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Lovebird refuses to go back into cage

Feather97

Meeting neighbors
Joined
12/27/20
Messages
25
Hey all! Just wanted to ask for some advice on this. My Lovebird Helios has always been a very calm bird. I know hormones happen but I'm not sure if that is the cause of what's happening.

Recently, whenever I let her out (in the bird room) she absolutely refuses to step up and will not return to her cage. She bites extremely hard when I offer my finger up when it's time to go in her cage. She will actively play with me and perch on me the entire time, but then when it's time to go in will avoid me at all costs.

I've tried waiting it out, offering treats, and tricking her in (lowering my head or arm in while she's on it). She's pretty smart and already worked all of these 'tricks' out and will avoid those too now.

I can't leave her unattended in the room because of the larger birds, and I obviously can't sit there for hours on end until she decides she wants to go in.
I don't know why this behavior has started just recently, as she's never had any problems with her cage or going in.

Any advice?
 

Gigibirds

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
2/15/21
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1,034
My parrotlet recently started doing the same thing, and I haven't been able to completely solve the problem, but I did notice that she would still step up onto a stick. If I offered her my finger, she would bite me and not do anything. But if I offered her a stick, she would step right up and there would be no problem! After doing that a lot she lost her attitude, and went back to normal. I don't know why she did that or why only the stick worked, but you might want to give it a try! Good luck :)
 

Feather97

Meeting neighbors
Joined
12/27/20
Messages
25
My parrotlet recently started doing the same thing, and I haven't been able to completely solve the problem, but I did notice that she would still step up onto a stick. If I offered her my finger, she would bite me and not do anything. But if I offered her a stick, she would step right up and there would be no problem! After doing that a lot she lost her attitude, and went back to normal. I don't know why she did that or why only the stick worked, but you might want to give it a try! Good luck :)
Thank you, I'll definitely give this a try! ❤
 

The_Mayor

Sprinting down the street
Joined
9/3/20
Messages
479
Location
Washington, DC
Real Name
Martha
I have no experience with lovebirds, but mine are basically no-touch birds so I had to rely on them wanting to go into their cage before I could go to bed in the evening.

To the extent possible, I made sure their food and water were in the cage so at some point they'd have to go in. And, I usually tried to put a little treat in as I shut the door so they didn't have negative associations with me closing them in.

Mostly it worked and they went to bed at a reasonable hour. I only had one real battle of the wills and of course that was the night before their aviary was scheduled to be delivered. They held out until 2:00 am that time. That made for a long day the next day.
:grumpy:
 

peachypjm

Strolling the yard
Joined
4/12/21
Messages
146
Location
Massachusetts
Hey all! Just wanted to ask for some advice on this. My Lovebird Helios has always been a very calm bird. I know hormones happen but I'm not sure if that is the cause of what's happening.

Recently, whenever I let her out (in the bird room) she absolutely refuses to step up and will not return to her cage. She bites extremely hard when I offer my finger up when it's time to go in her cage. She will actively play with me and perch on me the entire time, but then when it's time to go in will avoid me at all costs.

I've tried waiting it out, offering treats, and tricking her in (lowering my head or arm in while she's on it). She's pretty smart and already worked all of these 'tricks' out and will avoid those too now.

I can't leave her unattended in the room because of the larger birds, and I obviously can't sit there for hours on end until she decides she wants to go in.
I don't know why this behavior has started just recently, as she's never had any problems with her cage or going in.

Any advice?
have you tried a hanger or a perch/ladder? when mercury won't go in his cage, I result to a hands off approach !! after he's in the cage, though displeased, I sit and talk to him in a calm voice and assure him everything will be okay. Horomone aggression is common around this time, is she cage aggressive at all? Maybe switch up the cage layout so it prevents her from favoring one spot over the other, and then she can explore the new layout! try target training if you can! :)
 

Mizzely

Lil Monsters Bird Toys
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Do you only have her step up to go into the cage? Get her to step up and take her other places. That way she won't associate step up with end of fun time.

Also, try getting her to step up onto a perch. I have the most luck with rope perches that I hold both ends of in one hand, and offer them the "U" it creates.

Otherwise, make the room as safe as possible and wait her out. Only give food and treats in the cage so when she wants it, she has to go back in. If you can, leave the cage door open all day long whenever possible so she can go in and out, and that way she doesn't feel like every time she goes in she is going to get locked up.

If you know what her absolute favorite food is, only give that when it's time to "go home" so you have more leverage.
 

Feather97

Meeting neighbors
Joined
12/27/20
Messages
25
Do you only have her step up to go into the cage? Get her to step up and take her other places. That way she won't associate step up with end of fun time.

Also, try getting her to step up onto a perch. I have the most luck with rope perches that I hold both ends of in one hand, and offer them the "U" it creates.

Otherwise, make the room as safe as possible and wait her out. Only give food and treats in the cage so when she wants it, she has to go back in. If you can, leave the cage door open all day long whenever possible so she can go in and out, and that way she doesn't feel like every time she goes in she is going to get locked up.

If you know what her absolute favorite food is, only give that when it's time to "go home" so you have more leverage.
I do use 'step up' outside of just putting her away. I do it a lot when I'm playing with her. I will definitely be trying all of the recommendations here! Thank you. The perch idea sounds like the best as I've got a couple extras on hand. Hopefully she doesn't catch on to that being what puts her in the cage though .
 
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