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training a budgie not to ...

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training a budgie not to ...

Postby pulcinella » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:09 pm

I have a very tame, very friendly budgie. He's lived outside the cage since I got him, and he only sleeps and eats in it. He has a bird playground, a small mirror, and a lot of toys which I rotate periodically.

He had periods when he was more friendly than normally (friendly = omg annoying), but they would pass and he would go to his normal routine of playing with his toys, chirping, and occasionally demanding attention.

Since we have moved, the bird has become unbearable. Every time I open the bathroom door, he flies in and wants to sit on the mirror. If I have a plastic cup on the table, he tries to land on it until he knocks it over. He tries to sit on the sofa all the time (which is something I did not let him do in the old apartment and he did not do it). He has a dish with water on his cage, he now manages to knock it over and spills water everywhere (probably because he knows he will get an instant attention when he does it). Tonight, his goal has been to knock over flowers I put on the table. When he is left alone at home, he never does these things.

I do not know how to punish him because it is his way to get attention. If I chase him off, he thinks I am playing with him and comes back for more. He used to react to "No!", but that does not work any more. I try to say No! and shut him in the cage after he does something bad, but he gets really nervous, starts walking from side to side on his perch and tugs on the cage door and makes sad noises, so it makes me feel bad. And soon as I let him out, he goes and does the exact same thing because of which I shut him in.

I don't want to have his wings clipped because I know he would not be happy. If I put him in a different room, he gets sad because he is not with us. I had cats and dogs, and I know that it is silly to expect a parakeet to react favorably to a dog-training techniques, but I do not know how else to do it. I would appreciate any kind of advice.
I read that placing something the bird is afraid of next to where you don't want it to go works. Does it make sense trying to scare him every time he does something bad? He thinks everything is playing and does not react scared or anything :(

Thanks a lot.
pulcinella
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: male budgie
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Re: training a budgie not to ...

Postby Michael » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:31 pm

That's living with a flighted parrot for you :(

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=285

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=598

These should be a good start. Since you keep your parrot out of the cage most of the time (unlike I or many of us) basically all I can say is tough. You gave up 90% of your control over your budgie when you decided to keep it uncaged and flighted. Most of the solutions for controlling the bird would involved restricting its abilities which it doesn't seem you want to do. Can't really have it both ways, sorry.
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Michael
Macaw
 
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Re: training a budgie not to ...

Postby Kathleen » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:30 pm

You either have to keep the bird caged when there are things out that you don't want it touching and then put the items away when you take it out, restrict the bird to a room where there are no items the bird can't touch, or clip its wings.

Punishment is not an effective method.
Kathleen
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Re: training a budgie not to ...

Postby Mona » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:33 pm

You also might consider getting a second budgie.

Budgies are big flock animals. Another budgie could keep your guy busy doing things like preening and feeding.....and could also help decrease his need for attention. My hen Senegal is always a joy to me but she would be on me all of the time if she could. Since she has a boyfriend now, they spend some time preening and feeding each other and it gives me a bit of a break. She still searches me out for attention, but having Jack around has made my life a little easier.

It's unreasonable to expect a high energy little bird like that to just sit. They didn't evolve to do that and it wouldn't be healthy for them any way on so many levels. It is your responsibility as his caretaker to help him find acceptable things to keep himself busy. You do that by reinforcing the behaviors that you want. You find out what is reinforcing to him (what helps increase behaviors that you want him to do) and you manage the environment to get those behaviors. The trick is understanding what might be reinforcing. Is it food, social interaction, toys.....how about that mirror?....How about water?......Set up the environment so his interaction with these objects is acceptable to your living situation. He needs to do SOMETHING....

Thanks!

Mona
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Mona
Poicephalus
 
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Re: training a budgie not to ...

Postby localpigeon » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:26 pm

I think Mona is right. Another budgie would give you some breathing time. I have heard that 2 male budgies get along well, so you don't need to get him a girlfriend. If he's that attached to you I don't think he will ignore you after you find him a mate, he will just have fun without having to beg for your attention 100% of the time.

I first had one female cockatiel who wanted attention all the time and I got her another female. She's still very friendly and wants to spend time with me but whenever I need time off she'll will be happy playing with her mate.
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Re: training a budgie not to ...

Postby pulcinella » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:56 pm

Hi,
I solved the problem. I clipped the tips of his wings so that he can still fly but gets tired more quickly (increasing drag requires more energy, go figure ;P).
Additionally, he got used to the new space and stopped behaving completely insanely.
Because I started clipping his wings and claws in the bathroom, he does not like to go there as much as he did before.
He was also bothering me during dinner time by trying to fly into my plate. So every time he'd do this, I yelled "no" and shut him in his cage for awhile. Now I just yell no and he goes back to his cage. Sometimes I have to do it several times, but he is not nearly as bad as he used to be.

I think he has plenty to do - he has a ton of toys, he goes outside in the sun room and screams with wild birds, he hangs out with me and my roommate. I suppose that he was traumatized by a huge change in his environment and his behavior was reflecting that.

I think it is unfair to expect that everyone who gets a bird has an additional room to give it to the bird. Also, while getting a second bird is not a bad idea, my living situation is not such that I can spare the space and deal with the mess produced by two birds.

Thanks for the advices.
pulcinella
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: male budgie
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Re: training a budgie not to ...

Postby karen » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:00 am

I would encourage you to rethink getting second budgie. They are such social creatures that they seem to be so much happier with another bird to groom and play with. The breeders and pet store employees will tell you to get only one budgie if you want it to interact with humans but I found the opposite to be true. I adopted my first budgie 10 years ago. She was frightened of me and it took 6 months before she would perch on my finger for a few seconds. Then, I adopted a second budgie and it seemed to give her confidence and both became very friendly to me as well as each other. Unlike larger birds who sometimes have territorial issues with introduction of a second bird, budgies seem to be perfectly happy accepting another member of the flock. If you do get a second bird I would suggest getting another male. While one male/female pair will probably not breed, they might or you could get into a situation where the female becomes a chronic egg-layer (this is very hard to treat and it killed one of my budiges). I have had 4 budgies (3 males and one female) in a large aviary for the past 2 years. The female is a lutino who I didn't realize was female at first because cere color is not reliable in lutinos. Despite the one female, they all get along fine. The female is somewhat pared up with one of the males - he feeds and grooms her - but having the other two males in the cage seems to prevent breeding behavior. All three males will groom and play with each other. Every once in a while there is a little sparring behavior and one bird might chase another off a perch but I have never observed fighting.

One other thing you might do for your bird: go to the website "Listening Earth" and download their "Happy Budgies" CD - it costs about $12 and you can play it on an IPod for your bird. My budgies love it - they sing along - I assume it maeks them feel like they are part of a big flock.
karen
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