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However Much I Hate To Admit...

Stevetomobs

Strolling the yard
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In this post I am going to be completely honest by my own knowledge and I refuse to let myself live this lie any longer.

For the last few posts I have made, I have been talking about my budgies Sherbert and R.R and how I have been attempting to ‘train’ them.

At first I was excited and wanted to do so much with them. Then my habits got the better of me.

I let them out of their cage every once and a while and let them fly around to their hearts content and just let them general hang about.

I watched them very closely but didn’t dare to disturb them in fear of losing the little trust they had in me.
That just turned into a regular thing, I would let them out and just plain leave them alone. Only looking when I heard them flying or Jesse Bird screeching at them.

After that everything went down hill, they refused to allow me to put them in the cage by myself. I had to attempt maybe 10 or more times before they even let me get them close to the cage while in my hand/perch before just flying back to where I had gotten them from.

I tried to be as patient as I could but my temper got the best of me. R.R was already in the cage and Sherbert stepped away every time I got my finger near her. She stepped on, flew back. And stepped back every single time I wanted her to step on my finger.

This is where things get bad. It was past midnight and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. I was literally begging Sherbert to let me put her back in the cage with R.R. She refused, I just wanted to go to sleep so bad and my temper was even making me think to just grab a bowl or container and force her in.

Luckily that wasn’t the case but it’s still not good what I did. I grabbed her from behind and put her in the cage.

She was biting and fighting against me, not for blood so that’s good, but after I got her in I just plain said I was sorry and went to bed.

Same thing happened with R.R after that but under different circumstances.

It finally got to the point where I stopped leaving food outside of the cage for them so they had to go back inside the cage if they wanted to eat.

Anytime one of them went in to eat I just closed the door and hoped the other would let me put them up.

I feel horrible about those decisions, especially using force to get them in.
After what happened with R.R I was too afraid to even let them out in fear I would never be able to get them back in.

I have failed to be a good owner. I’ve failed to continue training them out of fear that my temper my get out of hand again or I might do something wrong and lose any of the trust they have left in me. Heck, I’ve even failed to try to expand their diet beyond plain seed and spray millet.


And now that you know of the horrible owner I’ve been, I propose another one of my usually horrible and stupid plans.

I would like to move their cage and them into my room on a table by my bed. Moving them away from the other birds they are currently near.

‘Why that?’, you may ask. Well I’ve tried not to mention this at all in fear of being shamed upon here but all the other parakeets I own aren’t trained or anywhere close to it.

Not they’re parents, not the newer two Stormy and Thundery. None of the birds except Jesse. I didn’t even train him. That was my uncle and mom.

I’m not saying I want isolate them from any other birds because I love only them. I just want to get the hang of training in general before I do anything more rash than this.

I just feel the others don’t show them good habits, they move away as soon as I try to change their food and water and huddle in a corner out of fear.

I’m not saying I’m giving up the the ones in the group cage, but I would rather get the hang of training in general before I try to change their minds about me.

Considering how long they have been afraid of me and how may of them there are, I doubt it will be easy to change their minds.

As I said I am afraid if I try anything I will just make things worse. I just want to train R.R and Sherbert to begin with and then attempt to expand onward from there.

I know this is probably sounding like another one of my stupid ideas, which it probably is. But I genuinely want to learn how to be better and not make these horrible mistakes anymore.

I want to learn from these things and help the other budgies not fear me anymore.

I know I’m a horrible owner for doing all these things I’ve said, but please. I ask for forgiveness from the community for not doing any of this sooner. I’ve just been so afraid and confused.

Please, if anyone can or wants to help me with this. I thank you so so much.

And again, I’m sorry for letting all this happen and not trying to fix it sooner..
 

JLcribber

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I know this is probably sounding like another one of my stupid ideas, which it probably is. But I genuinely want to learn how to be better and not make these horrible mistakes anymore.
I have owned budgies for longer than you have been alive Steve (unless you're reallly old :) ). I have never hand tamed any of them because they really aren't that kind of bird. The extent of their trust is to land on my shoulder "when they choose" for a treat which isn't that often. They don't trust me but they are not "scared" of me. There is a difference. Birds do not need to be handled to be happy.

In your case this idea of "training" is not correct. What you need to do is earn their trust with bribery and a "different" way of interacting. This "step up" on the "hand" has to stop. Your hand is the most predatory looking and acting thing you could possibly use. Your face/eyes is who they see as "you". You interact by getting close with your face and establishing a relationship eyeball to eyeball. You place a nice fresh piece of millet on your shoulder and you "wait" for them to take the bait nad hop on your shoulder. And those hands are nowhere to be seen (watched and feared).

I think putting them in your room is not a bad idea. It's all about environment. If the room was bird friendly/safe you would not need to "chase/catch" them if they were allowed to choose their own place to sleep. It's still a good idea for them to sleep in a closed cage at night for safety. The way you achieve thatis with "routine" (which is training). 30 minutes before bedtime you turn down the lights in their environment. Not off but much lower with a small light close to the cage. Give them time and see if they go in on their own (the usually do). If not you may have to steer/shu them a little. They will naturally fly towards the light (cage). Nothing happens immediately but they will get the routine and soon enough with very little effort they will go home.

Stop using your hands. (shoulder, arm, forearm, head, knee, anything but your hands) :)
 
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Just-passn-thru

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That's not a good way to feel , you haven't committed a mortal sin , I 'm no expert and don't have the solution to all of the things you feel about having somehow failed your birds. My only advise would be, step back take a break from trying so hard to live up to something that is not attainable on short order. For whatever it's worth in my humble opinion, sometimes folks feel that unless their companion birds live up to the exact ideal of how a tame /trained bird should behave , they no longer enjoy their feathered companions. Sometimes just letting go of that notion, and generating a calm energy is enough to get a fresh start. Birds are extremely empathic and pick up on the ambient energy in their environment. Again i repeat, I'm not an authority on training but rather just try to allow the flow to happen naturally.
The littles really do need their own way of interaction vs their larger counterparts. Why not reset the mood in your flock by not trying so hard and for a while just enjoy your Budgies for who they are. I'm sure others on here will give you more advice on your situation.
 

Just-passn-thru

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I have owned budgies for longer than you have been alive Steve. I have never hand tamed any of them because they really aren't that kind of bird. The extent of their trust is to land on my shoulder "when they choose" for a treat which isn't that often. They don't trust me but they are not "scared" of me. There is a difference. Birds do not need to be handled to be happy.

In your case this idea of "training" is not correct. What you need to do is earn their trust with bribery and a "different" way of interacting. This "step up" on the "hand" has to stop. Your hand is the most predatory looking and acting thing you could possibly use. Your face/eyes is who they see as "you". You interact by getting close with your face and establishing a relationship eyeball to eyeball. You place a nice fresh piece of millet on your shoulder and you "wait" for them to take the bait nad hop on your shoulder. And those hands are nowhere to be seen (watched and feared).

I think putting them in your room is not a bad idea. It's all about environment. If the room was bird friendly/safe you would not need to "chase/catch" them if they were allowed to choose their own place to sleep. It's still a good idea for them to sleep in a closed cage at night for safety. The way you achieve thatis with "routine" (which is training). 30 minutes before bedtime you turn down the lights in their environment. Not off but much lower with a small light close to the cage. Give them time and see if they go in on their own (the usually do). If not you may have to steer/shu them a little. They will naturally fly towards the light (cage). Nothing happens immediately but they will get the routine and soon enough with very little effort they will go home.

Stop using your hands. (shoulder, arm, forearm, head, knee, anything but your hands) :)
Excellent advice John :joyful:
 

camelotshadow

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You don't have only one & they are friends or bonded so you are the outsider. Keep the food inside the cage so they have to go inside to eat...Nothing terrible about that. I trained my English budgie to get on my finger in less than 2 weeks & she would step up but she rather be out playing. The petshop was amazed as she was parent raised! Secret was millet & slowly using it to gain her confidence.She would fly back to her cage when she wanted to...Bubbles was exceptional Get some millet...most of them will do anything for it. USe it to try to instruct them... or get them back into the cage. They are never going to jump thru hoops for you but hopefully things can get manageable & you all can live peacefully...

My sweet bubbles...sadly she was not with us long...\

bubblesP1160108.jpg
 
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faislaq

I have macaws and don't post enough pictures
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My father's budgies' cage is open all day then they fly to their cage on their own at night & my dad closes the cage behind them.

Our green cheeks go crazy for sprigs of millet. When they see or hear that bag they get so excited.

I think if you only gave them millet at night (different from their regular food) they'd learn that the crinkle of the bag was a signal to head back to the cage. Pavlov's birds? :) Hopefully soon after that it would become routine.
 

ConureTiel

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Like the others who've posted, I wouldn't worry so much about the taming/training part, BUT the diet you describe of nothing but seeds and spray millet doesn't serve their health well, as I'm sure you know, and may cause health problems over time. I hope you can come up with ways to expand their diet to include healthy, good quality pellets and fresh foods. And moving their cage to your room sounds like it's probably a good plan!
 

SquawksNibbles

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I have owned budgies for longer than you have been alive Steve (unless you're reallly old :) ). I have never hand tamed any of them because they really aren't that kind of bird. The extent of their trust is to land on my shoulder "when they choose" for a treat which isn't that often. They don't trust me but they are not "scared" of me. There is a difference. Birds do not need to be handled to be happy.

In your case this idea of "training" is not correct. What you need to do is earn their trust with bribery and a "different" way of interacting. This "step up" on the "hand" has to stop. Your hand is the most predatory looking and acting thing you could possibly use. Your face/eyes is who they see as "you". You interact by getting close with your face and establishing a relationship eyeball to eyeball. You place a nice fresh piece of millet on your shoulder and you "wait" for them to take the bait nad hop on your shoulder. And those hands are nowhere to be seen (watched and feared).

I think putting them in your room is not a bad idea. It's all about environment. If the room was bird friendly/safe you would not need to "chase/catch" them if they were allowed to choose their own place to sleep. It's still a good idea for them to sleep in a closed cage at night for safety. The way you achieve thatis with "routine" (which is training). 30 minutes before bedtime you turn down the lights in their environment. Not off but much lower with a small light close to the cage. Give them time and see if they go in on their own (the usually do). If not you may have to steer/shu them a little. They will naturally fly towards the light (cage). Nothing happens immediately but they will get the routine and soon enough with very little effort they will go home.

Stop using your hands. (shoulder, arm, forearm, head, knee, anything but your hands) :)


:agreed: :yes3:
 

finchly

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You have received some good advice here. I think many budgies are hand tamed by using millet placed on the hand (@Monica wrote about that) or working it up near the hand so that they have to step up in order to get it. I think they are trainable in most cases.

Random thoughts...

I have no budgies but with my tiels, parrotlet, and canaries here is what I have done. Put a table in the bird room with a small training perch on it, along with a very small wood ‘tree’ they were familiar with and some bowls of food. Whenever I was in the room I’d open cages and let them get used to landing there. Then I used a clicker to have them land on the perch - millet was my treat/reward. From there it was a matter of putting my hand closer and asking them to step on it. The only one that didn’t do it was my male parrotlet, he will perch wherever I ask but he is so afraid of hands. He flies and lands on me though so I accept him the way he is. I think I stopped too early and could’ve gotten him past this.

If you put them in your room they can do something similar to what I described without the distraction off their budgie friends. Plus you can tame them by reading, talking or singing to them. Keep them there awhile though, like months - don’t keep moving them around. They need to settle in.

I’ve had all my cages open for a week or two. I put newspaper on the floor beneath where they’re most likely to perch (cage doors!). Food is in the cages, and if I want someone to go in a cage I put food in that cage, wait, they fly in and I shut the door. You have to start early, like 1/2 hour before you really want them in (or before your bedtime.)

I’m wondering why you haven’t changed their diet? Do you have too many? Better to have fewer birds and take really great care than to have aquite a few and provide a low quality diet. In essence you are shortening their lives by creating a vitamin deficit. While you’re being honest with. Yourself, think about that. If you need to rehome some birds in order to take good care of your flock —- do it.
 

SquawksNibbles

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You don't have only one & they are friends or bonded so you are the outsider. Keep the food inside the cage so they have to go inside to eat...Nothing terrible about that. I trained my English budgie to get on my finger in less than 2 weeks & she would step up but she rather be out playing. The petshop was amazed as she was parent raised! Secret was millet & slowly using it to gain her confidence.She would fly back to her cage when she wanted to...Bubbles was exceptional Get some millet...most of them will do anything for it. USe it to try to instruct them... or get them back into the cage. They are never going to jump thru hoops for you but hopefully things can get manageable & you all can live peacefully...

My sweet bubbles...sadly she was not with us long...\

View attachment 274609

That is one beautiful Budgie! Sorry for your loss.
 

Shinobi

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Stevetomobs
Congratulations you have become self-aware. You have realised that your training is bad. There are people out there and for their whole life, will never become aware of that lie. They will usually blame the bird or others and feel victimised.

You aren't a horrible owner or a failure. Everyone makes mistakes, that how you gain knowledge and experience by learning from your mistakes. However you cannot let fear and confusion rule your life, because that isn't living.

I grew up with birds, my father had various birds. He did want a larger sulphur crested cockatoo but felt that this bird needed a large aviary for it to have a good life. It would upset him to see a larger sulphur crested cockatoo chain to a stand or locked in a small cage. This was in the mid 50s to the 70s. He never got a larger sulphur crested cockatoo. He died in 2000 and never owned a larger sulphur crested cockatoo, not because of fear, but because he felt that it was a extraordinary bird which needed an extraordinary person.

I agree with John, you need to establish a routine. you need to stop and reset yourself. I would stop all feeding outside the cage. Next I would train the birds singularly. It's just impossible to train birds in a group. There is always help here and JL cribber is really switched on.

why your birds are still up at midnight?.
 

Parakeet88

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I have owned budgies for longer than you have been alive Steve (unless you're reallly old :) ). I have never hand tamed any of them because they really aren't that kind of bird. The extent of their trust is to land on my shoulder "when they choose" for a treat which isn't that often. They don't trust me but they are not "scared" of me. There is a difference. Birds do not need to be handled to be happy.

In your case this idea of "training" is not correct. What you need to do is earn their trust with bribery and a "different" way of interacting. This "step up" on the "hand" has to stop. Your hand is the most predatory looking and acting thing you could possibly use. Your face/eyes is who they see as "you". You interact by getting close with your face and establishing a relationship eyeball to eyeball. You place a nice fresh piece of millet on your shoulder and you "wait" for them to take the bait nad hop on your shoulder. And those hands are nowhere to be seen (watched and feared).

I think putting them in your room is not a bad idea. It's all about environment. If the room was bird friendly/safe you would not need to "chase/catch" them if they were allowed to choose their own place to sleep. It's still a good idea for them to sleep in a closed cage at night for safety. The way you achieve thatis with "routine" (which is training). 30 minutes before bedtime you turn down the lights in their environment. Not off but much lower with a small light close to the cage. Give them time and see if they go in on their own (the usually do). If not you may have to steer/shu them a little. They will naturally fly towards the light (cage). Nothing happens immediately but they will get the routine and soon enough with very little effort they will go home.

Stop using your hands. (shoulder, arm, forearm, head, knee, anything but your hands) :)
You've got a lot of great advice in this thread but this post really stood out to me. I totally agree with stopping interactions with your hands at least for a good while. I have two keets and they are not really trained but my male keet LOVES being near my face! He's learned to talk and his favorite times of the day are when I put my face up against the cage and talk to him. He has a specific perch that he runs to and waits for me to go talk to him. He will rest his beak on my nose and start falling asleep while I talk to him. But as soon as he sees my hand he backs away. He's not completely terrified of my hands but he is still very cautious of them and prefers not to deal with them. I'm far from an expert on this as my own birds aren't trained how I'd like them to be so you might take this with a grain of salt but I'd suggest going back to the beginning. Don't use your hands to interact with them, get them used to you just being around first. Sit near the cage, talk to them, maybe offer them some millet through the cage bars but for the most part don't let them see your hands. It took months for my first keet to trust me near his cage. I feel that if you're having to catch them to get them back in the cage maybe don't let them out until you've got some more trust built or find a way to get them back in on their own. If you know it's going to take a while to get them back in start the process early so you won't be up late like what happened before. It seems like you're doing the opposite of building trust by letting them out and then having to catch them. Anyway, just my two cents here, good luck!
 

nu2birds

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Thank you JLCribber for that very helpful post. That was very helpful for me as well. I don't attempt a lot of handling with my birds, I never intended to have the kind of relationship where I am wanting to have physical contact or try and train my birds to do tricks. I just enjoy watching them play and interact with each other and be free to fly around. But for their quality of life, I have to be able to put them back in the cage and transfer them into a travel cage for vet visits and for taking outside for sunshine. So being able to do that without them being traumatized is important. I have taken to using your T stick suggestion. They will step up on the T stick when they want nothing to do with the hand. I also "get" what your saying about them identifying and relating to your face not the predatory hand. Good luck Steve.........some good information on this thread.
 

SquawksNibbles

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I totally agree with stopping interactions with your hands at least for a good while. I have two keets and they are not really trained but my male keet LOVES being near my face

My thoughts exactly. My Skittles will eat out of my hand and ocassionally perch on it, but other than that he does not want anything to do with them. No pets, no head scratches, etc. Instead, he loves to hang out on my shoulder and preen my hair - and this is just as rewarding. Whenever he's not out for playtime he also loves interacting through the bars. :)
 

lyx

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I agree with all the advice given in this thread, everyone's had some great suggestions! :) When I first got my 2 budgies I followed @Monica advice and now they love my hands! Sometimes I can't even get them off my finger because they just want to sit there and preen or they like to run up and down my arms for fun. Or they like to take food and sit on top of my head to eat :rolleyes:

I found that if I worked with the more confident/curious budgie Teddy, her sister would soon copy her and they bounced off each others confidence :) Now they won't leave me alone lol!
 

camelotshadow

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One should never expect too much but I agree budgies can be alot more if given the chance.
Trick is to find there weakness & use it.

Bubbles was millet!

Here she is all comfy taking a nap on my arm about a week after I got her parent raised from a pet shop at about 5 or so months old!
bubbles P1160110.jpg
 
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