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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All!

I've decided to start a training journal for Rebel to track her progress even though I have been working with her for almost 2 months now. I think it will be good for me to see how far she has come and possibly get some feed back on good ways to move forward.

But first a little history:

8/4/15 - The day we met!

I work in an office that is attached to a warehouse and I was sitting at my desk in the office when one of my coworkers urged me to come outside to look at this random bird. I didn't think anything of it at first, but she was so pretty! i didn't even know what kind of bird she was! I figured she was hot and wanted some water so I let her into the office and she immediately jumped on my desk! that's when I first bonded with her. I took her to a wildlife rescue that day not knowing what to do with but as soon as I dropped her off I immediately wanted to go back and get her. In hind sight I should have just taken her home, but I needed time to research budgies and to get a cage set up.

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8/06/15 - 8/15/15 - New Beginings

Rebel took her time settling in. She was very timid and spent most of her time sitting in the corner. She didn't start to chirp until I started playing budgie sounds for her on youtube. After a few days she would start to chip when i sat next to her to talk with her. I figured that was a good sign!

8/16/15 - The Mirror

After about a week of me sitting by her cage and reading to her, she seemed to have calmed down quite bit, but she wouldn't touch her toys or treats. That's when I decided to get her a mirror. I remembered that there was a reflective surface (almost like a mirror) in my office and she loved it! I put the mirror in her cage and she immediately went to it! but after a couple days I noticed she was spending all her time with it and she would sit on it with her whole body pressed against it for HOURS and she would occasionally be aggressive towards the mirror. That's when I decided the mirror needed to go Bye- Bye. She was a little sad about it:
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8/17/15 - 8/31/15
This was a weird period as far as training goes. I would try to be consistent with her and sit by her cage at the same times of day and anytime I would put my hand up to her cage she wold look at it but would mostly go about her business so i thought I would try putting my hand in the cage. The first day i left it in there for about 10 min. and she seemed totally fine. The second day I did it again and she somehow managed to fly out of the cage!

I think this was pretty traumatic for her! she flew into every wall in the room and it took her a while before she settled down. I decided to leave her be for about an hour and took that opportunity to scrub down her cage completely. She sat in my hallway for about an hour. I tried handing her millet and other treats and water but i think she was terrified and wouldn't move. Eventually I have to get her back in the cage which I was dreading. I was able to catch her using a cloth to cover my hand and a clear plastic bowl on top of her. I feel really bad about this and I know it scared the poop out of her, but it was the only way I was able to do it. She attached my hand (in the cloth) and kept biting until she was back in her cage.

9/1/15 - 9/15/15 - Taking a Break
I pretty much left her alone for a week and figured that I had been too anxious to train her. during this period she really started to respond to the sound of my voice!

9/16/15 - 9/19/15 - Let's try this again!
I started reading to her again regularly and she really responded! she would chirp and **** her head at me and even seemed to anticipate when I would come spend time with her again! I tried simply putting my hand up against the cage, but she didn't really seem to react to it at all. I decided not to try to put my hand in her cage until I had earned her trust.

9/20/15 - I think she's ready now!
I had put a string of Millet in her cage, but she hadn't touched it at all for a week. One day I came home from work and there were seed shells everywhere! she had eaten the entire spray! That's when I knew I had a bargaining tool! Since she was already used to me putting my hand up to the cage, I took a small piece of millet in my hand and stuck it between the bars to see if she would come get it. The first couple of times she would just look in my direct. then the next couple of times she would movie in my direction. Finally I had some luck and she ate it! I continued with this for a few days, several times a day. That's when i started using the command "Rebel, Come here" to let her know that something good was coming. From that point on whenever I would use the command she would perk up and look at me.

9/24/15 - Making progress
Since she was doing so well eating from my hand while it was outside the cage I decided to try putting my in the cage with the millet. I held it up to her and she got scared and ran away a couple times. I decided to back off. I figured it would be easier if i placed my hand in her cage, but kept it at the edge of the cage where i had previously been feeding her. we kept this up for a couple days and it seemed. to work.

9/30/15 - getting closer!
Finally it was time to try putting my hand in the cage with millet up to her perch. She likes to hide back in the corner of her cage still, but when she sees the millet and hears the command she comes to my hand and eats!

10/1/15 - 9/6/15 Real Progress
Now that she is sitting on her perch where she is accessible to me and eating from my hand, its time to see if she will perch on my finger. With my middle finger and thumb i hold a long piece of millet and extend my forefinger under her belly. At first i tried pushing gently on her belly, but she didn't like that and would back up from me, but she would always come back for for millet, she just didn't want me touching her haha. but eventually she would just let me rest my finger under her belly and let me gently touch her feet. That's when i knew she was comfortable enough for me to start moving the treat further away. AT first she would only put one foot on me, but the more comfortable she got the more she trusted me. FINALLY she put both feet on my finger!! after she learned to do that we started with the "step up" command and she learned that extremely fast!

now she will fully perch on my finger and come when called! BUT only when I have millet in my hand. The next step is to get her to step up without treats.
 

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What a wonderful story. Your progress with her is going well and is an inspiration for all new bird owners trying to tame a newbie. Keep up the good work and I for one will be following your training, and don't forget pic's...:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the support and well wishes! I've been reading some of the other journals for training ideas and Rebel and I have started a new plan. I am placing my hand in the cage next to her and each time she looks at my hand or gives some kind of positive body language I give her a small treat. This method has been a bit hit or miss depending on her mood.

Usually after doing this consistently for about 10 min, she'll start to come up to my hand and nibble at it a bit. I cant tell if she is asking me for a treat or if she is telling me to move my hand awayaway. If anyone has any input would be greatly appreciated!

Then after she nibbles at me, the next time I put my hand in the cage she moves away. So it seems like it's two steps forward, one step back. Thoughts?
 

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Just keep trying, talk to her, be very easy with her, don't push her. Some days will seem like a leap backwards, others will be super great. Each bird is different, my Sweetie will do almost anything first try whereas my Lemon is overly cautious and it can take months before she'll attempt anything new.
You're doing great, don't give up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey everyone, Rebel has been doing pretty well with her training. She will now eat her regular food out of my hand instead of just Millett. Still trying to get to a point where she will come to me without a reward, but I can tell it's going to be a long process. Despite this , I think it may be time to try to get her to come out of her cage since I feel pretty confident that I could get her back in with treats. Updates soon!
 

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Rebel is a lovely budgie, I am sure she will be very happy and you will get a great budgie friend to have and interact with. does she have any toys to play with? Bells, things that make a noise or roll are good my guys love the little cat balls, or bottle tops!. Keep on with the journey I am loving following your story.:clap:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Everyone :)

I've had some luck with Rebel lately but it still feels like i take one step forward and two steps back!

I was able to get her out of her cage, which she seemed to enjoy though she is a very cautious bird. She flew around for a while and would perch but not play with any of the toys I laid out for her. It took me about an hour to convince her to jump on my finger (even with the help of a lot of millet) so I could get her back in her cage!

I waited a couple of days and then tried to get her out of the cage again, but she wasn't having it. Not that I blame her. it was a rainy day and she gets a bit moody when the weathers not good.

Hoping to try again tonight!
Heres some photos from her time out of the cage :)
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Your story is encouraging. I found a budgie in my backyard, feeding at the wild bird feeder a month ago. I have been trying very hard to bond with the bird but she doesn't want anything to do with me right now. She is very wild. She tries to escape out of her cage. I will continue to work with her as you have. Some days it seems she likes to hear me talk to her and others not so much. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey guys! thanks again for all the encouraging words! Things have been going really well with Rebel. She now comes to my hand enthusiastically instead of hesitating. a couple times she has gotten so excited that she missed her footing and fell off my hand lol. I took her out of the cage again and it was so much easier this time. She played on her play gym for a little while because I put her disco ball on it for her to play with. Its her favorite toy. And it was much easier to get her back in the cage. Only took me about 15 min. instead of an hour like last time. The key to all of this I have discovered is lots and lots of patience and also just waiting for her to be in a good mood and also not expecting good results from training. I feel like when my expectations were too high I was tense and then caused her to be tense as well. With my Rebel is best just to relax. I'll post more pics soon of our out of cage adventures!
 

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I don't know what most opinions are on clipping wings but when I got my budgie her wings were clipped which, in my opinion, made training much easier and I think safer for my girl. I was able to work with her without her flying out of my reach and without her flying into things and hurting herself. And she gradually got her flight capability back and she's now able to maneuver around my house gracefully. Seeing that you've had your budgie for a bit now and made a lot of progress, I would be fearful that someone handling her to clip her wings would set her back!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't know what most opinions are on clipping wings but when I got my budgie her wings were clipped which, in my opinion, made training much easier and I think safer for my girl. I was able to work with her without her flying out of my reach and without her flying into things and hurting herself. And she gradually got her flight capability back and she's now able to maneuver around my house gracefully. Seeing that you've had your budgie for a bit now and made a lot of progress, I would be fearful that someone handling her to clip her wings would set her back!?
Though I'm not personally a fan of wing clipping I can definitely see an advantage to having a budgies wings clipped early on to help with training. At this point for Rebel I feel like it might set her back, as she can already fly around as she likes. Theres also the fact that she still wont let me touch her unless I have a treat in my hand :)
 

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You are making progress, nothing wrong with a little treat to help her remember your not the enemy...:)
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You guys! Rebel made some great progress last night :)

I brought her out of the cage and was able to place her on her play gym without her flying away suddenly. She played with her disco ball and sat on my finger. She flew around a bit more gracefully this time and hardly bumped into any walls lol.

The best part is that I was able to spend a lot of time with her training with the "step up" command trying to get her to do it without treats is still proving difficult. But i started hiding the treat behind my back so at least she cant see it when she steps up. of course i give her a few nibbles when she preforms. we also got to work on "step down as well" She stayed out for about 2 hours and didn't really seem to want to go back in lol. I put her back in her cage and as I was about to put the roof back on she jumped out and went for another lap around the room lol.

It makes me so happy seeing her finally a bit settled into her new home:budgie::budgie::budgie:
 
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