Getting used to humans usually requires a lot of time and patience. However, if you don’t really know what you’re doing, you can quickly achieve the opposite.
How quickly you are accepted by the budgie as a member of the flock and how quickly he trusts you, basically depends on the acclimatization phase.
When you have gotten a new budgie, you should preferably not do anything else for the rest of the day, so that he can get to know his “Felo” (featherless) in peace.
After placing the transport box in the quarantine cage and carefully opening it, as hard as it is, you should wait for him to come out on his own.
The first hours …
After that, you should stay away from the cage for now until he has had enough time to calm down and get used to the new environment. During this time, you can always speak softly (!) to him so that he gets used to the sound of your voice.
First steps …
As soon as the budgie starts to explore the cage, you can approach it carefully, i.e. slowly and with calm movements. Here you should keep an eye on the bird’s reaction all the time and talk to it reassuringly. For example, if this person backs away or reacts in any other way fearfully, stop immediately and slowly take a step back.
You repeat the whole thing over and over again at intervals until he lets you get close to the cage.
As a rule, you won’t get much further on the first day. Nevertheless, it is important to spend as much time as possible in the same room and to talk quietly with him every now and then.
After the new budgie has calmed them down, it is of course possible to let the other conspecifics fly so that they can make contact. However, it is more likely that the new addition will be completely ignored for the time being.
If the newcomer has eaten repeatedly and thus knows where to find this, can also let this fly. Often it is useful at the first attempt to leave the other budgies still in the cage, so that this can “sniff” the others first through the bars.
Later, of course, you can let his conspecifics fly, so that they have the opportunity to get used to each other during free flight. As a rule, these will ignore the newcomer at first or even take flight if he wants to make contact.
You let the budgies fly with each other again and again until they take the new addition into the cage or accept its presence there without restrictions. From this point you can put away the quarantine cage.
Getting used to the hand
When you can begin with the habituation to the hand, depends on the character of the budgie, so how relaxed or fearful he reacts to people. The prerequisite is, of course, that you can approach the cage without problems.
It is often said that the hand has no business in the cage. That has its justification if you don ‘t really know what you’re doing. Because in doing so, you can “break” a lot and achieve exactly the opposite of what you actually want.
The most important rules for successful habituation are:
- always slow and quiet movements
- closely observe the reactions of the budgie
The first step is that budgie realizes that the hand is not dangerous and usually has tasty things, such as cob millet.
- You move the hand with the cob millet slowly and carefully into the cage. As soon as a budgie even shows signs of backing away , stop and slowly pull your hand back a little. After some time, slowly pull the hand out again.
- Repeat until the budgies tolerate the hand in the cage without flinching.
- Next, you can then try to move your hand in the direction of the bar. Of course, you have to pay close attention to the reactions of the budgies and react accordingly.
- Again, you repeat this at intervals until they let you get close enough to the bar.
- After that, you offer them the millet again and again by hand until they dare to eat from it. If no one eats, slowly pull the hand out again after a while and try again another time.
- When budgies eat from your hand, offer the millet a little further away from the perch each time so they have to jump on it. If no one dares, the hand of course again a little closer.
Starting the finger
The second step is that the budgie itself comes to the hand with the millet and flies to it even from greater distances. Here, too, the same rules apply and you must always pay close attention to the reactions of the budgie and react accordingly.
For this, I no longer offer cob millet on the hand, but use panicle millet, as this makes it possible to let them specifically approach the finger. Of course, it would also be possible to continue to lure them to the palm of your hand with foxtail millet.
- If the budgies do not yet know panicle millet, offer it first so that they “get a taste”.
- Just as before with the whole hand in the cage, now offer the panicle millet and finger to the budgies.
- When they eat the millet from the finger, again gradually remove it further.
- If it works in the cage, try the whole thing in free flight by getting close with your finger at first and later increasing the distance more and more.
- During the exercises during free flight, you should then always lure them with the same word, e.g. “Come!”. Once the distances become larger, you can then use this word to draw their attention to the millet.
With regular practice and a lot of patience, you can usually get budgies to fly on your finger when they see the millet or hear the word “come.”
Successful habituation to humans
How much you can accustom a budgie to humans, of course, depends on the character of the budgie. For particularly fearful or skittish budgies, it may possibly take months or they may never fully gain confidence.
If a budgie allows itself to be stroked on the beak or belly without fear, you’ve probably done everything right.
Of course, you have to take into account that some budgies don ‘t like it at all when you mess up their feathers with your finger. In this case, you should limit yourself to the beak
The rest, e.g. how far one is accepted as a swarm member, depends from this time on the individual budgie and as a human being one has then only little influence on it.
In conclusion, it can only be said that getting used to people requires a lot of rest, time and patience. Depending on the character of the budgie and the experience of the human, this can be days, weeks or even months.