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Help in taming? Worried I lost trust :(

New2birds

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5/19/23
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Sarah Phillips
Hello everyone!

as my name suggests I am very new to birds. I have done YEARS of research so I felt prepared when I brought home two budgies who had been rehomed by a family. Their owner passed of a stroke.

I love these guys so much and have upgraded their cage and eating habits. But today I learned I’ve been making a huge mistake. When they come out of the cage I have been catching them with a towel (which obviously scares them) and I just learned this is probably making them lose a bunch of trust in me. I feel awful and won’t do it again. I just thought this is what you had to do with untamed birds (obviously I know differently now).

These guys will sit on my hand and eat millet like no tomorrow! They also don’t mind if I move my hand all around and outside the cage when they’re on it: but the second they fly off of it out of the cage they won’t get BACK on my hand (hence the catching).

Should I work with them more in getting comfortable with me before coming out of the cage again? Or should I just try new methods (like the night light and dark room) to get them back in their cage?

sorry for this novel! I love these little ones so much and want the very best for them I thought some birdy experts might be able to help!
 

New2birds

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
5/19/23
Messages
3
Real Name
Sarah Phillips
Hello everyone!

as my name suggests I am very new to birds. I have done YEARS of research so I felt prepared when I brought home two budgies who had been rehomed by a family. Their owner passed of a stroke.

I love these guys so much and have upgraded their cage and eating habits. But today I learned I’ve been making a huge mistake. When they come out of the cage I have been catching them with a towel (which obviously scares them) and I just learned this is probably making them lose a bunch of trust in me. I feel awful and won’t do it again. I just thought this is what you had to do with untamed birds (obviously I know differently now).

These guys will sit on my hand and eat millet like no tomorrow! They also don’t mind if I move my hand all around and outside the cage when they’re on it: but the second they fly off of it out of the cage they won’t get BACK on my hand (hence the catching).

Should I work with them more in getting comfortable with me before coming out of the cage again? Or should I just try new methods (like the night light and dark room) to get them back in their cage?

sorry for this novel! I love these little ones so much and want the very best for them I thought some birdy experts might be able to help!
also I said years of research so it might confuse you on the handling! I guess I worked more on diets and cages and toys than taming and handling which got me into this! These guys were never tamed by their last owner and this is the first time they’ve spent any time out of a cage! They’re somewhere between 3 and 4 in age!
 

Shezbug

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Welcome to the Avenue :hiya:

Only let them out of the cage in a safe room and when you have no time limit- they will go back in the cage to eat.

You will receive so many tips here from other members so I will keep my reply short, just wanted to say it sounds like your birds were lucky to find you!
 

New2birds

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
5/19/23
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Sarah Phillips
Welcome to the Avenue :hiya:

Only let them out of the cage in a safe room and when you have no time limit- they will go back in the cage to eat.

You will receive so many tips here from other members so I will keep my reply short, just wanted to say it sounds like your birds were lucky to find you!
thank you so much!! Will do! I really appreciate the tips!
 

Wardy

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GreenThing

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Kat
Welcome welcome!

One of the beauties of budgies is how adaptable they are. They still have individual personalities and can hold grudges, and studies have shown that they have very different ways of expressing boldness (there was a test to identify correlations in budgie bold behaviors, and the result was fascinating-- it was more than some budgies would be shy about certain tasks but bold about others, the study didn't find the simple correlations they predicated). So you didn't do any damage you can't undo!

Aside from creating stress and a negative association with being handled by you, toweling and returning to the cage also confuses the process of letting THEM identify the cage as a safe place. Food and patience is really all you need, here! Simply time their out of cage time to correlate with times that they are a bit hungry and food-motivated. I am personally not a fan of having access to seed all day all the time for this reason-- I have pellets in the cage always, but having "meal times" signals to my two that it's time to "play inside the house" for a little bit. They don't need to step up to return to the cage-- they should either do it on their own, or millet should work when they aren't in the mood (that's what I use-- I have to put it in their bowls, because mine will climb right back up my arm if they don't FEEL like going to bed LOL).

Honestly, the fact that they will still step up for you with millet even though you've been toweling means you are already in a much better place than a lot of budgie newbies. Birds must always have a sense that they have AGENCY in training situations. If their only choice is to do the thing you want, that creates a hostile training environment. You want them to CHOOSE to step up or return to their cage.
 
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