Originally Posted by applebird
I just got my first parakeet, his name is
. He seems to be doing alright, I just had a couple questions. First of all he will not eat the seeds I put in his dish, he will only eat spray Millet. Is that okay for him only to eat that?
Not really, no. Millet is fattening and should be viewed as a treat and offered sparingly. A budgie that only eats millet is like a human that only eats sweets or junk food.
Try removing the millet and see what happens. Be very, very
attentive when you do this though. Don't do it for too long. Withdrawing any food from a budgie is dangerous because they don't have much body fat. You musn't try to starve your budgie into eating seed.
A budgie should have a varied diet. Pet shops sell seed mixtures that are okay but ideally even they should be supplemented by fresh fruit. If you look on the web (Google for 'parakeet food') you'll find that budgies can eat most of what we eat.
One comment though:Getting a budgie to change their diet is often not easy. It's taken me six months to get Beekle to try other food. Hopefully the millet thing is just a case of it being available. Take it away and Apple will probably go back to the seeds.
Also everytime I play music in my room he starts to chirp really loudly, I was hoping that meant he was happy.
It does. No creature as small and defenseless as a budgie makes a noise unless they are sure it is safe to do so (budgies are a bit daft but they're not that
). Apple thinks there are no predators around so is joining in and that's good. Other signs that a budgie are happy are:
* Beek grinding.
* Relaxing on one foot.
He is still very shy he'll get on my finger sometimes
For a budgie that's not shy at all. Sounds like someone has already done a good job of training him. It took me a couple of months to get Beekle onto my finger but then I am out most of the day.
but sometimes he'll move wildly in the cage.
If he does that when your hand enters the cage stopping putting your hand in. Even now Beekle dislikes getting on my finger when he's in his cage. A budgie will regard its cage as its home and your hand as a potential home invader. If he trusts you he might see you as a welcome guest but that doesn't mean he'll want to come out and play.
Beekle actually plays a trick on me sometimes. If my hand is in the cage he'll jump on then perch in a way that stops me removing my hand. Sometimes he even puts one foot on the cage wall. When I took him to the vet for a checkup I let him nibble my finger through the bars and when I went to stand up he perched on my finger to stop me removing it.
Anything I should do so I don't scare him and build some more trust. Lastly
If he's in his cage leave him be. Beekle is quite adamant in this regard. He'll hop onto my finger grudgingly when he's in the cage but any attempt to get him out results in him hopping off or obstructing me. This might be because he is a free range budgie - his cage is open all the time except at night. If he's in his cage it's usually because that's where he wants to be
I leave the cage door open when I am in the room, whenever he flies out, he has lots of trouble landing and always looks like it might have hurt him.
It depends on the perch but it can take budgies a few attempts to work out how to land on some objects. In the early stages they will touch the object, flail around a bit and then fly off. Don't worry too much about their wings hitting solid objects. Beekle lands on picture and mirror frames. As long as they don't appear to bounce off there should be no problem.
Should I just leave his cage shut for right now.
As long as Apple can get back to his cage by himself I would say let him out. The two biggest issues about letting a budgie out are:
Until they've worked them out budgies can stun themselves flying into them. From my experience I think this is less of an issue for double glazing. The first time I let him out Beekle bounced off a window but he didn't hit hard and he seemed to swerve or slow down at the last minute. He's never done that since even in the unfamiliar surroundings of my parent's house.
* Getting them back in their cage.
I believe in allowing budgies the freedom to come and go as they please (as long as the room has been cleared of hazards). But at night you should lock them up because it's safer if everyone knows where they are. In the early days I had a few problems with Beekle and had to catch him myself.
For catching him I used a tea towel. Just put the towel over the bird and gently gather it in. You don't want to do this too often though and don't spend too long trying. After five minutes give up and leave it a while for you both to calm down.
With Beekle when it became obvious he was reluctant to go back I just didn't let him out for a while. I waited until he started climbing over the inside of his cage. After about five months he began to learn and now he usually takes himself back in evening.
He's a bit confused right now because we've just come off daylight savings but I think he'll adapt. It depends what he makes of his day having a short dark period in the late afternoon before I get home and turn the lights on