Cockatiel won't get into cage.

CailynDV

New member
Oct 26, 2021
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2 Cockatiels
Hey all,
I have two female cockatiels and one of them is very active. I let them fly a lot around the house as I don't trim their wings but when it comes time for them to go back into the cage, it is a struggle. My one will go in but my second one keeps flying away each time I ask her to step up. She knows how to step up and she has lots of toys in her cage so I don't know how to get her in. She keeps flying to the point where she starts panting and I don't know any other way to get her in. I have tried target training and treats but none have worked. Any help is appreciated!
 

Tikitiel

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Sep 21, 2021
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foraging toys can help anything to distract them
another way i used to get my conure in the cage is that the only way to get food put them in the cage ask them to do a trick reward but dont closethe cage you want to teach them that a cage is a good thing and it doesnt always mean getting locked up.
 
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CailynDV

CailynDV

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Oct 26, 2021
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foraging toys can help anything to distract them
another way i used to get my conure in the cage is that the only way to get food put them in the cage ask them to do a trick reward but dont closethe cage you want to teach them that a cage is a good thing and it doesnt always mean getting locked up.
Thank you for the tips. She does have a lot of foraging toys and shredding toys. I will try some more training in the cage tomorrow. Thanks again!
 

Tikitiel

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Sep 21, 2021
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Lutino cockatiel (Tiki)
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Tango the sun conure
Flitch the Sparrow
Thank you for the tips. She does have a lot of foraging toys and shredding toys. I will try some more training in the cage tomorrow. Thanks again!
try to target train near the cage on the cage on the door a perch that on the outside of the cage anything near the cage!
also how big is the cage?
my conure hated her cage but when i upgraded it she absoultly loved it
there is some good youtubers out there who did a video on how to get a bird back in the cage
birdtricks and love of pets
 
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CailynDV

CailynDV

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Oct 26, 2021
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try to target train near the cage on the cage on the door a perch that on the outside of the cage anything near the cage!
also how big is the cage?
my conure hated her cage but when i upgraded it she absoultly loved it
there is some good youtubers out there who did a video on how to get a bird back in the cage
birdtricks and love of pets
Their cage is 134cm by 84 by 54. Thank you for the idea of target training near the door of her cage. I will definitely keep trying that.
 

Littleredbeak

Well-known member
May 27, 2020
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250
From personal experience. My love birds get plenty of free flight time. I used to have no problem getting them back in their cage that was a tall flight cage. I then had to downsize to a smaller cage that was also free standing but shorter. It had a play stand on top and ot was roomy. No amount of bribery could get them both in at the same time. I got another cage that I could put in a high place- above my head. They like this cage alot better and will go in when I stick a millet spray in their food bowl or they just want to go back. Hope this helps!
 

kme3388

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Sep 17, 2021
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Jenday Conure, Eclectus parrot
My conure has an issue with going back to her cage. She will get stuck in my hair, or find ways to stay out longer. This has been an issue for a long time for me. What I have been doing is giving her a sunflower (favorite treat) in her food dish. My conure is very food driven. She's more prone to go back to her cage with a reward.
 
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CailynDV

CailynDV

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Any updates? Is she back in hopefully?
No she just keeps flying away each time I put my hand near her to step up. Last night she did end up getting in the cage by herself and I usually do get her in the cage in the morning but it takes over 10 minutes. I will continue training her and keep trying.
 
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CailynDV

CailynDV

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Oct 26, 2021
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My conure has an issue with going back to her cage. She will get stuck in my hair, or find ways to stay out longer. This has been an issue for a long time for me. What I have been doing is giving her a sunflower (favorite treat) in her food dish. My conure is very food driven. She's more prone to go back to her cage with a reward.
Thank you!
 
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CailynDV

CailynDV

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Oct 26, 2021
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From personal experience. My love birds get plenty of free flight time. I used to have no problem getting them back in their cage that was a tall flight cage. I then had to downsize to a smaller cage that was also free standing but shorter. It had a play stand on top and ot was roomy. No amount of bribery could get them both in at the same time. I got another cage that I could put in a high place- above my head. They like this cage alot better and will go in when I stick a millet spray in their food bowl or they just want to go back. Hope this helps!
Thank you! I will try this.
 

ETinSC

New member
Jul 29, 2021
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4
SC
Hey all,
I have two female cockatiels and one of them is very active. I let them fly a lot around the house as I don't trim their wings but when it comes time for them to go back into the cage, it is a struggle. My one will go in but my second one keeps flying away each time I ask her to step up. She knows how to step up and she has lots of toys in her cage so I don't know how to get her in. She keeps flying to the point where she starts panting and I don't know any other way to get her in. I have tried target training and treats but none have worked. Any help is appreciated!
Oh my goodness, I hope it gets better! I have the total opposite problem. My little guy won't leave his cage :(. I've only had him for about 10 weeks. I've been trying to get him to come out of his cage for a long time, but even though I leave the door open for him a LOT, he won't willingly come out. Sometimes when he's flapping his wings, he accidentally flops out of the cage and he frantically tries to get back in. I got him at PetCo, so unfortunately, his wings are clipped and he can't fly back up. He gets so scared that I'm afraid he's going to hurt himself. So, it always ends up with me helping him get back inside his cage (sigh). I don't know what to do. I'll be sure to read the responses to your original post so that I'll know what to do in the event that my little Blueberry ever decides to come on out and won't get back in. Right now, that's just a dream for me. Hope it gets better for you!
 
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CailynDV

CailynDV

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Oh my goodness, I hope it gets better! I have the total opposite problem. My little guy won't leave his cage :(. I've only had him for about 10 weeks. I've been trying to get him to come out of his cage for a long time, but even though I leave the door open for him a LOT, he won't willingly come out. Sometimes when he's flapping his wings, he accidentally flops out of the cage and he frantically tries to get back in. I got him at PetCo, so unfortunately, his wings are clipped and he can't fly back up. He gets so scared that I'm afraid he's going to hurt himself. So, it always ends up with me helping him get back inside his cage (sigh). I don't know what to do. I'll be sure to read the responses to your original post so that I'll know what to do in the event that my little Blueberry ever decides to come on out and won't get back in. Right now, that's just a dream for me. Hope it gets better for you!
Thank you. Some things that you can do to help your birdy be brave and come out of the cage is treats. If you hold his favorite treat outside of the cage does he come out? Another thing you can do is add a perch on the outside of the cage and maybe some toys. Is his cage high off of the floor? Unfortunately birds are like little toddlers and do what they want to do. I hope that helps and I hope he comes out soon.
 

Parr0tsFly

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Oct 16, 2021
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Koko (green cheeked cinnamon conure gotcha date 5.18 2020)
I had the same problem with my conure a few months back. If you have a food bowl outside then remove that and try giving them a treat while they're going into the cage and don't leave right away and talk to your bird and give treats afterward.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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I had to smile at the image of your bird avoiding the cage! They are plenty smart, and a smart creature recognizes be locked up is no fun.

But you can train them to go back with practice and patience. I trained my 3 flighted budgies to return, as well as Phoebe my quaker who was fearful of hands when I first got her. To this day Phoebe returns to cage when asked but takes tge longest most complicated path she can, sooo funny.

It takes some conditioning at first, by not always locking them up when they return. By locking them up for just a couple of minutes and letting them back out. By standing at cage with door open and have them step to you and back to inside cage perch and back to you. Do no more than 5 reps at time. With lots of praise and treats. You can repeat many times a day but only 5 times at sessions. Birds do best with very short training sessions. By having the yummiest treat waiting for them in cage, and lots of praise.

I start out by teaching mine what good birdie means. I start out by association of good birdie with everything that they like and makes them happy, as well as when they do things I ask. So when they are eating I tell them good birdie, when they are preening and happy I tell them good birdie, when they start to fall asleep I tell them good birdie, when I hand feed a treat i say good birdie, when they chomp on a toy ect. So they associate good birdie with being happy, and all good things.

Now you are ready to start teaching them to return to cage. The first few times make sure you have plenty of time to work on it with no stress. I start be getting their favorite food, I show it to them, and say time to go back, ( pick your phrase and always use that phrase) then I put the treat in the cage, and tap the inside perch and repeat time to go back. Then I walk behind them and point to the cage and repeat time to go back. Every step they take towards the cage, I tell them good birdie. When the pause I step toward them ( always I'm behind them with cage in front of them ) abd point towards the cage again and say time to go back. It's sort of a gentle herding. When ever they move towards the cage I stop moving towards them and praise with good birdie. Even single step towards cage im cheering them on with good birdie. Once they step in the cage I really brag who smart and great they are. Mine caught on really fast. Even my untamed budgies were returning to the cage when asked within a few days.

You may adjust or find your own way. But the above is an example of shaping behavior. And shaping behavior . Shaping works great with animals.

At this point of just tap the cage and say time go go
Back. And they quickly do. I still put a treat in the cage first after showing it to them most of the time.

But if a bird spends too much time cage, or has a negative association with the cage. You have to work to make the cage a positive safe space. And do the first part in and out of cage, and just caged for a few minutes and back out. To retrain the brain thst going to cage first always mean you be stuck in the cage for hours
 
OP
CailynDV

CailynDV

New member
Oct 26, 2021
9
5
Parrots
2 Cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #18
I had to smile at the image of your bird avoiding the cage! They are plenty smart, and a smart creature recognizes be locked up is no fun.

But you can train them to go back with practice and patience. I trained my 3 flighted budgies to return, as well as Phoebe my quaker who was fearful of hands when I first got her. To this day Phoebe returns to cage when asked but takes tge longest most complicated path she can, sooo funny.

It takes some conditioning at first, by not always locking them up when they return. By locking them up for just a couple of minutes and letting them back out. By standing at cage with door open and have them step to you and back to inside cage perch and back to you. Do no more than 5 reps at time. With lots of praise and treats. You can repeat many times a day but only 5 times at sessions. Birds do best with very short training sessions. By having the yummiest treat waiting for them in cage, and lots of praise.

I start out by teaching mine what good birdie means. I start out by association of good birdie with everything that they like and makes them happy, as well as when they do things I ask. So when they are eating I tell them good birdie, when they are preening and happy I tell them good birdie, when they start to fall asleep I tell them good birdie, when I hand feed a treat i say good birdie, when they chomp on a toy ect. So they associate good birdie with being happy, and all good things.

Now you are ready to start teaching them to return to cage. The first few times make sure you have plenty of time to work on it with no stress. I start be getting their favorite food, I show it to them, and say time to go back, ( pick your phrase and always use that phrase) then I put the treat in the cage, and tap the inside perch and repeat time to go back. Then I walk behind them and point to the cage and repeat time to go back. Every step they take towards the cage, I tell them good birdie. When the pause I step toward them ( always I'm behind them with cage in front of them ) abd point towards the cage again and say time to go back. It's sort of a gentle herding. When ever they move towards the cage I stop moving towards them and praise with good birdie. Even single step towards cage im cheering them on with good birdie. Once they step in the cage I really brag who smart and great they are. Mine caught on really fast. Even my untamed budgies were returning to the cage when asked within a few days.

You may adjust or find your own way. But the above is an example of shaping behavior. And shaping behavior . Shaping works great with animals.

At this point of just tap the cage and say time go go
Back. And they quickly do. I still put a treat in the cage first after showing it to them most of the time.

But if a bird spends too much time cage, or has a negative association with the cage. You have to work to make the cage a positive safe space. And do the first part in and out of cage, and just caged for a few minutes and back out. To retrain the brain thst going to cage first always mean you be stuck in the cage for hours
Thank you so much for the detailed response, I really appreciate it. I will definitely try that.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,824
1,427
USA
Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Yeah long-winded.. ;) but I write for the wider audience that will read. Some people want more details. And its a tried and true method , that's worked great for me.
 

ETinSC

New member
Jul 29, 2021
7
4
SC
Thank you. Some things that you can do to help your birdy be brave and come out of the cage is treats. If you hold his favorite treat outside of the cage does he come out? Another thing you can do is add a perch on the outside of the cage and maybe some toys. Is his cage high off of the floor? Unfortunately birds are like little toddlers and do what they want to do. I hope that helps and I hope he comes out soon.
Yes, I have a bungi rope perch that I've stretched across the entire front of his cage and also a smaller bungi perch on the inside of his door, so that when I open up the door, he has easy access. I also have a ladder zip tied to the cage and perch so he can go up to the "upper level" (the penthouse, LOL) to where his little play gym is. He'll come out onto the outer perch for treats with a LOT of coaxing, but he still just goes right back inside, sigh. Thanks for your tips. I guess I'm on the right track. I just need to keep persisting and being patient. I thought it would be a lot easier, but this bird is different from the ones I've had before. You're right, they're just like toddlers. He even knows how to shun me! He turns his back to me. Sometimes I have no idea why. I just figure he's cranky and having a tantrum. I hope he'll come out soon too! Thank you!
 

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