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lisa53stlucia

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Hello there,

I read this post with great interest as we brought home our first budgie on Friday!

He is a young bird, and after a day of barely moving a muscle, he has now progressed to doing the same - agitated "pacing" of the bottom of his cage, wedging himself in between his food and water bowls and the side of the cage and pecking at the bowls, and kicking all his seed out.

Its distressing for us to see him doing this and I was wondering if anyone has any advice to help reassure the bird.

Thank you thank you!

Lisa

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He is a young bird, and after a day of barely moving a muscle, he has now progressed to doing the same - agitated "pacing" of the bottom of his cage, wedging himself in between his food and water bowls and the side of the cage and pecking at the bowls, and kicking all his seed out.

Its distressing for us to see him doing this and I was wondering if anyone has any advice to help reassure the bird.

 

He is alone and frightened. He has nowhere to hide. I hope he is in a square or rectangular cage. They like corners to hide in.

Here's what I would do: I would cover part of the cage so he can hide whille he gets used to all the new sounds. I would leave him alone and not try at all to touch him. Every day at consistent times, I would approach the cage and talk quietly to him. Then, I would open it with smooth, slow movements and replace food, water, newspaper etc.

Once he starts coming out from hiding and sitting on a perch, I would move the cover back slightly, a little more each day. I would also sit at a small distance from the cage and talk quietly to him - lots of times each day. Once he begins to chatter to himself, he has adjusted.

After the adjustment, you can begin to offer him stuff from your hand. Do not attempt that for as long as he does a frantic fluttering to get away from your hands. I can tell you more about taming him later.

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thanks so much for that catherine.

its weird as half of the time he is sitting on a perch, seeming quite relaxed, then suddenly he acts all stressed for a while, then back to sitting quietly... i have the rear of the (rectangular) cage covered with a cloth in daytime hours, i will move the cloth so it also covers 1 of the sides during the day also.

hes eating plenty of seed but not interested in the millet or fresh veg (so far, apple broccoli and carrot) that we've offered, i leave the veg wedged in the bars near his seed for a couple of hours then remove it.

hes okay when my hand is in the cage - he doesn't freak out but doesnt come too close either.

i know all this takes time, and i appreciate your advice to make sure we're on the right track with him!

regards

lisa

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update:

hes still pacing... its very odd... hes either pacing frantically or sitting peacefully on a perch in his cage.... or burrowing madly in his seed dish!

 

yesterday a few times we let him out of the cage just to break the pacing behaiour.... he looks around the room a little, trying to fly (clipped wings), sits under the table a while then heads back to his cage.

 

we covered more of his cage as suggested but that didnt seem to soothe him his pacing circuit was just made shorter as he paced back and forth in front of the uncovered part of the cage!

he also has a little circuit of climbing up the cage wall, hanging upside down and wedging himself between the cage side and his food dish... looks to me like an escape attempt!

 

he will sit on my finger or on a piece of wood for me to help him back into his cage... so he is less terrified of us i guess... but still wants to not be here i think!

as i type hes sitting very quietly in his cage with the door open.... looking sad (i think) my husband says he needs a little cup to rattle against the bars of his cage....

 

dunno how to help the wee guy be happy.... he has only been here 4 days so maybe its just time. any advice appreciated please!!

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can you take a picture of your cage and post here please?

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I agree with Elly, a picture of his cage would help... but to add to this, it is quite common behaviour for a new budgie is a new environment.

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Pacing is also a result of a bird that has come from a large cage or aviary into a smaller space like a cage. With the vegies try grated and sprinkle some budgie seed across the top.

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How big is his cage? I agree with the aviary to cage concept.

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june2009.jpg

 

hope this comes through okayanother budgie person i talked to says we should handle him every day from now - like sit in the (empty) bath with him so he can't dash away and talk to him.... any comments on this

Edited by maesie

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Not much flight room at all in that cage, may be okay if he is released during the day otherwise it needs to be bigger.

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I would put some paper or cardboard on the floor so that he has something more comfortable to pace up and down on. It is quick and easy to change the paper each day.

It's a nice cage, though no room for flying. I would move/cut the perches so that they go across the short sides. Then he will have something to flit to and from.

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That cage is fine for sitting on perches or sidling along them but it doesnt allow flight for a budgie. Wider rather than taller is right for a budgie.

 

Click here for an article on cages............... http://forums.budgiebreeders.asn.au/index....showtopic=17858

 

 

Unfortunately there is so much bad advice out there related to an appropriate type of cage for each bird species.....and petshops are notorious for bad advice re cages.

Edited by KAZ

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thanks for all the feedback, i'll change the perches around tomorrow. . hopefully that will make life better for the boy.

we have and are continuing to let him out daily so he won't be in there all the time.

we are persevering with making him our friend, hes still not overjoyed to be handled, its only been a few days though so hopefuly with time and patience he'll realise we're harmless!

again, any tips you are generous enough to share will be gratefully received, by us all!

 

thanks

lisa

june2009001.jpg

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Hey, great advice given above, you mentioned that his wings are clippedif that is the case then for the first bit then that cage will be fine with the perches fine as they are. However agree later down the track I would change the perches or maybe look at getting a bigger cage if he is going to spend large amounts of time in the cage.

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This sounds like normal "new budgie behaviour" to me.

Put yourself in his situation: you've been taken away from your flock - all the individuals you've known all your life, the noise, the routine, the company, and all this space to move around in - and placed in a completely new, completely strange environment, both inside the cage and outside. Silent, smaller than he has probably ever known, everything completely new, from colour to size to texture. Is that water dish the corner going to attack? Is the material on the floor dangerous? His instinct is to sit very, very still, just in case anything inside the cage is going to swoop out and eat him if they can see him. A few days later, he works out that nothing in the cage is dangerous, and later figures out nothing immediately outside the cage is dangerous either.

 

So now he kicks into phase 2 of budgie breaking-in behaviour: Escape! This is not fear, but an instinct to find the flock again. Budgies are not programmed to be alone. He's trying to find every single nook and cranny, test every bar, dig under everything, to try and get out so he can find his flock again. As far as he's concerned you're a big scary moving object, he doesn't see you as his flock mate yet. He thinks he is alone and he's going to do what he can to get back to other budgies.

 

Almost every new budgie follows this basic pattern (a silent, subdued phase followed by escape mode). You should have seen the acrobatics my Squee was doing! Going upside down, doing flips, hanging, digging and doing such incredible manevoures that sometimes I was afraid she would hurt herself. But as time went by, she settled, and so will he. They learn that this is the new situation, and if you are patient and teach him that you're not a big predator, he will eventually accept you as his flock. Now is a time to start teaching him this. This is why I advise against putting your hand in and handling him until he has settled down - at the moment he's so fixated on getting away that a big hand coming towards him will kick in that predator-prey fear instinct. Even if you're showing him that you're not hurting him, the mere image of a giant hand bigger than him is enough of a negative thing to decrease his trust. One more thing to remember is that we should give them a reason to go on our fingers. To start with, they go on the finger because they're too scared to know anything else. After a few days to weeks, they will twig that they don't have to go on the finger (which they're still a little afraid of) and choose not to. They will keep choosing not to go on the finger (think from his perspective: why would he want to if he sees no reason for it? The finger will just take move and take him somewhere he probably doesn't want to be). Instead of forcing him to be your friend by putting him on your finger, give him a reason, a choice and a good reward for doing it. But more on that later.

 

As others have said, we can tell you more about taming later on. For now rest assured that this is normal. Keep his cage covered on at least two sides, move slowly and talk quietly to him, and show him that though yes you are twenty times his size, you're not going to do anything to freak him out. Take it easy and be patient, in the end it is much more rewarding. I find the bond is so much stronger and more rewarding if they come to you out of choice and trust, rather than by force. Take a step back and let him come to you when he is ready. It may take a longer time than you might like, but in the end - for the very many years to come - it is worth it.

Edited by Chrysocome

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Hello there - an update...

 

I changed the perches around and he does get a flutter around inside the cage now. i also make sure he has leafy branches hanging in the cage, he like to climb and dangle from them.

Still pacing, and goes berserko during the day yelling out to all the birds he hears outside when hes not pacing, he likes to divide his day up doing these 2 things...

Only eaten 1 leafy green, beetroot leaves, but saying that he was nibbling on the bottlebrush leaves on the branch today.

He'll hop on and off my hand in the cage... then he gets bored of that and tries to nip my hand when i put my finger close once hes had enough.

I let him out for roughy an hour every day - he jumps out his cage and rushed over to the reflective metal at the base of a stool... chatters to the other budgie he sees there, then trundles around the room trying to figure out how to unlock the windows... he'll sometimes sit on my finger for a second then, but only if it assists him getting someplace he cant get by himself...he heads home and climbs up the laddder himself when hes had enough, so sometimes hes only out for 5 mins then home, then out again later.

any more taming tips for me?! or pointers if i'm doing all this completely wrong?!

 

I read on a UK forum about winking and squinting up your eyes when talking to him, that really does seem to make him pay a little more attention to me! interesting.. (although my friend commented, after witnessing this, hes probably wondering who the lady having a stroke in front of him is!!)

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Hello me again! :D

I posted an update around a week ago and thought I'd send another post today.

Birdie Num Num seems to be settling in a little now, no more pacing.... although the majority of his attention in the day is still focused on yelling out to all the passing birds outside.

As we live in a leafy suburb of brisbane thats quite often.

 

Not yet interested in any greens/veges from the kitchen but has a good nibble on Bottlebrush etc that I bring in from the garden! Is this enough greens for him?

Hes also started to enjoy eating our turkish rug when hes out, is there any way to prevent him from doing this? In his cage i have an odd looking budgie toy made of wood and rope so I am hoping he'll take out all his chewing desires on that!

 

He has started "chattering" to himself when hes in his cage, which I take to be a good thing?

He'll sit and listen to me when I'm sitting talking to him outside the cage, and begrudgingly will climb on and off my finger while hes in the cage, if I try to slowly move my hand with him on it towards the cage door he leaps off so not ready for that!

 

We let him out frequently during the day and let him explore the room and he heads home under his own steam as I've set up a ladder so he can do this - thats what I want to know though - should I have let him out of the cage before he was totally finger tame?? As when he is out and I slowly approach him, he sprints off and makes sure we're a safe distance from him, or else he dashes off to his home.

 

I can see that progress has been made in 3 weeks but would love for some more of your fab tips to ensure I'm doing the right thing by him.

Many thanks in advance for any/all feedback!

 

Lisa

Edited by KAZ

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I cant help you too much with taming advice as all mine are aviary and show birds. Sounds like you are making progress :D

Have you any close up photos of him with no camera flash ?

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"Birdie Num Num" ;) Progress sounds great! I've had my Peanut for about 5 months, he STILL won't eat any greens :D other than the pot plant next to his cage & the seed grass that grows as a weed in our back yard- never met a budgie who didn't love that stuff!!

 

One suggestion i would make - maybe when he's out of the cage, remove the ladder, so that he needs you to help him go home. That's what we did with Peanut, when he would try to head home he soon learned that the big finger was there to actually assist him, i think it helped alot!

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great tip about removing the ladder... I'd not thought of that, thanks! I think I know what you are thinking about having a picture, to see if the bird is male/female?? I did ask for a male when we bought him.....I have attached a picture...june2009-1.jpg I was assured when I bought him he was a boy, but am unsure still if he really is as his cere is an ambiguous colour, I have read that in young birds the cere changes colour? is there another way to tell if its a boy or girl that someone like me can use??Also I you can see in the picture, he has kind of brown "stains" above is cere.... is this okay? or an indication of something?thanks so much your advice on this website is invaluable to me!

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Have you tried singing to him? They love it! Regarding other methods of sexing, you can apparently feel for the birds testicles if it is a boy. I have no interest in learning this technique myself but some of our members in the wild west will instruct you or be able to direct you to this information which is on this forum somewhere. Ambiguity may have more appeal?

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Have you tried singing to him? They love it! Regarding other methods of sexing, you can apparently feel for the birds testicles if it is a boy. I have no interest in learning this technique myself but some of our members in the wild west will instruct you or be able to direct you to this information which is on this forum somewhere. Ambiguity may have more appeal?
Even with the average male budgie testicles cannot always be felt.
great tip about removing the ladder... I'd not thought of that, thanks! I think I know what you are thinking about having a picture, to see if the bird is male/female?? I did ask for a male when we bought him.....I have attached a picture...june2009-1.jpg I was assured when I bought him he was a boy, but am unsure still if he really is as his cere is an ambiguous colour, I have read that in young birds the cere changes colour? is there another way to tell if its a boy or girl that someone like me can use??Also I you can see in the picture, he has kind of brown "stains" above is cere.... is this okay? or an indication of something?thanks so much your advice on this website is invaluable to me!
Any white on a budgies cere indicates female. How true are your photos ?The staining indicates a respiratory issue, or irritation past or present.

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Thank you for the responses.

Of course its Sunday now so the vet not open, but I will call tomorrow about the brown staining around his cere and find out what treatment this requires.

We have only had him 3 weeks and have not yet taken him out of the house - if we do take him to the vet what method of transport does anyone reccommend? he arrived in a little cardboard box.. is it more soothing for them to be transported (a short distance) in that where its dark, or in a cage?

Regards

Lisa

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Im no expert but I think he is a male. I also take my birds out in cages, not sure if it is the right thing to do, but they are fine.

 

I got my male (Tutu) and for a week solid he didnt move from one spot, I was so worried, I called the pet shop, and I think some other person and they said give him time. I went and got a eye dropper to give him some water because I didnt see him drinking or eating. My way of training him, I would sit at the cage all the time and talk to him softly and slowly, I didnt put my hand in for a week, and then after that it was once day and that was my finger. He was a xmas present so I had to pass him on to his partner 2 weeks after I got him. A different house. My mother has a small dog, I remember just before he went to my partners house, he would go down to say hello to the dog. Although he wasnt doing anything to me.

 

At my partners house he kept him in his room all the time, it was a small room. He would talk to him all the time, put his hand in, but not force him to do anything. Just slowly and talk to him really softly and slowly.

 

Tutu then started becoming confident and he would sit on our hands. Then he liked to bite our buttons on our shirts, and then pretty much became the boss of us. Liked bitting my neck. We knew he was tame when my partner was calling out his name while going to the bathroom and Tutu was walking behind him on the floor following him. He even had to turn a couple of corners.

 

I would suggest not to rush him, say his name a lot to him quietly. When you take him out of the cage, your movements need to be slow, get to know him in a small room, and make the most enjoyable thing for him to do is come and see you, take out distractions. At the start I never allowed him to come out by himself. I always put my hand in there for him to go on to so he could come out. When he went back in I would take him back in. Now he comes out when he wants (its been 9 months) but he always comes over to a human, never goes and has a look at anything else in the room.

 

When he would be on our hand at the start we would repeat the same things we said to him when he was in the cage so he was comfortable.

Edited by Tutu&Gypsy

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