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My Budgie Hates Being Held

1660 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  NewBudgieLover
I've had my budgie, Haven, (female) for almost a year now. She used to be very social and let people hold her all the time. After about a month, she started pecking my finger when I held her. I looked it up and trained her out of it. Now she hates being held, and has for months. I have been trying to train her out of it, but she hides when I reach into her cage, and avoids my hand, and anyone else's, at all cost.
I keep her in my bedroom, which I spend a fair amount of time in, being homeschooled. Most of the time I am reading or painting, (I am 15). She just hangs out in her cage, playing with her toys. Bells are her favorite. Anyway, I am a little worried about her lack of being social. Sometimes she chirps and flaps her wings, and I worry she is lonely.
There are two things I am thinking of. One is I could move her into a different room where she would get more human interaction. My dog used to be able to get downstairs, which is why she is in my bedroom in the first place. Now my dog can't, because we put up an electric fence. So I can move her to any room in our large, finished basement that we spend a lot of time in.
My second idea is to get another parakeet. I've read that it would have to be a boy, because females fight amongst themselves apparently. So, if I can't train her out of her skittishness, would it be better to get another bird so at least she isn't lonely? Or should I just keep trying to train her to like human interaction more? I also had the idea to get another cage to keep the second parakeet in, and they could stay in separate rooms until I had trained the second parakeet to be social, then put them together? Would the second parakeet rub off on Haven and make her more outgoing?
Sorry this is so longwinded. I would love some advice! And hopefully not too expensive ones. XD My limit is probably less than $100, being an average teenager. Thanks in advance!
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Hi there and :welcome: to the forums :yay:

We're glad to have you on the forums! There's a lot of information on the best budgie practices and care around here, so please be sure to review the many articles and "stickies" (threads "stuck" to the top of each subforum for easy reference) to ensure you're up to date on everything. If you have any questions after doing so, please be sure to ask as we'd be happy to help.

Now, back to Haven - first, budgies actually don't like being held. When she was younger, she complied with being held (do you mean sitting on people's hands or actually being held in your hand?), but now she's more independent and since you always insisted on holding her, she grew to not like your hand in the cage. Her cage is her "safe space" and you should NOT invade her privacy by reaching into her cage, especially since she's so averse to it. It will lead to skittishness and she won't want to come out of her cage at all, and any trust you may have built with her over the years will be even more broken :(

I think you should take this approach:

First, you have to show her that your hand isn't a threat, and isn't going to make her do something she doesn't want to do. If you offer her a food she likes or some millet (sparingly!) through the cage bars, when she comes over to eat it, praise her extensively and tell her what a good girl she is. When she does this readily you can rest your hand next to her cage until she's not bothered by that, and finally putting your hand on the cage bars with no food just to show her that you're not going to try and grab her.

Second, to get her to be more social, she's going to have to enjoy spending time with you - touching a budgie is not at all the only way to interact with them, and in fact, is probably the least ideal ;) Instead, read to her, talk out loud to her, play quiet music and sit with her, etc. She'll see you as a member of her flock instead of as a potential threat.

I don't think you should get another budgie at this time. Even if you did, there's no guarantee that they would get along. Additionally, a new budgie means you'd have to have space for quarantine, you'd have to get a much larger cage (which is probably about $100 already!) and be financially prepared to pay for any unexpected vet bills, etc.

Also, girls can get along with each other! Many people think it's a rule that female budgies fight (and this is the information that's perpetuated around the internet) but in fact many females live together quite well. It's mostly related to their personalities :)

I think that you can rebuild your relationship with Haven if you take a different approach. I think that she'll come out of her shell more if you do!

Here's a few threads you might find interesting:

Please keep us posted on how things are going! We hope to see you around :wave:
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StarlingWings has given you EXCELLENT advice and I agree with her 100%!

Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.

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.

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.

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Hm.. I think maybe getting another budgie might make it worse, right? Then they might pay less attention to you since budgies like their own kind more then humans unless they were hand tamed. At least, that's what I've learned from what I researched. However it would probably depend on the budgie you got, right?
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