Getting an untamed budgie back into its cage is a challenge, and there are right and wrong ways to do it. As you coax your budgie into its cage, make sure that you remain calm and gentle. But what else should you do?
To get an untamed budgie back into its cage, turn off all the lights except for a night light next to the cage. This tells the budgie that it’s time to find a roosting spot for sleep. Or, place a treat inside the cage, then wait until the bird has become engrossed in eating before closing the door.
Do you want to learn more about getting an untamed budgie back in its cage? Read on as we explain just that and more (including how to tame a new budgie so that it trusts you and its cage).
How Do You Get an Untamed Budgie Back in Its Cage?
Some experts recommend waiting until your budgie, or parakeet, is tamed before letting them out of the cage, but you may want to give your bird some room to fly and explore from day one.
If you follow this path, there are several ways that you can lure your budgie back into the cage.
These include the following:
- Place a night light close to or inside the cage. Make sure the room is at its darkest. This encourages your budgie to view the cage as home and tells them that it’s about time to go back to their perch for bedtime.
- Place your budgie’s favorite treat in the cage, showing it to them and letting them watch you as you put it inside the cage. Budgie favorites include fresh fruit or veggies or a treat stick like the A&E Cage Co. Smakers Treat Sticks.
- If you have the time, simply leave your budgie’s food bowl inside the cage and remove all other food sources from the room. Eventually, your budgie will grow hungry enough to return to the cage.
- Some budgies will instinctively perch on sticks or twigs when you present them in the right way, allowing you to place your bird back in their cage simply. The right way to offer a perch is to lightly press the stick against their belly, right on top of their feet, pushing your budgie slightly off-balance so that their response is to step up onto the stick. You may also use a treat to lure a budgie onto a perch and place the perch inside the cage.
If none of these methods work and you’re absolutely desperate to get your budgie back into their cage, you can resort to physically catching your bird.
But only use this strategy as a last resort, as this can seriously stress out your budgie and deteriorate trust.
If you do resort to catching your budgie, toss a light towel over them, pick the budgie up, move them to the cage, and remove the towel.
Why Won’t My Budgie Go Back in Its Cage?
In the wild, budgies have a considerable amount of territory, so adjusting to domesticated life takes some time and effort. They need plenty of freedom and time outside the cage.
If it’s refusing to go back in the cage, it could be that it hasn’t gotten enough of this exploratory time or that it needs more stimulation.
Budgies naturally go back to the cage to roost when they’re tired or for rest when they’re having an off day. Going back in the cage when the owner is away is less natural for any bird but is sometimes necessary for the bird’s safety.
Signs That a Budgie Is Avoiding Cage Time
If a budgie catches wind that you’re trying to get it back inside the cage, it’ll try several techniques to try to keep that from happening. One very common way is by crawling down the back of the cage on the outside to stay out of reach.
Another is grabbing the side of the opening of the cage with its beak.
A budgerigar may also become aggressive towards you as you’re trying to get it back inside the cage, lunging at you or biting down on your finger or hand.
How To Respond to a Defensive, Flighty Budgie
You must remain gentle and calm with your budgie, even as you take direct steps to lock it back in the cage. Even if you lure the budgie back into its cage with a treat, it may fly away again at any sign that you’re about to close the door.
Make sure that you wait to close the door until after the bird has become deeply interested in the treat and is no longer vigilant.
To avoid latching on the side of the cage, bring your budgie into the cage backward so that it can’t see the cage door on its way in and can’t latch onto it.
If your budgie becomes aggressive and starts biting, you can use a method called the double-handed swoop.
The double-handed swoop involves offering your bird both hands cupped underneath the belly instead of a single hand or finger.
The feeling of hands swooping toward them on both sides will confuse the budgie and encourage it to step up.
How To Tame a Budgie
Taming a budgie is as much about teaching your budgie that it’s safe as it is about making it a pleasant pet to have. The best part of the process is showing the budgie that you’re not a threat and that you’ll take good care of it.
Ethical Questions About Taming a Budgie
There are a number of ethical questions that come up when you’re taming a budgie.
The goal in taking care of a cagebird is to allow it to live a good, healthy life, and some believe that the only way to do this ethically is to keep your bird in a large aviary instead of a cage.
Others believe that a cage is suitable as a resting place, so long as your bird has enough time outside it.
For some, a good life for a budgie means life as close to what it’d have in the wild as possible.
However, this would mean less time interacting with the owner, and interactions with you are both stimulating and good for health checks.
Budgies will bond more readily with a human companion if they don’t have budgie companions but love the company of other budgies and do well in a flock.
Deciding whether to adopt one or more budgies means considering this and deciding whether it’s most ethical to promote companionship with you or provide a strong flock.
One of the biggest ethical questions to ask when taming a budgie is whether or not to clip its wings. Clipping its flight wings will prevent it from flying away and seriously limit its ability to explore and exercise.
Some choose to clip the wings at first to tame the budgie and then allow them to regrow after some time has passed.
Behavioral and Environmental Taming Methods
The best ways to tame your budgie involve effectively and gently teaching your budgie that you’re safe and fun to interact with.
This means gradually getting your bird used to your presence, staying calm, and providing interactions in frequent, small amounts.
These guidelines will help you tame your pet budgie and provide your budgie a comfortable environment at home:
- Avoid making loud noises, which can startle your budgie.
- Approach the cage slowly, talking in a soothing voice as you come close.
- Spend about 10-15 minutes with your budgie a few times a day.
- Get to know your budgie’s favorite treats, and use these throughout the training process. Some favorites of budgies usually include millet sprays, carrot tops, and sunflower hearts.
- Place a chair near the cage where you can hang out so that your bird gets used to time near each other.
- Once your budgie is comfortable with you near its cage, experiment with placing your hand slightly inside the cage for small amounts at a time.
- Offer your budgie food from your hand once it’s comfortable with your hand in the cage.
- Eventually, try petting the back of your budgie’s neck while it’s feeding from your hand.
- Finally, once your budgie has become comfortable being pet, try pushing your finger gently into the budgie’s lower belly to encourage it to step up on your hand.
Getting an untamed budgie back in its cage requires patience and appropriate environmental encouragement. This includes turning all the lights off except for a night light near the cage.
Or, you can put a favorite treat inside the cage. The goal is to teach your budgie that the cage is a safe place to roost and a place where it can expect good things, like treats.