Hello all. Some of you may remember me and my babies Peanut and JoJo from the introductions thread. I've had my babies for 3.5 weeks now and am working on gaining their trust. They love chatting with me and when I put my hand in the cage, they don't fly away. They're not yet at the point where they'll sit on my finger or hand, but they will sit on their veggie plate while I'm holding it and eat their veggies. This morning they even ate their veggies straight from my hand (while sitting on the perch). I do hope they eventually trust me enough to step up. Anyway, now to my question (I just wanted you to know what stage they're at). I know they'd love to get out of their cage, but should I wait until they're tame before allowing them to come out?
Sounds like you are making great progress in bonding and taming! You do not need to wait until they will step up to let them out of the cage. They do need to be relaxed in their cage and feel like it is home. Then they are ready.
Firstly, budgie-proof the room where you are going to let them out (check out the articles on common dangers). I know many people use a smaller room with a closed door to begin. Be sure you have plenty of time and maybe even a book to read in the room. Then move the cage in the room if it is not the room they are usually in. Then you can open the door and sit down to watch them. They may not come out right away or even at all for a few days. If they do come out, they will likely easily go back in the cage when they are ready. This may be in a short time or not (thus the book). You do need to keep an eye on them the whole time they are out of their cage. If you have a camera handy, you can take pictures and show us how it went!
Thank you Golden Wing and Lemon Drop for your reply. My babies are very comfortable in their cage and are just so happy. They have been out of their cage once before (they flew out over my head while I was removing their bath). They enjoyed walking along the bench and sitting on the ceiling fan (turned off of course). I was worried it was too soon for them to be out though so I returned them to their cage- Peanut happily stepped up onto my arm and stayed there while I carried him back to the cage. JoJo was more difficult as he wanted to stay out and play longer. Eventually I got him onto a perch and returned him home though. Since this outing they've been eagerly looking at the door for an escape gap, every time I open it,
I agree that your budgies can be allowed out in a bird-safe room at this point in time.
While it is easier for you if your budgies willingly step up when you want to return them to their cage, most budgies will return to their safe place (cage) when they want food and water once they recognize it as their home.
I have untamed budgies that go back in their cage because I've used positive reinforcement training to teach them they will get a reward when they do so.
Initially, when I was ready for them to go back in the cage I would first dim the lights and pull down the shades in the room. If the radio or TV was on, I turned it off.
Then I would stand by their cage and ringing the bell on one of their toys while telling them, "It's time to go in your cage now!"
Once they went back into the cage, they were given a small bit of millet.
This method worked well and they now go in the cage when asked to do so without the lights being dimmed or the blinds lowered and the TV or radio can stay on.
Getting the millet reward is the best part of "going back home"
Thank you for sharing the experience and method you've used for your untamed budgies. I'm going to try the same method and hopefully I'll have the same success. My babies don't seem to get as excited about millet as most others seem to (they like it and will eat but that's about it). I've tried using the millet to hand train them but no luck. They love their veggies and get very excited about those so I'm trying to use that to my advantage.
I've changed the title of your thread to "Peanut and JoJo (Ongoing Journal) and moved it to the Training Journal section of the forum.
You can make all your updates regarding their progress in this thread so they will all be in one place.
Additionally, if you wish, please feel free to create an Ongoing Thread for Peanut and JoJo in the Budgie Pictures section of the forum to share pictures of them. I know you're having problems in uploading pictures so just use thumbnail attachments in that thread if that is easiest for you.
So I've had Peanut and JoJo for about a month now and they have settled in beautifully. They chatter all day long and love playing with their toys. Peanut is the more outgoing one of the two and JoJo follows him everywhere. They are constantly feeding and preening each other, but at times sharing is an issue. As far as taming goes, they aren't scared of my hand and I can put my hand right up to them without them flying off, but they just sit there looking at my hand, or they casually just walk away. They're not interested in millet so I can't use that as a training tool, but they love their veggies. At first I was holding their veggie plate and they'd happily jump onto the plate and eat while I was holding it. Now they'll hop onto my hand if I'm holding some veggies in my palm, but JoJo will bite on my hand HARD. I don't think they know it's my hand they're sitting on. I think they may think it's another plate and JoJo is biting on it to see what it is. JoJo has started making this high pitched squeaking sound, which I've never heard before and is a lot more of a chatterbox than he/she (we're unsure of gender) used to be. Today I've noticed that JoJo starting to bully Peanut a bit so I'm definitely keeping an eye on that. Peanut is currently entertaining me as he tries to walk on a toilet roll without falling off. It's his favourite toy and when he's not trying to balance on it, he's flipping it up on its end and then trying to drag it around the cage. He also loves trying to balance on a golf ball. I would dearly love to have one of those close relationships with my birds that many others have so I really hope I can progress past the point I'm at now.
Thank you FaeryBee and Goldenwing for your kind words. I'm so pleased you both think I'm making progress as sometimes I feel like I've come to a stand sill (these are the times where I have to remind myself that I'm working on their timetable and not my own). Goldenwing, I wish I could post a video of Peanut with his toilet roll. It's hilarious. Of all the money I've spent on toys, he loves his toilet roll most of all (just like kids at Christmas, playing with the wrapping paper). I actually need to thank you, speaking of toys. After seeing your photo of Lemon Drop on the trapeze swing, I ordered one for Peanut and JoJo and they LOVE it! Theirs has a plastic ball hanging from the top and they love to hang upside down from it. They're both moulting at the moment so they really love rubbing their heads on the sisal mat to relieve the itching.
The next goal I'm hoping to reach, is having them sit on my hand/arm, without me having food in my hand. This is where I feel like I've come to a stand still. I know it takes time and patience so I need to keep reminding myself to be realistic with my expectations.