Door nets

It’s been over a month since I last posted about Pixel. She is getting much better at eating her vegetables. Anything green (herbs, kale, spinach, watercress, etc.) is an instant success, and she demolishes baby sweetcorn. Other fruit and vegetables are still a work in progress.

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We have to put her in the cage at meal times to stop her walking all over our plates! We do sometimes let her out at the end of the meal if it’s something safe for her to nibble on. She really enjoyed Aaron’s boiled egg and toast soldiers. Ironically, egg is very good for her!

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She is super friendly again now that she has mostly finished moulting and often comes to perch on our heads/shoulders/arms/laps.

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She has been spending a lot more time out of her cage thanks to these £4.99 door nets from Lidl. Previously the room would quickly get hot and stuffy when we had the door closed. The nets are fastened to the door frame with sticky-back velcro and close with magnets.

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When she’s had enough of flying and playing, Pixel likes to sit on her cage door and keep an eye on what is going on.

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Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.

With bells on

Pixel loves to come over and join in when she sees us doing something interesting at the table.

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She enjoys a bath roughly once a week.

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She really loves toys with bells and likes to put her head inside to grab the clapper with her beak, which looks like she is wearing the bell as a hat!

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She “attacks” this bell really aggressively to make it swing!

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Aaron has started using the clicker to do training with her. He also makes up little games to play, such as chasing a piece of millet around the top of the cage, which she seems to enjoy.

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Pixel is definitely going through her juvenile moult at the moment, she has lots of pin feathers all over her head. Normally she is very keen to come out of her cage and loves doing laps around the room, but for the past couple of weeks she has been spending a lot of time in or on top of her cage. Sometimes she won’t come out at all when we open the doors and she often flies back into the cage when she’s had enough.

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She still likes to land on our heads though!

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Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.

Bath time

Pixel enjoyed her first proper bath this week. I sometimes put out a dish of water out on the table for her, but until now she has only really used it for drinking or walking through. This time however she had a proper splash and kept running in and out of the water, as you can see from the wet trails on the table! She looked very bedraggled afterwards!

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We change the toys in her cage around every week or two. At the moment she is loving this one, she climbs through the banana leaf loops and spends a lot of time playing with the bell.

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I think she may be getting close to her juvenile moult as there have been a lot more little feathers around the cage recently. In bright light I can also see a faint iris ring developing.

Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.

Minty fresh

A few days ago Tabitha discovered that Pixel really likes mint leaves.

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Pixel kept trying to land on the mint plant, so Aaron gave her a helping hand.

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Eventually I got out one of the plastic perches that came with the cage and fixed it to the outside so that Pixel could reach the herbs more easily.

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Now that she’s got used to the idea that leaves can be yummy, I decided to try her on spinach. I put a few leaves on her skewer, along with some mangetout, carrot, cucumber, pepper and celery. She devoured the spinach and even nibbled on a few of the other veggies!

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Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.

Friendly birdy

Pixel has discovered that the roof of her cage is a fun place to hang out. She even flew to her cage door once, although she hasn’t done it again.

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We recently discovered that our local garden centre has a far better range of pet bird supplies than any of the pet shops. Aaron and Tabitha chose some treat sticks for Pixel.

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I’ve been buying pots of fresh herbs from Lidl and she will occasionally nibble on them, but she’s still not a fan of fruit or veggies.

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For a week or so she was in a bit of a grump and wasn’t keen on being near us, but now she is back to her normal friendly self, hopping all over the place and landing on our heads.

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Aaron and Tabitha like to hold their arms out and get her to hop or fly between them.

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Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.

Budgie has flown

My budgie has flown to the cage door. We have taught her  to turn around :) .

 

 

Hi, I'm Aaron. I am 7 years old and I am home educated. I like playing Lego, Mario Kart and Minecraft. Pixel the budgie is my first pet.

Learning “come” and “fetch”

Yesterday I was reaching up to get Pixel down from her favourite picture frame perch when she eagerly flew about 12 inches to my arm. So I put her on the table and held out my arm, saying “come”. Each time I rewarded her with millet, put her back on the table or washing airer and moved a little further away. Within a few minutes she was flying half way across the room to me, even when I wasn’t expecting it! Today she has even flown to me from her favourite perch.

I also started teaching her to “fetch“. I placed her on the perch above her cage, put a plant pot saucer underneath and held out a small plastic object in my hand. When she nibbled it with her beak, I dropped it into the saucer, clicked and rewarded her with millet. Eventually I held onto the object until she actually held it in her beak. She found this tricky at first and I realised that it was too slippery for her to get a proper grip, so I swapped it for a flat piece of Lego instead and she manages to hold it briefly before dropping it. However, she has bitten me hard (not hard enough to hurt, but previously she has been very gentle with her beak) a couple of times since we started learning fetch. I think she’s just trying to figure out what she can and can’t bite!

Until now we’ve only been doing “turn around” on her cage-top perch, but today we practised on the washing airer as well so that she learns to do it in different situations. Colin was very impressed when he arrived home from work in the middle of a training session! Pixel seems to really enjoy learning new tricks, she is such a clever little bird and she likes the attention and stimulation, not to mention the treats!

Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.

A new trick

We love watching Pixel when she is in a playful mood. Her latest antic is to hang upside down from her mirror.

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We have spoiled her with a couple of new toys and perches now that she is moving around the cage so much more.

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At dinner time she nibbled on some wet celery, although I’m not sure if she actually ate any or was just licking the water off.

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Today I taught her to turn around on command. Using the target stick wasn’t really working, so I held some millet behind her to get her to turn half way round. After a while she would do it on command without seeing the millet, and then I started telling her to turn around twice to get her to do a complete turn. Here is a video of her turning around but please excuse the shakiness and poor focusing, it is rather tricky to hold millet, a target stick and a camera all at the same time!

Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.

Pixel playing

Pixel is getting much better at coming out and going into her cage nicely, although it does depend on her mood! She seems to have realised that she always gets plenty of time free flying, so she doesn’t need to try to escape or refuse to go back in.

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She enjoyed some wet lettuce we hung near her favourite perch. It’s not particularly nutritious, but hopefully it is a step towards trying other veggies.

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Pixel loves my washing airer, especially when it’s empty. She jumps from rung to rung or just sits and watches the world go by.

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She is finally starting to show an interest in some of her toys. We are planning to make or buy her a little playground for when she is out of the cage.

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Pixel is also beginning to make more use of her cage. Until now she hasn’t been interested in going near the back, but today she climbed up the ladder to sit on the cement perch, which is supposed to help keep her nails trimmed.

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We moved her swing into the middle of the cage to encourage her to try it. Aaron and Tabitha were very excited when she started using it!

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Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.

Some of Pixel’s antics

Pixel really likes to land on Aaron’s head! She has tried landing on mine a few times but she’s not too keen on my slippery hair.

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She also likes to do crazy things like rolling over in mid-air and scratching her back on her perch!

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She uses her beak to help her climb, but she has started chewing the cage bars a lot and her beak is getting slightly worn around the edges. I’m not sure why she is doing it, as she has cuttlebone, iodine block and plenty of toys to chew on.

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We took her out onto the balcony for a short time to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. She chirped loudly to all the nearby birds!

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Now that we’ve settled back into more of a routine after the Easter holidays, she tends to come out to free fly for an hour or two in the morning and in the evening. I do several short sessions of step-up and step-down clicker training with her each time, which has made it easier to get her back into the cage when necessary.

Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.