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Getting birds back into their cage

Const.Bird

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I've always had trouble getting birds back into their cages since they eventually know when they are going to be put back and fly away. I was thinking of clipping their wings but I think it would be better for them to fly all they want (until it's time to go back).

As of right now, I just wait for my bird to get hungry or tired and then bring her back but that takes a really long time and her poop gets everywhere. Luring with treats and other toys doesn't work anymore since she knows the trick and flies away.
Are there any tricks or tips to get her back? Thanks!
 

Imogena

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Teach them to step up and put them yourself. Then praize and reward. It worked perdectly for Edgar until Akira came to live with us.
Don't get me wrong. Akira is a great Bird. But Edgar went crazy. It is a huge step back in his behaviour because he is so excited about her. I only hope this phase will pass.
Now I have the same problem with him. He refuses to step up when he knows I'm going to put him in his cage. And he always knows when I want to do this. Always knows.
 

Sand

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well for me, i put a mirror with bells on it in the cages,my birds LOVEEEEE their "mirror friends" when i want my budgie or GCC back in their cage , i jingle the mirror bells and make like I am talking to "mirror friends" they get so jealous or excited they go back in the cages! OR if it's dark outside, I dim the lights in the room, they will NOT stay out of the cages in the dark, and I tell them it's "night night time" and they go back in. they now know what "night night" means cuz if i say it it during the day, my conure gets so mad!
 

Imogena

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i put a perch on the door of his cage so i can close him in when he lands on it.
Edgar has a perch like this as well. He doesn't land on it. He also has a small shelf next to this perch and I put sunflower seeds on it. He loves sunflower. But when he doesn't want to go to his cage he will not touch them.
 

Const.Bird

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my bird just wont approach the cage at all. I place it next to a counter in the kitchen and I have never seen it touch the cage once it has gotten out.
 

Fuzzy

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I think you need to get a routine established. Does she come down to the food bowl straight away when you slot it in? Breakfast and dinner? Then let her out an hour or so before breakfast (when she is hungriest) so that hopefully she will fly back in when she sees you put the food bowls in. That's how I worked it with Ollie who wasn't tame when I got him. Then I gradually increased the time he was out. It worked so well and quickly that I could let him out before I went to work.

It also sounds like you need to make going back in, and being inside the cage more reinforcing. If you give her a favourite treat to reinforce going in EVERY time then it will be more likely that she goes in, in the future. Is there lots to do in the cage? Favourite toys? Foraging? Right now it is more reinforcing to be outside the cage - how can you make being inside a higher value?

You could also break the behaviour down into small manageable steps (you'll need time for this). Reinforce her sitting on your hand whilst you move a step or two towards the cage. Then move away again. Try again getting slightly closer to the cage, reinforce, and bring her away again. This might take days to achieve... just a few seconds training here and a minute there, but worth trying because eventually you will be able to put her calmly inside. When you do reach the cage, reinforce highly!!

If you put her in, leave the door open to show her that the door need not always shut after her and she can come out again. When you do shut the door, pair it with something good like a treat.... and stay around talking to her ie. don't just leave. For breakfast when my crew go back into their cages, I have my breakfast with them. If I were to immediately leave, they would be unlikely to want to go into their cages in the future.

Just a few ideas. :)
 

Fuzzy

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my bird just wont approach the cage at all. I place it next to a counter in the kitchen and I have never seen it touch the cage once it has gotten out.
So make the cage more attractive to her. Put a whole lot of foot toys/toys that she likes on top. Maybe get a rope perch that leads from the door to the top. That's what I did for my budgie. He used to hang out on the top of his cage. Make it fun to play on and in!

Editing to add: if you clip her wings, she will fall trying to get away and could hurt herself. There are no advantages for the bird in clipping her wings. With a bit of patience, you can train her. :)
 
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finchly

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Editing to add: if you clip her wings, she will fall trying to get away and could hurt herself. There are no advantages for the bird in clipping her wings
If you have someone clip that knows what they’re doing, you can get a light clip where the can still land nicely.
The advantage could be working toward a better relationship together including going in the cage when it’s time. Chasing them around is stressful for them.

That said, I think making the cage more attractive/ enticing is a great idea. One former member of this site told me to give a treat when they went in the cage, and stay there and give a few more. That way cage time isn’t the end of attention time.
 

clarousel

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I had a lot of trouble too (didn't help my cage was tiny and Preeno hated being put back in)!

What worked for me was teaching her target training and then targeting her onto a perch in the cage and rewarding her. She'd be busy eating her millet before attempting an escape as I retreat and close the cage.

But yes I agree a more attractive cage could help!

Oh and I think if your bird learns how to step up/off, that would be really useful for moving them around where you want :)
 

birdy.929

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I also tried targeting him to his cage! but after a couple times he outsmarted me... he realized that if he listened to me, he would be put back.
 

Mybluebird

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@clarousel exactly how did you target train your budgie? I've looked at videos but when I put a stick up to either of my two, they run away. I'd like to be able to train them to get on a stick to move them if I need to.
 

Imogena

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I also tried targeting him to his cage! but after a couple times he outsmarted me... he realized that if he listened to me, he would be put back.
It was the same with Edgar. I got outsmarted by him.
Now he would step up nicely, but only when he knows I'm not going to put him into his cage. And he alwasy knows, as I said, when I want to put him there. He reads me like a book.
 

clarousel

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@clarousel exactly how did you target train your budgie? I've looked at videos but when I put a stick up to either of my two, they run away. I'd like to be able to train them to get on a stick to move them if I need to.
I had her on a perch (my chair haha) then held a small chopstick in front of her! Not sure if her age and 'mildness' could be a factor? She learnt it at around 2 months old.

Did you have the stick very close to them? Maybe you could try something different for the stick like a pencil or something colourful so it looks less scary for them. It's best if the bird moves to the stick out of their own curiosity than you bringing it closer to them I think! :)

Also you probably know this already but your energy and stance could be a factor too since they can sense that from you!
 

Irishj9

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I have 8 caiques, IMHO the most independent sassy birds on the planet.

I get round this natural resistance to cage time by taking them in and out of the cages 20 times a day.

Theyve learned that going to the cage is not a life sentence, and accept it more often

Still there are times..........lol
 

annoellyn

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@clarousel exactly how did you target train your budgie? I've looked at videos but when I put a stick up to either of my two, they run away. I'd like to be able to train them to get on a stick to move them if I need to.
are you offering a reward for stepping onto the stick? When i first got jupiter, she wouldn't step up unless I held a treat just out of her reach. It's not instant, took a bit for her to finally get on the stick. once we did we went to the kitchen to get snacks like cheerios, fruit, etc. So she started to see the stick as a good thing where we go get food!
 
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