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Old 08-23-2019, 07:49 PM
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Getting into cage for "bedtime"

So I know this is probably a question that has come up before, but in short I've read a lot of information however I think I need more specific advice on convincing my little miscreant that it is not the end of the world to go back to the cage.

I am the proud "parront" of a white-winged parakeet, who is sweet as can be... well, most of the time. I've heard that parrots do well on a routine, so I try to keep the time for bed uniform... but unfortunately he seems to have caught on. During the day he has plenty of time out of the cage (6 hrs minimum), he sticks to me like velcro though will go and explore as he pleases, and he will step up and is rewarded with treats/play/interaction and knows that I don't only ask him to do so to put him back into his cage. I make sure to keep all food inside his cage, keep the door open so he has no problem going in and out, but try to take his food out about an hr before bed time. Recently and consistently right before "bedtime", he will find somewhere high to perch, such as my drapes, and no amount of bribery or food will get him down. He will also "viper-strike" anything that plans on trying to make him step-up, whether it be fingers or inanimate objects.

I've tried luring him with his absolute favorite foods, getting a step ladder to better greet him and baby talking to him for a few minutes before attempting to veeerrryy slowly maneuver a perch or fingers his way. Doing a "double-scoop" worked a few times, but today it did not work and he ended up drawing blood (and yea, I have a very high pain tolerance and do not jerk or scream in the least, but it doesn't deter him one bit from repeatedly trying). I spoke to him very softly afterwards for a minute or so and gently tried again with a perch, but after another lunge/refusal, I very gently brought a pillow case in view, swaddled him lightly, and escorted him back to his cage where his dinner and a few consolation treats were awaiting him.

My worry is that I do not want this to be the norm. Has anyone had any similar issues involving super stubborn parrots that are too smart for their own good and can offer advice? I am hoping the pillow/towel maneuver isn't too much negative reinforcement.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:03 PM
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Re: Getting into cage for "bedtime"

Hi Ashilde,

I read a lot about this problem before I got Levi.
After I finally won his trust and he allowed me to handle him, I made it a point to always give him his favorite treat everytime I put him inside his cage. It didn't matter whether is was bedtime or not. I just did it as a routine. He quickly learned that when he goes into his cage he gets his favorite treat. I never had that problem. I was lucky enough to prevent it from the start.

I would suggest, figure out his krytonite (as I've heard chris-md use this term.) And only give it to him when you put him back inside his cage.
Save that one treat for this purpose only.
That's what I would do.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:22 AM
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Re: Getting into cage for "bedtime"

You'll get such great advice and support here... but not from me! lol

Since he's fully flighted and a complete stinker, the ONLY way I get him into the cage is to toss a green chile pepper in there and he flaps in after it, usually screaming and snapping. I save that chile up throughout the day just to make sure he is adequately motivated, believe me! Time-out and sensible discipline doesn't exist in the Rb's kingdom.

Works for me.

Good for you for reaching out.
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