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Thread: Budgie is still afraid of hands after being sick 1.5 months ago

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    Budgie is still afraid of hands after being sick 1.5 months ago

    Hi all--

    I wrote a while ago because my budgie was obsessed with foraging for food. We basically figured out that he was being very picky and not eating the pellets we were giving him.

    Unfortunately, as we addressed the hunger issue, we soon realized that he was ill. We took him in and he was given a two-week course of antibiotics. He was not hand-tame at the time of becoming ill, so we had to resort to using a towel to get him out of the cage. He was also a picky eater, so we had to give him antibiotics via syringe.

    Happily, Beau got better. But he was not really ever the same. Prior to getting ill, he was slowly warming up to hands, would climb all over this cage. I would say that he was definitely curious.

    Now, I describe him as cautious. He mostly sits in one spot in his cage--the spot where he slowly got better next to his infrared bird warmer. I have seen him occasionally peck at toys but he does not really play. He is happy to sing and warble to our music (for weeks after he was done with the antibiotics, we had to play budgies on the TV to get a peep out of him). We have made some progress with hand-taming. I am usually able to convince him to step from his special spot with millet. I have even been able to take him to other rooms and have him sit on my shoulder.

    But, always during these hand sessions, he is obviously still very afraid. He is not comfortably poofy, his eyes are wide, and after a while (about 5 minutes), he starts panting in fear. I cannot do these sessions anywhere near his cage as he will immediately fly to it, either going back inside or going on its top. He is notoriously difficult to get off the top of his cage. Regardless if I have millet, he will run away from my hand and eventually fly off onto the ground, where he will then step up and allow me to help him into his cage.

    Additionally, his hand-taming progress is very touch-and-go. One week, he will make great strides, and the next, he will take a step back for apparently no reason and suddenly become afraid of the very thing he was learning.

    It's been about six weeks since he finished the antibiotics. Needless to say, it's been really hard to be so patient. We are still feeding him a mostly seed diet, using millet only for training, attempting to follow his lead with level of comfort. We are pretty reliably at the stage where he is happy to warble to the tv (not budgies on tv--just our shows, thank god!) and he will continue the warbling when we sit next to the cage. He will also eat his breakfast with us sitting next to the cage and talking to him as well.

    I just feel so bad that he seems so afraid of us sometimes, when we try very hard to go slow.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or advice?

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    Tailfeather maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie is still afraid of hands after being sick 1.5 months ago

    We always must remember that although our little bird friends are a part of our family, and we often say the are our fids, or babies, they still are not human like we are. They live in the bird world, where no other of their species expect them to do anything but to....just be.....be alive, and enjoy their world with no conditions placed upon them.

    It is unfortunate Beau did get sick, but how marvelous, and what a miracle he survived. In my view, I would just let him live each day without having to be stressed out with your hopes for training. You do not want that stress to make him sick again. And stress sure is difficult for little birds. I think it is best to continue playing the music or bird videos. Play them on a tablet or laptop, by logging into YouTube. All birds love the sounds of both.

    Sometimes it is best to just accept the situation as it is for now. Do not lose heart. Just have patience and never lose hope for him. He is definitely a miracle bird.
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-07-2018 at 12:38 PM.

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    Re: Budgie is still afraid of hands after being sick 1.5 months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    We always must remember that although our little bird friends are a part of our family, and we often say the are our fids, or babies, they still are not human like we are. They live in the bird world, where no other of their species expect them to do anything but to....just be.....be alive, and enjoy their world with no conditions placed upon them.

    It is unfortunate Beau did get sick, but how marvelous, and what a miracle he survived. In my view, I would just let him live each day without having to be stressed out with your hopes for training. You do not want that stress to make him sick again. And stress sure is difficult for little birds. I think it is best to continue playing the music or bird videos. Play them on a tablet or laptop, by logging into YouTube. All birds love the sounds of both.

    Sometimes it is best to just accept the situation as it is for now. Do not lose heart. Just have patience and never lose hope for him. He is definitely a miracle bird.
    I agree. I was trying to tame my budgie but one day he got hurt during panic attack in his own cage. We need to rush to vet and all the taming progress gone.
    He was more scared of me than before. So I gave up with taming.
    I still talked to him, played him his favourite songs and didn't try to learn him "step up" or anything. I just wanted have a happy and healthy bird. Finally he get used to me giving him food and walking near his cage again. Even when I was giving him greens he couldn't wait and ate from my hand.

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    Re: Budgie is still afraid of hands after being sick 1.5 months ago

    Hello all--

    Thanks for the encouraging words. As I said, it has been really hard. It has been hardest to watch him appear to not be happy and comfortable. I really love my animals and I receive the most joy when they appear at peace.

    I'll keep being patient.

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