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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone.

Me and my girlfriend decided to get a budgie (male) just over a year ago now and we managed to get him rather tame but then we decided to get another (male) to which also became rather tame. As time went on they became less and less interested in us and now we struggle to put them back in their cages once they have been out.

They will only come on our fingers to come out but once out wont come near us anymore. Do you have any advice on what we could do as we have already tried bribing them with millet and treats but come to no avail. Training them individually is impossible as they are only interested on what the other budgie is doing. We can't take them into separate rooms as we have a room dedicated for our birds due to a cat.

We have tried letting out just the budgies with none of our other birds but this makes no difference as they still just want to do their own thing.

A lot of people have said about clipping them but we are unsure about this as they have been able to fly since we got them. All the rest of our birds are extremely tame and love attention (climbing on us and getting scratches)
We would like the budgies to be the same instead of being excluded.

Should we clip them? What are your opinions on them being clipped? Is it possible to teach an old budgie new tricks?

Hope to hear back soon.
:budgie::budgie::budgie::budgie::budgie::budgie:

P.s Cool budgie smilie
 

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I wouldn't clip bird's living in a home that has a cat in it. I know you keep them separated but to me it's not worth the risk. I think you would have to spend a lot of time working with each bird in a seperate room one at a time, trying to restore the bond. I have four budgies that were hand tame when I got them but since making them into a flock that lives together, I don't have that bond anymore. They will eat treat's out of my hand, land on me when I am in their room, but I need to have treat's to get that attention. It's OK with me though because I enjoy watching them as a flock, and I have a tiel who is my tame buddy, like you have your other bird's. Let's see what kind of advice some of our other friend's may give you...:)
 

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I would definitely not recommend clipping their wings as they have always been fully flighted.
Losing that ability is likely to make them very stressed and depressed.

I would start using positive reinforcement methods to work with your budgies to get them used to a specific "routine" of going back into their cage.

I have two budgies neither of which are at all hand tame and they both know to go back to their cages when asked to do so.

To begin with, darken the room to the point you and the budgies can still see but they think it is twilight or dusk. Stand by their cage and ring a bell on one of the toys inside their cage. While you are doing this, talk to them reassuringly and tell them "It's time to go back in your own cage now." The first couple of times you try it, it may take 15 minutes or so before they comply. When they go into the cage, give them each a little millet ball treat with lots of praise.

Repeat this routine each and every time you want the budgies to return to their cage and always reward them with a treat and lots of praise when they perform the wanted behavior.

Over time, you'll find you know longer need to darken the room, then later you probably won't even need to ring the bell on the toy. :) At this time, I simply say to my boys, "It's time to go back in your own cage now". Granted, every so often they will "tease" me and act like they are going in and then go on top of the cage instead but within just a couple of minutes they'll go in like the well-behaved budgie boys they are. ;)

Good luck and let us know how it goes. :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nothing seems to be working. I have tried just holding my hand in their cage and letting them come to me but they just aren't interested. (Hand has millet on it)

I tried dimming the lights and calmly approached them but nothing. They just fly away.

I clipping a no? I think maybe i would be able to train them better if they are more reliant on me. Maybe they would learn to trust me that way?
 

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As I said in my previous post, I would definitely not recommend clipping their wings given they have always been fully flighted. Doing so would be very stressful for them and contribute to depression.

When you dim the lights, do not approach them.
It is best to entice them to come to you, as I explained.

The whole issue at this point in time is trust. The budgies have to learn to trust you all over again and that is going to take time and patience. :)

Take a look at the stickies at the top of our Training and Bonding section of the forum for some other tips regarding Positive Reinforcement Training.

http://talkbudgies.com/training-bonding/237105-using-positive-reinforcement-training.html

http://talkbudgies.com/training-bonding/265337-basics-clicker-training.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What should i use to get them to come to me? They just fly round the room. Not interested in me the slightest
 

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Do they like millet?

In addition to two untamed budgies and the process I use with them described in the previous post, I also have two untamed lovebirds that are given out-of-cage time every day (in a separate room).

My method with them follows:

When out of cage time begins, their flight cage is rolled into my bathroom where they have a lovely playgym, a bar in the window with toys and a bar that stretches across the room containing toys for their entertainment.

I remove their food and water dishes from the cage and open the door for them to come out.

When I'm ready for them to go back in their cage, I take sprig of millet no longer than 3-4" and I stand next to their flight cage holding it on with my arm resting on top of their cage.

When they land on the top of the cage to sample it, I let them have a few bites while I praise them and tell them what good birdies they are. Then I move the millet down the side of the cage and hold it just inside the door. They have a perch located right inside their cage so when they move down and step onto the perch then I hold the millet so they can eat some, and gently close the door of the cage as far as possible with my hand still inside.

After that, I remove my hand and feed each of them a couple of the small millet balls through the cage bars, again praising them for being good birdies.

Then I move their cage back in my bedroom and give them fresh water and their food dishes.

Everybirdie is happy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We have tried a lot now with our budgies but nothing seems to be working. They like millet but for some reason they are not interested when we have it.

I found the way to get them on my finger is to slowly approach them with one finger out to which about 10% of the time they will step up the rest of the time they will just fly away.

Once i have a budgie on my finger (10%) i will then try putting them into the cage which usually takes around 10 - 40 attempts.

It's getting to the point where i just don't want to let them out anymore which would be a shame because we have properly bird friendlied the room.

Pictures of our room.


 

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We have tried a lot now with our budgies but nothing seems to be working. They like millet but for some reason they are not interested when we have it.

I found the way to get them on my finger is to slowly approach them with one finger out to which about 10% of the time they will step up the rest of the time they will just fly away.

Once i have a budgie on my finger (10%) i will then try putting them into the cage which usually takes around 10 - 40 attempts.

It's getting to the point where i just don't want to let them out anymore which would be a shame because we have properly bird friendlied the room.

Pictures of our room.


wow the room, my budgie trust me by sitting on the finger but once i take her out she fly in the room for few seconds and go inside the cage. She eats millet from my hand. I dont have room like your dedicated for birds. I see you have lot of toys and perch a full setup for the bird which will make the cage bird very tempting to reside there instead of cage. I guess what you can do once they are out of cage just leave the cage door open and let them sit wherever they want, don't put them in cage by yourself. Eventually they will go back to their cage to eat and drink you know what i mean and this will become their habit to go inside the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The budgies are still not any tamer and it has got to the point now i just don't like letting them out there cage. :/
 

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The budgies are still not any tamer and it has got to the point now i just don't like letting them out there cage. :/
Please keep, keep trying. Its not fair to your budgies to never be let out :/

The same thing happened to me at first, I got one budgie then added another a couple months later, then more months later I got another one. For a while they didn't care about me at all but I tried to do something with them every day (like a small training session with a clicker once or twice a day).

Do this during their normal feeding times in the morning and evening, I find that my budgies do not want to train outside of these times. Eventually the whole flock likes to hang out with me (and on me lol) They are super tame now.

There are a few options you can try now:

1. Are you on pellets? If not, change over to pellets and when you're successful and made sure they're getting enough food, take the seeds away if you are feeding seed. Only give seed as a reward, this seems to motivate them greatly. Supplement with vegetables and fruits occassionally (I don't restrict these foods). If you are worried about them getting enough fats, wait until the end of the day when you get them inside their cage for the last time, then you can feed seed.

2. I used the tent method that was detailed by someone else here in the training section of the message board. Buy a small tent (must be small to force them closer to you) and only let your bird out in the tent. Sit inside the tent and do stuff, like play on your computer etc. and keep the flap closed so your birds have to hang out with you. At first you don't even need to do anything to your bird, just sit around. Eventually when you start seeing signs of them being interested in you again, start making them work for their treats. Science shows that all animals would rather work for a reward than just get the reward alone. Use a clicker for this, it makes a big difference for training. When they are rebonded to you again, you can get rid of the tent forever.

3. Develop a plan to slowly ease your birds into a bedtime routine, do this same routine every night to prepare them before you try to get them to step up to go back into the cage. If they are a bit stubborn, lure them with millet seed and keep them chomping on air until you put them back in the cage. Once they're in the cage, praise and give them the treat. That's how I taught my birds that going back in the cage was good.

Just as with dogs, you can show that going back in the cage is not bad by taking them into the cage, giving them a treat and then taking them back out, rinse and repeat until you notice them starting to get bored. Then they'll learn that they won't be trapped in the cage every time you decide to put them in.

Hope this helps you, I personally used all these techniques and saw good results. It will take a few months, but you have to keep at it. Just 10 mins in the morning and 10 mins in the evening/night can make a big difference in you and your budgies lives :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay so we have decided to have one last attempt at training our budgies. The plan now is to take them into our on-suite bathroom which is tiny (i can touch each wall with my arms out) and handle them there where they can't really get away from us. Hopefully this will be the beginning of re-gaining there trust.

So after the first time taking them in there it went rather well and we have now determined that the least trained budgie is pip, which is also the second one we got. Our other budgie Lola seemed to be the easiest to get on my finger and handle.

I will post images every now and again to show our progress. Here are some photos of the progress we have had today alone.






 

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Okay so we have decided to have one last attempt at training our budgies. The plan now is to take them into our on-suite bathroom which is tiny (i can touch each wall with my arms out) and handle them there where they can't really get away from us. Hopefully this will be the beginning of re-gaining there trust.

So after the first time taking them in there it went rather well and we have now determined that the least trained budgie is pip, which is also the second one we got. Our other budgie Lola seemed to be the easiest to get on my finger and handle.

I will post images every now and again to show our progress. Here are some photos of the progress we have had today alone.






Nice job! Good call choosing the bathroom, the floor will be super easy to clean too with all millet husks from training :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
We have been trying to train out budgies for quiet some time now and it was going well when we took them into a different room but back in the normal room they are back to normal. They wont come near us at all.

Don't know what to do with them. I just lose my temper following them round the room trying to get them back in their cage.
 

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Do they like millet?

In addition to two untamed budgies and the process I use with them described in the previous post, I also have two untamed lovebirds that are given out-of-cage time every day (in a separate room).

My method with them follows:

When out of cage time begins, their flight cage is rolled into my bathroom where they have a lovely playgym, a bar in the window with toys and a bar that stretches across the room containing toys for their entertainment.

I remove their food and water dishes from the cage and open the door for them to come out.

When I'm ready for them to go back in their cage, I take sprig of millet no longer than 3-4" and I stand next to their flight cage holding it on with my arm resting on top of their cage.

When they land on the top of the cage to sample it, I let them have a few bites while I praise them and tell them what good birdies they are. Then I move the millet down the side of the cage and hold it just inside the door. They have a perch located right inside their cage so when they move down and step onto the perch then I hold the millet so they can eat some, and gently close the door of the cage as far as possible with my hand still inside.

After that, I remove my hand and feed each of them a couple of the small millet balls through the cage bars, again praising them for being good birdies.

Then I move their cage back in my bedroom and give them fresh water and their food dishes.

Everybirdie is happy!
This sounds like a great method.
 

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My bird was never interested in millet either. Try to set up a regular bed time for them, then allow them to come out an hour or two before that bed time, they'll go back in when it's time to settle down, praise them and give millet or a treat they enjoy.

Try a perch instead of your hand if they don't like stepping up. If my bird's being particularly picky I'll close the cage door, not being able to get in when they want seems to make it a much for exciting place.

Finally have you tried cleaning/ moving toys/perches around when you what them to go back in? That seems to spark curiosity in my bird and she flies in to have a look around while I'm moving things.
 
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