Hey guys, I'm just so super excited because today Cobalt perched on my finger that I had to vent my love and happiness somewhere <3
Also I felt like writing this taming journal might be of use to others training two skittish petshop budgies at once.Cobalt and Cloud are young, less than four months but I felt took longer than what I have read online.
Day 1-4: Everyone in the house must keep 1m away in the cage! They were still for most two days before they started eating and preening.
Week 1: Started sitting on a chair across them. I didn't find talking to them calming (maybe my voice just isn't warm lol) so I just talked with other people in front of them. They were scared, but sure I felt like it was better that they got used to my voice. Also kept a CD playing in the background most days. They've been preening and chirping and seem to be happy and about!
End of Week 2: Started putting my palms out for them to see at the door of the cage very slowly (like I'm giving them The Force!) Again I felt this was a bit of rushing them, but they did take on this approach well. I have these sessions thrice a day, around 30-40 mins each time. They've also started having squabbles as the female Cloud gets a bit territorial, but it has now settled-ish (they fight but they both calm down within minutes so I don't think it's serious... And they started preening each other after that heavy battle period).
Week 3: I started putting my hand in the cage, and sliding closer and closer when they aren't looking. This is the most time consuming, as I spend about an hour each doing this twice or thrice a day, whenever I can. Very frustrating to see them stand still and pray to the bird gods for safety, but I was really determined to tame and prove a point to my mother (who was very skeptical about the whole bonding idea).
End of Week 4: At this point while Cobalt was playing on his toy I managed to get him to put one claw on me and hold on, but as I was misinformed and caught them the next day to give a preventative mite lice spray, taming and bonding was pushed baaaaackwards. Sad.
Week 5: Back to step one, sitting around and talking with them, and showing off my sad palms. Hours don't decrease but increase as I did get frustrated and wanted to give it my all. Halfway through the week I began putting my hand in again, and angling it closer and closer, even reached a good 5 cm from Cobalt. Bought some millet spray at the beginning and started feeding them bits in their food tray.
Week 6: Tried not moving my hand so slowly to offer millet and Cobalt was in for the bait. Took me 3 days to get an inch away from him, and him exploring my finger with his beak (gentle biting and nibbling). I realized I should push his limits so I aimed my fingers closer. He's started biting on my poor finger, but I stay and leave my finger still. The day after, I made my finger press onto his tummy and he stepped up (with muuuuuch difficulty) and stayed. Remember that this process took me hooours, and spray millets.
Will edit and add more details when I have the time <3
Congratulations on reaching this important milestone!
With continued training your Cobalt will get increasingly more confident and before you know it, he will perch on your finger the moment you present it to him. The chances of Cloud joining in are also higher once she sees her mate comfortably perched on your finger/hand.
Keep up with the great work!
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.
Many thanks everyone <3 Cloud is warming up from watching Cobalt snatching up all the treats, so hopefully she'll come around soon :3
Also, as I am spending lots of time with them and currently my training relies on slowww movements and millet, is there a possibility of overfeeding them millet? I'm 100% sure they're still eating their other food, and each day i finish a small strand of spray (say 50 beads between the two of them and 2-3 sessions).
What is their other food? I asked an avian vet about this and she said that since the budgies I'm working with are on a pellet diet, the millet I'm giving them can be the extra seed they need. If you are feeding a seed mix, it should probably be a less rich one, but somebody who knows more will have to give you more precise advise!