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Thread: Taming Adult Budgies

  1. #1 Taming Adult Budgies 
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Is it possible?

    I have two - Max is of uknown age, but at least a year. He belonged to my OH's mother who didn't handle him at all. Lola is about 6 months old.

    I've tried doing what the books say - I talk to them a lot, spend time standing next to the cage and putting my hands on it, I put my hands in regularly, but they don't seem to be getting used to me at all. When I talk to them, they are very quiet and watch me, as if to see what I'm going to do next. If I put my hands to the cage, they won't panic, but they move to the farthest corner, and if I put my hands in, it's the same. If I try to move towards them, they hop around to keep the biggest distance between me and them. Even if I'm hanging some treats up, they'll stay away until I'm done.

    I've had them about 4 months now, and they don't seem to be getting any more used to me.

    Is it because there's two of them? Or am I doing it wrong?

    I'd love to be able to give them free time out of their cage, but a the moment I don't have a hope of getting them back in!

  2. #2  
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    Try putting your finger up to his lower chest at night, budgies get more dosile & easier to handle in an evening in my opinion.

  3. #3  
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    I hadn't thought of that, thanks!

    Does it work in the early mornings too? Our puppy tends to get up at about 5, and the budgies are usually still asleep. Is that a good time to do it too?

    Thanks a lot!

    Jenna xx

  4. #4  
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    Not mine, my lot are bright eyed long before I am in the morning, but they are quiet and easier to handle in the evening.

  5. #5  
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    You should definitely let them out of their cage! It is essential for their well-being. They will go back in by themselves when they get hungry & thirsty. Just make sure there is no food available outside of the cage. And the room is bird safe (e.g. no gaps behind furniture, curtains, no mirrors or dangerous items, no plants that might be toxic...)! If they don't go back in the first time, it doesn't matter. They could even sleep where they are - just leave a small light on for them. A budgie playground, perches, ropes...they will thank you for that and be a lot calmer. I bought mine only a month ago (two males) and they are probably the same age as yours. They are not tame yet but they have realised I don't mean them any harm. And they will do ANYTHING for millet! Have you tried that? They will even sit on my finger/hand to get to their favourite treat (they won't get millet elsewhere...only on my hand! . Don't give up!

  6. #6  
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    Just hold the millet in front of their beaks and they won't be able to resist....what I ended up doing was put my finger in between the braver of the two and the millet spray and he gradually came closer...one day he was tickling my finger with his neck trying to reach the millet...the next day he put one foot on my finger etc. It takes time - patience does it. And if they don't want to go back into their cage - I can get them to step onto a wooden perch and put them back in. I now reward them with millet but to start with they let me put them away without and just stepped onto the perch!

  7. #7  
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    Thanks for those tips Sandra.

    I'd love to leave them loose, but it's difficult because we also have two dogs. We live on a boat so space is restricted, so we couldn't have them loose in one room and the dogs in the other, for instance. They could only be allowed out if supervised and I was able to put them back.

    I have tried millet and other tasties, but they seem too frightened of me to take notice of the millet.

    I think what I shall do is let them out when I have plenty of time, on a Sunday for instance, so even if they didn't go back in for a few hours, it wouldn't matter. And approach in the evenings, as Scott said earlier.

    I know that Max, the older budgie, has never been out of his cage. Is he likely to be frightened and fly into windows? Or will he be OK and just enjoy the additional space?

  8. #8  
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    Always cover your windows ALWAYS.

    70% of budgie deaths are caused by head/neck/bone injury when they kamiekazi into windows.

    As for taming, with patience it can be done. Its important NOT to let the budgie "win" by not achieving something. I nipped Eddie's fears in the budd straight off. He was nearly 5-6 months when I got him & he was finger tame in 3 days & flying around in a week.

    Its VERY important to establish dominance to your bird with the Step-Up command BEFORE letting them out, or you simply stress them trying to recatch them. Few birds will go back in thier cage first outings.

    Having studied animal psycology, eye contact is the most important thing to an animal. Try standing by the cage, hands draped inside, and slowy & gently follow them with your hand, making no effort to poke, grab or entice, and all the time, slowly wink & squint your eyes at them. This broken eye contact tells them, you're not a threat, youre not a preadator, you're not going to hurt them, and slowly but surely they should begin to respond with return winks & squints. This is them saying "Okay, I trust you enough to close my eyes." In a nutshell.

    Keep this up until they make little effort to run from your fingers. Praise them when they respond with winks or by staying still. Then, when you're ready, slowly raise your finger to one of thier feet, gently brushing thier toes & say gently but firmly, "Step-Up!" Expect them to run away, but it's very important not to give up. Persevere until at least one toe is on your hand, then praise & give them a minute break, come back & try again, following this pattern. You'll have them sat on your finger in days.

    Once they have nailed the Step-Up, you can slowly start to try bringing them out of the cage. Expect them to fly back in, naturally. Be patient, keep up the winks. Slowly bring one out & do a Step-Up ladder with your fingers outside of the cage, get them used to it outside. Once out fo a cage birds will try to re-assert dominance & refuse to accept commands as well. Nip this as quickly as possible & keep going to them & trying to get them to step up while outside. Then, so they dont associate going out with having to come back in again when you ask them to step up. Get them to step up, move them a short distance to a treat, such as a millet spray.

    Keep this up, and best of luck

    "If you think you can, or you think you can't... you'd be right!"
    ~.Bird Trainer, Photographer, Artist, & Professional Procrastinator.~
    Soph's Training Website (under constant construction!) ; http://www.freewebs.com/highfourbirdtraining/index.htm


  9. #9 Re: taming budgies 
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    Hi,
    I have had my two budgies since end of October. They are relatively young birds I think and were very timid and scared to begin with. They are still quite timid but not quite so panicky now when I put my hand in the cage. I let them out most days and they seem to enjoy their fly around and will return to the cage on their own accord. I intend to persevere with them and hopefully they will respond. I would agree they seem to be more relaxed in the evening and they chatter away non stop when I put the TV on. I would love them to perch on my finger but not quite there yet!
    Here is a pic of Jack and Victor.
    regards
    Ian
    Attached Images

  10. #10  
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    Nov 2006
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    Hi I have given this advice in another thread - you seem to be doing everything right, Ian. Just get rid of the mirror - it is not natural. Budgies don't understand why their reflection won't respond in the way a budgie should. Your males might start feeding it, get frustrated, stressed out and might get a crop infection - this can be fatal. A mirror does not belong in a budgie cage - and your two beautiful birds have each other to feed and 'talk't to!

  11. #11  
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    Oct 2006
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    just wanted to ask if you could get a pic of ur "unknown aged" bird to see if we can determine its age as that can be crucial to how to tame your bird

  12. #12  
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    Nov 2006
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    Dorset, UK
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    How is taming an older bird different to taming a younger one?

    I have an older bird that will need to be tamed so if you have any tips (or even better step by step idiots guide!) I'd really appreciate it

  13. #13  
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    about covering windows.

    mine used to always fly headfirst into windows and big mirrors. within a day they had stopped. all you really have to do to stop them flying into windows is to draw the curtains.

  14. #14  
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    Jenna, Sunny is an unknown age but i think he is over a year becuase you can see his pupils, he still doesnt listen to me, but i kinda had to force him out of the cage, I tried to figure thing and he just moved out of the way and hoped off, but after having to lighting grab him and bring him on my figure he is now learning that he will get out of the cage no matter what, so now he doesnt move away from my figure so much. I do not know if its out of fear or if he is learning, but he doesnt perch up and get skinning so i dont think it is fear. Also Azul my other bird got them out around the same time within a week of each other, so they bounded rather well to each other and didnt really bond to me. So I took time to seperate them here and there to play with them seperatly . Gl have fun.

  15. #15  
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    Dec 2006
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    1
    Hello all,
    greetings from Germany, I`ve just registered. Please apologise my poor English.
    I totally agree with Sandra`s opinion about mirrors. Preferred contact for a budgie should be its partner and its owner, because they can give a positive feedback to everything the budgie does. I disagree that there is a need for dominance, if the budgie trust you by having good experience with you, the budgie will come on your hands on its own free will.

    Cheers!And good luck!

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