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Taming very scared budgie who saw 2 other budgies die

1011 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  iHeartPieds
Long version
My poor Hedwig has not had the best time in his (not 100% in gender) 4 months of life. We bought him to be a friend with an older budgie who was already tamed as I thought his behaviour had changed because he was lonely (I had to change his location in the house so he wasn't surrounded by people as much). Turns out his behaviour was most likely due to a tumour, and he died not long after we got Hedwig.

I had been putting my hand in Hedwigs cage and just resting it there for a while but then he hurt his wing and I had to hold him to stop the bleeding (pretty sure he just nicked a blood feather) and after that he was even more scared of me- flying around the cage and squaking even if I was nowhere near him. I decided to stop for a while and ended up buying another budgie to keep him company.

Nyx and Hedwig got along great, they were rarely not together. This did hinder the taming efforts and I still didn't get anywhere (Nyx was not as scared of me, but still very wary). This went on for about 3 and a bit months, but suddenly Nyx got sick and also died.

Hedwig is still very scared of me and I'm worried about what effects their deaths might have had on him. I also don't know if he is tameable- he is just so scared and it hurts me to see him like that!

Are there any suggestions on what I can do?

Short version
- Bought a budgie (Hedwig) to keep old budgie company
- Old budgie died
- Tried taming by putting hand in cage but no success
- Hedwig hurt itself, I had to hold him
- Hedwig even more terrified
- Bought Hedwig a friend (Nyx)
- Hedwig and Nyx got along great but taming did not progress
- After a few months Nyx also died
- Hedwig seems happy but still terrified of me
- Did any of this effect the ability to tame him and will he be okay?
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Hi! :welcome: to Talk Budgies

Taming and bonding is all about helping your budgie learn to trust you.
This is going to take time and patience on your part.

I would not recommend getting another budgie.
You need to have lots of one-on-one time with Hedwig on a regular and consistent basis.

When you are not with Hedwig, play music or the TV for him so he doesn't feel alone.
Budgies perceive silence during the daytime as meaning there is danger.

To build your budgie's trust, sit by his cage and read, talk or sing quietly to him for a period of at least 10-15 minutes, 3 or 4 times day. After the 2nd or 3rd day, rest your hand on the outside of the cage when you talk to him so he'll learn that your hand is safe and will not hurt him .

After a week, rest your hand inside the cage when you talk.
Don't make sudden moves, don't try to touch him .
Let him get used to the idea that the hand is now in his safe place and not harming him .

After 2 weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward your budgie. If he becomes agitated, stop moving your hand and just hold very still until he calms down. When he's comfortable with your hand near him , you can offer him a bit of millet or a few seeds. In a few more days, you can begin your taming and bonding sessions.

Always work at your budgie's pace.
Move slowly and talk reassuringly and calmly whenever you interact with him .

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Hi there and :welcome: to the forums!

You've been given great advice. Despite the difficulties that Hedwig has gone through, it is possible for you to earn his trust. Making sure to not proceed to the next step until after Hedwig is completely comfortable with the prior step as outlined above.

Meanwhile, be sure to read through the links provided above as they are filled with the very best practices for caring for budgies. If you have any questions after reading through the forums' many articles and stickies, be sure to ask!

We look forward to meeting Hedwig soon!

Cheers :wave:
If Hedwig is only 4 months old (or you've just had him four months) it's certainly possible to gain his trust and tame him. I agree with Deborah in not getting an other budgie right now and just focus in just always being calm around him and not trying to "get into his cage" with your hand. Pretend that he's a new budgie as in Deborah's post. Take it slow and maybe keep a log of goals and accomplishments. Play music or other background noise (TV) to keep him relaxed. If you send a photo we should be able tell you if it's "Hedwig" or "Hedwina" :) Good luck.
Considering you have had two budgies get sick and die within a short amount of time, I suggest you take Hedwig to an avian vet to ensure he isn't hiding some sort of illness.
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