5 year old budgie
(Cape cod, mass)
I recently was given a 5 year old female budgie, named Carla. She was fed for 5 years on a hartz seed diet, with no fresh foods. Her first owner kept her caged and was afraid to tame her because she was bitten, she then left her with someone and never came back for her.
When I got her, her cage was gross and was told she had been kept in a bathroom for a month because it smelled. She has had little interaction with people and was never allowed to fly. Shockingly she is healthy both physically and mentally. She did not come with food so I got her some kaytee fortified mix from petsmart just so she has something close to what she had while she adjusts.
I scrubbed her cage tossed the poo covered toys and perches and got her nice natural wood ones and some new toys. It took her 2 days to eat or make any noise. I assume this is normal. She is my first "rescue" bird, my last one came from a pet shop and was friendly from the start.
It has been 4 days and she is now eating and singing. She sits on my hand and seems to enjoy it when I sing to her. I clipped her wings, and trimmed her nails and she has fluttered from person to person in my living room (me 4 kids & my fiance). She must have been starved for attention because she is training faster than any bird I have seen.
Now that you have the back story, sorry for the length, here are my questions:
1) How do I go about switching her to a pellet diet, or is it to late? If it is to late what is the best kind of seed mix for her. My old bird,sky, ate and tons of fresh greens and fruits and lived to be 15. Sky also took vitamins and I want to avoid that with Carla if I can.
2) I have been offering her fresh and well washed strawberries, cantaloupe, romaine, parsley, and carrots. I have tried everything from shredding, steaming, clipping on sides of the cage, switching the food bowl and the fresh food bowl, and dipping the fresh in millet to get her to try it. I even had her watch me eat it and offered it with my mouth. She seemed to be interested but wouldn't try it. Are there any tricks to get her to eat her fresh food? Also what else can I try her on?
3) she doesn't seem to want to play with her toys. She sleeps in her swing, and climbs all over the cage (she's getting a wider one when taxes come as hers is barely wide enough for her to flutter) and chirps at me quite actively, but she won't play. She has a mirror that she ignores, a little drum thing with a string and a few large beads, and a spinning bell thing. I plan on getting more when I get paid, any suggestions on what to get to entice her to play?
4) I have had her out of the cage 4 times in the past day for about 30 min each time. The first time we stayed close to the cage and me and the kids took turns singing her our fav songs until she wanted to go home. The second time she came out on her own when offered my finger and decided to explore. She fluttered from person to person but she became spooked when the baby giggled and flew into the tv. I cuddled her and she does not seem injured and seemed to want to stay out so I allowed her too. She then flew into a wall on her way back to the cage. She is not hurt, but I was wondering if it is normal. I know she never got to fly so could it be because she needs practice without her wings clipped? I felt guilty for doing it but I know they tame easier that way. The other time she came out I kept her closer to me and far from the walls because I don't want her hurt.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate any input I can get so my baby bird can be happy and healthy and grow old with me. :)