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My Cockatiel won't enter his cage

LuckyBird6

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Hello! When my cockatiel goes outside his cage, he won't enter back, and I always have to catch him with a cloth, which I hate to do because he is always extremely scared of this. What can I do to make him enter his cage? He seems not to be able to fly downwards (not sure about this), as the cage is at a lower height.
 

SunTruth

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I have the same issue with my senegal parrot. At night he goes to sleep on top of his cage but not inside. I have to « negociate » with him sometime for like 20 minutes to make him understand he needs to go inside. I just keep repeating « go to the cage » and show him.

And I do not know if for you it is the same but during the day he never goes inside the cage once out.
 

cocotiel

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My cockatiel never goes back willingly no matter how interesting I try to make the inside of the cage for her. Instead of catching Coco with a cloth, I start by scratching her head or petting her and then gently but firmly keep my hand on her back when she’s on my other hand or chest and let her back into the cage. Of course it is with a certain pressure that she is comfortable with and if I ever hold her with even slightly more firmness, she starts biting and screaming but that’s something that I have learned over time. I’m not sure if it is the correct way (or even the fact that I explained how I do it properly, I tried my best lol) but seems to work for me.
 

LuckyBird6

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My cockatiel never goes back willingly no matter how interesting I try to make the inside of the cage for her. Instead of catching Coco with a cloth, I start by scratching her head or petting her and then gently but firmly keep my hand on her back when she’s on my other hand or chest and let her back into the cage. Of course it is with a certain pressure that she is comfortable with and if I ever hold her with even slightly more firmness, she starts biting and screaming but that’s something that I have learned over time. I’m not sure if it is the correct way (or even the fact that I explained how I do it properly, I tried my best lol) but seems to work for me.
Mine doesn't seem to hate the cage, he just seems he doesn't know how to enter it. :)
 

April

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Mine doesn't seem to hate the cage, he just seems he doesn't know how to enter it. :)
Do you have perches on the outside? Maybe putting one on the door so when you open it he could climb on it then you just gently shut the door with him riding the perch. Or placing it just under the door so he can climb up from the perch into the cage door if that makes sense.
 

sunnysmom

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I would work on target training with him. Also, I would do my best not to have to force him back in. It is reinforcing that the cage is "bad" which you don't want. I would for now let him out when you have time to work on getting him back in. If his cage is low, can you place it higher somewhere? Does you bird step up? And treats can be a great motivator. With my first tiel, he only got millet when he went back in his cage. I am bird sitting 3 cockatiels right now and their owner does the same thing. As soon as these birds see me get the millet spray out, they rush back to the cage. My tiel Scooter recently has been giving me a tough time about going back in his cage. So I have resorted to having to give him a bite of a cookie. I am not proud of this. LOL. I never give my birds things like that but it's the only thing that is working right now. I let him take a little nibble, and then make a big show of putting another piece his cage. He goes back in for the cookie. Also, you want to make his cage fun for him too. Often, birds associate "cage" with their person going away. So I always spend time with my birds when they're in their cages too, not just out of the cage.
 

Wally&Eva

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My lovebirds never once went into their cage on their own. Granted I’ve only had them for 8 weeks and they are babies so there is still hope to learn. I also, have to just scoop them up and put them inside, although no towel. I always make their food the most interesting for that time. They get their chop early which they enjoy. And for “back to cage” time, I do their roudybush pellets which they love, and millets and seeds and leftover nutriberries from training. They’ve grown to associate ok, I go in and don’t fight it, I can eat snacks. Also when I catch them, Im very vocal about how proud I am of them and kiss them the entire time and praise them haha for basically not struggling in my hands and making this more difficult. No, this is not the best way, they do target and recall training but back to their cage? No. And after they go in, I stay with them for a while so they don’t associate cage with bye bye like sunnysmom said. Also doesn’t hurt that they are such sleepy potatoes by then and just gladly go munch and nap on their favorite perch.
 

LuckyBird6

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Do you have perches on the outside? Maybe putting one on the door so when you open it he could climb on it then you just gently shut the door with him riding the perch. Or placing it just under the door so he can climb up from the perch into the cage door if that makes sense.
Thanks, I'll try this idea, hopefully he will try to land on it.
 

LuckyBird6

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I would work on target training with him. Also, I would do my best not to have to force him back in. It is reinforcing that the cage is "bad" which you don't want. I would for now let him out when you have time to work on getting him back in. If his cage is low, can you place it higher somewhere? Does you bird step up? And treats can be a great motivator. With my first tiel, he only got millet when he went back in his cage. I am bird sitting 3 cockatiels right now and their owner does the same thing. As soon as these birds see me get the millet spray out, they rush back to the cage. My tiel Scooter recently has been giving me a tough time about going back in his cage. So I have resorted to having to give him a bite of a cookie. I am not proud of this. LOL. I never give my birds things like that but it's the only thing that is working right now. I let him take a little nibble, and then make a big show of putting another piece his cage. He goes back in for the cookie. Also, you want to make his cage fun for him too. Often, birds associate "cage" with their person going away. So I always spend time with my birds when they're in their cages too, not just out of the cage.
I am planning to build a stand for his cage to be at a higher level. I have bought my cockatiel roughly a month ago so he doesn't yet know how to step up. I tried to put seeds in my hand for him to climb on it but he doesn't yet have the courage to do it, so the treat method wouldn't work on me yet. I am trying to put a perch outside of his cage for him to land more easily, and hopefully he will succeed.
 

SunTruth

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I am planning to build a stand for his cage to be at a higher level. I have bought my cockatiel roughly a month ago so he doesn't yet know how to step up. I tried to put seeds in my hand for him to climb on it but he doesn't yet have the courage to do it, so the treat method wouldn't work on me yet. I am trying to put a perch outside of his cage for him to land more easily, and hopefully he will succeed.
When there is night for sleeping where does he go?
 

sunnysmom

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I am planning to build a stand for his cage to be at a higher level. I have bought my cockatiel roughly a month ago so he doesn't yet know how to step up. I tried to put seeds in my hand for him to climb on it but he doesn't yet have the courage to do it, so the treat method wouldn't work on me yet. I am trying to put a perch outside of his cage for him to land more easily, and hopefully he will succeed.
Have you tried millet spray? It's long enough that he doesn't have to get too close to your hand and then you can start shortening the pieces as he gets more comfortable.
 
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