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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Taming and Bonding > Training Journals


Training Journals Keep track of your training progress here with a training journal.

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  #1  
Old 11-12-2016, 10:07 PM
lbeckman (Leah)
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Default Barnes & Noble and Benjamin's Journal

What with having a plethora of foster budgies at the moment, I want to be a little more formal that I usually am about working with Barnes and Noble. Benjamin gets to be included because he's right next to them downstairs.

Barnes and Noble did go out for adoption, but returned to the rescue because of a change in circumstance. While they were well cared for, the adaptor was not really able to work with them. They are very comfortable around people, however. The hope is that this will be their last stop before a permanent placement and they'll be comfortable stepping up onto a hand before that.

Benjamin is new to the rescue and just out of quarantine. He came in with two other budgies who are part of the upstairs contingent. I expect that because of his proximity to Barnes and Noble he'll make faster progress than he would otherwise--they've already had a good influence on him.

All three are happy to have me sit with them and chit chat with them. They tend to initially go silent, but then pick up again. At least sometimes, I get those darling little wing stretches when I say good morning to them. I spend some time putting my hands on their cages while I talk to them and they are getting more used to it. They move away when I reach into their cage to change their food, water, etc., but they are not frantic. Barnes and Noble are clearly more comfortable than Benjamin, but he is taking a lead from them. They've all got treat cups and Barnes and Noble certainly know what they are for and where they are. Benjamin is just learning.

This evening, I decided to see what would happen if I offered them millet through the bars. Took about two seconds for Barnes to decide to come over. Noble took longer, but he eventually did. Benjamin, not surprisingly, was the most suspicious, but did get up the nerve to come over--and was happy he did!

My 21 year old son came in a bit later and I asked him to try as well--all three budgies ate the millet from him through the bars, and were willing to go to different places in the cage to do so.

I've had to work with some budgies for weeks to get them to this point!

Next goal will be to get them calmer about my hands in their cages and eventually eating from a spray of millet that I'm holding in their cage. I'll keep you posted.

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Old 11-12-2016, 11:37 PM
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Leah, it sounds like amazing progress so far I can't wait to hear more about the progress of the three boys
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Old 11-13-2016, 09:26 PM
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I think all three of them are really trained circus performers and are just conning me to get treats more easily. All three ate sprigs of millet that I was holding with my hand in their cage. They sometimes have to think about the best approach to my hand, you know, just in case, but pretty darn good.

I actually have sent a message to the other volunteers to see what the scoop is. In a way, it doesn't matter in that they needed to settle in here and I'll continue to take it in stages at their pace.
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Old 11-14-2016, 05:46 AM
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What a lovely thread, I will be following this one for sure. So happy they are all settling down
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:21 AM
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I just had breakfast with them and read them a little Winnie the Pooh. They seemed to like that. They shared a crumbled up Nutriberry from the palm of my hand for the first time this morning. Noble actually stands on my hand now to eat, though it still takes him a bit to decide that that is the best approach. Benjamin will put one foot on my hand. Barnes has not felt the need to do so.

There were a few intermediate stages. I started showing a little more if my fingers while holding the millet sprig for them, then gradually opened up my hand more and rolled it over so that it was palm up. Then there were little bits of millet on my hand as well as the sprig I was holding. If they were nervous about it, I always ended by letting them have a nibble or two of the sprig of millet in a way that they were comfortable with.

They are really helping each other. As soon as one of them is willing to do something, the others don't want to miss out! I changed Barnes and Noble's cage earlier in the week, and they were a little stressed by that. It was Benjamin's forwardness that helped them recover. Barnes had been the first one to come and get the millet, but now Noble is being a bit more forward and Barnes decides to come in to get his fair share!

(That's one for each of them )
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Old 11-18-2016, 02:52 PM
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That's wonderful! It sounds like great progress so far
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Old 11-18-2016, 04:47 PM
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I think they need a period of time to just adjust to their new boldness. I'm using a mouth click now when i offer them a treat so that I'll have that as a tool when they are ready to work on step up, but I'm not going to try that until they become a little more nonchalant about what they are doing now. Though I think Benjamin might like taking three laps around his cage before coming to eat.

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Old 11-20-2016, 09:03 PM
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Whoa! Barnes is now standing on my hand pretty readily and Benjamin just decided to for the first time. I am officially declaring that I won't ask any more of them for a week. With Barnes and Noble, I periodically close my hand and then re-open it, clicking as I do so. I might start doing that with Benjamin as well. I'm also periodically slowly moving my hand to a different place in the cage so that they come to it. Barnes and Noble seem to have an agreement that they take turns.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:10 PM
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Leah,

I really believe you have a gift with the fosters you take in.
It's amazing you get such great results with so many of the budgies in such a short amount of time.
You must have a very calming aura surrounding your interactions with them.
(Either that or you really are a budgie-whisperer!)
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Old 11-20-2016, 10:25 PM
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Thank you. I am nothing like some people I have seen, but I do make a point of trying to exude calmness. I closed my eyes earlier today with one hand in Lucy's* cage and one hand in Pip and Coconut's cage, hands open, palms up, with crumbled Nutriberry on each palm. I knew I would get too impatient if I watched them. Sure enough, Lucy and Pip both came over to eat. I've read a lot here and on a clicker training group, so I've got a lot of different tools at my disposal, and I'm willing to take cues from the birds as well. There's also been a lot of "chaining" from one bird to the next. For example it was easy to get Lemon and Lime to go back to their cage when I need them to because they see the cockatiels going back and they've learned that they get a treat at that point.

Barnes and Noble also make it look easy because they are ready. They've been hanging out in houses with very experienced bird people who didn't have time to work with them, but who gave them confidence that people are safe.

*I haven't had time to update that thread, but Ms. Green chose Lucy as a name.
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