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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a bit late, but gonna start a journal for Topi today -- I'll keep it to date with any and all progress, cuteness, notes to self, etc.

First, shopping list for payday -- Clicker, new toys, some kind of swing perch I can hang from the ceiling, some seed to further diversify the diet -- using a pellet based food called Tropical Carnical with whatever veggie/fruit I'm eating that day, or rice or potatoes or whatever, and a small amount (about 1cm-ish) of millet each day -- and, some kind of playground would be nice but outside my budget for a few more weeks, keep in mind tho.

So, having had Topi since Feb 12 (tho I'm sure than anniversary will end up becoming Valentine's in my memory over time) I've gotten concerned I misinterpreted training. And, the videos and two days I've had since I got that concern kinda verified it. All the tutorials in text are probably referring to training sessions that happen more than once or twice a day -- I ehh, didn't get that. I also dramatically over-estimated how slow and cautious I should be.

So, The previous two weeks can be summed upped as these milestones:

1: Calmed down in general, started eating and drinking, chirping some, and letting me change food/water without being afraid.
2: sorta..almost..not really taught him 'step up' - cause doing it wrong
3: He learned he -really- likes Millet after refusing to eat it for like a week.
4: Can change the paper without freaking him out by pulling out the bottom tray of the cage.
And that's kinda it. . . .

Yesterday -

Redid 'step up' from scratch with a perch, both to step onto the perch I'm holding at command, without actually touching him, and figured out you can use the same darn command to make him get back onto a perch in the cage.
Key differences here -- didn't move so impossibly slow, and repeated the thing many times for five minutes, waited an hour, did it again, repeated twice more.
-- before I was only doing it to one success, a couple times a day, worried I'd scare him >.>

Today -

Started with just a perch, but successfully moved to the finger today. Did two more rounds, not using the perch at all for the third (and each an hour apart) and went pretty well. He was definitely nervous, but again, it did go pretty well. Then, perhaps overestimating the chances he'd let me put him back, I left the cage open for a few hours and he flew out.

He flew around, scared me a bit when he hit the wall a little hard, perched on my teapot for a bit, flew around some more, perched on a sake bottle, flew around some more, you get the idea. About an hour later I approached with a perch, he flew away and I stayed with the perch where he had been perched, and he came back and landed right beside it, waited for a bit, he flew around again, but after a couple minutes/circuits he stopped and got on the perch quite nicely and let me take him back into the cage -- I put him back, did "step up" a couple times, fed him some millet (from the spray, he still don't quite want to eat of my hand, gonna work on that next).

So, no 'tricks' just yet, but things are going well.

Also, what I find interesting is that he's started to like, nibble at the perch I'm holding, or a little at my finger (don't think it's a bite) -- since the first time I saw him do this to anything it was his new nice, apparently edible perch after I had him for the first few days, I'm taking it as a possibly good sign >.>.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can't decide if he's trying to play or just weirdly afraid of me when he's being active. Like, he'll start flapping in the cage (enough to shake the perch! powerful little guy) or climb into the hoop perch, flip upside down, bite the perch below, drop, hang from his beak and then drop to the bottom of the cage, and all sorts of little acrobatic stunts, sooo cute!

But anyway, if I put my hand in (without a perch) he'll start climbing around the cage, never flying away, and never moving that much faster than my hand or doing the things he did when he was clearly afraid of me, and if I put a perch in he'll hop onto it, turn around, hop back onto on of the fixed ones, wait for me to bring the perch back, do it again -- and this is why I think he's just playing around.

Also, I put back the hanging swing perch I took out early on and put it back (he kept hitting it when he'd freak out the first few days) -- he loves it, biting it from the perch in the middle of the cage and swinging it, flying into it and riding the swinging, pecking/biting the bells on the corner, hanging upside down and rocking it -- it also seems to have stopped him from biting the plastic holder for his cuttle-bone (he doesn't give the bone itself much attention) -- which is good because if the thing starts showing damage I planned to take it out (plastic is not food).

I'm thinking active but in the cage is just the wrong time for any kind of training. Thus, I just put some millet on his cage door to try and deliberately entice him out this time (quite confident I can get him back with or without a perch after doing it a second time yesterday) I want him quite acclimated to being outside the cage, so I can get him some better toys than his cage has room for (tho it is as large a cage as I have a place for (2.5x3x3 ps4 game case heights, whatever that is in normal measures XD)) and maybe test the theory that training will work better outside, and mostly it just seems way better for his health (and most resources agree) for him to be able to fly around and exercise himself, hang out with me more, get all sorts of new and interesting perch types/locations . .. tho I learned yesterday I have some places he'll want to fly to that are hard to do so safely (I have moved a lot of mason jars and things to cupboards now), I can safety the room for him as I notice threats, and think I dealt with most of them just from seeing the most obvious type -- lots of things bigger than him gathered around where he can get between them and possibly hurt his wings trying to fly in and out.

I really need to get a video of him goofing off, but every time I get the phone picked up and on camera, he stops to stare at me, like he knows >.>
 

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Hello your little one sounds as though he is doing beautifully.
When he has out of cage time, make sure the windows are covered with curtains or a sheet temporarily.
Close all doors, do not have fans on, stoves on, hot water taps, kettles, Budgies will fly to the highest point usually and perch.
Keep working on the step up. Getting play gym or making your own is an excellent idea placing it where he can see it and he will in time land there.
http://talkbudgies.com/artticles-budgie-training-bonding/315073-positive-reinforcement-training.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips -- yeah, I turned the mirror around, and the windows are actually always covered. My room is where I spend all my time and nobody ever uses the outside door in here but me, so that kind of safety is taken care of.

He does indeed fly up to some of the highest points - the taller two bookshelves, top of his cage, heck, the managed to clamp on to a poster right by the ceiling XD

He doesn't leave his cage much yet with the door open all day, just twice today, and he went back on his own after a time. I had some nice interaction with him when he was out tho, he stayed in a bookshelf for a while before I did 'step up' and he got on my finger, did the stairs for a while, then he must've got bored cause he flew around and landed back in front of me,
I had him step up once more, gave him some millet (he's eating from a quite small sprig now, and while touching my hand, but not directly from the hand) and let him go about his business.
The way he gets back in quite cute, he hangs upside down from the door and flies to his favorite perch.
That said, especially in the cage 'step up' with my hand is quite hit and miss, but with the perch he consistently does it as soon as I say it, and even if he has to step a fair bit forward now.

Goals:
Get 'step up' with hand to the same consistency and comfort as the perch is (the perch is a couple weeks in use tho, prepared for it to take a week or two, maybe three)

Get him eating millet directly from a little bulb and/or my palm without having to have a larger sprig so I can reach it up to his beak while he stands on my pinky -- for the obvious bonding reason, but also, making my hand do that hurts :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Kay so I have a figure of the big boss dragon from Skryim -- check the adorbs



P.S. -- in keeping with my noticing dangerous palces he could get into -- a that mason jar and the wine bottles are pushed very close together, most of the random ones lying about the room are put away. If he has any further issue with them, then they'll get put up as well. And...I guess I should just throw the febreeze out since I can't use it anymore.

Update: I couldn't get to my phone, but success with shoulder perching not long after this, he sat there for a good 10 minutes, I went to give him some millet and he treated it as a perch, realized it wasn't a good one and flew away for a short while before returning to his cage -- which I'ma take as "That's enough for today giant.".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was working infant toys today and I think I'm gonna appropriate some for Topi -- soft plastics, bells and rattles, movable parts small things can't get caught in -- something safe for a newborn should be safe enough for a bird.

Also -- thoughts on leaving parakeet sounds, vs nature sounds that don't include parakeets, vs music for your parakeet when you're at work/asleep?

I turn on some bird noises sometimes, but I can't tell if I'm just being mean or if he likes it. He seems excited sure enough, but that might be bad since there are no other birdies. Mostly I leave him with soft-ish music and instrumental music set fairly low while I'm gone or sleeping. When I'm here he gets whatever I'm watching -- so much VlogBrothers in the first few days I had him, he chirps along with John and Hank every time now. Super cute. . .

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
So this week went by fast :p -- I got topi a new ladder that I stretched from his food bowl up to his cuttlebone (and an easy hop from his favourite perch) -- he seems to like it. Actually, he also likes to go under it, I gave him another shredder cube (with confetti-like paper in it?) and he's pushed it under the ladder. I also picked up a blue sphere grid thing, it's uh...let me just take a foto.



That blue thing -- I'm thinking I need some kind of play area I can put him in where he can walk around and interact with things instead of just flying around (so he can play with things like this) -- he's clearly clever enough to figure out what a toy is, landed on this straight of the cage tonight (unfortunate, since it was just sitting around and rolled out from under him, thus putting it on the teapot hee hee), had to put him back on it myself after that to teach him it is safe now, but he seems comfy up there.

Also, update on our bond -- He'll let me hold him on a finger-perch for however long, and accidentally brushing against his neck I noticed he does seem to like a little scruffing around the neck (well, he kinda elongates his neck and leans in to it anyway, seems to like it). Gonna work on the shoulder a bit, but I need to catch him when he's in the mood for some millet, since I'm off today and I know he ate 20 minutes ago, I'ma try in about 2 hours.

Also, he doesn't come out of the cage for budgie sounds anymore, he seems to have figured it out -- but, he lets me take him out no contest if I have him do step up a couple times, give him a nibble of millet, and then just take him out. So no longer need to trick him into exercising.

Oh, and I got him some cilantro yesterday, first food I've offered he took with no hesitation, he ate all of it straight off, so I'll be putting a little of that in his bowl now as well (well, some days, other stuff on others).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Topi seems miffed



He's also really hyper and fussing with the cage -- might be because of Haku -- but yer staying separate for now boy-o :p



But I gave him a snack after some time together and he'd been good for several minuted -- even if he is miffed (came to me when I opened the cage and nipped me, rude birdie!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So -- I learned that Topi has about the same taste in music (with me singing anyway) as my baby sister XD -- I was singing "Du Liegst mir im Herzen" (lullaby version, not the polka) and he started chattering away, so I picked some other songs that are about the same pace and sound profile and yeapper, he seems to like that a lot. n.n.

I'm so glad to have found something new to bond over after the past week or so (I have another post about that, since its mostly about Haku). So I'm just sharing my warm fuzzies hee hee.
 

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:albino: hi there topi,he's a beautiful budgie.love the photos and thanks so much for all the updates.blessings.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Things have settled into a new paradigm soi I'll update:

Topi loves Haku -- Topi has fully unlearned all our bonding. He won't step up, not even onto a perch, he won't even take millet from a spray I'm holding let alone a small bulb or my hand.

However -- Topi will come out if I leave the door open, and it doesn't take too much to get him back in (put in fresh seed and use a perch)

He may not really be my little buddie the way he was, but he makes Haku a lot happier and calmer, and he seems fine, so I don't mind starting from square one again, or even if he'll never be properly tame. I won't give up, but losing sooo much progress so quickly, and only seeing it get worse over a couple weeks, well, it gets frustrating to have much in the way of expectations, so it's best to curb back to the minimum viable state -- what makes me happy to have him around? Watching him fly around is enough, so I'll leave my expectations at that.

That said -- expectations and aspirations aren't the same thing :p He'll continue to get full taming attention from me, after all, nowhere to go from what appear to be rock-bottom interrelations (and I expect are really just a strong preference for the company of actual budgies).
 
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