So this was last Thursday but I just got to my computer today to post about the latest with Max and kiger.
Progress! Max will go part way down the ladder now! Kiger is working on the concept of upside down. He will hang upside down but I think its work for him to right himself, its easier to simply jump down then go back to being upright on the perch.
I think I'm going to stick with these new things for at least another session, depending on where Kiger goes with the next session I might start towards going around the perch. I also intend to take several steps back on a separate front. Stepping up and coming out of the cage. Not our strong point (its my fault and I am aware of it) but I am thinking with time/effort and positive vibes leaving the main cage wont be as much of a point of concern as it is now.
I've been reading more about positive reinforcement and that's caused me to look more at how I interact with Max and Kiger. It really opened my eyes. Its the basis of why I am trying to expand training out into how I work with them in general vs. just teaching tricks.
I aim to keep learning about what to do to give these two boys the best time with me as possible.
Did a fair bit of in main cage work yesterday since I was home for part of the day. I did several separate sessions each lasting about as long as it took for Max and Kiger to eat a small nub of millet. As expected Kiger picked up on what I wanted relatively quickly. Human holds out hand, says step up, stay on hand as I bring him to the cage door, clicky treat, let him step down onto a perch that will be out of the way as I go to work with Max.
Max is as I expected is a few steps back from where Kiger is. I would offer my hand, if he stepped up I wouldn't bring him to the cage door, instead let him hop off and gave him a treat for just going onto my hand. I was able to bring him to the cage door after a bit so yay!
I also introduced some foraging things for them! I might have found a way to encourage foraging for Max as well! So Kiger will chase a vine ball around the cage floor as long as there is millet in it. Max didn't show much interest in that however. Now I put a little bit of crinkle paper over their seeds in their seed dishes. Apparently (I only started this yesterday and I'm going off what boyfriend said) Max will go through the seed dishes(both his and Kigers) throw out the crinkle paper and eat the seeds. Kiger apparently isn't so keen on that. They still have plenty of food, and Kiger does eat his seeds, but on the crinkle paper front he isn't as enthusiastic about trying to get to the goodies they hide as he is with his vine ball millet combo.
As a total side thing about Max (this was covered more in his health thread...) He is growing in the two mid size tail feathers he molted out finally! And a new feather on the right wing!
So we are back on a positive note! I plan on working on in main cage stuff and maybe tricks tonight depending on their moods when I get to that point.
...And last night was a no go. Both Max and Kiger were in a mood last night. By the time they finally went into the bed time cage room it was almost bed time and nether was able to focus on training. Max wasn't going along with the touch command so I let him hang out on his sea grass matt, (He loves to chill out on these platform things) and tried to work with Kiger. Yeah he just wanted to go look at Max.
So I put them in their bed time cage and worked on some step up and down commands before covering them up for the night. I'm not surprised they were uncooperative last night. Its hit or miss on their mood when I get home later in the evening from work. Oh well. Its ok to have a off day now and then.
No updates this time but I do have a question.
I'm not sure if I am heading toward dealing with two randy budgies but I have noticed an uptick in what I am thinking is them courting each other. Both Max and Kiger spent a fair amount of time this weekend running around the bottom of the cage, standing tall, singing and head bobbing at each other. There was plenty of beak tapping and beak pulling (kissing?) and Kiger even feed Max (not unusual but its been a while since Kigs feed Max). Now I'm use to seeing this once in a while, but not multiple times in one day for longer stretches of time.
I am probably over analyzing this but while watching them I am growing suspicious... something about how Kiger would run toward Max... no climbing on the others back, no suspicious dances with toys or perches... no feeding anything else other then Kiger sometimes feeding Max.
Is it all in my head? Are they courting each other, or just bonding...? Is it possible it wont go further then it has?
It's very likely it will go no further than it has.
I have two boys that "court" each other all day everyday doing all the actions you've described.
Soterion and Scooter have been doing this for months now and haven't gone beyond the courting behaviors.
I am still learning new things about their behavior. Weekends are really the only time I can simply sit and watch their shenanigans. Kiger figured out foraging under the crinkle paper and that there is millet between the balsa wood blocks on one of the new toys. I'm surprised by how quickly they took to the new toys. I got them Friday night and Saturday they were already working away at the bird kabob (#1 favorite toy in our household) and by Sunday Max was 'courting' the balsa blocks to another toy. By that night Kiger was working on destroying the very same balsa blocks. This is the fastest they have taken to accepting something new in their cage so far. It makes me happy seeing them being happy little budgies.
Fingers crossed, I am going to try and do some trick training tonight. Hopefully they will be in better moods tonight!
So its a my bad for putting off working with them on tricks for a while (a week...). I did really need to take a step back and work on getting them out of their main cage without it being an issue. Still am working with them on that but the only time we are not ok with stepping up is getting out of the bed time cage and I think that is only because Its dark at that point.
Anyway Max is back to his old self of not going after the pointer. So last night we took several steps back to simply having him move around the play stand to touch the pointer. Max being Max will touch the pointer *clicky/praise but no treat* move the pointer a little farther away and ask for him to touch again....we will look at it....look at it some more...slowly shimmy closer and stretch the neck out to touch *clicky/praise and treat*. I wonder if I should look into finding other treats for him. I am wondering if I should look into something that might motivate him more...while he does eat millet, he even eye pins when he sees millet he isn't as motivated by millet as Kiger. I'm taking ideas!
Speaking of Kiger...I can not get over how cute it is when he waves. However! we are waving (or turning around...) when I am asking for upside down! I had to think but the motions for each trick are different, and he does respond to the commands when I ask him to do any other known trick...I guess its the association any trick=treat! Correct me on this thinking but I'm guessing this is just something he will learn in time, Word/gesture= specific trick = treat!
So with that all said, we are still working on 'upside down' He is getting better, he just is VERY food motivated. While I think that helps him put a and b together quickly It might also be playing a role in the random 'wave' when I ask for 'upside down'.