Out of cage untamed budgies

DonnaBudgie

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,976
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
If like to let my five untamed budgies out of their cages to fly around the room but there are several reasons why I feel like I can't. Maybe someone can give me advice.

Their cages are in the main room of my very small house (no other room to keep them) where my husband and I spend all of our at home waking hours, so they are very accustomed to our presence. Charlie and Skyote share a cage, as do Pickle and Nummie, and Lilibelle has her own cage. They are very compatible with their cagemates. Each cage (very expensive plexiglass cages) is 24x24x24. I wish I could house the pairs in 36x24x36 plexicages but each one costs $1,500 and I can't afford that. I need to use plexiglass cages because of my severe asthma.
They don't flap around scared when I reach in to change their food and water every day and clean their cage bottom twice a week. They are even calm when I put the vacuum hose into their cages to clean out all the debris under the bottom trays, but I don't try to finger tame them.
I wish I could let them fly around the room like other people in this forum do but since they're not finger tame at all, how am I supposed to get them back in their cages? The ceilings in the room are 12 feet high with a 16 foot high cupola with windows and six inch windowsills. I've had a few escapees over the past five years and they fly directly up into the cupola where they remain for hours until get bored or I get a tall stepladder and a net and climb up there, catch them and put them back in their cages. It's dangerous for me to do that and the birds don't like it much either.
Another place they would perch is a windowsill for a transom window nine feet high. I also have a huge ceiling fan that I would obviously turn off if the birds are loose but it has wood blades ten feet high and they would most certainly perch on the blades. I also worry that since they aren't used to free flying and are not clipped they may fly into the walls or the double wide glass sliding door. I can close the curtains on the three large windows but I don't have any way to cover the slider.
These budgies are three to six years old and even though I don't let them out I love them and my husband and I consider them members of the family flock. I think they are pretty happy little birds but wouldn't they be happier if they got to fly around like Rocky, my hand raised baby budgie does. They see Rocky enjoying free flight and interacting with us. I wonder what they think about Rocky's interactions with us and his freedom. Please advise on how I can let all of them out to fly.
 
Originally, 2 out of 4 of my budgies were very wild, terrified and scared and wouldn’t step up, unless I had millet and that was rare too.
For awhile, before they became tame enough to be picked up, I’d just sprinkle a little millet on the cage floor and they’d go right in.
I try to make it my mission to be able to pick up most/all of the birds, for ease of transport.
It took several months, but now all 4 are tame, one of the most untame, Grim, will flip on his back in my hand for millet!
 
I know of a few people who let their "untame" budgies out. I can't speak for how they do it though, but I think after awhile they get used to the routine and put themselves back.
 
I know of a few people who let their "untame" budgies out. I can't speak for how they do it though, but I think after awhile they get used to the routine and put themselves back.
This would be me. Although my ceilings are not that high. My first two budgies i thought were not tame... until i let them breed, and 2nd gen budgies have shown me what "not tame" REALLY means.

For mine... they simply learned, they will win Most negotiations; BUT, going back into their own cages at night, to sleep, is NOT negotiable. I will "chase" (follow, slowly) them around the room with a long stick attempting to get them to step-up... which, being non-tame, they still refuse to doso. (I DO intentionally tire-them-out this way, but they are Young, upset but NOT terrified; so the risk of, say, heart attack is small.) For one in particular, Patchouli, I have occasionally resorted to using a very-lightweight curtain on a long rod, as a sort of net. I have not needed to do this in more than a year. (They are only about a couple years old.) They have LEARNED they cannot win this negotiation, and so they will take themselves back into their own "houses" when it gets to be late afternoon.

Also. I "bribe" them. Currently only 3 live together in their main, large cage. Most days, around the time they ought to "think about" going back to their cage, I will put in a New millet, and change their in-cage food dishes. Also at this time, I remove their out-of-cage food dishes. (The ladies living in separation cages, are currently all happy to return on their own, well-before sleep time.)

Where you have 5 , never flown-free, budgies, if you decide you want to begin allowing them freedom, you will need to be prepared for a Chaotic adjustment period while they learn.

( --I would suggest Maybe IF you want to do this... you MIGHT start with removing One of them and working to slightly-tame it (teaching step-up, etc); to do this one-at-a-time. Perhaps provide this one with a separation cage Next to the main cage? As a way to avoid complete chaos of attempting to return One non-cooperative budgie to the main cage, at night, possibly then disrupting them all and causing a BIG commotion.... although having said that. Personally I myself have completely failed at "taming" budgies, so I might not be the best to advise about "taming"... ;) --)
 
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This would be me. Although my ceilings are not that high. My first two budgies i thought were not tame... until i let them breed, and 2nd gen budgies have shown me what "not tame" REALLY means.

For mine... they simply learned, they will win Most negotiations; BUT, going back into their own cages at night, to sleep, is NOT negotiable. I will "chase" (follow, slowly) them around the room with a long stick attempting to get them to step-up... which, being non-tame, they still refuse to doso. (I DO intentionally tire-them-out this way, but they are Young, upset but NOT terrified; so the risk of, say, heart attack is small.) For one in particular, Patchouli, I have occasionally resorted to using a very-lightweight curtain on a long rod, as a sort of net. I have not needed to do this in more than a year. (They are only about a couple years old.) They have LEARNED they cannot win this negotiation, and so they will take themselves back into their own "houses" when it gets to be late afternoon.

Also. I "bribe" them. Currently only 3 live together in their main, large cage. Most days, around the time they ought to "think about" going back to their cage, I will put in a New millet, and change their in-cage food dishes. Also at this time, I remove their out-of-cage food dishes. (The ladies living in separation cages, are currently all happy to return on their own, well-before sleep time.)

Where you have 5 , never flown-free, budgies, if you decide you want to begin allowing them freedom, you will need to be prepared for an adjustment period where they learn.

I would suggest Maybe IF you want to do this... you MIGHT start with removing One of them and working to slightly-tame it (teaching step-up, etc); to do this one-at-a-time. Perhaps provide this one with a separation cage Next to the main cage? As a way to avoid complete chaos of attempting to return One non-cooperative budgie to the main cage, at night, possibly then disrupting them all and causing a BIG commotion.... although having said that. Personally I myself have completely failed at "taming" budgies, so I might not be the best to advise about "taming"... ;)
You are accurately describing the chaos I fear if I let them out. With my very high ceilings it would be physically dangerous to have to climb ladders to try to tire them out until they drop to a lower level where I can throw a small towel over them and put them back. It seems it would be so stressful to them that we are all better off keeping them in their cages.
I've had escapees fly up into the cupola and sit on the windowsills up there for a full day and night before coming down to where I could grab them and put them back. I can't imagine having to do that for FIVE budgie!
 
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This would be me. Although my ceilings are not that high. My first two budgies i thought were not tame... until i let them breed, and 2nd gen budgies have shown me what "not tame" REALLY means.

For mine... they simply learned, they will win Most negotiations; BUT, going back into their own cages at night, to sleep, is NOT negotiable. I will "chase" (follow, slowly) them around the room with a long stick attempting to get them to step-up... which, being non-tame, they still refuse to doso. (I DO intentionally tire-them-out this way, but they are Young, upset but NOT terrified; so the risk of, say, heart attack is small.) For one in particular, Patchouli, I have occasionally resorted to using a very-lightweight curtain on a long rod, as a sort of net. I have not needed to do this in more than a year. (They are only about a couple years old.) They have LEARNED they cannot win this negotiation, and so they will take themselves back into their own "houses" when it gets to be late afternoon.

Also. I "bribe" them. Currently only 3 live together in their main, large cage. Most days, around the time they ought to "think about" going back to their cage, I will put in a New millet, and change their in-cage food dishes. Also at this time, I remove their out-of-cage food dishes. (The ladies living in separation cages, are currently all happy to return on their own, well-before sleep time.)

Where you have 5 , never flown-free, budgies, if you decide you want to begin allowing them freedom, you will need to be prepared for a Chaotic adjustment period while they learn.

( --I would suggest Maybe IF you want to do this... you MIGHT start with removing One of them and working to slightly-tame it (teaching step-up, etc); to do this one-at-a-time. Perhaps provide this one with a separation cage Next to the main cage? As a way to avoid complete chaos of attempting to return One non-cooperative budgie to the main cage, at night, possibly then disrupting them all and causing a BIG commotion.... although having said that. Personally I myself have completely failed at "taming" budgies, so I might not be the best to advise about "taming"... ;) --)
I think the only way I could let all my five untamed budgies out at once to free fly, make sure they are safe, I don't fall off a high ladder trying to catch them, and be able to get them back in their cages would be to lightly trim all their wings so they can only fly about five feet high. So, I ask, what's the lesser of two evils- Trim their wings or keep them in their cages?
 
I know of a few people who let their "untame" budgies out. I can't speak for how they do it though, but I think after awhile they get used to the routine and put themselves back.
This is pretty much how my two untame budgies are. I let them out in the morning and close them up at night so they are loose all day. I keep their food and water only in their cage so they have incentive to go in and out many times throughout the day. I also feed them fresh treats in the cage so that In case of emergency I could put, say, a couple pieces of lettuce in the cage and they would come in. At night, I dim the lights and that’s their cue to fly to the cage and settle in. I only have two, though, and my bird room isn’t quite so big!
 
If like to let my five untamed budgies out of their cages to fly around the room but there are several reasons why I feel like I can't. Maybe someone can give me advice.

Their cages are in the main room of my very small house (no other room to keep them) where my husband and I spend all of our at home waking hours, so they are very accustomed to our presence. Charlie and Skyote share a cage, as do Pickle and Nummie, and Lilibelle has her own cage. They are very compatible with their cagemates. Each cage (very expensive plexiglass cages) is 24x24x24. I wish I could house the pairs in 36x24x36 plexicages but each one costs $1,500 and I can't afford that. I need to use plexiglass cages because of my severe asthma.
They don't flap around scared when I reach in to change their food and water every day and clean their cage bottom twice a week. They are even calm when I put the vacuum hose into their cages to clean out all the debris under the bottom trays, but I don't try to finger tame them.
I wish I could let them fly around the room like other people in this forum do but since they're not finger tame at all, how am I supposed to get them back in their cages? The ceilings in the room are 12 feet high with a 16 foot high cupola with windows and six inch windowsills. I've had a few escapees over the past five years and they fly directly up into the cupola where they remain for hours until get bored or I get a tall stepladder and a net and climb up there, catch them and put them back in their cages. It's dangerous for me to do that and the birds don't like it much either.
Another place they would perch is a windowsill for a transom window nine feet high. I also have a huge ceiling fan that I would obviously turn off if the birds are loose but it has wood blades ten feet high and they would most certainly perch on the blades. I also worry that since they aren't used to free flying and are not clipped they may fly into the walls or the double wide glass sliding door. I can close the curtains on the three large windows but I don't have any way to cover the slider.
These budgies are three to six years old and even though I don't let them out I love them and my husband and I consider them members of the family flock. I think they are pretty happy little birds but wouldn't they be happier if they got to fly around like Rocky, my hand raised baby budgie does. They see Rocky enjoying free flight and interacting with us. I wonder what they think about Rocky's interactions with us and his freedom. Please advise on how I can let all of them out to fly.
My room isn't nearly as tall as yours, so it's kind of a different situation.
In the beginning, when I let out Elvis and Niki, they would always perch on the curtain rods. I let them out in the morning and at about 12 I used a small ladder (for birds, not people) and millet spray to coax them to step on the ladder so I could put them back up.
It almost never worked. Then, I tried it later in the day, at 5 o'clock. It worked like magic.

Some months afterwards (we had nailed this routine) after Niki died, Elvis just up and decided that he didn't want to listen at 5. He would do it on his own time.

I don't know why this worked for so long, but it did, and it gave me time to finger train them. 🤷‍♀️
 
I think the only way I could let all my five untamed budgies out at once to free fly, make sure they are safe, I don't fall off a high ladder trying to catch them, and be able to get them back in their cages would be to lightly trim all their wings so they can only fly about five feet high. So, I ask, what's the lesser of two evils- Trim their wings or keep them in their cages?
One other thing that may help you decide if it’s a good idea to let the budgies out is whether or not it could trigger your asthma? The reason our birds are now in a bird room is because having them fly around the main area of the house was triggering asthma attacks for a family member who is allergic to birds. Although my budgies love to fly, it sounds like your birds are happy and well-adjusted in their cages. If it’s in the best interest of YOUR health, don’t feel bad about keeping them caged but be confident that they are leading a more loved and happy life than probably 99.9% of pet birds in the world!
 
all my budgies are free flighted. I let them out in the AM and when I turn out the lights they all fly back in. They are smarter than they are cute. THey know the cage is where to go when it's "seepy" time .....time to go "seepy"
 
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all my budgies are free flighted. I let them out in the AM and when I turn out the lights they all fly back in. They are smarter than they are cute. THey know the cage is where to go when it's "seepy" time .....time to go "seepy"
I can't let my budgies have free flight in my house when I'm not home. Too many ways they could get in trouble.
 
Mine are confined to a BIRD room. And I shut the door. No ceiling fans, no wires, nothing (that I can concievably think of) that can harm them.

I guess I should have put that beforehand.
 
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Mine are confined to a BIRD room. And I shut the door. No ceiling fans, no wires, nothing (that I can concievably think of) that can harm them.

I guess I should have put that beforehand.
My little house has no place to make into a safe room. I have two big rooms plus a bathroom and an enclosed three season porch.
 
If like to let my five untamed budgies out of their cages to fly around the room but there are several reasons why I feel like I can't. Maybe someone can give me advice.

Their cages are in the main room of my very small house (no other room to keep them) where my husband and I spend all of our at home waking hours, so they are very accustomed to our presence. Charlie and Skyote share a cage, as do Pickle and Nummie, and Lilibelle has her own cage. They are very compatible with their cagemates. Each cage (very expensive plexiglass cages) is 24x24x24. I wish I could house the pairs in 36x24x36 plexicages but each one costs $1,500 and I can't afford that. I need to use plexiglass cages because of my severe asthma.
They don't flap around scared when I reach in to change their food and water every day and clean their cage bottom twice a week. They are even calm when I put the vacuum hose into their cages to clean out all the debris under the bottom trays, but I don't try to finger tame them.
I wish I could let them fly around the room like other people in this forum do but since they're not finger tame at all, how am I supposed to get them back in their cages? The ceilings in the room are 12 feet high with a 16 foot high cupola with windows and six inch windowsills. I've had a few escapees over the past five years and they fly directly up into the cupola where they remain for hours until get bored or I get a tall stepladder and a net and climb up there, catch them and put them back in their cages. It's dangerous for me to do that and the birds don't like it much either.
Another place they would perch is a windowsill for a transom window nine feet high. I also have a huge ceiling fan that I would obviously turn off if the birds are loose but it has wood blades ten feet high and they would most certainly perch on the blades. I also worry that since they aren't used to free flying and are not clipped they may fly into the walls or the double wide glass sliding door. I can close the curtains on the three large windows but I don't have any way to cover the slider.
These budgies are three to six years old and even though I don't let them out I love them and my husband and I consider them members of the family flock. I think they are pretty happy little birds but wouldn't they be happier if they got to fly around like Rocky, my hand raised baby budgie does. They see Rocky enjoying free flight and interacting with us. I wonder what they think about Rocky's interactions with us and his freedom. Please advise on how I can let all of them out to fly.

Do not have budgies but the situation is similar with my conures. They are not tame, one of them will land on my arm only for walnut, and they accept food from my hand that is all. Can not handle them. Despite this fact we got a routine now , I let them out and make sure they not get any food before "bed-time" . So when I say dinner and they see the food in my hand they get in the cage willingly. It took us half a year at last to get this point and had some problems at the beginning but now I could say this is working.
 

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