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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11156
Experience:  Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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I have a new budgie and would like to talk about his

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Hi I have a new budgie and would like to talk about his behaviour
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the budgie?
Customer: He is running up and down and gets aggressive towards toys
Assistant: Where does the budgie seem to hurt?
Customer: He also put his head into a bell as well
Assistant: OK. What is the budgie's name and age?
Customer: His name is ***** ***** don’t know his age
Assistant: OK. Is it a kitten or an adult?
Customer: It is a budgie
Assistant: How old is Kiwi?
Customer: I don’t know
Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Kiwi?
Customer: Not other wise
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!

Hello, I'm August Abbott, Certified Avian Specialist with a focus on bird nutrition and behavior.

From what you've described, Kiwi is 'new' to you. His behavior is absolutely normal. Imagine a 4 year old human suddenly being put in someone else's house and not understanding where he is or why he's there. Poor Kiwi is acting out.

Here is my guideline for when a bird is 'new' to you and if you follow it, you should see a vast improvement in as little as 2 days or maybe as long as a week or so, but it WILL improve.

When we bring a bird into our homes, no matter how old they are or what conditions they came from, we may have to start with them like they’re brand new.
It’s not unusual for some birds to be very friendly and cooperative the first few days or even week - they are totally dependent on us as new providers and they don’t want to be shunned, rejected or hurt.
Taking your time and letting the bird learn you, adjust to their surroundings and ease into sharing life with you – is by far the better choice. Even if the bird never learns to truly trust, at least to live in peace, comfort and care is a huge accomplishment.
Here are some guidelines you can try, add or reassure yourself you’ve already done:

Start by providing the largest cage appropriate for the species of bird you have. Include 3 different types of perches (suggested): 1 natural wood perch, 1 rope perch and 1 ‘rough’ perch for grooming (concrete, mineral, etc.). Never use those sandpaper perch covers. They do not provide secure grip and can result in injury; plus, they just don’t do anything worthwhile.

Perches should be of varying widths as well, from where the feet wrap ¾ of the way around, to where the feet wrap ¼ to ½ way around. The rope perch will likely be chosen for sleep/nighttime; the concrete/rough perch should not be placed where the bird is forced to stand on it without other options (such as to eat or drink). They’ll choose the perch when they need it.

Approach the cage when the bird is calm. Be slow, keep your movements smooth and don’t raise your hands above your own shoulder level – or above the eye level of the bird. Speak with a soft voice and give the bird time to calm down and accept your presence. If it doesn’t adjust relatively quickly, back away until it calms down – the last thing we want is for the bird to injure itself by flailing around in fear.

Remember, patience.
I approach our new additions (usually abused birds entering rescue/rehab) an hour or so after tucking them in for nighttime. Their cages are covered on all sides, leaving just ½ of the front uncovered so they can see out and feel secure. It also insures decent air circulation.
The room light would be very dim, but not totally dark. Most birds have poor night vision, unless they’re nocturnal birds like owls and approaching them in total darkness is frightening to them.
At this time, whispering, putting a hand up against the cage and just holding it there is a start. Remember, keep it non-threatening and below their eye level.

When you notice them calmly stretching a wing and leg slowly out to the side and back, mimic the action with your own arm slowly stretching out to the side and softly stay engaged vocally (“what a good bird you are”, “that’s a pretty bird”, etc).

After just a few minutes of nice interaction, leave them be for their night and the next day use the same tone of voice and slow, calm movements around them.

Open the cage door (as long as your bird is not panicking and will be safe if they escape, unable to get to places you cannot recover them from) and offer your finger/hand just above the feet and gently touching at the breast area there say “step up”. This command is important to use every time so that when the bird hears it they know it’s time to be on hand/finger.

In an untamed bird there may be some biting and squawking, but if you can tolerate it until they are on hand, you’ve accomplished a very important step. Once up they usually stop biting where they’re perching (your hand) and if they don’t, giving them an “earthquake” a gentle shaking of your hand, but not enough to dislodge them or cause them to feel insecure, will often distract them.

I’ve also found that walking quickly into a different room (which isn’t hard to do with a big macaw chomping down on my arm like a pitbull) will surprise them enough to stop. Suddenly, in new surroundings, I’m their best friend.

If you cannot get your bird to cooperate right away with hands, remember, you’ve got years ahead of you – it’s worth it to do this right. Try just placing your hand in the cage for a minute and letting them get used to it being there. Having a treat in hand will help make your fingers a positive thing.

Continue the night whispering and no matter what, don’t give up. Are you up to this?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanx but I have one more question.
I tried to feed him with vegetables and fruit for a change it should be part of his diet if iam not wrong. But he is refusing to eat it as he was fed in seed diet only how can I teach him to eat veg and fruits.

Oh dear, so you have a 'seed junkie' huh? Well, I'm not supposed to answer more than one question at a time and am supposed to ask you to post new - but if you rate the previous exchange (no, it will not close this question) - it removes it from the 'open boards' (others stop seeing it) - and I'll give you the guideline for getting him off his junk food diet.

VERY wise of you by the way.

S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11156
Experience: Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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