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Old 12-26-2018, 11:50 PM
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Yeah that looks like a good one. You'll definitely want a mesh seed catcher around the bottom. It's just a fine mesh cloth with elastic that keeps seeds from going all over the floor. They'll still end up on the floor, just less
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Old 12-28-2018, 02:30 AM
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Damn, no wonder I have had so many pet failures. I've spent less time thinking about real pet logistics than you have on your hypothetical. Good job
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Old 12-29-2018, 12:20 AM
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When will we have pictures? ::bambi eyes:
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:10 PM
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When will we have pictures? ::bambi eyes:
Neither cage, nor bird, have yet arrived. Once that happens, I know the rules .

I don't know if the original Morty made it - haven't seen the cleaning lady since before Christmas - but there are one or two others who've recently hatched / fledged.

I visited a friend while we were out of town this past week. She has a parakeet; Used to have two, and they of course were interested in each other rather than those two huge flightless predators who fed them but for some reason never actually tried to eat them. So they were never hand-tamed, nor did they learn to speak.

One of the birds died a year or so back - and by then, the other must have been too old to learn, as he never seems to have picked up on the trick (nor was he hand-tame). But he really, really reacted to the sound of my voice - I think because it was the only new thing he'd heard in a long time!

I've ordered the cage - won't be here for a week - as well as a couple of cage toys (some flexible perches and a ladder). I'll look for a swing of some sort, I guess; might check the nearby pet supply stores for those. Do budgies like cuttlebones? (we had one for a canary when I was a kid).
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:57 PM
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Gatopescado: I don't get it.
It's a variation of the name of a character on Saturday Night Live who wears an oversized hat because "it's funny".
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:49 PM
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Morty has arrived!

Evidently whatever ailed him, he got over. He's small - just about 2 months old. He's very pale yellow all over, a bit brighter on the top of his head. His nares are pale lavendar. We were told he's male; that birds with this coloration don't have the blue nares like other color birds do, but that you can tell by feeling some bones on the belly (closer together on males, apart on females).

She used a term for his color. Might have been avellino / javellino or I could be misremembering - but it apparently refers to pale yellow with reddish eyes.

I didn't realize he was arriving today. The cleaning lady arrived, and I went into the kitchen to greet her, and saw her setting up a cage - but no bird! She said "He's over there".... he was running around the floor near the table. I was terrified he'd run behind the fridge or something, but he was caught in time. He did a fair bit of perching on various fingers but was quivering the entire time.

I had to make an emergency dash to get some food (and toys of course!), as we didn't know he was coming. I was worried he wasn't eating (he had food that came along with him) but I just caught him snacking on the millet spray I bought while I was at PetSmart. He's still pretty shy; I sat next to the cage next to where I'd placed the millet, and while he was eating some, he took one or two more nibbles and decided the Scary Person was daunting enough that he needed to disappear. Right now he's standing in his bowl of food, eating. I put a tiny sliver of carrot in the cage; it's been ignored so far.He hasn't touched the toy (or the gnawable / edible perch) yet but seems to be looking at the toy at least.

I've tried to get him to hop onto my finger again, but he's not interested and since he's been through a lot today, I'm not going to push it.

His cage arrives tomorrow; getting that set up and making the transfer will be, um, fun! I figure once he's had a day or two to settle into that, I'll start trying to handle him.

I'm assuming I should not leave that millet in all that long, as he'll pig out on it too much.

On Dweezil's finger: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0f3agxba6v...81%29.mp4?dl=0

Pigging out: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9lijc0foen...72230.jpg?dl=0
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:34 PM
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He's so cute! And Morty is a great name.
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:07 PM
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He's so pretty! I haven't seen one that color. The poor little guy must be wondering what the heck is going on??!! I hope he adapts very soon.
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:22 PM
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Yay - he's so cute!
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:40 PM
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I've got a chair right next to the table his cage is on. It's where I was sitting earlier when he was eating millet (and he vacated the perch after a minute). He'll now stay on that perch when I sit there - and looks at me when I repeat "Morty's a big boy!". At one point, he was clicking his beak a bit when I did so - not sure if he was making his first attempts at responding verbally or not.

He's made faint chirrups once or twice.

I think the poor guy is worn out - his eyes were closing as I talked to him.

The current cage has two perches. One is covered in sandpaper. I've heard mixed opinions as to whether they genuinely need a sandpapery perch - thoughts?

Oh, and the first of the bird toys I ordered arrived today, including some flexible rope perches. I ordered two medium, and one large - I thought it was the length. Nope (well, that too), it's the diameter. That one will have to go back - it might fit a macaw or a pterodactyl, but NOT a parakeet.

Should we cover his cage at night? Cleaning lady says no, but she's got a whole flock of them and that might be when they get together and gossip about their crazy human.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 01-03-2019 at 08:41 PM.
  #61  
Old 01-04-2019, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
She used a term for his color. Might have been avellino / javellino or I could be misremembering - but it apparently refers to pale yellow with reddish eyes.
"lutino" or "ino". It means he's missing his melanin colors - the blacks, browns, greys, etc. Actually, it looks like he might be an albino variant. Hard to say going by just the pictures.

Quote:
He did a fair bit of perching on various fingers but was quivering the entire time.
That means he has been hand tamed or at least hand trained, but of course he's nervous around strangers and being in a new environment. However, the fact he was willing to sit on strange fingers at all is a good sign.

Quote:
I had to make an emergency dash to get some food (and toys of course!), as we didn't know he was coming. I was worried he wasn't eating (he had food that came along with him) but I just caught him snacking on the millet spray I bought while I was at PetSmart. He's still pretty shy; I sat next to the cage next to where I'd placed the millet, and while he was eating some, he took one or two more nibbles and decided the Scary Person was daunting enough that he needed to disappear. Right now he's standing in his bowl of food, eating. I put a tiny sliver of carrot in the cage; it's been ignored so far.He hasn't touched the toy (or the gnawable / edible perch) yet but seems to be looking at the toy at least.
When they're nervous or afraid they tend not to eat heartily. The "eat a couple bites and disappear" is actually normal, cautious behavior for a prey animal. Likewise, he'll be a little suspicious of anything when you first put it in the cage. These are normal parrot instincts (he is a little parrot, you know). Give him a bit of time to check things out.

My flock has been with me nearly all their lives, trust me a great deal, but will still often avoid a new toy in their cage for a couple days before they start interacting with it.

Quote:
I've tried to get him to hop onto my finger again, but he's not interested and since he's been through a lot today, I'm not going to push it.
Good call.

Quote:
His cage arrives tomorrow; getting that set up and making the transfer will be, um, fun! I figure once he's had a day or two to settle into that, I'll start trying to handle him.
If possible, you could put the new cage next to his current cage for a day - that gives him a chance to look it over so it's not a totally new and strange object.

Quote:
I'm assuming I should not leave that millet in all that long, as he'll pig out on it too much.
For the first day, when he's going to be slightly off his feed anyway, it won't hurt.

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Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
I've got a chair right next to the table his cage is on. It's where I was sitting earlier when he was eating millet (and he vacated the perch after a minute). He'll now stay on that perch when I sit there - and looks at me when I repeat "Morty's a big boy!". At one point, he was clicking his beak a bit when I did so - not sure if he was making his first attempts at responding verbally or not.
Another good call - that way he can look you over while still feeling safe.

Parrots that are fed and content will grind their beaks - that's actually a good thing, it helps keep it sharp. Mine will frequently eat, then settle onto their perches for a bit of beak grinding before taking a nap. So maybe that's what he was doing. Or he was, in fact, making clicking noises. The fact he's making noises is probably a good sign - a really nervous and upset/sacred bird may be entirely silent so as to not attract attention (instinct again - don't want to be noticed by the scary predators).

Quote:
He's made faint chirrups once or twice.
Also a good sign.

Quote:
I think the poor guy is worn out - his eyes were closing as I talked to him.
Probably. A good 10-12 hours a day of sleeping is normal and good for parrots. He's also still growing/developing and needs his rest as well as stimulation.

Quote:
The current cage has two perches. One is covered in sandpaper. I've heard mixed opinions as to whether they genuinely need a sandpapery perch - thoughts?
Very much debatable. I don't use sandpaper perches, in no small part because my boys would probably destroy them and you don't want the bird eating sandpaper. The purposes is to keep their toenails from overgrowing. Me, I get my birds nails trimmed. Mr. Broomstick and I used to do this this as a team but I find it very difficult to impossible to do on my own so I now take them to a vet for that sort of thing.

Quote:
Should we cover his cage at night? Cleaning lady says no, but she's got a whole flock of them and that might be when they get together and gossip about their crazy human.
It depends.

If you have a drafty house yes, cover the cage. If you're undecided cover the top half of the cage, leaving the bars exposed at the bottom, and Morty can decide. I've also mentioned this I have a box inside the cage so that gives the birds another option. I have two the prefer to sleep on a perch and one that likes to be in something (he's more a more tropical species and gets chilly easier than the other two).

If he has "night terrors" - wakes up at night making noise and flailing around the cage - turn a light on so he can see where he is. Although parrots see better than we do in most circumstances their night/low light vision is terrible compared to ours and waking up in a strange place unable to see is, needless to say, quite upsetting. Some owners keep a nightlight near the cage to help with this, but you don't want it bright enough to disturb their sleep.
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:26 AM
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This article might be helpful in learning how to get your budgie to perch on your hand, come out of the cage, and related activities.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:50 AM
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He's still alive!

I poked my hand into the cage and gently touched him just in front of his legs, and he hopped up onto my finger by instinct but then immediately vacated it. I did that perhaps twice more, then decided to quit pestering him.

We did cover the cage overnight. Dunno how much light there was in the room - maybe I'll leave the kitchen light on tonight.

He hasn't gone near the Snak Shak (edible - sawdust based) perch yet - it's just above a regular wooden perch and he ducks his head and walks underneath it.

I looked at the millet and while the bit right at head level is reduced a bit, it doesn't look like he's totally pigged out.

The cleaner couldn't tell me which brand of food to get so I just got 2 different brands that looked like what was in the bowlful she brought.

BTW - a friend was here yesterday when Morty arrived, and held him briefly, and was pleased that Morty didn't go for her eyes - she's had other birds be *fascinated* by her blue eyes. Then I ran into your old thread from 2009 or so, and your husband's quote "No, you can't have my eyeballs, not until I'm done with using them." OH, but they're so shiny!

had me literally laughing out loud.
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:50 PM
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Probably coincidence, but my husband also had blue eyes....
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Old 01-04-2019, 06:34 PM
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Morty seems to be settling in better. He's done a fair bit of chirruping today, and just now when there were 3 of us talking, he really started chirping and even squawked a couple of times. I think he likes hearing voices.

He's just about got me conditioned that "chirp" means I say "Morty's a good boy!".

I tried leaving his cage door open and sitting by it for a bit. He didn't approach the door which is no surprise.

He seems have eaten the carrot sliver I left for him yesterday. I gave him a small celery leaf today - that's still there.

The big cage arrived today. We're hoping to get it put together over the weekend. Transitioning should be interesting - the only door to the current cage is a small one that just fits my hand. I guess we'll have to sit by the door for hours until he emerges on his own.
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:48 PM
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I love this thread. It sounds like Morty is slowly settling in!
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:49 PM
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If he's making noise that means he's settling in.

Birds seem to like to participate in conversations.

He's already training you to do tricks? Good bird!
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Old 01-04-2019, 09:49 PM
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He's adorable. I'm glad he's settling in.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:45 PM
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His new cage arrived Friday. I got it all set up, with toys etc., and it was sitting in the kitchen. I was going to move it down the 2 steps to the family room and sit it near his current cage, perhaps do the "open doors together trick".

Meanwhile, I've been periodically poking my hand into the small cage, and putting a finger next to him on the perch. He'll step on it instinctively, then immediately bolt.

Well, yesterday, I did this - and he stayed! so I decided to try carefully moving my hand out of the cage - and then he bolted. We got him semi-cornered in one part of the room; we stayed near him with some spray millet on a plate to try to entice him out, but no go. Finally I kept one escape route blocked off while my friend blocked the other. I moved, Morty panicked and headed the other way, and my friend managed to catch him.

So, since he was out already, we put him in the new cage. He's still suspicious as hell; if I put my hand in, he has PLENTY of places to bolt to, and I don't want to torture the poor fellow, so I'll give him a few more days before I persist. I think he likes some of the toys, and today we spotted him eating out of one of the elevated dishes (I'd left one on the floor of the cage since I wasn't sure he knew to look elsewhere).

https://www.dropbox.com/s/la5dra3zyq...24308.jpg?dl=0

The photo was taken from above, through the open top. Today I moved the ladder so it more closely parallels the back of the cage, as I wasn't sure how well he could climb the vertical bars (the sides have horizontal bars). I guess maybe in a day or two I should try leaving the top open while I'm sitting next to him.

BTW - today I cooked a few eggs to keep in the fridge. I told the household members "if you're eating one, consider saving a sliver for the bird. Everyone is horrified at the idea of feeding an egg to a bird .

The perch that came with the cage is annoying. It's designed to go side to side - but it's too long even for that, so I forced it in at a bit of an angle. The perch that is supposed to go across the top when it's opened is an OK length but it's starting to split a bit at one of the end grooves. Oh well, I can always get more of the flexible rope perches. Maybe I'll get one and leave it permanently attached to the flip-top bits.

We're talking a lot around him, and practicing a specific phrase ... though it's a tossup as to whether his first phrase will be "Morty's a good boy!", the boop my computer makes when I get an instant message, or somebody belching .

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 01-06-2019 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:45 PM
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One big problem if you don't clip the wings is they will fly into windows and hurt/kill themselves.
Maybe my canary was just smart, but he never hit a window. When I left him out (always in the kitchen with everything closed; he lived in the kitchen), he mainly flew around the open area. A few times he perched atop the cupboards. He'd eventually go back into the cage by himself.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:52 PM
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BTW - today I cooked a few eggs to keep in the fridge. I told the household members "if you're eating one, consider saving a sliver for the bird. Everyone is horrified at the idea of feeding an egg to a bird .
I guarantee the bird isn't horrified by that - birds love eggs! And Morty eating a chicken egg is like us eating a cow, they aren't closely related.
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Old 01-06-2019, 04:02 PM
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Leetle birds learn whistles really easily--try a wolf whistle and see how he does with that. Birbs tend to be little seed junkies but an all seed diet isn't good for them, but I found out that the top of a bell pepper pulled out and pinned to the side of the cage with all the seeds available made an irresistable treat to my cockatiels back when I kept them and it's more a veggie than a seed so there's that.

Best of luck with Morty!
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:03 AM
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We've offered him bits of foods - a sliver of egg, a bit of carrot and so on and mostly he ignores them. I tried putting one into his seed bowl and threw it out after a couple hours. I think I'll stick with putting the food in a separate bowl on the bottom of the cage - though I've tried that and he hasn't noticed it yet. Not sure how to get him to notice such things - we might set one of the upper food bowls as his "treats" bowl (there are 3, so one can be seed, one water, and one treats).

He moves away from me when I sit by the cage Mainly if he's on the bottom of the cage, or on the big long perch. He will stay near(ish) if he's on his long ladder ; even hops up and down the rungs nearest me. But clearly he has NO desire to be approached, even to put a hand in the cage for food or whatever. If I do, he moves as far away as he can. It was easier in the smaller cage because there were only the two perches, and not much floor room either, so I could get my hand in front of him easily and he'd step onto it (and of course immediately vacate it in utter horror!). I may have to have the cleaning lady help me figure out how to approach him / catch him w/o injuring him.

We're continuing with repeating "Morty is a good boy" fairly frequently. He also hears "Morty bird" and smooching sounds a lot. I think he must be used to smooching sounds, as he definitely looks intrigued. I know it could be months before he starts mimicking anything.

He does burst out with chirrups and sometimes very cute squawks. And he's right in the middle of things, so there are always people around, though we'll want to move the cage - when we had the sooner-than-planned cage move, the big one was in the kitchen, and the planned spot is 2 steps down from there. I figure cage jostling will upset him, and it's a 2-person job, so we'll do that in a day or so. He'll have a better view of me when that happens - the spot is about 5 feet away from where I work.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:36 AM
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Little birds are naturally very cautious. You can't train that out of them, it's instinct. So it's going to take time for him to adjust to a new place. Remember, compared to him you're the size of Godzilla. Keep working with him. Sit next to the cage. Talk to him. Put your hand in the cage as needed, he'll figure out you're no threat it's just going to take a bit of time. Keep trying to get him to "step up".

Keep offering him treats. Throwing out "soft" food - stuff that wilts or potentially gets nasty - after a few hours is the right thing to do. He does notice them, I assure you, he's just not sure if they're OK yet. If he sees you eating, or sees you eating the same thing, he's much more likely to try it.

It can take a couple weeks for a bird to really settle into a new place. Be patient.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:49 AM
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Many budgies like kale and other green leafy veggies -- I've seen them singing and playing like crazy in a big pile of freshly-washed kale.

Regarding night frights: budgies and cockatiels have a reputation for sometimes startling at night and trying to fly in their cages, sometimes hurting themselves; amazon parrots and macaws generally do not.

I once read a very illuminating explanation of the difference. It's not a function of "bravery." It's a survival strategy.

Budgies and cockatiels are native to open scrubland and grasslands. Amazons and macaws live i dense jungle. For a budgie, movement at night is likely to be a predator -- and the open sky means safety. It's almost always safer to fly, even if you can't see. For an amazon parrot, however, the world is a dense tangle of wing-breaking branches and vines, with plenty of hiding places -- better to stay quiet and hidden.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:54 AM
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Many budgies like kale and other green leafy veggies -- I've seen them singing and playing like crazy in a big pile of freshly-washed kale.

Regarding night frights: budgies and cockatiels have a reputation for sometimes startling at night and trying to fly in their cages, sometimes hurting themselves; amazon parrots and macaws generally do not.

I once read a very illuminating explanation of the difference. It's not a function of "bravery." It's a survival strategy.

Budgies and cockatiels are native to open scrubland and grasslands. Amazons and macaws live i dense jungle. For a budgie, movement at night is likely to be a predator -- and the open sky means safety. It's almost always safer to fly, even if you can't see. For an amazon parrot, however, the world is a dense tangle of wing-breaking branches and vines, with plenty of hiding places -- better to stay quiet and hidden.
The "startling" might explain times when I've heard a sudden loud-ish clang - that you'd think such a tiny tweety couldn't possibly produce!

Kale: so, take a leaf or two of it, rinse it off, and put it in the bottom of the cage?? Fresh foods so far have been a nibble or two in a separate dish (don't want them getting the birdseed mixture damp). He hasn't touched them yet. Some kale might be fun!
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:28 AM
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You can also get something like a chip clip or other small clip to fasten veggies to the bars of the cage by a perch. Some birds don't like getting down to the floor of the cage because that's where the poop is, some are okay with it. I usually clipped stuff to the side bars, seemed to get less messy that way.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:15 AM
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I use clothespins to attach things to the side of the cage. They're cheap so when the birds are done shredding them I don't feel bad about throwing them away (get the unpainted wooden ones - birds will chew on anything, they're worse than dogs for that).

Yes, get a kale leaf, rinse it under water, put it in the cage. I sometimes put a thing like that on a plate to avoid getting the stuff on/under the cage bottom wet. Either a ceramic plate, or a paper one (a paper one will get chewed, just be warned).

Sometimes they just play with things like carrot shreds and vegetables - but so what? It's a harmless toy for them, and if they eat some all to the good (they probably do, but it may not be enough for you to notice, especially after they shred it/roll in it/drag it around the cage). It keeps them from getting bored.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:50 AM
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The cage bottom is actually bars just like the top / sides (the tray where we have it lined with paper is below that). Is that an issue?

He has finally just about destroyed his latest millet spray. One advantage of the bars on the bottom is that the seeds he drops from that go down to the bottom - so he can't eat them from the floor, which means he's not as able to pig out completely.

I actually have the millet spray attached to the cage using a binder clip. I'm trying to figure out how I'd attach other veggies - you'd think the clip would squash the veg, which would then fall to the floor, defeating the purpose of the clip.

I was thinking that when I remove the current millet spray (there's an untouched section but he'd have to hang on the side to get to that), I would only have it there when my hand is in the cage with him. I don't know if that would be enough of an enticement to approach my hand or not.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:06 AM
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The cage bottom is actually bars just like the top / sides (the tray where we have it lined with paper is below that). Is that an issue?
No.

Quote:
I actually have the millet spray attached to the cage using a binder clip. I'm trying to figure out how I'd attach other veggies - you'd think the clip would squash the veg, which would then fall to the floor, defeating the purpose of the clip.
That's another reason I use clothespins, they don't seem to smash things in two so much.

Quote:
I was thinking that when I remove the current millet spray (there's an untouched section but he'd have to hang on the side to get to that), I would only have it there when my hand is in the cage with him. I don't know if that would be enough of an enticement to approach my hand or not.
Teaching him to associate you with treats is a good thing.

Keep offering him non-seed food - it can take time for a bird to start eating a newly introduced food item.
  #81  
Old 01-11-2019, 01:54 PM
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Yeah, a lot of birds end up being total millet junkies, it's like crack to the little featherheads. Moderation is crucial when it comes to millet. If he's used to the millet being in a certain spot, take it out and put something else there and see if he goes for it. Try the bell pepper knob, it's easy to clip with the stem and it looks like something they'd really like with all the seeds right there. It lasts a day or two as well, doesn't get manky the way green leaves do.
  #82  
Old 01-12-2019, 09:57 PM
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Yeah, a lot of birds end up being total millet junkies, it's like crack to the little featherheads. Moderation is crucial when it comes to millet. If he's used to the millet being in a certain spot, take it out and put something else there and see if he goes for it. Try the bell pepper knob, it's easy to clip with the stem and it looks like something they'd really like with all the seeds right there. It lasts a day or two as well, doesn't get manky the way green leaves do.
that's a good idea!

We move his cage this morning, down the 2 steps from the kitchen to the family room. I figured that the jostling (which we kept to a minimum) was pretty frightening, so I put the millet back in (also, we were going to be away for many hours). Yep, show love by feeding them unhealthy food .
  #83  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:18 PM
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Brief update:

The cleaning lady was by late last week and said that we really needed to have Morty out of his cage for an hour a day. Then she basically reached into the cage and grabbed him, and scolded him for trying to get away. She also gave him a bath under the kitchen faucet (is that truly needed?

Morty is, so far, unwilling to approach our hands at all - even when I'm holding a bit of millet or fruit. He seems utterly uninterested in goodies like that, except the millet and then only when it's in his cage while he's undisturbed.

So I finally got brave and nabbed him myself this evening. He bolted every time he got the chance. I finally took him in the small bathroom, and let him have his freedom in there; mostly he stood there, waiting for me to eat him. I got down on the floor and at one point managed to get him to step up on my finger, but he fluttered away after a couple of seconds and hid behind the toilet. I had some millet with me but aside from stepping on it once, he didn't touch it.

One thing I tried while we were in there: I found a video of parakeets making noise and played that. He seemed puzzled by it, at least, though he didn't try to approach the display on the phone (I had set it on the floor).

The poor fellow trembles whenever we're holding him - I can't blame him!!

I can't help but think that this forcible handling is not the best way to go. On the other hand, 2 weeks of being far less assertive hasn't done anything either.
  #84  
Old 01-20-2019, 11:42 PM
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Budgies love to take baths and showers. It's not necessary, budgies aren't dusty birds, but it's fun. Add some green veggies like lettuce and kale to the bath and the bird will frolic around and eat it. It's like a budgie waterpark.
  #85  
Old 01-21-2019, 04:28 AM
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I got down on the floor and at one point managed to get him to step up on my finger, but he fluttered away after a couple of seconds and hid behind the toilet.
He's probably picking up on your own hesitation and uncertainty.

Keep working with him. Tell him to "step up". Having him do it for a moment is still progress. Keep doing it and he'll get the idea you're not going to eat him. Keep talking to him.

Yes, this takes time. Yes, it can be frustrating.

If you're OK with letting him have some time in the bathroom (so you can catch him) then give him exercise time in the bathroom (make sure the toilet lid is down!). Exercise is important for a young bird. He needs to move around to stay healthy.
  #86  
Old 01-21-2019, 02:13 PM
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He's probably picking up on your own hesitation and uncertainty.

Keep working with him. Tell him to "step up". Having him do it for a moment is still progress. Keep doing it and he'll get the idea you're not going to eat him. Keep talking to him.

Yes, this takes time. Yes, it can be frustrating.

If you're OK with letting him have some time in the bathroom (so you can catch him) then give him exercise time in the bathroom (make sure the toilet lid is down!). Exercise is important for a young bird. He needs to move around to stay healthy.
Wait.... first you all say bathing is fun, then you say to put the toilet lid down!!

Yeah, I put it down.

So you all don't think I'm terrorizing him when I catch him? He trembles so badly.

Do they need cuttlebones to wear down their beaks?

And as for a bath: just put a couple inches of water in a sink or basin and plop him in? I'll have to get some greens for him to play with.

I had thought of getting another wooden ladder, like the one I already have draped through his cage - to hang on the front outside of the cage. That way if he's on the floor, he can use it to climb back in to safety. Dunno how to teach him about it, of course...I guess hold him next to it and encourage him to step onto it.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 01-21-2019 at 02:15 PM.
  #87  
Old 01-23-2019, 04:50 PM
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I just ordered a small-animal playpen thingy, that looks to be a good size to put on the floor by his cage. Since his wings are clipped, he won't be easily able to fly out of it. Of course he could climb up the side and make his escape that way, but he seems mostly inclined to stay put / find something to hide behind when he's loose.

I did get a second wooden ladder; I figure maybe I'll set the pen up beside the cage, with the ladder dangling down into the pen, then put him on the floor in the pen - perhaps encouraging him to go to / up that ladder. My hope being that he'll learn to recognize that ladder as a way to get back to home and safety if he's out.
  #88  
Old 01-24-2019, 12:09 AM
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Perhaps you could also take a book or tablet into the bathroom and instead of trying to actively and continuously interact with him, just sit and read for a while while he explores the room, chills out, or considers the sink/ bird bath or other toys you may have set up for him in there. Just exist alongside him while you each do your thing. I'm not saying you should ignore him, just take the pressure off him being the focus of your attention.
  #89  
Old 01-27-2019, 02:33 PM
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So the playpen was a little helpful - but the extra ladder is working out beautifully.

I tried to get him out the other day and wound up chasing the poor fellow around the cage; then in one panicked flap he accidentally went out of the cage, and happened to land right in the middle of the laid-out playpen.

He was supremely uninterested in the goodies I had set out: a bit of spray millet, a bit of apple. But he ultimately found his way to the bottom of the ladder that I had dangling into the playpen, and hopped up onto it.

Then I dropped my phone, and the noise startled him away - but he eventually found his way back to it, and climbed right on up. I had a rope perch near it, connecting to the door, so he hopped onto that and then used that to get back into the safety of his cage.

The next day, I didn't have the spare perch out, and we managed to get him out and standing on a shoulder for quite some time. When it was time to put him back, we put him in the playpen area. All he did was climb up one side and stand on the edge - so clearly that's not going to be helpful long term. BUT - he stepped onto my finger, and stayed there while I moved him to the bottom of the ladder; he went right up it and into the cage without the assistance of the rope perch.

Today, I got him out - more cage chasing but he eventually fluttered out and onto the floor. He headed for a corner. I went near him to make sure he didn't get any place inaccessible, and he gradually headed back in the direction of his cage. He went right by the ladder... but after a couple of feet, he turned around, and made a beeline for it.

I was trying to repeat "Morty go home" the whole time in hopes that he would ultimately learn that this meant, well, "go home". Obviously that'll be something we'll have to work on long-term.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/znfsmmeyq...YCyMeamEa?dl=0

He still shows NO interest in coming out and exploring (supervised of course!!) voluntarily. Right now I've got the cage top open, with a rope perch connecting near the edge to down near the bottom of the cage (just above the ladder) and the door wide open, and he's just sitting there, quite certain that he's next on the menu.

I do feel reassured that he now has a way he can get back to safety if he's ever out and about or escapes - as long as i leave the cage door open, he can get in with just the ladder.

Of course, right now he's in his cage, huddled on the in-cage ladder (one of his favorite spots) and not moving a muscle. I think the open door is weirding him out.

He still shows no interest in fresh foods. Well, one time I had put a mini pepper in the cage and he was tugging it around with his beak as a toy, but he made no attempt to eat it as far as I can tell. Nor will he go near millet if we're involved - if I leave it in his cage of course he'll snack on it. So, using food as a bribe for desired behavior has not been successful.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 01-27-2019 at 02:35 PM.
  #90  
Old 01-27-2019, 05:27 PM
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You do realize you're making progress, right?

He's not coming out of the cage on his own, and he is returning to it on his own, because he feels the cage is a safe place. Which is good - little birds need to have a place they feel safe.

And he's getting on shoulders and fingers? Good!

Be patient and continue to work with him.
  #91  
Old 01-27-2019, 06:49 PM
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He's very cute and the play structure looks amazing!
  #92  
Old 01-28-2019, 11:20 AM
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....

And he's getting on shoulders and fingers? Good!

Be patient and continue to work with him.
Well, he's not getting on *voluntarily*, and I keep thinking it's traumatic for him to be chased all over the cage .

I'm trying to leave the top and front open while I'm home working, to hopefully get him used to that and not quite so terrified of it.

Another behavior I hadn't mentioned before: if he's on his wooden swing (a platform of dowels, like the ladder but closer) and I put my hand near him, he'll peck at the hand in disapproval. Not biting, just pecking. He doesn't do that anywhere else in the cage. So I would move my hand away.... then I realized that's teaching him that "pecking make scary thing go away". So yesterday I persisted. Didn't try to touch him, but brought the hand right back after a second.... and he quit after a couple rounds. I haven't tried again today.

He has a little plastic ladder with a mirror at the top, that came with him. The hooks don't fit through the wires of his new cage so I was leaning it against a lower perch. He disapproved of that, so he'd knock it loose and kick it around the cage a bit. Last night I decided to slide it through from the *outside*... and he's enjoying sitting on it now. He might be peeved that I "broke" his toy! I think he'd enjoy some "foot" toys given how he's ignored the hanging toy I got him, and has been dragging this thing around.
  #93  
Old 01-28-2019, 11:47 AM
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You've got a great set up for him. I also have a series of ladders for Fat Uncle Blue because he's more comfortable climbing up than flying.

It's just going to take some time for him to get used to you. Or - he might not. Fat Uncle Blue has never gotten to the point where he wants to sit on my finger. The most he'll do is stand on my arm if I'm wearing a specific long-sleeved shirt that he likes.

The other budgies will crawl on me and sit on my finger/arm/head/ear when they feel like it. I never force the issue and always let them make the choice. But they will all happily and greedily take any and all treats from my hand. The babies like to stand on my hand when they're eating treats - especially hard boiled egg (only the whites). But I make a point of spending time with them every, single day because they lose their tameness super quickly.

I would remove his mirrors for now. If he doesn't spend much time looking at them it's probably fine but if he is always sitting by the mirror - take it out because the other budgie he sees will always be more attractive than you.

Last edited by FloatyGimpy; 01-28-2019 at 11:49 AM.
  #94  
Old 01-28-2019, 07:26 PM
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Well, he's not getting on *voluntarily*, and I keep thinking it's traumatic for him to be chased all over the cage .
Well, no, getting chased around the cage isn't good, but..

I've had a number of birds, all very socialized and (except one) people friendly. But not all of them have "voluntarily" stepped up onto fingers. They'll do so if I ask them to, but that's them doing so because they're asked, not because they've decided to do that of their own accord. If he'll "step up" when asked to do so that's actually good. Or if you insist either verbally or via body language.

Even the birds that have gotten on hands/finger of their own accord don't always want to - they do have opinions. (A common trick is for a bird to put one foot on your finger, as if to say "there, I "stepped up"" then take it off again).

Quote:
I'm trying to leave the top and front open while I'm home working, to hopefully get him used to that and not quite so terrified of it.
Not a bad strategy.

Quote:
Another behavior I hadn't mentioned before: if he's on his wooden swing (a platform of dowels, like the ladder but closer) and I put my hand near him, he'll peck at the hand in disapproval. Not biting, just pecking. He doesn't do that anywhere else in the cage. So I would move my hand away.... then I realized that's teaching him that "pecking make scary thing go away". So yesterday I persisted. Didn't try to touch him, but brought the hand right back after a second.... and he quit after a couple rounds. I haven't tried again today.
That's probably about right.

Last edited by Broomstick; 01-28-2019 at 07:26 PM.
  #95  
Old 01-29-2019, 09:56 AM
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Brave birdie!!!!

I opened the cage door a little while ago, and just now I saw him standing on the edge of the opening. I snapped a photo (which is visible at the same link from the other day), then I went close very carefully to push the chair nearer so he had something to hop onto. Of course he backed off when he saw me coming.

A minute later, he was on the edge again - and he took the plunge onto the chair. I didn't have my phone ready in time to snap him before he fluttered the rest of the way down. He's on the floor behind the cage right now, where I can't see him - but I know he's in a spot where he can't really get stuck, and of course he can always walk around to the front to climb back in.

Well, if he remembers, that is!!

Whenever he gets back in, maybe I'll set some millet on that chair to act as an incentive.
  #96  
Old 01-29-2019, 10:06 AM
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He made his way to the front, and spent a few minutes just hanging out on the dangling rope perch. I think I'll have to make sure to close up the big box of millet so he can't totally pig out (it's on a shelf under the cage - and is now accessible if he goes walkabout). Then he decided he'd had enough, and he's back inside the cage.

Last edited by Mama Zappa; 01-29-2019 at 10:10 AM.
  #97  
Old 01-29-2019, 07:11 PM
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Sounds like he's getting comfortable enough to explore rather than just hide. Good job! For both of you!
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:51 PM
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He's had one more jaunt; the first I realized was when I saw the flapping to get down to the floor. He actually walked around the room a bit then headed back home. I watched the whole time but did not attempt to approach him, as I'm sure he'd have bolted. One of these days, I'll try to see if he'll step onto my finger when he's loose.

A few minutes ago he was standing at the cage door again, hollering at me, but he didn't go any further this time.

Of course we're keeping things closed up when we're not around; we don't want any unsupervised EVAs just yet!!
  #99  
Old 02-06-2019, 10:51 AM
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Not much of an update. He still steadfastly refuses to come near my hand even when I'm holding birdie crack (i.e. millet). He has had a couple more very brief EVAs - we've taken to leaving the cage open whenever we're home and on the same floor of the house. No luck handling him, as I really, really hate chasing him around the cage.

He does get excited when anyone is running water in the sink. I don't know if he remembers that as something vaguely fun to play in (I would think not, as the cleaning lady has bathed him several times, and he squawks the whole time). Or the sound is just very pleasing to him. He also chirrups in response to birdsong outside.

He's a Trekkie!! I've been binge-watching STNG lately, and he gets very excited, chirruping and squawking, during the opening music.

He has a new sound: we cover his cage (mostly) at night to keep it a bit warmer - and when I approach to put the cover on, he's started making a very soft burbling sound that I couldn't hear if I were 3 feet further away.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:39 PM
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Well, I feel like a bad pet person tonight.

I decided to make another attempt to catch him. He almost immediately flew out of the cage and onto the floor. He did some running around, and ultimately lurked underneath the cage. Wouldn't come out for anything, even though at times he got close to his ladder.

So I went across the room, figuring he'd come out soon.

I dozed off.

2 hours later,the poor fellow was *still* hiding underneath his cage. He didn't come out and get home again until we all left the room.

To be fair, he wasn't starving... there had been sufficient "onanism" going on that he had plenty of seed to eat.

Time to put on some more Star Trek for him.
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