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Self-isolation: Budgie demands to be out of cage!

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

Self-isolation: Budgie demands to be out of cage!

Postby Asiya » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:19 am

Pochi the budgie came to live with me almost 2 weeks ago (he was born on Feb 10 - one day before my own birthday). The budgie is very tame and nice. He now steps up (most of the time, unless he is busy playing or is sleepy) and lets me scratch his head. He hangs out with me out of his cage, which is great, since I am quarantined on my own. The issue is that he absolutely hates to be locked in his cage. He goes there when he is sleepy in the evening, but if I try to put him in his cage during the day to go on a nature walk or to shower - he turns into a mini Godzilla! I hear him calling for me for a long time (with a miserable chirp), he also climbs the walls of the cage, breaks things (destroys millet strands) and dips his head in his water bowl (bizarrely). I started training him to be in his cage - anticipating the time when I won't be home all day - by putting him there (with difficulty) and leaving him alone in a room. He stays in his hurricane mode for a long time. He is also hyper and can't wait to be let out when I wake up in the morning. How do I help him like his cage? I feel he should be able to entertain himself by playing and not paying staging a revolt!

I would really be grateful for any word of advice. Most people can't get their budgies out of the cage - while I can't get mine in!
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Self-isolation: Budgie demands to be out of cage!

Postby Pajarita » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:15 am

Hello, Asiya and Pochi! Welcome to the forum. Now, let me clarify a couple of things that will help you better understand your bird.

1) You have a baby there and ALL babies of ALL species are afraid when they are alone (by the way, I hope that you are feeding it soft food and not just seeds which are not good for him).
2) No healthy, well-adjusted bird will ever want to be in a cage (no animal does and birds hate it most particularly because their 'home' is the open sky). The birds that do not want to come out of their cage don't do it because they are happy in it, they do it because they have a broken spirit and are afraid of coming out.

If you want him (do you know for a fact it's a he?) to go back into his cage without screaming, you can do it by putting him in always at the same time (exact daily routines are very important with animals) and always making food his incentive (and that's another reason why free-feeding protein food is not a good idea). They also need a cage that is comfortable in terms of size and budgies need flight cages with enough height, length and depth so they can actually fly in it because they tend to be quite flighty. But nothing will make him happier than having another budgie as companion, preferably of the opposite gender and around the same age. Budgies are never happy when alone because they are intensely flock oriented birds and, although a mate is not a flock, it is 24/7/365 company -something they need.

Basically, there is no toy or anything you can put in a cage that will make a bird like it BUT if you make it so the bird is not alone in it, feed it right so the bird knows that inside the cage is the food it likes, the cage is adequate for its needs (roomy, well-appointed -and that does NOT mean filled out with all kinds of useless crap in it- and placed where there is natural light) and put a couple of things it likes to chew (your bird is a baby and they don't really chew when they are very young but, when it gets older, try giving it kabobs made out of dried yucca - budgies LOVE to chew on them), he won't complain about it. The other thing that it's required for a bird not to resent going into its cage is many hours of out-of-cage time - if you only let the bird out a couple of hours a day, it will never like going back into it.

I have parrots of different species and none of them has any problem going back into its cage (so much so that I have a few that actually go into their cage on command) but my birds spend several hours out every day. This time of the year, they come out at around 6 am, go back to eat their breakfast at around 7:30 am, out again at around 8:00 am and back in at around 2:30 pm where they remain until the following morning (they get their lights turn off at 5 pm and their dinner at 6 pm, blinds down at 7:30). Because this happens every single day of their lives and everything always at the exact same time (not the time by the clock but the time by the sunlight hours), they do not mind - well, let me rephrase that, I am sure they do mind and would much rather never have to go back into a cage but they do not complain or act up at all.
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17487
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

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