Maybe you’ve never owned a budgie before, and it’s so cute you just want to pet it to let it know it’s safe and you love it. Don’t take it personally if your budgie won’t let you pet it, it’s the nature of the species.
So, do budgies like to be pet? Budgies do enjoy interaction with their humans but on their terms. A budgie that is not tamed won’t like to be pet. As soon as your budgies have learned that you are not a threat, it is most likely going to enjoy being pet.
As you see, you need to gain your budgie’s trust first if you want him to enjoy being pet. However, forming a budgie requires work, patience, and empathy. This article will show you the surefire way to bond with your budgie (or better budgies) so that they will enjoy being pet.
You Need To Gain Your Budgie’s Trust First – Here is how!
You’ll notice I mention budgies in the plural above. This is desirable as budgies are social little birds and unless you have hours to spare to play with them every day, you’re going to find them developing obsessive behaviors if kept alone that could be difficult to deal with.
On the other hand, they are less likely to talk if they have another budgie for company.
Step 1 – Be patient, gentle, and calm
The first thing you need to know is that petting a budgie is nothing like petting a cat or dog. They are tiny little creatures, and it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how they would react when a hand, even a little hand, reaches for them.
Cue a lot of noise and you could end up with a few painful nips – they’re never going to be able to bite off your finger with their little beaks.
Patience is key during this process.
Every movement should be soft and gentle. This also applies to anytime you’re in the room. If you’re screaming at the kids, he’s probably going to be extra wary around you.
Step 2 – Get your budgie used to your presence… in his cage!
To start, you just want them to accept your hand in the cage, so you do this 4-5 times a day for up to 15 minutes each time, over 7 days. This might take a week or more. It’s all up to the personality of the budgie.
Start by letting him see your hand outside the cage. Talk to him gently until he is comfortable and calm and then slowly place your hand on the cage floor – in a non-threatening way.
Step 3 – Show your budgie that your hand means something good
After a few times begin putting a treat on your hand. Be aware the budgie may actually be afraid of the treat if it’s something they haven’t seen before.
You could start by giving them a tiny piece of Kiwi Fruit or Mango because once they actually try it, they will love it – as they do with most fruit and vegetables.
This again will be a slow and patient process but just remember, you might have a budgie who doesn’t like or understand human contact at all so you may have to make do with minimal contact.
That’s worst-case scenario obviously but something to be aware of.
Take it to the next level – Get your budgies out of the cage
You can give yourself a pet when your little budgie finally trusts you enough to sit on your hand. Your next goal is to get him out of the cage and into a safe space.
Do make sure your windows and doors are closed securely, although it could be quite a while before he attempts to leave the safety and security of his cage.
Once you have gained enough trust that you can place your hand in the cage without frightening him, you can then move to get him to sit on your finger.
- Still ensuring your movements are slow and steady, place your hand in the cage and raise your index finger to the level of his perch in a perch shape.
- Gently, oh so gently, press against its abdomen to encourage it to step onto your finger.
- Now, the budgie has never done this before, so it may not know what you want it to do. Persevere slowly.
- If he decides he’s had enough and flies to the farthest corner of the cage, don’t try to force him back. Leave him alone for a while and try again later.
- Put a treat on your finger the next time you put your hand in the cage but far enough away from him that he will be forced to move towards you to retrieve it. We show you 12 treats budgies love in this article!
- When he finally sits on your finger you can begin to work on taking him out of the cage.
- He will more than likely want to fly straight back to it so put a treat or two on the top of the cage and leave him to his own devices for a while.
Now you have him out of the cage and you’ve worked with him to be comfortable in the larger space, you can get him familiar with being pet. Start by gently tickling under his throat – it’s a movement loved by almost all creatures.
If he’s a rare one who doesn’t like this, you can try stroking under his wings.
Budgies may hold their heads down to you for a pat, they can snuggle in against your neck or hold their heads up for you to scratch their neck.
Accept your budgie’s pace
Persevere. They’ve all got their own personalities and your budgie may take longer to bond with you.
There’s a train of thought that budgies reared by their parents may take longer to bond with humans than those that are hand reared so if this is the case (unlikely in most circumstances) then perseverance is key.
In reality, this will mean everything takes at least twice as long as the scenario above. Maybe 14 days of practice before you see a result, maybe twice that. The only certainty is there is plenty of uncertainty.
Once you have established the bond and your budgie is now freely exploring your home, you may find he doesn’t like everyone.
It may be because he can sense that they are nervous or just plain don’t like him (how could they not?) but whatever the reason, he will keep his affection to himself while they’re around.
Never force a situation whereby your budgie feels threatened. Ask your guest or family member to give him space until they have grown comfortable around each other.
So, do budgies like to be pet? Yes. No. It depends. With questions like these, I always ask if you’d walk up to a stranger in the street and hug them or how would you feel if the same was done to you. It all depends on who’s doing the hugging!
Don’t give up is the key message, the slower you go, the faster you will get results.
What are signs that your bird trusts you? Signs that your budgie trust you are: Flashing/Dilating Pupils, barking, chattering, growling, purring, tongue clicking. Also, a budgie that trusts you will eat out of your hands, fly to you, or wants to be pet from you.
Do budgies like music? They do, and they like it loud enough to feel that it’s all around them. They seem to like classical or meditation music most, according to popular opinion but also enjoy when their human makes music for them—such as playing piano or guitar.