Cage problems?

Posted By: Jomo

Cage problems? - 02/23/18 05:22 AM

I have a question to ask about DJ, my BE2.
I've had her for a few weeks now and we have really bonded nicely. We are best of friends. I have her out of her cage for 3-5 hours per day.
My concern is getting her in and out of cage. She refuses to let me take her out of her cage but will quickly come out on her own and then come to where I am working to hang out with me. I've read that I should let DJ make her own decisions. So on one hand I think it is fine that she is allowed to come out when she wants. On the other hand I do not want her to be in control and disobey my commands when I ask her to step up when I want to bring her out of her cage. Which method is best? If it is that I should be able to bring her out (most times--maybe she really doesn't want to come out), then what should I do?
I have been making progress with getting her back into her cage but I think it is because I can get her in her cage before she can grab onto the outside of the cage. I praise her when I get her back into her cage without a problem.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Cage problems? - 02/23/18 12:31 PM

"I do not want her to be in control and disobey my commands " get rid of this way of thinking because it will never work. Many birds are protective of their cages so need to come out on their own. Cassie will step up for me on some occasions from inside of her cage but more often than not I have to wait until she gets on her door. Find the most important reinforcement for her and use that when she steps up for you in the cage, give her a reason to want to step up. With Cassie if I have the time I just wait her out but if I'm short of time and she refuses to step up I close the door and walk away. I tell her I'll be back when she wants to come out. I leave the room and return a minute later and ask her again if she wants to come out for what ever reason. I then open the door and ask her to step up. She steps up quickly at this point. I don't do it very often though. Keep in mind this never works with Cassie if she thinks she is going to the vets, getting nails trimmed or has to have an injection or get meds. I don't know how she knows but she does.
Posted By: RB2sMom

Re: Cage problems? - 02/23/18 12:58 PM

Sometimes, for whatever reason, Hannah our RB2 will not come out of her cage. We take her out at least twice daily along with Harry our male RB2. Hannah sometimes puffs up and just sits there and stares at us like she is mad or something. At that point we leave her cage open and sit down and read nearby or leave the room and come back. She then does come out on her if she is saying "I am going to come out when I want to on my own terms and schedule". Schedule seems to be important to her also as if we are late taking her out, she really does not want to come out. Once she does come out, we preen her and talk to her and play with her giving her positive reinforcement.

And Nancy....our RB2s both know when they are going to the vets and do not want to come out either. LOL
Posted By: Beeps

Re: Cage problems? - 03/04/18 06:28 PM

I'm a bit late responding to this, but Nancy is absolutely right that if you want to have a good relationship with your parrot, you need to get rid of that way of thinking. Living with a parrot -- an intelligent prey animal -- is unlike living with dogs/cats/humans. What works with predators does not necessarily work with prey animals. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there about how to deal with parrot behavior, which is also why parrots are rehomed so frequently.

You need to think about the long game, and about developing more of a partnership than an owner/property mentality. Figure out ways to want her to want to do what you want her to do. I had a foster amazon that would not step up at all -- I allowed him to come out of his cage when he wanted, and I used cashews to get him to go back inside his cage. I had a caique (who passed away 4 years ago) who didn't always want to step up, but I could point somewhere (cage, stand) and tell him to go there, and he would. My current caique is afraid of hands, but will step up on a stick, unless he just wants to rest in his cage. I leave his cage door open and he can choose where he wants to go.

You will find the most success by giving your parrot choices. Let her have as much agency as possible. Obviously, this doesn't mean she gets to chew on your woodwork or eat avocados, but arrange her environment for success. Figure out ways that you both get what you want.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Cage problems? - 03/07/18 07:22 PM

Echoing the others...offer choices instead of control and make requests rather than commands.
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