The various misadventures of my birds: budgies Oliver, Horatio, and Violet, Spencer the green cheek conure, and Beatrix the cockatiel. With pictures.
Sometimes when Beatrix sits on me and preens, I can’t resist the temptation to sneak belly kisses when her head is turned toward her back. About 70% of the time, this gets me a squawk and a warning beak to the face (it’s very rare for her to bite for any reason). But the remaining 30% of the time, she turns around, waddles forward, and rests her face against my face for scritches, like, “OH I FORGOT YOU WERE THERE YES I WOULD LIKE TO CUDDLE NOW PLEASE.” This makes all the times I get beaked in the face totally worth it.
I find it really hard to train my two keets because they really don't seem to like millet! So there is really no way I can coax them out of their cage or get them to step up on my finger knowing they will get a treat (they USED to step up, but we clipped their wings and they don't seem to like me much anymore >_<) Anyways, do you have any advice? My last keet and I had such a strong bond and now I just don't feel that anymore :( Thanks!
Hmm, this can be a difficult situation! Is there anything they like? You could try those treat sticks they sell at the pet store and see if they like those (although those typically have a fair amount of sugar in them, so I would only use them for training purposes).
Are they very young? I’ve found that sometimes very young budgies don’t like millet just because they don’t really know what it is, and they can be very reluctant to try unfamiliar foods. If this is the case, you could try leaving a stalk of millet in their cage until they get curious and try it (look for seed hulls on the bottom of the cage), and then remove the stalk and only give it as a treat from then on.
The other alternative is to try to find some other things they like. My budgies really like cooked brown rice, which is a little messier than millet, but might be effective for your birds. You could also try peas or corn or other veggies. My budgies don’t really like fruit, but I know some other people have budgies who really like apples or grapes (but again, grapes are pretty high in sugar, so if your budgies like grapes, I would only use them as a training aid).
As for the wing clipping, I know what you mean! I had to clip Violet’s wings again recently and she’s been pretty skittish since then, but she usually comes around after awhile. You might spend some time just sitting near their cage and talking to them quietly so they get reacclimated to the idea that not every interaction with you will be like getting their wings clipped. If they’re skittish about your hands, you could try having them step up on a small stick or perch, too, and then once they get used to that, try having them step up on your finger again.
I hope this helps! It can be difficult to try to figure out what your birds like if they don’t like millet, so I would just try a bunch of things and see how they react. Let me know how it goes!
Hey, after thinking my budgie Donna had a cold because she made breathing noises and sounded slimy while taking breath and got 10 injections my vet said he doesn´t understand why the infection keeps coming back after a few days and stopped the treatment. I should visit a clinic 45 kilometres aways but when I called them they told me to visit a bird-vet 60 kilometres away. Donna is very stressed when she´s in a car and throws up and has problems taking breath so this was risky. (continued...)
(cont’d) “I already paid about 200 € in 2 months. But I cant let her die so young and so cruel, although I knew the further treatment would cost another 150 €. I´m still a student and have a flat to pay. The drive went well,she threw up only once. The new vet said she has a macrohabdus infection and bacterias in her crop which produce slime that take her breath away. So no lung infection at all! They now look which antib. work in the lab. I have meds for the mycosis. I hope she gets well soon =(“
Poor Donna! :( I’m glad that you found a vet who was able to figure out the problem. I’m sorry that your original vet didn’t think it was worth his time to do more testing and get to the root of the problem himself, since it seems like that would have saved you and Donna a lot of stress. We’re very fortunate where we live to have a lot of avian vets nearby, because I know in a lot of places (including other places in the U. S.), people have to travel quite far to get their birds the medical attention they need. I’m glad you have medication for her now and I hope she gets better very soon! Antibiotics really can work wonders—Alice had a stomach infection once, and with the right kind of antibiotics she was better in a few days. Keep us posted on how Donna’s doing!
A Violet “chubby budgie cheeks” appreciation post. (Here you can see that she does, in fact, have cheek patches—they’re just white like the rest of her.)
Spencer has a foot toy that we refer to as a “dingle ball” (it’s a fairly common toy that I think is usually sold as a cat toy but he LOVES IT), and he is currently rolling around with it on the floor of his cage and holding onto it with his foot and banging it against the cage and asking it who’s a pretty bird and occasionally getting angry with it and making little angry dinosaur noises at it.
He is SO CUTE it is KILLING ME.
Birdie love! See, this would work if you had feathers…
Right? He’s just trying to preen me! (Fortunately, he does slowly seem to be getting the hang of preening humans, in that now he’ll preen my eyebrows or eyelashes instead of just chomping down on my eyelids, lol.)
- Spencer: Love you.
- Me: Aww, I love you, too, buddy.
- Spencer: [starts chewing on my face]