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· Registered
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am seeking advice about how to teach a one-legged budgie to ‘step up’ (or hop onto my finger or hand).

I have a budgie I got three weeks ago who is about ten weeks old. He had a badly injured foot when I got him, which turned out to be a broken bone that had become infected and needed to be amputated, and he was also malnourished (probably due to his injury). He has recovered from the amputation well now and gained weight, and the avian vet has given him the all clear to be out of his cage and to interact with my other budgie.

He wasn’t hand raised but he doesn’t seem to be scared of me (which is surprising because I had to grab him twice a day for ten days to give him medication, which he hated). However, when he tries to land on my finger or hand or shoulder he usually falls straight off. Is there anything I can do to make my hand or shoulder an easier landing spot for him?

Ideally I’m hoping to teach him to hop up onto my finger or hand, but I have no idea how to go about it. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that he can hop from one place to another - anytime he wants to move somewhere he’ll fly there, even if it’s just to move a few centimetres along a perch.

I’d be grateful for any tips! :)

· Administrator
60,475 Posts
Hi, Welcome to Talk Budgies!

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

Locating an Avian Veterinarian

Thank you for rescuing this little budgie and giving him the love and care he needs to survive and flourish!

Since he has only one leg, it is going to be harder for him to balance. Please make sure you have platform perches (in addition to other wooden perches of varying diameters) in his cage so he has a place he can rest on his tummy when his leg gets tired.

As your budgie is disabled, he is going to be more submissive to you because he has no choice.
This means you will have to be aware of when he wants to be left alone and respect his space at that time.

To teach him to step up, I recommend using your hand flattened, palm up with a bit of millet on your palm.
Show him the millet ball and maybe let him have a tiny taste.
Put your hand a just a couple of inches away from him and allow him to hop over to it when he feels comfortable enough to do so.

Make sure you wear clothing he can easily hold onto if he lands on your shoulder. Stay away from "slick" materials as they will be hard for him to grip.

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

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Additionally, please be sure to read the thread "Posting on the Forums" which is linked below.

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.
(Stickies are threads “stuck” at the top of each forum sub-section)
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.

Posting on the Forums
Let's Talk Budgies!
Be Prepared for Veterinary Care Expense
Avian First Aid
Quarantine - Is it Really that Important?
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Tips For Discouraging Breeding
Before You Ever Consider Breeding Your Budgies
Guidance for Breeding Advice Threads
Cage sizes.
Essentials to a Great Cage
Dangers to Pet Birds
Resource Directory

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· Registered
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi FaeryBee, thank you so much for your advice. It hadn’t occurred to me that he’d be more submissive, so I’ll make sure I remember that with him. And I’ll make sure to wear something over my shoulders that’s easy for him to hang on to.
He isn’t very motivated by millet, but I’ll keep trying. I’ve noticed that he’s started copying and following my other budgie more, and today he flew to land on my hand following the other one. So maybe he’ll learn that way in time.
I appreciate your advice, thank you!

· Super Moderator
20,042 Posts
Hi there and welcome to the forums!

You've been given great advice by FaeryBee and I have nothing else to add other than how lovely it is to hear that you're doing such a great job to try and give your little one the best chance at life! I hope we get to meet him soon :)

Meanwhile, the links above will also be helpful in not only showing you around the forums but also staying updated on the best of budgie care practices!

If you have any questions after reading through things, please be sure to ask as we'd love to help.

Hope to see you around and hear more about your little budgie soon! 👋

· Registered
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you StarlingWings! 😊
He’s going well. Not a lot of progress with stepping/hopping onto my hand, but he’ll land on my hand if I’ve got seed. It’s easy to entice him into his cage with a bit of millet when need be, so we’ll be fine even if he never learns to come to my hand without a seed-bribe.
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