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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
You have a young budgie that perhaps you just recently started making some good progress with and now he or she comes to you for millet, etc. One day, s/he bites you, even when s/he's never done that before, and refuses to come out of the cage!
The next day is the same, you try to cajole your little one to act how they were, and they want none of it.

In situations like this, there often is a reason many overlook. Young budgies, usually from around 5-9 months of age (although some budgies are early or late bloomers), undergo what is called the "teenager stage", which is exactly what it sounds like.

Just like human teenagers, the hormonal changes happening in a budgie's body at this time cause mood swings and sudden changes in behaviour that seem unexplainable.

Whereas they used to want to hop onto your hand for some millet, now they may bite or shy away, whereas they used to want to come out of their cage, now they will stay inside to play.

This is all normal, and should be met with patience, not frustration.

It's nothing personal, but just like their human counterparts, teen budgies need lots of independence--they want to be "big birds", and that includes no more interaction with Mum or Dad!

They will grow out of this stage and with consistent work, still have interest in being tame and interact with people.

One thing they do lose, however, is their "cuddly" nature. Baby budgies may enjoy some "holding" or "petting", but as soon as they get older, they no longer seek this kind of affection. It's important not to force your budgie to do anything he or she doesn't want to do, which after their "teen phase" includes petting, as budgies by nature are not "cuddly" birds.

To help them through this time, it's more important than ever to be in tune to their body language.

Don't reach into their cage if they lunge for your hand or shy away--they don't want you to "invade their space". Consider it a "No Parents Allowed" sign on the bedroom door!

Don't force them to leave their cage--it is their "safe space" and they may rather stay in there where they can brood and be "emo" all by themselves!

Of course, there is a concern that taming and bonding will regress during this time.

However, you can still interact with your bird in ways that will help them get used to you at the distance they would prefer.

Although you shouldn't force them out of the cage, if their cage is in a budgie proof room, you can leave the door open and perhaps put a perch on the outside of the cage so they can come out if they'd like.

Sitting by their cage often and reading or talking out loud, even just listening to music with them, just as you did when they were new little budgies, also helps a lot since it lets them know you're there without trying to "take over".

Simple interaction like this goes a long way, and before long, your little bird will surely reach maturity and will begin to explore and participate more!
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