Training a budgerigar isn't difficult - it just requires patience and a calm manner. At first, only one person should train your budgie. This person should be alone with the budgie to avoid stressing the bird and each training session should last from 10 to 20 minutes.
Begin by slowly placing your hand in the cage, without trying to touch the budgie. Speak in a calming way to the bird, being careful not to frighten it.
Once the bird accepts your hand in the cage without flying about, slowly move your hand closer to the budgie. With patience and several training sessions, you'll reach the stage where you can have your hand near the bird.
Once your budgie is calm when you have your hand nearby, put your index finger against the budgie's breast - just in front of the legs - and press very gently while saying "up" at the same time. The bird should step onto your finger.
Don't take a budgie out of its cage until it's stepping up onto your finger when you say "up".
Before you let your budgie out of the cage for the first time, shut all doors and windows, and cover windows and mirrors so your budgie doesn't fly into them. Never let a budgie out of its cage if a fan is on, a fire is lit, something is cooking on the stove or if dogs and cats are in the house.
At first your budgie might be reluctant to come out of the cage but if it will step up onto your finger, you can gradually move the bird out of the cage while it is sitting there.
When birds are first let out of their cage, it's normal for them to panic and fly somewhere high up in the room. Give it time to settle, and then if you can reach, try to get your budgie to step up onto your finger.
If you're having problems catching your budgie when it's loose in the house, try closing the curtains and turn off the lights. Birds usually stay still in darkness, making them easier to catch.
You also might want to train your budgie to talk. Budgies are good talkers, with young and solitary birds the quickest to learn the words you teach them. Most budgies can learn up to 20 words with ease.
Start by repeating a simple phrase or the name of your budgie every time you pass by the cage.
Have a regular lesson with the bird sitting quietly on your finger as you repeat the phrase over and over again for ten minutes.
Don't start teaching a budgie a new phrase until it has the hang of saying the first one.
For more great pet info, visit www.petnet.com.au