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Lovebird troubles

Dextine

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Hi everyone!

This is my first time posting anything so bear with me for a bit.
I am the new owner of two lovebirds since September.

They were first in a 47 x B 36 x H 98 cm cage.
Ive since upgraded them to a 82 x 54 x 153 cm cage.

They love playing outside the cage and dislike going back in.
I do the ''Only food inside the cage'' rule.
My problem has been that once in the cage and eating, they will quickly leave the cage as soon as they see me coming over to close the door. Little devils hehe.
They will do this even if it has been 3 hours outside of cage time.
Please some advice?
Im scared to just quickly trap my birds in the cage and I don't think it would build trust..

Another thing I'd like advice on:
How can I target train 2 lovies?
One of them is more dominant en chases the other one away so I can't get any training.
If I let only one of them ouside the other one freaks out.
When both out of the cage they show no interest in the target and are rather afraid of it.

Any tips and tricks? c:
 

Ripshod

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@Zara could be good help here. In the meantime do you have photos of your cage setup?
 

TikiMyn

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Congratulations on your birds:)
Do they have toys inside their cage? You have to make it fun to be in their cage, finding the toys they live most Will help. Then you van offer the favorite toys inside their cage, and other once outside of it. Also, adding foraging opportunities in the cage Will help.
Another thing that can help is a routine, for example coming out at 4 o clock and going back at 8. Don't let Them out for now if you have to leave soon, getting Them back inside Will be more stressfull if there is a time pressure.
You can find out what their favorite treats are, like sunflower, pumpkin seeds, Dried fruis and several Nuts. Then you can use the less favored ones for regular training, and the most favored ones for 'jackpot rewards' during training and going back in the cage. Having few ways to obtain a certain reward Will make it more valuable to Them. Also make sure those treats are not present in their food.

Training two lovies is a Challenge sometimes. I have trained mine to station. Once they can do that, you can train one while the other one stations. After they get the hang of target training, you could also direct Them to their cage that way.
 

Zara

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Hello, Welcome to the Avenue :starshower1:

My problem has been that once in the cage and eating, they will quickly leave the cage as soon as they see me coming over to close the door. Little devils
This is because they know you are going to close the door.
Spend time with then near the cage and let them know you aren´t just the person who locks them up.
I´m curious to know how old these birds are because my birds would give me the run around a lot more when they were little, especially the boys! They all seemed to stop around 1.5-2years old.
Sometimes I put the bird in the cage but don´t close the door.
Adding lots of toys and fun stuff like @TikiMyn said is a great idea. If I lay down a foraging tray in the cage, my birds are all over it (a shallow plate with marbles and seeds and a couple of chunks of millet).

How can I target train 2 lovies?
One of them is more dominant en chases the other one away so I can't get any training.
Put them on a stand, when one charges the other, put your hand between them. Don´t shout or tell them off, just calmly put your hand in front of the bird who is charging so they can not. When they are on the stand together nicely, give treats to them both for not charging each other and being nice. Positive reinforcement.

edit; When I say stand, I mean anything that has a perch, so a large floor stand, or a table top stand or a T-stick perch on top of the cage, anything that is a perch will work. Using a flat surface won´t work because they will run round your hand.

Training two birds is harder than training one, I wish you the best of luck! :)
 
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Dextine

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Congratulations on your birds:)
Do they have toys inside their cage? You have to make it fun to be in their cage, finding the toys they live most Will help. Then you van offer the favorite toys inside their cage, and other once outside of it. Also, adding foraging opportunities in the cage Will help.
Another thing that can help is a routine, for example coming out at 4 o clock and going back at 8. Don't let Them out for now if you have to leave soon, getting Them back inside Will be more stressfull if there is a time pressure.
You can find out what their favorite treats are, like sunflower, pumpkin seeds, Dried fruis and several Nuts. Then you can use the less favored ones for regular training, and the most favored ones for 'jackpot rewards' during training and going back in the cage. Having few ways to obtain a certain reward Will make it more valuable to Them. Also make sure those treats are not present in their food.

Training two lovies is a Challenge sometimes. I have trained mine to station. Once they can do that, you can train one while the other one stations. After they get the hang of target training, you could also direct Them to their cage that way.
They do have toys and have learned to play with them.
I have really learned my lesson when it comes to not having to leave soon but even then it can be a real struggle.
I give them sunflower seeds as standard reward.
My jackpot reward are a seed stick or millet.
I use millet as a reward for weighing but other than that I don't have a strict guide on when to reward what. '

Today I used a seed stick to get them back in the cage.
They ate from it but ran like hell when I wanted to close the cage..
 

Dextine

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This is because they know you are going to close the door.
Spend time with then near the cage and let them know you aren´t just the person who locks them up.
I´m curious to know how old these birds are because my birds would give me the run around a lot more when they were little, especially the boys! They all seemed to stop around 1.5-2years old.
Sometimes I put the bird in the cage but don´t close the door.
Adding lots of toys and fun stuff like @TikiMyn said is a great idea. If I lay down a foraging tray in the cage, my birds are all over it (a shallow plate with marbles and seeds and a couple of chunks of millet).
I don't know for sure I'd say they are around 2 years old indeed.
They aren't tame enough for me to pick them up so that makes things a lot harder.
When they are in the cage I spend time with them but maybe spending time before closing the door will help them.. I'll give it a try!
 

Zara

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How long (on average) do you allow them out of cage time?
I find if it is less than an hour, forget about them going back in with even the slightest ease, it ain´t happening :lol:

Also, remember that lovebirds are notoriously stubborn. So this is also to be factored in. It is what stops them from being candidates for free flying, even the most well trained lovie will have that moment of ¨no!¨.

but maybe spending time before closing the door will help them.
you need to spend time with them around the cage and not close the door. Play with them over there, then come away without locking them in. Do it various times.

Do you still have the dowel for the top of the cage? You can use that to train them on.
 

Dextine

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How long (on average) do you allow them out of cage time
When they get out they tend to stay out until they are really hungry. So about 3 hours.

you need to spend time with them around the cage and not close the door.
If they get a open door they will mostly play with the curtains.
As for playing with them I woudn't really know how I guess..?
They are still a bit afraid of hands so besides giving them attention and talking to them I don't really know.
 

Leih

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Sitting with them and talking to them is really good to start with, so that is fine. Earning the trust of one bird can take a long time and earning the trust of two bonded birds even more. You can also start with working on getting them used to your hands while you are doing this. Will they take a treat from you? That is the best place to start with the hands issue. Do they run away from you while they are in their cage if you approach them?

As Zara said, lovebirds are very stubborn and if you are trying to get them back in the cage in a hurry, they seem to love our frustration, so it has to be completely nonchalant when it's cage time. But "paying" them to go back is completely normal and fine. I have to give my birds a treat to go back in.
 

Dextine

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I did put more toys in their cages which they seem to like!

You can also start with working on getting them used to your hands while you are doing this. Will they take a treat from you? That is the best place to start with the hands issue. Do they run away from you while they are in their cage if you approach them?
Yes they do take treats! But only when in the cage, when they are outside my hands are a lot scarier to them
( they will however sit on my hand and eat treats from the palm of my hand like that)

I can approach them just fine but when I open the cage door and insert my hand they get a little scared. Especially when I move things in their cage.
After I had my hands in their cage I drop a treat in their bowl.
How can I continue on getting them used to my hands? I also want them to see my hands as another someone that plays, not just gives treats and open and closes doors.
Thanks!






you need to spend time with them around the cage and not close the door. Play with them over there, then come away without locking them in. Do it various times.
I did this today abd they seemed so much calmer about me closing the door after a few times of me not closing the door. Thank you so much for the advice!
 

Leih

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Eating from your open hand is huge! Two of my birds will take treats from me but not from my open hand, that scares them, so I think you're on the right path. I think as you spend more time with them, both in and out of the cage, and they start seeing you as not something to be afraid of, they'll come around. I really thought my lovebird was going to never want to step up or eat from my hand, but after probably 3 months, we had a breakthrough and now she's all over me. :) And she was very skittish and terrified of hands!
 

Monica

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What a great sized cage!!! Looks like it could use some more perches and toys though, when you get a chance! (if you've already added more, then disregard comment!)

What if.... when birds come out, food comes out of cage? Want birds back in? Put food back in.


Also would recommend station training them rather than target training. This may help you be able to work with them one on one. Maybe try teaching them to station at opposite ends of the cage? And use lots of treats!!!!


I've actually found that working with more than one bird can mean faster training for both... if you have at least one bird willing to do a behavior, then a second (or third, or fourth, or fifth, etc) is likely to pick up on the same behavior and be more confident.

If right now, that means feeding them treats by hand, or dropping treats into a bowl any time you walk by the cage, then so be it! This teaches them to look forward to your presence and learn to fear you less.
 

Dextine

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What a great sized cage!!! Looks like it could use some more perches and toys though, when you get a chance! (if you've already added more, then disregard comment!)

What if.... when birds come out, food comes out of cage? Want birds back in? Put food back in.


Also would recommend station training them rather than target training. This may help you be able to work with them one on one. Maybe try teaching them to station at opposite ends of the cage? And use lots of treats!!!!


I've actually found that working with more than one bird can mean faster training for both... if you have at least one bird willing to do a behavior, then a second (or third, or fourth, or fifth, etc) is likely to pick up on the same behavior and be more confident.

If right now, that means feeding them treats by hand, or dropping treats into a bowl any time you walk by the cage, then so be it! This teaches them to look forward to your presence and learn to fear you less.
What a lovely comment thanks!
Ye last night I noticed that they would like to have more high up perches to sleep on so I added one and changed the lay out a bit.
I have 7 perches in the cage right now. What would you reccomend? Part of me also wants them to be able to have the space to flap their wings in the cage.

I'll try your food back in technique and will look into station straining!
When one of my birds shows a desired behaviour and I praise him the other one tends to get jealous and bully the other away from whatever he was doing right.
I'ts a bit tricky hehe.
 

Monica

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From the picture you provided, I could only recommend more natural perches and more destructible and foraging toys. The perch by their dishes is rather large for their feet, and if it's a "grooming perch", then keep an eye on their feet as it can cause sores on the bottom of their feet.

You could always look at placing perches that span the width, or close to the width, from front to back while leaving the center somewhat "bare" which can provide some flying space inside the cage.


Sounds like training will be fun for you, as you'll have to think outside of the box to work with them! ;) Not a bad thing at all, just means they will be keeping you on your toes!!! :D :hehe:
 

Dextine

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Dextine

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If I lay down a foraging tray in the cage, my birds are all over it (a shallow plate with marbles and seeds and a couple of chunks of millet).
Hi Zara!

I went to my local secondhand store today.
They had lots of marbles so I bought some, along with some other things cause I coudn't resist :lol:
Some of the marbles have pictures on them.

Any idea if that's safe or not?
 

Zara

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What do you mean by pictures?
Mine are glass with a strange colour inside.

IMG_20190313_180216.jpg Screenshot_20191109_152809.jpg
 
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Monica

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Yes I’m looking into station training! Anyone have tips how to go about it as they are not target trained? Does anyone have experience training two birds at a time?
Probably try setting up treat cups on opposite sides of the cage and drop their favorite treats inside the dishes... or, set the cups up 'near' each other and reward them for staying at those dishes. May require two hands initially but over time you may be able to increase the distance between the cups some so you can work with one bird individually.
 
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