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Taming your Budgie
Taming your parakeet can be easy when you follow these simple guidelines and add lots and lots of patience!
The first thing to remember is that birds are skittish by nature for a good reason. The slightest movement will have them flying away in the wild which is imperative for their survival. So essentially, they have a built-in distrust of anything new and unusual. When you first bring home your new parakeet, he/she will be frightened. Everything will be new and scary. Even hand fed budgies may be nervous and afraid. Fortunately, with time your new bird will begin to develop trust!
1. Build Trust
Parakeets love attention, so speak to your bird often throughout the day so that they become comfortable with your voice. Soon they will look forward to your attention. Then each morning, do exactly the same routine of slowly putting your hand into the cage to change their food and water while talking in a soothing voice. Soon they will begin to trust that you aren't going to do anything unexpected or frightening.
Every parakeet is different. Like humans, they have different personalities so some will learn to trust more quickly than others. It helps to remember that you are dealing with a strong natural survival instinct to be cautious. Consistency and lots and lots of patience are the keys to helping your budgie learn that he can trust you.
Each time you change their food and water, take the millet spray and bring it into the cage slowly. Hold it in a non-threatening way. They will probably be scared at first. Keep a comfortable distance. Speak in soft, soothing tones. It's unlikely that they will begin eating it the first few times. Do this everyday, patiently holding the millet spray for a while inside the cage. Eventually your bird will become comfortable and you can begin to slowly bring it closer for them to eat. If necessary, leave it inside of the cage for a day so they can remember how good it tastes!
Once your bird begins to eat the millet, they will look forward each day to their treat. Slowly bring your hand closer each time you feed them but be aware of their fear and stop if they start to be frightened. Make it a gentle, gradual process. Again, it simply requires lots of patience but will be worth it in the end. You don't want to do anything to violate the trust you've developed so far.
3. Introducing your Finger as a perch
Now you can encourage your budgie to step up onto your finger. To do this, gently lift up on their lower chest near their feet. By reflex, they will step up onto your finger. Say "Up" or some other word that you will use whenever you want them to get onto your finger. Don't be discouraged if they immediately jump or fly off. Let your bird know how proud you are that they were so brave. Repeat again each day until they are comfortable resting on your finger to eat their treat.
Once your budgie is tame, you can replace the millet spray with fresh vegetables or fruit (see Parakeet Food for safe choices). Millet sprays are high in fat and should only be offered occasionally as a treat.
4. Use your intuition
Training a Parakeet - How To Tame a Budgie