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Really Close To Giving Up...

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Hey everyone,

So I posted on here a little while ago about possibly getting another budgie, and I have done. About 3 weeks ago now, I got a little baby budgie, who was probably about 6 weeks old and the pet shop sold him as a "tame" baby budgie, but he's definitely not, and I am now regretting not getting a bird from a breeder that was actually hand tame. Also, as a disclaimer I'm not sure of his gender, and I can't post pictures yet...


Anyway! I am having real trouble taming and bonding with him. My last budgie I had for 12 and a half years and from what I can remember he was relatively easy to bond with. This one is just doing my head in and I kind of hate him... I know that's bad, and I'm really trying, but nothing is working and it's just killing me. So I got him Wednesday two weeks ago and started out following all the tips I've read online, quiet room, sitting near cage, talking to him, hand in cage, hand near him, hand on belly to try and get him to step, and he will barely ever step up, usually I'll just be able to touch his belly but he won't step and will just sit there frozen and then hop away.


So I persevered but also decided that maybe clipping his wings would help (I never needed to clip my last budgies wings, so it was not a decision I took lightly...) I booked him in to see the bird vet (at the Burwood Bird Vet) on the Wednesday after I got him. He had tests for Trichomoniasis and something beginning with M? and has also been given a 10 day course of antibiotics and vitamins for his water to make sure he doesn't have any other illnesses from the pet shop. His wings were also clipped. I spoke with my vet about bonding and how to achieve a good relationship with him. He wasn't sure about the old hand in the cage deal and said that it was better to let the bird get used to you in his own time, rather than forcing yourself on him. So a way to do this was to sit down on the ground and put the bird down with you, while you read a book or have a cup of tea and just have a nice talk with him and let him get accustomed to you. I tried this and the first thing the budgie did was zoom off around the room like a shot. The wing clipping did not slow him down at all. He was especially attracted to flying directly up into the ceiling. Of course I was worried that the little thing would hurt himself! But he eventually slowed down and with a perch I was able to coax him down from the curtain rail and onto the floor with some seed next to me. He stayed on the ground for a while eating, but not really taking any notice of me. I stayed with him like that for a while and then put him back in his cage with a perch (he still wouldn't let me get my hand near him). So then the next day I did the same thing, and the day after that, each time he would fly and go crazy first and then I could bring him down to hang out on the ground with me. But still he wouldn't let me touch him or go near him. So he is still really scared and it has now been a week and I've been trying both methods, hand in the cage, and budgie on the ground. The reason I don't like having him out while he is untamed is that he flies around very fast and hits against the ceiling and I'm really worried he'll hurt himself. But he really is scared of my hand going into the cage, so I'm just not sure what to do.


I have another appointment on the 12th of September at the vets to have the full clip done on his wings, and I figure this might help a bit, but I don't know... With my last budgie, the bond happened really quickly and we were great friends straight out, with this one he seems to hate me and I really wish I hadn't bought him. He just fills me with guilty feelings... I don't know whether to put him up for adoption to someone who would want him to breed (he's a pretty little olive baby) or for someone with an aviary (where he'd have budgie friends) or whether I should keep trying (I have really limited time to spend with him as I work 5 days a week) I feel SO guilty, but yeah, it's just a lot more difficult that I remember it being when I was 11! haha. Any ideas would be really appreciated! Thanks so much everyone.



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Hi George, Don't give up yet !! I don't think 3 weeks is very long to try to tame him.

I have never had an indoor pet bud. My Dad had a beauty that said all kinds of phrases and songs etc. yet he never had him flying loose he just talked to him through the cage. He lived to about 14 yrs and Dad was so upset when he lost him he never got another.

What if you just let him out and went about your usual routine, see if he calms down on his own and then maybe get curious about his surroundings in his own time? Let him come to you, maybe leave a spray of Millet on a desk e.g. to see if that attracts him. Good luck with him, I think I'd keep trying for a while yet.

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Thanks so much Robyn, yeah, I know, I just got really upset because I was scaring him... It's difficult dealing with a nervous personality as my last budge was so extroverted! But yeah, I feel bad for getting so despondent... I think I was also reading too many stories of budgies who were either already tame or who tamed super quickly! But yeah, I'm going to persist with him, he is a sweet little baby. Thanks so much for your reply, I really appreciate it :)

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Hello George Sorry about your problem. Picking up the odd tip on taming is not really

the way to go. You need to follow a complete a program. where one step follows another.

& you keep at it till each step is complete before you move on to the next one no matter

how long it takes. So I urge you to select one of the Bonding Taming posts on here &

follow it through.....PS Your vets advice of sitting on the floor is not as comfortable as sitting

on a chair with your cage on the table & you wont be looming over your bird like a giant predator.....B.J.

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Hi George.


So I am not exactly an expert on budgies, but I have had them for years and I have learnt a thing or two.

I just got a new budgie a while ago and I am in a relatively similar situation.


First of all, the gender problem.

It is pretty easy to tell the gender of a budgerigar. Male budgies have a slightly blue tinge to their noses (above the beak), whereas a females will have a pinkish or light brown colour. Some sources say that females have a more painful bite but that's not true- I have had plenty of males that can draw quite a bit of blood when they want to.


The main problem.


First up, don't hate your bird. If he is being disobedient or annoying or simply driving you insane, it's not his fault. He just doesn't understand, not to mention he's probably scared out of his wits by this strange creature that looms over him every day and keeps him cooped up in a cage half the time. Remember this and don't give up, no matter how frustrating he can be.


Secondly, not all of the tips and tricks you read online will work, most of the time it depends on his/her personality, but you've probably heard that everywhere (I know I have), but it's true. Not every bird will respond to the same techniques. Try a new technique every few days and observe what his reaction to them is, then keep using the one that you thought worked best.

I found that putting my hand in the cage for a while didn't actually work, it only made him more unsettled the longer I had it in there.

Getting him or her used to your voice or a certain phrase can also help. Whenever I take my bird out to train it I say something like, 'Pretty birdy' over and over and that seems to reassure him somehow.

Also, if you have a large cage or an aviary, consider getting a smaller cage for training purposes. This provides a smaller space for them to try and fly away.


I don't recommend clipping your bird's wings unless you absolutely have to, as it is a vital part of their lifestyle. I keep my birds outside and one day one got out somehow, I had clipped his wings and I am pretty sure a cat got him and he couldn't fly away. I found his feathers out the front and I felt utterly horrible.

Try spreading millet sprays around or coaxing him out of the cage or wherever he is with it. Some birds are afraid of it but if they're not its an easy way to get them to do what you want. If they are afraid try putting some around your cage or in the food bowl to get them used to it.


When you take him out of his cage make sure it's in a room with plenty of places to perch (preferably high ones) and make sure the curtains are closed (some will try to fly into the window and hurt themselves).


Using a perch to get him does not help him get used to you, when he is in his cage or perched around the house, just slowly put your finger underneath him and rub his belly saying in a sweet, soothing voice, 'step up!'.

You can try recording him and playing it back to him to calm him down.


If you're completely fed up with him flying away you can put your thumb on his toes while you work with him.


Once he knows without doubt he can trust you you can clean him and teach him tricks, take note of his behaviour and the feel of his body so you know if he is getting sick or if something is not right.


Remember when handling him that in the wild a predator would go from behind and he or she must know what is touching it and whether it is safe.


Remember, don't give up keep calm and confident.



Edited by Finnie
removed the duplicate part, must have gotten printed twice on accident. :)

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Some useful tips there, Jaimie. thanks!


Just keep in mind when replying to old threads, that after two years, the original person is probably not going to come back and look at this. But other people reading may find these tips useful. ;)

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Other people will definitely find old posts useful. That is what makes forums like this so valuable.


I have found that putting a towel over the cage so the budgie cant see you helps.


They will sit on your hand relatively easily with just your hand visible. You can work on the rest in time.

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Hi! I encountered a problem like this... many years ago... anyway, my solution was pretty much patience. every day, for about 6 months I would just put my hand in the cage gently. I would then leave it there for 30 seconds - 1 minute. eventually, coming up to the 3 month stage, he started becoming curious and came up to my hand and nibbled my finger. this continued for a month or so, then I slowly moved my hand toward him. I always did it below him so he wouldn't be forced to jump onto my hand. by the time it was 7-8 months, whenever I put my hand in he would automatically run towards my hand and jump on it. he is now a mature budgie and nests on my hand and cleans my nails too (ewww). I have tried taking him out of the age but he just crashes into the walls and injures himself. I'm content and he is too at just a hand relationship (Lol)... Hope I could Help! Elle

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