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florisvb 11-20-2020 12:43 AM

Red-belly scared to go into sleeping cage
Our 1.5 year old red belly, Wasabi, has been happily stepping into his sleeping cage in the evenings for his whole life until the other day when something frightened him. Now he is terrified to go in there.

I don't know exactly what triggered it, but it started when I wiped up some spilled water from the table his cage sits on with a green towel and he freaked out, leaping out of the cage. Earlier that same day I also happened to have moved a few boxes to a different location in the room.

The cage is mostly covered at night, and we have a webcam to watch him sleep. He used to tuck his beak and and go to sleep promptly, now he sits anxiously awake for hours after we coax him in despite his protesting.

Any advice on getting him comfortable with his sleeping cage again? We've tried just spending some time in that room with him, letting him explore a little, but he just seems scared to be in the room now. He is fine everywhere else he normally spends time (but tired).

Thanks for your advice!!

wrench13 11-20-2020 08:05 AM

Re: Red-belly scared to go into sleeping cage
Welcome and be welcomed.

You can never tell what is going to set a parrot off when it comes to change and new stuff. Wish I had concrete advice for this, but I have nada. Maybe showing him the green scary 'monster' and letting him see you getting rid of it?

itzjbean 11-20-2020 09:32 AM

Re: Red-belly scared to go into sleeping cage
Does he do anything else in the room he sleeps in besides sleep, like play? Eat? My suggestion is desensitization and a lot of it! Get him used to being in the room not just to sleep, but to play and eat too. Feed him his favorite treats on the floor, and around the room. If he's allowed to play and explore and see the scary things aren't so scary, perhaps he would feel more comfortable in the room if he got to every inch and nook and cranny to investigate it. If it's possible, an hour or 2 before bedtime take him into the room, get his sleeping cage ready, but let him wander around the room and floor with you. Let him see everything, and inspect it himself.

florisvb 11-20-2020 12:57 PM

Re: Red-belly scared to go into sleeping cage
He really only sleeps in that room - we'll work on spending more time with him in there doing fun things. Thanks!

florisvb 11-22-2020 11:51 AM

Re: Red-belly scared to go into sleeping cage
Update: after spending a few hours during the day with Wasabi in his sleeping room on friday, with treats, toys and the opportunity to explore, he is much more comfortable being there again. He hopped into the sleeping cage happily and we even caught him with his head tucked in at night (with the webcam) :)

noodles123 11-22-2020 11:58 AM

Re: Red-belly scared to go into sleeping cage
Start back over and he will eventually get over it (if he has favorite treats etc, you can try feeding them to him whenever he gets within a foot of the cage..then increase the proximity required before treat is given..then try placing the treat on the cage and leaving it (I bet he will eventually go there again). This would need to take place over time, but I think he will be over his fears more quickly this time (in comparison to initial fears that he had when you got him). Don't push too hard or too fast. Focus on keeping stress low and training sessions short.

You might also consider periodically using towels within like 10 feet of him, so that he doesn't get so scared of them..Not this second, but a few days from now or something.

The boxes could also be scaring him. How did he react when you moved them?
Have you labelled these objects, also? It is really important to give objects names and narrate what you are doing. It helps with vocabulary development but it also helps them learn to anticipate if they associate actions with certain phrases---for example, Noodles knows "going to the store" "going to work" "taking out the trash", "broom" or "sweeping the floor", "be right back", "unloading the dishwasher" and "I'm going to move this", as well as "boom" (which I say whenever I drop something by mistake lol).
She doesn't repeat these phrases, but she responds to them as through she knows what they mean (having heard the same phrases in context). She is much less scared when I label things and talk about them over time.

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