given as a treat only.

Just so you know, the articles you read are false. Every budgie is different and on top of that all birds need two weeks at least to settle in before you should try and interact with them other than talking through the cage bars. Some budgies take months or years to fully feel bonded with their human "flocks" but this doesn't mean that it isn't going to happen. The internet wants to make people believe there are instant solutions to everything but the truth is that with regard to birds especially trying to rush the process or force yourself on the bird is going to lead to birds who act "submissive" and not "tame".

Clipping wings for the sole reason of preventing a bird from getting away from you is like tying down any other animal and essentially giving them no other choice but to submit to whatever you are making them do. Unfortunately many misguided budgie owners still think this is what makes a bird "tame". Like with all animals, taming is about trust, love, and mutual respect, and as in human relationships, comes with time and patience.

So the best thing you can do is take it slow with your little lady. Just wait for her to do things at her own pace. Its not a crisis if she doesn't want to come out of her cage; it's her safe space and she likes it in there. Eventually she may want to come out more and eventually she may not, giving her the option is what's important. You can put a few perches on the outside of the cage too to give her someplace comfortable to sit if she decides to come out.

Be sure to ask if you have any questions after reading through the resources linked by FaeryBee above.

Best of luck and keep us posted!

Cheers 👋
exactly, for example, it only took me two days to tame my current budgie, Zakiya. But before Zakiya i had a pair of budgies and it took me around a month and a half to tame them. It really depends on the budgies personality.
 

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Please make sure to take a look at the information in this link if you have not already done so.
Essentials to a Great Cage

Moving her cage away from your bed over to your workspace is a good idea. I'd put the cage so she is facing your profile.
If you are talking to her as you work, it will be good for her to see your face and may actually encourage her to become more curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you everyone for your help. She now has all the essentials and at least one toy she's not terrified of. I think she likes her new cage since today she moved more than the last month altogether. She mostly fly from perch to perch but also seems to preen/scratch a lot.

However, she hasn't come out of her cage for a long time. I would like her to come out a bit and do some exercises but I don't want to force her out so I leave the cage open all day since I'm working/studying from home.

I still give her millet (that I hold with my hand on one end) and she really likes it. I do that a couple times a day, she hears me talk and everything. I tried to stimulate her by making a game where she has to do a little step to have 1 or 2 bites of millet and she seems to like it sometimes she does it without me saying "small step".

That being said, she is still very scared of my hand. I was wondering if the thing where you put your hand in the cage every now and then for 10 minutes without any treats and just do nothing helps? Does the timeline when you change the cage resets to day 0?

Also, she seems to be molting, because I find lots of small white feathers around and she scratches her head on her perches now. She sometimes starts squawking out of nowhere (for exemple I'm writing with some music on, mostly classical, and all of the sudden she just start squawking but nothing happen, like litterally nothing new haha) so I was wondering if maybe it was due to her molting or is it something else?

Finally, she likes to rips some pieces of her perch, is it normal? (non-toxic natural perches)

Thanks again!
 

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It sounds as though you are doing great with Dalie.

Yes, putting your hand in the cage and holding it still a few times a day will help Dalie get used to the idea that your hand will not harm her.

If she is scratching her head on her perches, she is getting ready to molt.
Nothing to worry about when Dalie starts squawking. Budgies simply like to make noise -- sometimes for no reason at all. LOL

Yes, budgies (especially females) love to tear and rip off pieces of toys and perches. This is normal and actually quite a good thing.
It keeps their beaks trim and strong. Shredding toys are especially important for Dalie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hello!

So Dali got used to her new cage and seems to be done with molting. She now stands at the end of her perch(closer to the door) instead of in the corner, so I guess we are slowly getting there.

She still doesnt really out, beside once every 3 days she will jump.out, fly next to.me then fly right back in her cage. I installed a couple of perches with some.millet around my room but I think she is still scared.

Im slowly shortening the distance between my hand and her when I feed her millet and she also comes a tiny bit closer and doesnt freak out anymore when I take my hand out of the cage.

That being said, I have to take care of my dog for like 2 days. As I said I was a dog trainer so he is very calm and gentle and really listens to.me haha. However I'm a bit concerned, if she sees him with me, could she associate me with the dog and be tromatised forever.

I dont really have a choice since family emergency so I was wondering if maybe I should just leave her be for those 2 days or if It could be beneficial.for her to see that I interact with another being and that hes calm around me.

Actually, I really dont know what to do haha so if anyome has some suggestions or experience I would really appreciate it.

Thanks again for.all the help!!
 
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