Hi, I was wondering how to get my two budgies onto their playgym. I can get them out of the cage with treats, but whenever I try to get them on the gym, they panic and run around on the floor. I have a Vision cage with a stand, so it might be the fact that they are higher up than the gym and the floor. I put some toys onto the gym, but they still don't get on the gym. The gym is brand new and has a swing, ladder, a bell, and some perches.
The two birds aren't really trained (one is terrified of humans, and the other can perch on my finger.) Do the birds have to be trained to play on gyms? I read that having your birds on a gym can help train them. The birds hate going out of the cage and they always try to get back in. Any feedback is appreciated.
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Hi, I was wondering how to get my two budgies onto their playgym. I can get them out of the ... The birds hate going out of the cage and they always try to get back in. Any feedback is appreciated.

The gym is "new" and they find safety in their cage.

They need to feel safe out of their cage. Time and exposure to the gym will change it from "new" to "familiar and safe."
The whole thing with living creatures, humans included, is trust and demystifying the unknown.
I would do the following:
Trim their wings.
Set up a table in a small , unused, closed room.
Place the cage and the gym on the table near each other. Place a ladder from the floor to the table in case one should leave the table set-up.
Clip the cage door open.
Place treats on the gym.
When entering the room move slowly, speak gently, do the least amount of fussing with their cage and gym as possible, and don't demand anything from them.
Spend time in the room in a chair as far away from the cage as the room will allow.
Speak gently, sing, whistle, read, rock and let them become accustomed to you as a non-threat and familiar.
When they begin investigating the gym, move your chair closer to the table in undetectable increments each day.
At the same time, move the gym treats slowly away from the gym and closer to the side of the table you are inching toward.
Eventually, you will be at the table, next to the treats. By this time, I think you will see a big change in your birds. It may take a month or more and the whole project can be set back if you make a move that they perceive and a threat.
Finally, after you feel the project has been successful, begin leaving the door of the room open so that the sounds and motion of the remainder of the house can begin to become familiar. The table can then be incrementally moved toward the place in the house where you want the birds to reside.

Good luck.
Sincerely,
Joanne
..Do the birds have to be trained to play on gyms?

Nah; hoomans have to be trained about normal budgie behavior :-) Budgies will be wary and highly suspicious of new additions or changes to their environment. That being said, most budgies are curious and love to play. If you leave the gym, the budgies MAY eventually take to it as a neat thing to explore, and then play on and quibble about. BUT, if you shove it in their faces and try to force the issue, they will likely do their best to avoid it as that "mean thing which scares the bejeebers outta me and may want to eat me". It's a pavlovian thingy mixed with a large dose of survival behavior.
Dave
www.davebbq.com
Hi, thanks for the advice. I'm in the middle of trying your method, but the birds are still in the far corner of the cage. The cage and playstand are on the floor and the playstand is on a box for elevation. The cage door leads to the playgym and I have some millet on the gym.

I just had the wings clipped yesterday and so they are still a bit shaken up. Would this prevent them from being "themselves" for a while and not investigating the gym? Once again, any feedback is greatly appreciated.
I just had the wings clipped yesterday and so they are still a bit shaken up. Would this prevent them from being "themselves" for a while and not investigating the gym?

Joanne's advice is excellent. The key is patience. Things will not change in a short period of time. This may take days, or perhaps a week or two.

Dave
www.davebbq.com
Hi, thanks for the advice. I'm in the middle of trying your method, but the birds are still in the ... prevent them from being "themselves" for a while and not investigating the gym? Once again, any feedback is greatly appreciated.

The reason I suggested a table and your chair is so that your presence and that of the playstand is not looming above them. Your goal is to allow the birds to feel brave.
Try to imagine you are the budgie. What is your view? Are foreign, new and threatening things above and around you? Could you be eaten at any moment by things that move or are unknown?
Yes, wing clipping changes personality. Surrender is my experience as I become the bird's means of mobility. I suggested wing clipping so you could open the cage door and not have frightened birds flying into windows, mirrors or discovering some corner of the room or curtain rod to adopt.

It is so natural to want these birds to respond to you but if you can follow a long-term program, and expect NOTHING but simply allow them to venture out on their own terms, you will likely have wonderful pets. When we expect too much, too fast the disappointment and frustration may result in giving up and having caged budgies who are not physically interactive with the family.

Sincerely,
Joanne
Hi, thanks for the advice. I'm in the middle of trying your method, but the birds are still in the ... prevent them from being "themselves" for a while and not investigating the gym? Once again, any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Before you spend so much time getting them to go on the gym, buy some books and teach your birds how to "step up." I stressed this in another post, but I cannot say how utterly important it is for a bird to know how to do this on command.
I'm not being a smart ass, but Birds for Dummies is a very good book for first timers. It's good for experienced people, also.

The cage should not be on the floor. Budgies never or rarely go on the floor in nature. They make their way up to high branches.

I have a macaw and her gym is also where she forages. I put three stainless cups with her food at different levels all around the gym, which I made myself out of grapevine wreath and a base.

Be patient, but please do read some books about bird behavior.
I agree with the others, the flor is wrong place, especialy if the birds are in the new enviroment.
And for the going on the flor, mine do, regulary, but only if I am around. If I have guests, they tend to occupy the highest possible locations in the room. My budgies are flying free around the flat. The problem with the windows is real, and appear only at the begining of their exploration of the room.
I personaly do not like the fact that one should clipp the wings, so when new bird is introduced, I let it fly in the evening, for the first time, so it get some practice in flying. Next morning it will try to fly through the window, and bump into glass, but it will not hurt itself seriously. there was no single bird who fainted after bumping into window. After that, they will not try again, espetialy since older birds do not try.
For the playing, just lift the cage and the toy as high as possible, and folow the first advice, it is very good. It is important that your birds are in the eye level with you.
The cage should not be on the floor. Budgies never or rarely go on the floor in nature. Be patient, but please do read some books about bird behavior.

Hmm, all those thousands of budgies in the wild that I have seen feeding on the ground have been confused. Perhaps they have never read the book you've recommended.
With kind regards
Chu
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