Budgie Advice?

WallyBirdie

Songster
Aug 2, 2019
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Working to tame two untame pet store budgies. I've made some progress with getting them to allow my hands near them. I can stroke their feet and chests without them fleeing.
Playing soft music seems to help.

Does it hurt to play budgie sound videos, or does that help? I'm not sure if it would help them settle in or upset them and make them look for more birds.

And... should I be working to tame them one at a time or both at once?
What I've been doing, is working with one for minutes at a time within sight of the other, then switching. Good or bad idea?

I want to do this right!
 

tripletfeb

Songster
Jun 9, 2018
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The little farm, northern Ohio
Sounds like you are on the right track! I would separate them to train them one on one. That way they aren't distracted by the other bird. Keep in mind that you should not let them get above your eye level. The higher a bird roosts, the "higher up" they are in the bird dynamic. You want to be the dominate bird, not them. Offer them treats while you train them too. A hand bringing them food is a friendlier hand verses one who doesn't have treats! And always end on a good note. Good luck!
 

Quailobsessed

Songster
Oct 12, 2019
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Australia
Sometimes they do better when worked with separately, but if being separated stresses them out, that won't be helpful.

What you're doing at the moment sounds good if you're making progress and the birds are happy and not stressed.

I sometimes train my birds together. I find that having slight competition helps them learn to respond quicker. If you have one that is ahead of the other, you can use that one to help the other just by adding that competition.
 

WallyBirdie

Songster
Aug 2, 2019
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I've read it's best to take them out separately and out of earshot of any others to work on them one on one.

I can't imagine hearing other birds will cause problems. In the warmer months mine like chirping to the sounds of the outside birds.
Thank you for the advice! Really helpful!
I tried and it helped one budgie but set the other back.
I coaxed my one budgie out of the cage and into another room, and I let him explore a bit. After a few minutes he came back to me, and I repeated the usual finger-perch routine I've been doing. No biting or fleeing and he seemed to do well with the attention. When I put him back in the cage, the other budgie had a fit flying around in the cage. By the end of it he lost a long tail feather. I feel terrible for upsetting the fella.
Surely I am the cause for distress? The two birds are always mutually grooming and regurgitating food to each other. They get along great.
Scout (the newly distressed bird) was doing really well with me beforehand; I had him willingly perching on my finger and he wasn't bothered by my hands or general presence.

I'm a bit concerned and a little stumped. Do you think it is some kind of separation anxiety?

I bought Piper first, by himself, thinking that one budgie would be fine. In the pet store cage, it was just the two of them and they were grooms each other.
I got Piper home and he was a bit quiet mostly inactive. I figured he just needed time to settle in. Days later, I decided to get him a friend, and I ended up buying the same friend he was previously housed with. They instantly connected when they were reunited, and they seem happy, chirpy, and playful.

And now this new distress. It could be from the separation for the training session, but they we're apart long.

Did I goof up badly? Is my little fella going to be okay?
 

WallyBirdie

Songster
Aug 2, 2019
567
1,268
226
Sometimes they do better when worked with separately, but if being separated stresses them out, that won't be helpful.

What you're doing at the moment sounds good if you're making progress and the birds are happy and not stressed.

I sometimes train my birds together. I find that having slight competition helps them learn to respond quicker. If you have one that is ahead of the other, you can use that one to help the other just by adding that competition.
Thank you so much! I tried solo training for the first time. The one I was training did amazing! Friendly behavior, very alert and cooperative. Very fun! But then I went to switch them out and things went very bad. I put the first bird back and the second pitched such a fit and wouldn't dare let my hand near the cage door (even though he usually likes me better than the first!) Poor distressed fella lost his longest tail feathers during his fit of flying and bashing against the cage.

I'm really upset and worried. I put on soft music and gave them some fresh foods, and I'm remaining near them while giving them space.
They're napping now.

I didn't mean to cause the distress. Any suggestion on how to ready my mistake?
 

Quailobsessed

Songster
Oct 12, 2019
550
959
181
Australia
Thank you so much! I tried solo training for the first time. The one I was training did amazing! Friendly behavior, very alert and cooperative. Very fun! But then I went to switch them out and things went very bad. I put the first bird back and the second pitched such a fit and wouldn't dare let my hand near the cage door (even though he usually likes me better than the first!) Poor distressed fella lost his longest tail feathers during his fit of flying and bashing against the cage.

I'm really upset and worried. I put on soft music and gave them some fresh foods, and I'm remaining near them while giving them space.
They're napping now.

I didn't mean to cause the distress. Any suggestion on how to ready my mistake?
You may have to start again with Scout. Work with Piper while Scout is in the cage but work in the same room so they can see each other. If Scout watches Piper having a good time with you and sees you as safe for his friend, he should start to calm down around you. Work at his pace, it's better for Scout to spend a whole day in his cage than stressed out when you take him out.
 

WallyBirdie

Songster
Aug 2, 2019
567
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226
You may have to start again with Scout. Work with Piper while Scout is in the cage but work in the same room so they can see each other. If Scout watches Piper having a good time with you and sees you as safe for his friend, he should start to calm down around you. Work at his pace, it's better for Scout to spend a whole day in his cage than stressed out when you take him out.
Much appreciated. I will do my best, and then some. I just want them to be happy and healthy.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
Staff member
Premium member
Jul 16, 2015
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Thank you for the advice! Really helpful!
I tried and it helped one budgie but set the other back.
I coaxed my one budgie out of the cage and into another room, and I let him explore a bit. After a few minutes he came back to me, and I repeated the usual finger-perch routine I've been doing. No biting or fleeing and he seemed to do well with the attention. When I put him back in the cage, the other budgie had a fit flying around in the cage. By the end of it he lost a long tail feather. I feel terrible for upsetting the fella.
Surely I am the cause for distress? The two birds are always mutually grooming and regurgitating food to each other. They get along great.
Scout (the newly distressed bird) was doing really well with me beforehand; I had him willingly perching on my finger and he wasn't bothered by my hands or general presence.

I'm a bit concerned and a little stumped. Do you think it is some kind of separation anxiety?

I bought Piper first, by himself, thinking that one budgie would be fine. In the pet store cage, it was just the two of them and they were grooms each other.
I got Piper home and he was a bit quiet mostly inactive. I figured he just needed time to settle in. Days later, I decided to get him a friend, and I ended up buying the same friend he was previously housed with. They instantly connected when they were reunited, and they seem happy, chirpy, and playful.

And now this new distress. It could be from the separation for the training session, but they we're apart long.

Did I goof up badly? Is my little fella going to be okay?
Does your cage door have a ramp? Putting the returning bird outside the cage, and allowing it to go back in slower could help, you probably frightened the one when you returned the other. The instinct is to flee when unsure.

It can take a long time to tame an older budgies. Back when I used to breed them for a hobby I handled them from day one and they were so very tame. I never tamed a store bought one to that degree.

Usually you can get further with a single bird that needs you and comes to think of you as it's mate. When you keep two they don't need you the same way. The ones I have now I don't tame. It takes a lot of time.

In the end, do what you think is best. If it works best to work with them both together than do so.
 

WallyBirdie

Songster
Aug 2, 2019
567
1,268
226
Does your cage door have a ramp? Putting the returning bird outside the cage, and allowing it to go back in slower could help, you probably frightened the one when you returned the other. The instinct is to flee when unsure.

It can take a long time to tame an older budgies. Back when I used to breed them for a hobby I handled them from day one and they were so very tame. I never tamed a store bought one to that degree.

Usually you can get further with a single bird that needs you and comes to think of you as it's mate. When you keep two they don't need you the same way. The ones I have now I don't tame. It takes a lot of time.

In the end, do what you think is best. If it works best to work with them both together than do so.
You used to breed? That is amazing! Quite an experience, I'm sure. I'd enjoy hearing/reading if you have stories.
I am not aware of local breeders, I don't travel, and birds aren't usually shipped for a number of reasons (though I did see one online option that was really high priced). And the prices for young budgies that are already worked with can potentially break the bank, so to speak. I couldn't put out that kind of money.
Pet store birds are inexpensive (you get what you pay for, in a way), and the ones I managed to buy were roughly 3 months old (no definitive hatch date, and the staff was wrong on gender). Before I got them, the only handling they had (to my knowledge) was being grabbed and having their wings clipped.

They have every right to be scared and untrusting. I just hope that, in time, I can earn a degree of trust.

I wanna thank you for taking the time to share your info and advice. Any more you have to offer, I will be one happy sponge.
About the ramp idea, I will try that. The cage door opens and allows a ramp, like you mentioned. When I put the bird away, I returned him directly to the perch. That might have been a huge mistake and accosted for a great deal of distress (due to the intrusion).

The internet can only be so helpful when looking for advice. Half of it is people contradicting one another, and a portion of it is wrong or biased.

Best sources are experienced bird owners.
 
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