The budgerigar as a pet
Make a budgie finger tame<
Teaching a budgie to talk
Budgie breeding for colour
Exhibition budgie type
Tame and Train Parrots
Nice names for your bird
Diseases of cage birds
Taming and training a bird
Other bird sites
Budgie parakeets > Make a budgie finger tame
Make a budgie finger tame
Under this heading we will try to cover the training of young budgies from various angles. We firmly believe that more than half the Tame and Talking Budgies in British homes today have been obtained from the pet dealers. So let us begin with such birds.
In the majority of cases these little birds have been allowed to associate with others of their kind for days or even weeks after leaving the nests and have therefore acquired some of the natural chatter of their associates and maybe some of the wildness of birds kept in large cages or aviaries. Still, hundreds and thousands have made good - why not yours? Frankly, we would say to the would-be keeper of a pet Budgie: go to your dealer now, obtain your cage, food, etc., and tell him you are anxious to buy a young Budgie.
One that has only just left the nest, but is able to feed himself. Tell him to let you know immediately he gets in a new batch of young birds. Then don't waste a minute. Have your cage all ready and bring the little fellow home. Remember every hour counts, because the ideal time to secure your pet is as soon as possible after the bird leaves the nest. It doesn'f matter one bit whether it is a cock or hen bird (and it will at this age be almost impossible to tell the sex). It has been proved beyond all doubt both sexes make ideal pets and talkers. We would say from actual experience (and not thinking of the wife) the hens can always hold their own in this respect.
If you do secure a bird that has not been long out of the nest and possibly unable to fly very well, such a bird will invariably be almost finger tame to start with and if petted and fondled freely will soon feel at home and make an ideal pet. A tame Budgie is half-way to being a Talking Budgie and most of your troubles are over.
Don't forget, however, your little pet may be a bit restless for a few days, possibly missing the company of other birds and might be inclined to mope and withdraw into the furthest corner of the cage when you approach it. It is this instinctive fear of human beings that must be overcome.
A few days, however, will work wonders. Speak quietly to him, just scratching his head lightly from time to time, also drop a few grains of seed near him and in no time he will accept your advances without any fear. When you approach him and he no longer tries to get out of your way, try pressing your finger against the lower part of his breast until he steps on to it, and keep speaking to him quietly all the time. The most interesting moment will be when he approaches you of his own free will and hops on to your finger and remains there.
Now this is the stage when you can think about teaching him to talk, so we will refer you to our article on Teaching to Talk, Page 8.
Now let us consider the training from another angle, or had we better say two more angles, both commencing from the nest. Neither of these methods apply to the young Budgie bought from the pet dealer, unless your dealer is also a breeder.
First let us consider taking the young bird from the nest before it can even feed itself - this, of course, means you will have to feed the little fellow by hand; possibly this is one of the quickest or surest ways of getting your pet finger tame, but it is also a very laborious business. Failing that and providing you are actually breeding Budgies yourself, you can take the bird from the nest for short periods, at least twice a day, until it has completely lost all fear of being handled.
Whichever method of initial training is used, it is advisable to spend much time in training and if the second method is adopted of taking the young bird from the nest daily for short periods, the bird chosen should have a coloured celluloid ring fitted to its leg so that when taken from the parents for its ten minutes of training there is some assurance that the time is being spent on the proper bird. It is easy to forget which is which in a nest of four or five, perhaps all of one colour, so the coloured ring method should be used.
Twice each day the young bird, when it is fully feathered, i.e., at about three weeks, should be gently lifted from the nest, placed in a shallow box with a little sawdust, allowed to run about for a few minutes (it can't fly at this stage) and then it should have its head tickled and its plumage stroked; it should be held in the palm of the hand very gently, be lifted and set down time after time; in this way the young bird will soon realise that it will come to no harm. The times should be extended to 20 minutes, then to half an hour.
The difficult period comes when the young bird is old enough to fly; it then leaves the nest but has to be fed by the parents for about two weeks. As soon as it is seen to be feeding freely from the seed dish it should be placed in a cage by itself and training should commence in earnest.