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How Do I Get My Budgerigar To Let Me Pet Him?

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Okay. So I got this budgie for my birthday about two weeks ago and he will step onto my hand whenever I want but he never lets me pet him. When I try he either bites me or flies away, squawking. What do I do??!

I have been talking softly to him and letting him rest when he's out of the cage and apparently doing everything right but he just hates it.

He also won't eat fruit or millet so I can't really distract him or anything and he won't play with any of the toys. I have another one that will let me do pretty much whatever I want to her and she loves the toys, I have also been trying to get him to watch her to see how it's done but he won't learn.

I think he's pretty young but I got him at a pet store and the conditions there weren't that good.


Please help me.




P.S. Their names are Opal and Na na.

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Well, getting him to step up is the first hurdle, so you are on the right track. It is unusual for a budgie to allow someone to pet it. They are really not cuddly types of birds. If your other budgie allows you to do "pretty much anything", then you should consider yourself lucky with that one, but not expect a different bird to allow all the same type of handling.


Some budgies will allow you to scratch their necks, which is more common than having them accept actual "petting". So you might want to focus on teaching your new bird how to have his neck scratched. The thing is, when they see your hand approach, they will expect you to want them to step up on your finger, so they move their feet to your finger and don't allow your finger to make it to their head area.


I don't tame my budgies, so I can't advise. But I do know that folks use clicker training to teach behaviors in a series of small steps, building each step on what has been taught previously. There are taming threads here in the bonding and taming section that you might find helpful.


Years ago there was a member who taught her budgie to accept neck scratching by using a chop stick. That might be a good goal to try before transitioning to allowing finger scratching. You will definitely have to use patience with him, since trying to advance too quickly may upset your bird and cause him to regress in his trust of you. The main thing is to avoid doing anything to him that will make him view your hand as a scary thing. Good luck with your taming, and have fun. :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I agree with everything Finnie has mentioned,


Two weeks is really not along time for your budgie to bond well with you yet, it can take months, What you are doing is right, just keep doing what you are doing,

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  • 4 years later...

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