My cheeky tiel refuses to be put away in his cage

Free as a bird

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2023
450
522
Parrots
2 cockatiels
Since one of my cockatiels died my other tiel, Shifty, has become more difficult to put into his cage. There are just the two of us in the flock now and we share the space we live in. Shifty has a small cage inside and a large cage outside in an enclosed area.

There are only a few times that I need to put Shifty in his cage, when I cook, have a shower, leave my place or when it's sleep time. But getting him into a cage can be an ordeal.

I used to be able to put both of them into the cage while perched on my hand. But now Shifty refuses to even step up onto my hand, he can read my body language so well and if he does step up he just flies away as soon as he sees the cage coming.

I have to sit down and pretend I'm just chilling, then I can get him onto my hand and hold him. He usually likes being held cos he gets cuddles and scratches. Once I have him in my hands then I get him into the cage.

Otherwise once he knows I want him in the cage I have to catch him which I hate doing cos it can damage the trust in our flock.

I'm wondering how other people get their stubborn birds into their cages, do you have a routine, do use bribery or blackmail, or do you have to trick it like I do... 🙂
 

Jcas

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2023
471
786
Parrots
Quaker, 2 budgies
This can be kind of a frustrating situation to deal with. I imagine Shifty is especially disliking the cage because it means separation from his ( now only) flock mate, you. My first thought is using a favorite food if he has one. Only give him that food in his cage and have a routine for how you do it. I’m thinking, for example, sunflower seeds. Put a few in a dish and rattle it and then put it in his cage. The rattling sound can become his cue to go to his cage and getting to eat a little snack when he goes in might help make the cage less of a negative place.

JJ is sometimes difficult to get in his cage and he will not only not step up but he will bite for blood! Fortunately, he knows my routines and readily goes in when he knows he’s supposed to, so really the only time I have issues is when I change up that routine and have to put him away on a day/ time when I would usually be home. I admit to sometimes cheating. He loves attacking paper and if I’m really in a hurry, occasionally, as a last resort, I’ll wiggle a tissue or piece of paper just inside his cage. When he dives after the paper, I close the door. He’s so busy tearing up and tossing around the paper that he barely notices me leaving, lol! Of course, I don’t do this very often as I don’t feel it’s the best way to get him in.
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,959
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Since one of my cockatiels died my other tiel, Shifty, has become more difficult to put into his cage. There are just the two of us in the flock now and we share the space we live in. Shifty has a small cage inside and a large cage outside in an enclosed area.

There are only a few times that I need to put Shifty in his cage, when I cook, have a shower, leave my place or when it's sleep time. But getting him into a cage can be an ordeal.

I used to be able to put both of them into the cage while perched on my hand. But now Shifty refuses to even step up onto my hand, he can read my body language so well and if he does step up he just flies away as soon as he sees the cage coming.

I have to sit down and pretend I'm just chilling, then I can get him onto my hand and hold him. He usually likes being held cos he gets cuddles and scratches. Once I have him in my hands then I get him into the cage.

Otherwise once he knows I want him in the cage I have to catch him which I hate doing cos it can damage the trust in our flock.

I'm wondering how other people get their stubborn birds into their cages, do you have a routine, do use bribery or blackmail, or do you have to trick it like I do... 🙂
My budgie Rocky will not go back in her cage herself. She has a large cage with a cagemate she likes a lot but she plays this game with me every time I need to put her back. I take her soft fleece blanket and toss it over her and pick her up in the blanket and put her back! I know it sounds mean but I swear she likes it! This has been the only way I could put her back for the past six months (she's almost one year old and I raised her from an egg). She is very friendly and bonded to me and my husband and this method of putting her back has not harmed our bond. She isn't afraid of anything.
 
OP
Free as a bird

Free as a bird

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2023
450
522
Parrots
2 cockatiels
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
This can be kind of a frustrating situation to deal with. I imagine Shifty is especially disliking the cage because it means separation from his ( now only) flock mate, you. My first thought is using a favorite food if he has one. Only give him that food in his cage and have a routine for how you do it. I’m thinking, for example, sunflower seeds. Put a few in a dish and rattle it and then put it in his cage. The rattling sound can become his cue to go to his cage and getting to eat a little snack when he goes in might help make the cage less of a negative place.

JJ is sometimes difficult to get in his cage and he will not only not step up but he will bite for blood! Fortunately, he knows my routines and readily goes in when he knows he’s supposed to, so really the only time I have issues is when I change up that routine and have to put him away on a day/ time when I would usually be home. I admit to sometimes cheating. He loves attacking paper and if I’m really in a hurry, occasionally, as a last resort, I’ll wiggle a tissue or piece of paper just inside his cage. When he dives after the paper, I close the door. He’s so busy tearing up and tossing around the paper that he barely notices me leaving, lol! Of course, I don’t do this very often as I don’t feel it’s the best way to get him in.

Blackmail, bribery and trickery, all acceptable in my book, 😂. I especially liked your tactic of using the paper as a tool of bribery...

My budgie Rocky will not go back in her cage herself. She has a large cage with a cagemate she likes a lot but she plays this game with me every time I need to put her back. I take her soft fleece blanket and toss it over her and pick her up in the blanket and put her back! I know it sounds mean but I swear she likes it! This has been the only way I could put her back for the past six months (she's almost one year old and I raised her from an egg). She is very friendly and bonded to me and my husband and this method of putting her back has not harmed our bond. She isn't afraid of anything.

Ah the budgie is probably the quickest parrots out there so I don't blame you for using a blanket. I know your careful with it but I just feel I have to say it as well... Be careful with the little one.

Sometimes I feel like mine is playing a game with me, catch me if you can 🙂
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,959
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Blackmail, bribery and trickery, all acceptable in my book, 😂. I especially liked your tactic of using the paper as a tool of bribery...



Ah the budgie is probably the quickest parrots out there so I don't blame you for using a blanket. I know your careful with it but I just feel I have to say it as well... Be careful with the little one.

Sometimes I feel like mine is playing a game with me, catch me if you can 🙂
I'm very careful. It's a soft fleece baby sized blanket with budgies printed on it and we cover her cage with it. She likes to crawl under it when it's draped on top of her cage during the day. She really seems to like being held in her blankie!
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,959
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Since one of my cockatiels died my other tiel, Shifty, has become more difficult to put into his cage. There are just the two of us in the flock now and we share the space we live in. Shifty has a small cage inside and a large cage outside in an enclosed area.

There are only a few times that I need to put Shifty in his cage, when I cook, have a shower, leave my place or when it's sleep time. But getting him into a cage can be an ordeal.

I used to be able to put both of them into the cage while perched on my hand. But now Shifty refuses to even step up onto my hand, he can read my body language so well and if he does step up he just flies away as soon as he sees the cage coming.

I have to sit down and pretend I'm just chilling, then I can get him onto my hand and hold him. He usually likes being held cos he gets cuddles and scratches. Once I have him in my hands then I get him into the cage.

Otherwise once he knows I want him in the cage I have to catch him which I hate doing cos it can damage the trust in our flock.

I'm wondering how other people get their stubborn birds into their cages, do you have a routine, do use bribery or blackmail, or do you have to trick it like I do... 🙂
It's a real getting my budgie Rocky back in her cage. I hand raised her from an egg so she's very bonded with us and very tame but she won't go back in herself! She loves her cagemate Beau (he goes back easily), she has a nice big cage, and is happy when she's in it but when I try to put her back in she runs away from me. I think it's a game for her. So I take her small fleece blanket that I drape over her cage at night and drop it over her and pick her up in the blanket and put her back in. She is definitely no scared. I swear she enjoys this ritual. Her blanket is very soft and she likes to climb under it while she's out playing. Rocky is not afraid of anything and I can do anything and she never acts scared, but Rocky's not really a "normal" bird (probably because she was 100% hand raised). I don't think this would work with Shifty but it's not unusual for a bird to resist going back in.
Shifty may think it's a game, too. Try using a stick perch instead of your hand to put him back. Good luck.
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top