Rescue Sun Conure won't go into his cage

ItsHuey

New member
Jun 15, 2024
1
2
Parrots
A male Sun Conure named Huey (~6-12 months)
Hi everyone!

My partner and I have found ourselves as new parents to a Sun Conure named Huey. We found him on our balcony where he landed during a thunderstorm. We don't know where he came from -- no leg band, no microchip. But we instantly fell in love and decided to keep him. My partner had parakeets and a cockatiel growing up, so he's familiar with keeping birds.

We took him to a certified avian vet and he's totally healthy. Both the vet and the owner of a nearby exotic bird shop told us that, based on his plumage, Huey is somewhere between 6 months and a year old. All in all, we're very lucky. He's friendly with people, he loves eating pellets, he barely screams, and so far he's been very receptive to training.

But there's one big problem: Huey refuses to go into his cage willingly. He enjoys the cage when he's in there; he eats food, he drinks water, he explores, he plays with his toys. We have a camera set up to watch him when we're not at home and we see that he entertains himself (as long as the TV's on; the one day we didn't he just kind of stood on a perch all day and zoned out). But he hates being put in. He resists, he bites, he screams, he flies away, etc.

Most things we've tried have worked once -- luring him with food, luring him with a toy, putting him in while he was perched on a little T-stand. The second time we attempt the same strategy, he's figured it out and flies away when we get close to the door.

The only time we have any modicum of success is if he's out of the cage when bedtime approaches. Then he'll fly over there on his own and won't resist too hard being placed inside. Even then, though, it's not a guarantee.

From what we've read, it seems like parrots are supposed to enjoy going into their cages. That has not been our experience. Given that he's a rescue, we don't know his history. We don't know how he was housed for the first months of his life. It's getting frustrating. Today, we unfortunately had to resort to toweling him after he slipped out when we refreshed his food just before we had to leave.

I've attached pictures of the cage setup. It might not be ideal, but we became bird parents completely by surprise -- we just grabbed a cage from Petsmart the first night he was here. We've looked into bigger flat-top cages but haven't bit the bullet to buy one yet.

Any advice that we could get would be helpful! We're really at a loss over how to change this one difficult behavior.

Also, does anyone have any insight on how old he might be?

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Hi everyone!

My partner and I have found ourselves as new parents to a Sun Conure named Huey. We found him on our balcony where he landed during a thunderstorm. We don't know where he came from -- no leg band, no microchip. But we instantly fell in love and decided to keep him. My partner had parakeets and a cockatiel growing up, so he's familiar with keeping birds.

We took him to a certified avian vet and he's totally healthy. Both the vet and the owner of a nearby exotic bird shop told us that, based on his plumage, Huey is somewhere between 6 months and a year old. All in all, we're very lucky. He's friendly with people, he loves eating pellets, he barely screams, and so far he's been very receptive to training.

But there's one big problem: Huey refuses to go into his cage willingly. He enjoys the cage when he's in there; he eats food, he drinks water, he explores, he plays with his toys. We have a camera set up to watch him when we're not at home and we see that he entertains himself (as long as the TV's on; the one day we didn't he just kind of stood on a perch all day and zoned out). But he hates being put in. He resists, he bites, he screams, he flies away, etc.

Most things we've tried have worked once -- luring him with food, luring him with a toy, putting him in while he was perched on a little T-stand. The second time we attempt the same strategy, he's figured it out and flies away when we get close to the door.

The only time we have any modicum of success is if he's out of the cage when bedtime approaches. Then he'll fly over there on his own and won't resist too hard being placed inside. Even then, though, it's not a guarantee.

From what we've read, it seems like parrots are supposed to enjoy going into their cages. That has not been our experience. Given that he's a rescue, we don't know his history. We don't know how he was housed for the first months of his life. It's getting frustrating. Today, we unfortunately had to resort to toweling him after he slipped out when we refreshed his food just before we had to leave.

I've attached pictures of the cage setup. It might not be ideal, but we became bird parents completely by surprise -- we just grabbed a cage from Petsmart the first night he was here. We've looked into bigger flat-top cages but haven't bit the bullet to buy one yet.

Any advice that we could get would be helpful! We're really at a loss over how to change this one difficult behavior.

Also, does anyone have any insight on how old he might be?

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Hi

I faced this problem when Kiwi suddenly stopped going into the cage. It was certainly a problem. It took me time to figure it out.

I simply started showing her favourite treat to her and kept the treat inside the cage and gave the command of “home”. Gradually she started going back in the cage on my command but it was slow process and took over a week for it to work properly. Slowly I made the “home” treat random and then stopped it. In fact since I have moved her to a large Aviary and got her a companion, she is still comfortable going to her old cage, whenever needed. In fact I need to train Zeus for this as he hassles me with this.

I’m sure you will find ways with Huey by trial and error.

PS: I like your setup. It is pretty decent. ☺️
 
There are many problems with that cage design, but at this point: Please never open the top as they have a long history of being a death trap when (not if) the device closes itself.

To your question: The cage should be a safe place that your Parrot enters and exists with joy. Have the food and water only available in the cage and allow your parrot to enter and exist without fear of being locked away. Common, when hungry or tired, they will seek out their cage and eat or nap when needed.
 

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