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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is sort of a progress...

On 15 May Pepe flew into my house and was simply too starved to care about where the food was. She ate grains off my hand, I thought she was tame but turns out she was actually quite afraid of humans and hands. After she was no longer hungry she definitely panicked and because we had to bring her to the vet for checkups, we had to grab her into a portable cage.

We went from:
Panicked bird who is terrified every morning when I clean the cage
Still bird who is scared of any fast movements when I clean the cage
Curious bird who watches how I clean the cage
Playful bird who is unbothered by my hand in the cage

Yesterday, I tried to hand feed her with romaine lettuce, she actually nipped a bit at it. Tried millet (she doesn't recognize millet in the stalk form), she also nipped at it. I feel this is really a huge progress and all the chapters of Harry Potter I've read to her is well worth it. I'm actually going to try apples today because I think fruits are like treats more than vegetables.

I'm glad that Pepe is young enough to want to try all kinds of food. When she discovered fresh vegetables, she definitely became more trusting and playful.

She is still a very cautious bird, I think it's her nature, but she's also a very curious bird.

Obligatory acrobat budgie picture:
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Edit: Apples worked, Pepe ate off my hand for the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Day 2 of apples, she came to eat the apples after around 10 seconds of hesitation, and found flinging apple bits more fun than eating. After feeding her, I ate one of the remaining slices and she actually flew to me to investigate what I was eating. More apple bits flinging after I hand fed her another slice.

Tried millet today as well, looks like she recognizes my hand as a food source, she also tried it and finally realized that it's food. I feel like there's more progress today, I'm going to see if she will come to my hand instead tomorrow, and if she would perch on my fingers.

Obligatory Pepe with her favorite swing:
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Day 3, I tried melons (honeydew, rock melon and papaya), but she's not really interested in them, I guess I will go back to apples for her fruit needs. I tried fresh bok choy and she loved it, be it eating or simply shredding them. She is more receptive to my hand now, coming immediately to the vegetable when I offered her, she also pecked at my hand for the first time.

I also tried a bit of millet spray, like around 1 1/2 inches was offered, she devoured it and even considered climbing to my finger to the rest that I held. A foot was placed there then she moved away.

She also started flying a lot more in the cage, coming to the front of the cage to investigate a new swing I added for her. There's two swings in the cage now, the older swing is hanging off a short branch, she found it fun to knock it off for attention. Her more playful side is coming out now and she does this chattering sound when she "attacks" the bells in the cage.

Obligatory bok choy munching budgie:
257051
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Day 4, more bok choy and she went through like 6 leaves in total, in fact, she loved it so much, she even ate from my husband's hand (as I am the primary caregiver, she's usually more afraid of his hands). When I spoke to her today, she flew to the front of the cage to look at me. Very playful bird today, knocked the swing off again twice today. To discourage the behavior, I did not reattach the swing immediately, but waited for around 1/2 an hour before doing so.

Tried long beans today, she nipped at it (she's now very ready to try whatever I offer with my hands), but didn't seem to like it. Also offered around 1 1/2 inch of millet today again, this time round she's more assertive in making sure things don't move - she put her foot on the millet while she attacked it.

I'm trying to keep this running for a week or so before I attempt to see if she would come onto my hand. Tomorrow, I'm trying blueberries!

Obligatory bok choy budgie:
257056
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like you are making great progress, 6 leaves of bok choy is a lot at one time, don't be surprised if the droppings become a bit loose.
Thank you for the advice! I don't think she ate all of them though, she was shredding them as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Day 5, when necessity became the mother of ingenuity.

There's this sound she makes after drinking water when water gets into her nose. Today, after eating a slice of asian pear, she did a series of that sound and I was like, what if we needed to bring her to the vet? I don't want to grab her. I am also concerned that she is having a cold or something, although I see no difference in her behavior, diet and activity. She still flew around in her cage, chattered with the music, knocked her swing off 3 times, preened herself, she still had good appetite, her tail was not moving oddly either. (Husband says I'm overly concerned.)

I will be observing her throughout today and tomorrow to make sure she's actually not sick. The avian vet will be available tomorrow if I do need to bring her there.

So anyway, in preparation for that, we tested to see if she would perch on our hands with millet spray (so that we can transfer her to the smaller transportation cage). My husband tried it first.

One foot down, moved away.
One foot down, eat, two feet down, eat, move away.
Then she would hop down onto his hand, eat one or two, and hop away.

So I decided to try myself.

One foot down, eat, two feet down, and she stayed to eat.
When I shifted the millet spray a bit, she flew back to her perch, saw the new side of the millet, she flew back to my hand and stayed there for a good minute cleaning up that side of the millet.

So I guess this works out well?

Obligatory budgie on hand eating millet spray:
257061


Food hand fed today:
1 thin slice of asian pair
1/2 a blueberry (she didn't eat much of that, pecked at it and didn't want it anymore)
3 pieces of bok choy
2 1/2 inches of millet spray
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Day 6, Pepe came willingly to test the sliced carrots I held today, but didn't seem to want to eat it. I left it next to her food bowl and she actually touched it after a while, so that's great. Just 1 inch of spray millet was tested, on my palm and not near her, to see if she would come over willingly. She hesitated then thought about how to get over, and hopped her way over. She ate it and picked until it fell, flew away when I reached in to pick it up, and flew back to it after it's placed on my palm. She finished the millet.

Later on, she ate more bok choy off my hand and on her own accord.

I wanted to see if she would be afraid of my hand, so without holding any food, I placed 2 fingers on her favorite perch, while talking to her. She came over, curious and started pecking my fingers. When I removed my fingers off the perch, she did not seem to be afraid of the finger movement, and continued to peck at my knuckles. So I guess the hand's not that scary to her anymore?

No pictures today. She seemed to find knocking off the swing really fun because she would bob her head after she does it.

I would want to clarify one thing: Before I started the food on hands, I did around 3 weeks of daily Harry Potter chapters, 2 weeks of hand in cage while talking to her, and really did everything SLOWLY when she was afraid of my hand, and I don't do any fast movements with her still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Day 7, today is shower day, so I sprayed her with the spray bottle, which she seemed to enjoy. While drying, as per usual, I'll read her a chapter of Harry Potter. I don't think she has a cold but I will just be really watchful (I guess I'm just paranoid).

After I brought her into the study, the moment I took up the bok choy, she came readily over and was not even on her favorite perch when she attacked the vegetable. Cut up some asian pear for her and same thing, she was waiting (have I spoiled her??).

I gave her less spray millet today, short of an inch, she hopped over immediately and started eating and playing with the millet as well as my fingers. She dropped it a twice, I picked it up and she came back immediately once it was in my palm. The last bit, she kicked it down (it was almost finished), but she lingered on my palm, checking what's left and checking my fingers out.

I kept my hand inside the cage for a long time, she was totally unbothered, drinking water and eating food right next to my hand. I decided to play a bit with her by putting my fingers near her, she actually investigated my fingers and even tried to pull my nails! She is not bothered when my fingers are moving, but instead got curious. Many times, she would put one foot onto the finger she's investigating. I hope she doesn't think my fingers are food.

She would also fly close to the end of the cage where I'm at and look at me when I'm talking to her.

(I am so tempted to touch her.)

Obligatory wet budgie:

257123
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
And now the finger exploration has gone to the point that she doesn't want to let my fingers go and she does play fighting with my thumb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Day 8, I gave lesser millet today, around 3 mini bundles, and 2 pieces of bok choy. I tried shredded carrots mixed with seeds, I think she ate some of the carrots but she doesn't seem to really like it that much. She came readily to eat what I'm offering, except the carrots (which was why I mixed seeds inside).

When I place my hands in the cage, she eyes them with curiosity, and comes to play with them. Again, she's trying to pull my nails, nibbling my fingers, pulling them towards her. She got onto my hand on her own accord to explore my knuckles and to play with the fingers. She did not bite hard, just very playful very gentle. There was one particularly forceful pull and I told her, "Pepe those are my nails, no no no", she stepped off my hands and moved away. Then she came back to play again. I rubbed her belly a bit as well and she did not seem to mind.

She enjoyed the whole interaction a lot, a lot more happy chirping until it was around 3pm (which was her usual wind down napping time).

I am still concerned about her because she does seem more tired today, so for a peace of mind, I've booked an avian vet tomorrow instead. To check on whether she's sick, check if the mites have fully gone away (which I think she has because she's not itchy anymore), and I also want to know if I need to do anything to her nails.

Obligatory budgie on my hand!!!!
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Bringing Pepe to the vet is difficult because we don't want to grab her, so we tried luring her, coaxing her, and eventually we tried to move her on perch of sorts. Didn't go really well, she panicked and flew around the room, eventually, we took her into the transport cage using whatever she's on.

Turns out that my instincts was right, she does have a bit of bronchitis, but the good thing is she doesn't have other symptoms like running nose or breathlessness. So we just need to put her on a week of antibiotics course using the nebulizer. The vet said that the transport cage is of the right size for us to use it as a nebulizing chamber, so we'll use that.

I guess everyday will be a problem with us having to medicate her twice a day? 😞

Taming put on hold until medication's finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So yesterday all the antibiotics was done and today we restart our relationship.

Many thanks to ChickWas, the relationship wasn't very damaged, and while she was confused why I didn't grab her in the morning, she did not seem fearful of my hand. I installed an in-cage heater today and replaced the heating lamp, because Singapore is really just too warm and humid for us to live without air-conditioning (we usually set to 80F), where temps can go up to 95F and humidity is always around 95%. She was frightened by the cables and all but was still willing to eat the millet and bok choy off my hand.

She spent half the time away from the heater and because it was in the way of the food I got worried. I fed her fresh corn on a cob (her favorite besides spray millet) and water - basically that side of the cage is now scary to her.

I managed to encourage her to go to her food bowl (just a lot of "Yes Pepe, brave Pepe, come come") and tapping on the food bowl. Then afterward I tried to lure her to the heater with a bell-toy, it worked, she's very cautious but also very curious, so she has now discovered the wonders of the warmer side of the cage. I gave her some millet as a reward.

Today, because I was encouraging her with a bell-toy, she not only played with the toy but also played with my thumb (tapping on the nail and then once again trying to pull my nail off).

All in all, it's a good restart. I'm quite glad to know that she trusts me enough to approach something new.

Obligatory Pepe during her 3pm nap:
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Also, I forgot to mention, Pepe has stopped coughing :giggle:
 
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