Illiger Macaw - hates going back to his cage

Rorriroll

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Oct 21, 2021
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Illiger Macaw
Hello, I have 4 months old Illiger macaw baby at home. He hates going back to his cage and does everything he can to stay out. I tried point training with clicker, offering him treats to get him inside, double sweep... and nothing helps. If he is outside during his playtime then he has no problems doing step up or touching my stick but once he knows that its time to go back to his cage. (I have to go to work or its bed time) He completly stops listening. Runs away if I approach him or he gets on my shoulder and on my back where I cant reach him. After few attempts to pick him up he even starts bitting. I am starting to get desperate but I dont want to force him. Once he is inside cage he is playing with toys, eating pellets and no problem so I dont think he hates his cage much.

He is otherwise really good boy and I spend over 5 hours every day playing and talking to him.

Are there any alternatives that anyone could advise me? I am thankfull for any help.
 

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Skarila

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Apr 19, 2021
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āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
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āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
What a gorgeous Mac you have there!!! Stunning.

My little 56 gram of mischief called Pascal hated going back into cage, and to make things worse back then he was not tame at all. He hated his cage and getting him in was impossible. When he would be outside, no food and minimal treats were given. After a while he'd get hungry so back into the cage he goes.
This changed a lot by getting a big cage with BIG doors. Doors would stay open, he would get his favourite treat only when going back into the cage. Somehow, with the big doors, it was much easier to make him go back in. Another thing with tricks is if possible, try to do "in and out" training - reach from the cage, kiss and treat, put back, close door, treat.

Big comfortable cage seemed to help Pascal to get back in, even when he really doesn't want to. But, treat always wins it seems. Now, as soon I'm reaching for the holy homemade nutriberries, he already knows he must go in. If he doesn't, I tell and show to go in, when he does, praise, give the treat, and close the door. If he's still defiant, I must lure him in with a treat. Often I will give a treat for fun - but he must go into the cage to eat it. And I do not close the doors at that time! Try that - lure him into the cage often, but do not close it. Sometimes close it, and open after 5-10 minutes. Pascal's not cage aggressive at all so I am allowed to pick him up directly from the inside of the cage or just stick my hand in (only when needed, like giving a treat, changing water, picking him up). Given, he has a huge flight cage (100cm x 80cm x 180cm) for such a tiny bird.

While birds are like toddlers and they will know when it's time to go night night. Another thing you could try is dimming the light in the late evening, and start associating it's time for going to sleep. Mine in the evening litteraly zooms into his cage as soon it's really dark. The senegal we (well, my partner's mum) have gets really really calm, starts complaining and chirping since she wants to cuddle more, but eventually gives in after 5 minutes and waddles into her cage. I've noticed a perch or a flat perch in front of a door seems to help a lot to get a bird back into the cage :D

I hope you get some new ideas from my little stories how I get my fids into the cage!
 

saxguy64

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Great ideas above! If the major source of food is inside the cage, he's more likely to go in to get it. That's step one, so I'll add this: When you're practicing/training getting him to go back in the cage, don't immediately shut the door, or run to the cage to do so. They're more than smart enough to understand that going in means they'll be locked up for some undetermined amount of time if that's what you always do. Like everything, it's a learned behavior, so you create the expectation of immediately being locked in. From their perspective, I want to be out playing with my person. Going in there keeps me from that and I can't get out again, so I'm just NOT going in!

Once he learns that he can go in, and be able to come back out on his own terms, the avoidance of going in should decrease. Yes, sometimes, we have no choice on getting them in and closing the door. Time to get to work, leave the house, whatever, but creating that routine all the time works against you. My two cents anyway. :)
 

Skarila

Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
512
Media
70
Albums
5
1,074
Hungary
Parrots
āœ»Csillam the rescued budgie
āœ»Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
āœ»Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
āœ»RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
āœ»RIP -Sunny the budgie
Great ideas above! If the major source of food is inside the cage, he's more likely to go in to get it. That's step one, so I'll add this: When you're practicing/training getting him to go back in the cage, don't immediately shut the door, or run to the cage to do so. They're more than smart enough to understand that going in means they'll be locked up for some undetermined amount of time if that's what you always do. Like everything, it's a learned behavior, so you create the expectation of immediately being locked in. From their perspective, I want to be out playing with my person. Going in there keeps me from that and I can't get out again, so I'm just NOT going in!

Once he learns that he can go in, and be able to come back out on his own terms, the avoidance of going in should decrease. Yes, sometimes, we have no choice on getting them in and closing the door. Time to get to work, leave the house, whatever, but creating that routine all the time works against you. My two cents anyway. :)
Bingo! You explained it much better than I did :D Exactly what you've written above is exactly how we made Pascal be more comfortable getting in and out!
 

saxguy64

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Tucker the Red Sided Eclectus
Baxter the YNA
Patches the Grand Eclectus, my best friend. RIP
Cuckoo the BFA RIP
Bingo! You explained it much better than I did :D Exactly what you've written above is exactly how we made Pascal be more comfortable getting in and out!
Haha, teamwork, my friend! :)
 

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