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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Today we had a great sunny weather in the early afternoon, so we brought Pepe to the balcony (not facing the sun and in the shade) for about 2 hours of good ol' vitamin D. Pepe was nervous having never been to the balcony, but still chirped a lot, being surround by people (we were having lunch and chatting).

Being fed vegetables off our hand is completely normal to Pepe now, and she looks forward to it. When my hand is in the cage, she's always checking out what's on it. Today's menu: Fresh corn on a cob, a bit of apple, shredded carrots and bok choy.

When I gave her 3 mini bunches of millet in the morning, she's already waiting and staring at my hand. I think she recognizes the container where the spray millet's stored. She didn't hop onto my hand for it, I didn't force her as well, I wanted her to trust my hand in the cage again. I spoke to her a great deal today with my hand in the cage, she played with my thumb a bit every time.

Later on in the day, I gave her shredded carrots mixed with some seeds, she was ready to try whatever that's on my hand, but obviously the seeds had more of her attention. She stepped onto my hand again for the carrots then moved away again.

There's a ritual that we do every night before I cover her cage - I'll remove all the fresh food in her cage but ask her if she want any "last bite". Now she is very used to having her last bites and during this time she is also very willing to come onto my hands.

I'm waiting for the day she's willing to perch on my hand again like a week ago.

Obligatory budgie eating shredded carrots:
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Today, Pepe was willing to perch on my hand to eat the millet (gave her 3 mini bunches) and was generally very chirpy the whole time. When I put my hand into the cage, she came over and perched on top on it, playing with my thumb and fingers for quite sometime. She did not bite hard, except once, and it's quite interesting that she might know it's painful? Anyway, I said ouch (instinctively but not loud) and she immediately became gentler?

She played for a long time on my hand and I moved her around the cage to different perches. I even turned my wrist to the back of my hand and she stayed on. I also rubbed her head for the first time, although I'm not sure if she just happened to move this way or it was intended. Usually my fingers would be quite still when she is perched on it, but today I tried to ruffle her feathers a bit.

I do notice that the feathers below her beak are turning brown - so I suppose she's going to be hormonal soon and her behavior might become unpredictable.

No pictures today, photographer (my husband) is out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I was out to office the whole of yesterday and my husband accompanied Pepe the whole day. Apart from eating millet and vegetables from his hand, he complains that Pepe nips him quite hard. After I came back, it was about bedtime for Pepe, so I cleared out the fresh food from her cage, and after I fed her "last bites", her body language was that she wanted my hands, so I put my hand in again.

She didn't nip me but instead climbed on and explored my fingers again. I spoke to her and rubbed her a bit, then bedtime.

Question: Is it normal for budgies to allow only 1 person to handle her? Should I encourage my husband to also interact with her more?

Today, she is very active, very chirpy, and she really really enjoyed perching on my hands now. Even bumps her beak against my nails. She bites hard once in a while but I always tell her not to do it and she will be more gentle, until of course she has too much fun and nips harder again. She was playing with bells while perched on my hands as well.

If I can get her used to being moved around while perched on my hands, does that mean there's a good chance for me to bring her out of the cage soon?

Video of Pepe checking my hands out:
 

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Sweet video, she is so comfortable with you. Budgies and other birds as well can bond more to one person than another, this can really become problematic in larger parrots. Pepe may always favor you but it is a good thing if she can get comfortable with your husband as well. Will she step up onto a perch of some sort if held in front of her like she will step onto your hand? If not I would work on getting her to do that before letting her out of the cage, that way if she flies and lands on something where you cannot reach her you can get her down by getting her to step up onto the perch and bring her back to the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Sweet video, she is so comfortable with you. Budgies and other birds as well can bond more to one person than another, this can really become problematic in larger parrots. Pepe may always favor you but it is a good thing if she can get comfortable with your husband as well. Will she step up onto a perch of some sort if held in front of her like she will step onto your hand? If not I would work on getting her to do that before letting her out of the cage, that way if she flies and lands on something where you cannot reach her you can get her down by getting her to step up onto the perch and bring her back to the cage.
That is a good idea, we'll look into getting some sort of a perch and get her to try with treats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I started a new job and things got a bit hectic, but budgie bonding continues!

Pepe is totally at ease with my hands now, even climbing on while I was wiping her perches. She flies to my hand as well, I am allowed to rub her as well. She no longer bites hard, or does testing nibbles before climbing on - she simply hops on. My husband joked that I'm her elevator perch now, I bring her around and show her corners of the cage she has not explored. She has also taken to grooming the hairs on my hand, I play with her using her bells, I get to bump my thumb on her beak too.

At the same time, I've finally gotten her to realize that her bathtub is in fact, a bathtub, and now Pepe enjoys bathing!

We tried the perch idea, and it turns out that Pepe gets scared of anything that isn't in the cage for more than a day, so it didn't work well, but she does take to my hand very easily now, it's not really a "up" command, but when she sees my index finger in a hooked posture, she's usually willing to hop on.

What I'm trying now is to feed her some millet with the main cage door open, so that she can feel comfortable with looking at me without bars in between us.

My in-laws have curry leaves (they are spicy) and after checking online it was safe for budgie consumption, we gave her a bit of it. The leaves are actually quite crispy so she did enjoy it but we didn't give her too much in case it was bad for digestion.

No pictures today, too many things happened while a camera was unavailable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Today is our second try with broccoli, and Pepe absolutely loves it, which is good news for me because I've been worried about her monotonous diet of bok choy / corn / occasional apples. Now I can add broccoli to the list! It seems like it's not only delicious, it's also a lot of fun for her.

Singapore restarted our lockdown again, so I have to order in vegetables. I'm going to try curly kale and red capsicum next, and I also ordered cherry tomatoes (my favorite) to give her a bit, but not too much because I read about the acidity of it.

In terms of taming, she is still very cautious when the main cage door is open, willing to come to the hand for millet but keeps a look out, so I'm taking it slow. Otherwise, she is fine with my hands in the cage, she has walked up to the wrist at this point. I play with her with my fingers, I get to rub her belly and her cheeks now. My husband also managed to give her get her to come onto his hand, with and without millet.

She's really, really chirpy everyday, and she also made it to the bottom of the cage (where there are toys as well), whereas previously she found it terrifying.

No pictures today, took my 2nd Pfizer and now my left arm is aching like crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
On the progress of feeding her with the main cage door open, she is less worried and hops down quite willingly. She no longer stops eating when I look in and feels quite normal overall. In the evening, I tried to feed her broccoli with the main cage door open as well, she ate a bit, and then thereafter also played with my hands as I was clearing out her fresh food for the day (while the main cage door was opened).

Today we had great sunlight, and we brought her to the balcony again. This time round she was not afraid and was very, very active and chirpy. I think it would be a good idea to have her in the balcony in the mornings, but she would be alone as we have to work in our home office - would this be a problem? My apartment overlooks a park and there's always sounds of people and vehicles around.

Something I just want to know, how bad is a general budgie's sight in the shadows? Say I cover the top of my cage and 2 sides of it, will it be hard for the budgie to see my hand if it's inside?

Obligatory chirpy bird at the balcony:
 

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If you are placing the cage outside on the balcony I would not do that and leave her unattended, because of predatory birds that may be around. Budgies do not see too well as it gets dark so if you cover the top and sides of the cage the amount of light in the room will determine if your hand can be seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
If you are placing the cage outside on the balcony I would not do that and leave her unattended, because of predatory birds that may be around. Budgies do not see too well as it gets dark so if you cover the top and sides of the cage the amount of light in the room will determine if your hand can be seen.
In that case we would bring her to the balcony on weekends I guess, because I will be able to watch over her the whole time.
 

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If you open the door to the balcony is there a screen you can close and just have the door open, if so you could put her cage just in front of the screen on the inside space.
 

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Please be very careful if you leave the bird's cage in front of a screened door or window.
I had a hawk that tried to come through my patio door (the glass one!) not one but three times trying to get to my budgies.
Personally, I'd be afraid to leave my birds in a cage in front of a window or door only protected by a screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Please be very careful if you leave the bird's cage in front of a screened door or window.
I had a hawk that tried to come through my patio door (the glass one!) not one but three times trying to get to my budgies.
Personally, I'd be afraid to leave my birds in a cage in front of a window or door only protected by a screen.
Singapore doesn't have that much predator birds because the entire country is urbanized. We have general greenery in the sense of trees being grown along every road (or like in the video, it's actually a garden on top of an enclosed parking space). We have pockets of parks on top of buildings and beside metro stations, but these usually don't contain predatory birds. We have nature reserves but those are quite far from where I stay. But in any case, as long as Pepe is outside on the balcony, I will be watching her, not to worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
After a week of open cage feeding, we tried to let her come out of her cage today. She panicked a bit when she came out and flew around the room, but we got her to land on her cage by ringing her toy and I spoke comforting words to her, and managed to calm her down to eat some millet. I showed her a twine ball and she actually played a bit with it. She also played with my fingers a bit. Later on, she wanted to get back to her cage, so we coaxed her to the gate, it was almost successful but I accidentally knocked into something so she panicked again.

However, because she was not afraid of hands, we managed to retrieve her without much problems and she got back to her cage safely (she landed on one of the perches we randomly placed around). While it didn't go well, we will try again next week to show her that it's not that scary to come out and stretch her wings.

She still allows me to pat her and rub her after that, still climbs onto my hands as as "elevator perch".

Obligatory play time budgie:
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
A week of lots of work and personal things happening, today I opened the door to the cage again, but based on past experiences, I put up a lot more things outside of the cage for her to use.

After coming out by herself initially, she now feels safe enough to be transported out of the cage by my hand (if she wants to come out), and there is no longer any panic flying when she is outside. She also found out how to get back to the cage herself, so hopefully she will slowly extend her safe zone to the entire room and feel free to fly around. The opened cage door no longer frightens her, she eats as she wants as well.

For now she still spends most of the her time in the cage, which is fine because it means she loves being in her cage.

At this point I'm thinking, this is a success?

Obligatory budgie hanging out:
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I would like to thank @ChickWas @Cody and @FaeryBee for your help in guiding me to getting Pepe comfortable.

Today, Pepe found her own way in and out of the cage, so she's been very busy, and she also started flying small circles around her cage. It's not really my aim to have a shoulder budgie, but more for her to be a happy budgie, everything else is just bonus. My short term goal was for her to be able to come in and out of the cage as she pleases and this has been achieved.

Starting from today, Pepe will be able to enjoy an open cage while she's in the study with us, and hopefully we can slowly progress to letting her go everywhere in the house.

Mods, if there's a need to close threads, this thread can be closed. Thank you so much.
 

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She is a very lucky bird to have flown into your house, you have done a great job with her in just a few months. Please keep us updated on her future progress.
 

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Pepe is indeed a very fortunate little budgie to have adopted you!
If you'd like to continue posting in the thread, we can leave it open as long as you wish.
I love your updates and pictures of your little darling!
 
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