Wing Clipping and Training with a Budgie

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by wbruder17, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    We got a young Budgie 6 days ago. I did not get its wings clipped at the store. We have been putting our hands. In the cage, stroking the bird etc. to get him used to us. He has been pretty good with it. I had also had half of his cage (the side facing the window) covered wiith a towel for comfort... as I read helpw them feel secure.

    Today, I took the towel off, but I think that made him nervous and he was flyiing around the cage a lot to get away from my hand. Now I have the towel back on and it seems he's flying less. Perhaps he was freaked out by the towel off?

    Ok, here's some questions I have:
    1: Do I need to clip hiis wings for the best training? Such as, he can't get away so I can hold him more, or would he get friendly without having his wings clipped?
    2. I tried to hold him today to se what he would do if I tried to clip his wings and he bit me and held on! He didn't hurt me, but he was biting hard for sure. Is this a bad sign? Is he always going to be a biter? He's still very young. Did I push hhim too far too fast by attempting to hold/ restrain him?

    I've got lots of outdoor birds, and my chickens are super friendly and tame as I work with them constantly, but this is my first attempt at training one like this, so any advice would be great.

    My dh's sisters family (5 kids) have a little budgie that is sweeter than anything, but they get his wings clipped way down. He just flops
     
  2. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Overrun With Chickens

    3,008
    274
    256
    Mar 22, 2011
    Clipping has nothing to do with training you can train them with flights millet is usually a good attempt to try since they love millet.
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,136
    5,139
    601
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I think you are rushing this bird. It takes time for a bird to climatize to a household, you and the things going on around his area. So I think you need to go slow with him. Get him used to you by teaching him the "step up" command. Get him out of his cage and put him on a play stand. Let him hang out while you are doing dishes and such. And I wouldn't try to handle him much at first and you may be teaching him to bite you. (He is only biting you now because he is scared).

    Many birds do not like to be "held" or "touched" with exception of being on your finger or head scratched. So I would stop trying to grab him. He no doubt thinks you are a scary hawk and are trying to eat him.

    Take him over to the floor or the couch and offer him treats, pieces of wood to chew on, and make your experience with him a pleasant one each time. When it is breakfast time or dinner time, include him in on the feast with a piece of pasta, lettuce or rice. Over time he will associate you with enjoyment as he becomes part of your flock.

    As far as trimming wings, most birds find it a very scary thing. Same with toe nails. So if he needs his wings or nails done, just get it over with. However unless he is endangering himself right now by flying into windows, I would hold off on the wing trimming until he has less fear of being in your home.

    So slow down with him, make him comfortable and eventually you will have a wonderful bird! Good luck![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  4. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Quote:Thank you. I think you're right. He's getting the step-up thing, but doesn't want to come out of the cage at all....so I'm going to slow it down a lot. Its tough giving him treats from inside the cage (uncomfortable) for us by hand.... but he's ok with our hands in the cage and stroking his belly.
    I will not try to grab him again. I only did it that once and it wasn't good, so I will just continue more slowly. Thanks!
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Cages are their comfortable place. When I have babies that fledge, I let them get their wings and learn how to control them for a few weeks. They are hilarious when they first learn to fly. They tend to go straight up and bonk their heads on the ceiling, then crash straight down. But once they can fly a bit in the bird room, I clip their wings for their own good. I've had one budgie kill itself flying straight into a white wall head on. Not even a window, a wall!

    Then I just feed them from my hands. Millet is a total winner. Their cage is on a stand, so if they want to go home, which they will want desperately to go home, they will have to put up with sitting on my finger or hand to get to the cage. If they fly away or go away, they can't go home, if they stand on my hand just long enough to go home, their reward is getting to go home.

    That said, if you have more than one, taming them will be a challenge. My tamest is my adult female. She does not want to be touched. She will come to you, let you walk around with her, eat from your hand, and allow you to move her about on your finger, but is certainly not loving petting material like my handfed cockatiel. She was a pet store bin-o-budgies bird and probably took 2 years of consistency to get her to where she is now tameness wise. She only needed her wings clipped for the first moult, maybe 3 months of flightlessness? to learn I was not to be so feared as to blindly fly into walls. She's been flighted ever since. I can towel her and clip her nails, and she will hold a grudge for a few days, but gets over it.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,136
    5,139
    601
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I do think you may need to force him out of the cage, as he will continue to see the cage as his sanctuary and may never come around. So get him out and see if you can work with him out of his comfort zone.

    But you are on the right track now. Remember, all birds have their personalities. I have one cockatiel male that is 15 years old and only last year did he figure out I was not going to eat him! [​IMG] And then I have a female cockatiel that warmed up to me at 10 weeks old. So each and ever bird is different.

    But budgies are very friendly birds and with time and patients and lots of love, you can get him to come around.

    Good luck with your baby! [​IMG]
     
  7. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    2,758
    542
    261
    Apr 7, 2011
    Boonies of NY
    My Coop
    If you create a rewarding experience for him in doing what you want him to do, he will eventually come around. Baby steps though-- you cannot expect him to understand what you want right away. Start small. Reward him when he simply steps slightly closer to your hand.. do this enough times and he will get closer and closer. Reward him when he puts one foot on your hand, etc. Each step might take a few days at least, or even a few weeks.

    Though birds are not people, if you want a very simple way of looking at it, pretend you are a small child in a new house of adults. No one speaks your language or even uses the same simple body language as you do (such as smiling, or nodding). This is how the budgie feels-- even a kind voice telling him how good he is being doesn't mean anything to him-- yet. It will take time and patience. They are smart little guys though and if you are willing to put the time in he will pick it up!
     
  8. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Great advice so far. Thank you. Budgies are NOTHING like chickens!! Much harder! He is not interested in treats. How can I get him interested in them and which treats are the most desirable for him?
     
  9. Englishjodes

    Englishjodes Out Of The Brooder

    90
    1
    33
    Jan 11, 2012
    Victoria, Australia
    My budgies love:
    Crusts of toast (i cut it off before buttering toast) if i forget their toast in the morning they shout at me and fly round to see if im making toast yet!!!
    Carrot
    Peppers
    Grapes
    Lettuce
    Peas and sweetcorn
    Get some millet from pet store they love it!

    Hope that helps
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Millet... if they have not seen their parents/flock eat it, who who it considers part of the flock eat it, they will have a hard time testing it out. Spray millet is something they should all know and love though.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by