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Need help witb my rescued budgie

BudgieBud

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So, I'm new to this forum and budgie ownership. I had a canary when I was a kid, also a rescue with behavioral issues, and I never intended on taking on a budgie at first but it sort of found me.

Backstory: this budgie was found outside during an early snowstorm almost two years ago. She had been attacked by something and had some feathers on her wing plucked. She was being overtaken by the wind and was falling into the snow. A wonderful bird mom spotted a lime green bird in the storm and saved her and took her to the local shelter. The shelter is well meaning but don't really do great with birds, obviously focusing on dogs and cats and some rabbits, so they tried to have her up for adoption in a week of receiving her, but she was still healing so they gave her 2 weeks.

They then had her put out in the foyer exposed to everyone and everything that came by. Kids poking their fingers in and all that. She kept close to the floor of her cage (who wouldn't) and ate little and was very terrified. I heard about her from someone and felt awful, they were trying to do a bogo adoption to try and get someone to take her home. I was terrified of someone taking her home as an after thought with little to no bird experience. Since I had at least a little experience I researched and got her a big cage, toys, seed, pellets and went to take her home. They also thought she was a he at the time, but her egg laying doesn't lie!

First day, she was quiet and kind of scared but by the second day she was chirping away. I took her to the vet and he examined the injured wing, it looked like she'd be OK, he clipped the other wing so she'd stop flying in circles and hurting herself. She was a real fighter, kicking so hard with her little feet as they tried to examine her. So I hoped in my heart she'd make a good recovery. At this point we thought it was a male, and I didn't DNA test because I had no others so it didn't matter to me. Was severely underweight, was like 35g which is nuts thinking about her weighing 42 - 43g now.

She also couldn't make any "normal " budgie sounds, she literally sounded like a sparrow, so maybe she hung out with them while outside? She learned to make budgie chirps after hearing me watch budgie videos, she kept trying to copy them until she seems to have gotten it. She's a great copy cat and LOVES Disney movies, she'll try and chirp along to the music.

It took a long time to try and have her not freak out about me being near the cage, and I tried to take it real slow, I wanted her to heal before I tried hand taming or anything like that. We also have a dog and we wanted her to be calmly introduced, which I did first, before the hand taming. She took to him quite well, they're good friends now, she'll call him over, she'll climb right onto the bars to get close to his nose and he goes to sniff her, always supervised. If he overstays his welcome a screech sends him running.

So now for today, she's two years on, we figured out she was pretty young when I got her, as her ceres didn't get its proper color until a while after I got her. So I'll assume she's 2. She won't eat any fruit or veggies even though I offer a variety. She's very picky, I tried to get her on pellets, and at first she ate a few and I practically jinxed it by being thankful she seemed to like them at first, a few days later and she decided they now suck and she would rather throw them than eat them. I still offer them but I essentially give her ammo to throw on the floor. I've tried nutriberries and a mix of different pellets. The only toy she plays with avidly are paper strips I make for her, or when I put a little piece of cotton for her to rip at. I change her toys out every few weeks but unfortunately she's so fearful of my hands or new things in general it takes her at least two weeks of them being in there for her to start playing with them so I do that, observe and make note of her play, and when the she bores of them , I change them out again.

I'm trying to hand tame but I haven't been as regular as I was in the past, my bad, I know. She has let me touch her twice, tried standing on my hand one time, only to immediately panic when she looked down and saw she was on my hand. She loves for us to go near her cage and will chirp to me and my boyfriend, she is still flighty but quickly comes back for attention. She nibbles on my boyfriends finger every now and then when he tries to do the hand taming with her, she'll calmly grab at his finger a little and continue to press up to the cage to be close to him. She's been out of her cage a few times but won't do it often, she's a nervous girl. She'll just stare out the open door. Ultimately she's cage bound, and I feel sad for her, I want her to feel comfortable being out of the cage and be able to let her out to have exercise.

My main questions are, is there anything I should be doing for her? Anything I can try, or is it ok that she might always be fearful and cage bound? I'm not going to stop trying but I want to try and do everything I can for her and am worried that maybe I just don't know what I'm doing.
 

AussieBird

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Hello and Welcome to the Avenue!
Thank you for taking the little one in.
I'll tag some experienced budgie people.
@Ripshod @Lady Jane @Lori D Pert
Any chance of pictures of her?
 

Ripshod

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Post a photo, we'll confirm the gender for you.
I think you're doing great. Being attacked by an animal is probably the worst experience for a bird. Even after 2 years, being in the position you are now with her getting closer to your boyfriend is a great place to be. I suggest your boyfriend is actually forming a bond with her.
Don't be disheartened by the time this is all taking. Many traumatised birds never recover, and certainly never seek out the company of a relatively massive human.
Are there times during the day where someone can be with her for a few hours? Just leave the cage door open and let her decide whether she wants to come out. If someone is home all day all the better. You can fix a perch just outside her cage door so she has a clear landing spot for when she wants to return to the cage. Only offer food inside the cage so she'll always return to the cage within a few hours to eat.
It's not been an easy start for her, but everyone here will tell you you're all heading toward a great future.
 

Monaco

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Sweet story, and welcome to the avenue! Sounds like you're doing great, even though she's still taking her time. I don't have a budgie, but I did have some breakthroughs...
Sharing meals, even through the cage bars might work.
Playing with toys and the dog in front of her, it seemed to spark a desire to be included.
Finally finding (and placing in the right place according to her highness) a perch outside the cage.
Toy play really started to kick in when she figured out that special perch led to a special foraging toy that had special food in it....daily, for a long time before it was really discovered and deemed acceptable.

My girl was pretty calm from the start, and is still mostly hands off, but trying new things seems to be key. You'll find something that might springboard to the next thing, so keep on keeping on!
 

Kassiani

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:hello1: and Welcome!

Thank you for taking in such a sweet, deserving little friend!
 

FeatherMan

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Welcome, and thank you so much for taking her in! That’s a story that makes my heart smile. :welcomeflag:
 

MommyBird

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You are just a great and empathetic parront!
Although I'm without a budgie for the past 2 years, I've had a long line of them for more than 50 years. They are happy and brave little ones. They are joy in feathers. I think you are doing just great with yours - what is her name?

Budgies don't generally like to be scratched much and are not big fruit eaters either. So she's not lacking there.

Some suggestions on foods to try:
-millet spray . this generally will even get a budgie out of the cage and give something to do
- sprouts. we liked SproutPeople's Amber Waves of Grain ( it's the oat groats) Sprouted 2 days start to finish
- lettuce. leaf lettuce. and if you make it wet and hang it up sometimes a funny bath happens.
-broccollini. broccoli is OK but the big buds of a broccolini floret are super tempting.

Another thing budgies love is to chew and if you get her a large block of balsa, I'd say hardness 4 or less. She will have the best time. I used to buy a 3 or 4 foot "log" that was about 4 inches square and cut off hunks. We went thru a lot of it. You can also try yucca. There's some good shreddy toys too. We never had much success with those marketed as "Kabobs" and even my big guys turned up there beaks at those when budgies refused. Don't know why.

Send pictures!
balsa2sm.jpg
 

Lori D Pert

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You have done a wonderful job, kudos! She has been through quite abit of trauma but she certainly seems content now. Budgies usually don't like to be touched. They are generally very leery of hands as well. You face, speaking sweetly and gently is what she will connect with. Then perhaps your arm but forget fingers for now. All you can do is leave her cage open with a good perch on the outside and some tempting toys. Foraging toys (little hens love to chew) bells, rope toys, etc. You can try offering her millet spray (put a sprig on your arm with an elastic) but don't force it. If she has laid eggs, something or someone has triggered that. She has bonded with someone or something. Make sure she has calcium and a good 12 hrs. of sleep a night to discourage this. Is she flying now? You can set up little playstands close to her cage so she has a safe place to land or climb to. Thank you for taking this little one and to me she sounds relaxed and happy. Considering her past this is an amazing achievement!! Pics!!!! Please...lol.
 

budgieluv3

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I suggest Elle and the birds all of the time to people. Another thing, she/he has been through a lot of trauma, so might not be absolutely in love and tamed but just try to work its pace.
What size cage do you have?
Here are some links.
Good Luck!
:budgie2: :grouphug2:
 

Mybluebird

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Sounds like you are doing great with your little girl. Since you say she laid an egg, I guess we don't need to confirm her gender but we'd still love a picture. I have two boy budgies. They like to chew and I understand the girls chew even more. As said, a wood or paper toy that she can chew would be good. Also, like said put a perch just outside the cage door will be good. When you find a toy she likes, hang it there to encourage her to come out. A bit of millet spray hung there will also encourage her to come out. Concerning fresh foods, budgies do seem to like leafy greens - Romaine lettuce, dill, parsley, etc. My guys love, really love wheat grass. I now grow my own but I first got it in the organic produce section of my grocery store - people use it for juicing. Just clip some blades, tie them with paper string and clip inside the cage. Don't be surprised if she chews that paper string! Come back and let us know how she's doing.
 

BudgieBud

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Here's a picture of her, her name is Verde, from when I was cleaning her cage today. She laid a couple eggs some months ago, so definitely female. The avian vet confirmed all was well and she seems to have handled it like a champ.

I'm home all day, so we usually hang out at least for a few solid hours while I'm on the couch beside her. She's very lively during the day, climbing all around her cage walls. She's quite the acrobat!

Thanks to everyone's kind words. I haven't met too many bird parents in my area, the couple I've known as acquaintances seemed to have such a strong bond with their feathered friends and would tell me how easy it was to tame their budgies, so I always wondered if maybe its something I'm doing.

Thanks for all the tips, I've made a shopping list of new things to try and I'll definitely come back with updates!
 

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Lady Jane

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Fate found her a great home. You sound like a patient person so she will be happy with you. Try and feed her fine chopped veggies. Just a few at first. Make sure to include orange and yellow veggies as budgies often are deficient in vitamin A. Start with chopped broccoli, carrots and a leafy green served in shallow dish. The magic sprinkle of millet seed on top may interest her. It took my budgies about two weeks to get their beaks down lower than the seed. Do this once a day even if she does not eat. Budgies are curious and she will eventually investigate. Also hang broccoli and wet greens from cage top with a clip. The more you present her veggies in different ways the better. Yes, food will be wasted. Millet sprays in your hand or placed where she can seem them near you will also entice her to fly to you. Please keep us updated.
 

BudgieBud

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I suggest Elle and the birds all of the time to people. Another thing, she/he has been through a lot of trauma, so might not be absolutely in love and tamed but just try to work its pace.
What size cage do you have?
Here are some links.
Good Luck!
:budgie2: :grouphug2:
Yes! I love Elle and the birds! My cage is 24.8 ×20.8× about 20. It says 22.6 height but I count it as 20-ish because it has a barn style roof. I got the biggest I could find at the store, but I do want to eventually upgrade her to the even bigger flight cages. It blew my mind the store thought it would house like 3 budgies. The way she loves to climb all around, even occasionally trying to climb the ceiling, I wouldn't sanction any smaller for her.
 

Bookwyrm

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Yes! I love Elle and the birds! My cage is 24.8 ×20.8× about 20. It says 22.6 height but I count it as 20-ish because it has a barn style roof. I got the biggest I could find at the store, but I do want to eventually upgrade her to the even bigger flight cages. It blew my mind the store thought it would house like 3 budgies. The way she loves to climb all around, even occasionally trying to climb the ceiling, I wouldn't sanction any smaller for her.
That's a great size for a budgie cage! It's far more than most get... And seeing my little guy going crazy in his flight cage makes it seem like there's not even enough room for one more bird, so I totally get that!
A great cage is the A&E flight cage. I love it. It's large and super sturdy, and it will last for years.

As for everything else, I think you're doing wonderfully. Keep it up!
 
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