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How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come 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.

Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby Wolf » Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:34 am

Welcome to the wonderful world of parrots! They are very smart and most of them don't really want to go back into their cage, would you? My first suggestion would be to get in the habit of asking for the step up and then moving your bird to another perching spot other than the cage, stepping the bird off and then giving the treat. Find at least two places other than the cage to use for this as well as using the top of the cage so that you do not always put the bird into its cage when you ask it to step up and don't give the treat until you step her off of your hand.
Most parrots are smart enough that they know when all you ask them to step up for is to put them back in their cage and will begin to refuse to cooperate with you in doing this, so it is best to step them up to go to various places and to do other things, randomly placing them in the cage with the door left open or closed so that they don't know when they are going to be asked to remain in the cage.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby Nikki123xx » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:38 pm

My partner and I about a month ago purchased a female Corella that is 15 years old she is mostly tame can pat and feed her etc except the only thing is she is quite timid of noises so getting her out of the cage can be quite hard she doesn't get how to step up we have tried using the perch but she doesn't like it she just keep ripping into it and maybe steps up once really forced so we stopped as she didn't like it and now I'm trying to use my hand she comes right to me when I come to the cage and I can pat her and give kisses but won't step out of the cage I try putting my hand in at her level and pat her belly and tell her to step up and touch around her feet and She will grab one foot onto my hand and hold tightly what does this mean?? If she actually trying to figure out to get onto my hand?? :D
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby Wolf » Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:53 am

Hi and welcome to the forum nikki123xx ;

In parrot terms a month is nothing and it appears to me that for the most part that this is primarily a matter of patience. A bird that is rehomed is leaving behind everything that was familiar to them and for all practical purposes entering into a new world and that is very scary at best and is even worse for a single parrot. They are in an unknown place and there are strange humans that it does not know and if their are other animals in the home these may also be predators looking for an easy parrot snack. Your bird must confront all of these fears when it is rehomed and they are very flock oriented deriving part of their feelings of security and well being from the flock and they are territorial and do not handle change well.

Your bird needs time to learn that it is safe in its new home and needs the opportunity to come out of its cage to explore its new home. It also needs to learn that it can trust you. Reaching into its cage is in the long run counterproductive. Since the biggest issue is one of trust you need to wait for the bird to come to you and scratching its belly is a no on as it is sexually exciting to a bird as is any place other than the head and neck.

Just spend time in the room with the bird talking to it using its name and giving it a lot of good bird type praise and every now and then walk over and drop a favored treat in its food dish. I would not try to get the bird to step up or anything else until you see the bird coming to the side of the cage that you are on anticipating your approach and then I would just open the door and offer it a treat right at the door of the cage, do not reach in, allow the bird to come to you. The bird coming to you is a sign that it is beginning to trust you and is beginning to want to spend time with you.

Read this entire topic and use the steps that are in it to help you teach the bird to trust you and to get it to step up, but do not place any expectations on how long it will take the bird, just use the method and have patience the bird must get past its fear and begin to trust you and I don't know what it has been through in its previous home. Why don't you take the time and introduce yourself and your bird to us in the introduction section. The more that we know about your bird and you the better we can answer your questions.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby terra81 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:32 pm

So from Michael's training blog, it says it is best to bring the parrot to another room away from the cage for training once it can step up and is used to a moving perch. But how do you do that if the bird wants to fly back to its cage before you get it into the next room ? Chasing a bird all day is not exciting.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby Loriusgarrulus » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:49 pm

Once a bird is stepping up and allowing tickles on the head I get it used to being held against me so I can move it to another room without it being able to fly off.
Another method is too place your thumb across the toes of the parrot if it will allow you to without it biting to stop it flying off, but this leaves you open to having your hand bitten if they object or get suddenly stressed.
I just walk round the room it is normally in for a start till it is comfortable with being held there and then try the move to another room. Giving the head and sides of ear an occasional tickle and talking to reassure it.
Be careful if you have dogs or cats that might react excitedly to a bird in an area they don't normally see them.
If you get in a chase it round the room situation you just end up with a stressed bird and you stressed and you take a step back in the trust from the parrot, so its best avoided.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby terra81 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:21 pm

ty lorsius! that sounds like a good idea
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby Michael » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:42 pm

Budgies and cockatiels are more likely to do that. You can try carrying them on your hand or a handheld perch close to your body with the cage behind you. This keeps the cage out of sight and reduces the propensity to fly back to it. Get to another calm room and do the training on a training night perch. You, the perch, and the training will be familiar when everything else is not and it will get more attention on you rather than flying to the cage.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby terra81 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 10:31 pm

yep i got budgies and a cockatiel. lol. Thanks a lot :thumbsup: Love your videos Michael. I have been attempting to train my parrots for awhile after watching endless videos and reading, your guide is the best I have come across online.

My cockatiel is a 2 1/2 year old rehomed bird. I only got him 5 weeks ago (original owner sold him to a pet store) and the bonding is extremely slow. He won't step up on my finger. He is clipped and he won't target the stick if I try to get him to move from 1 perch to another. I think it is because of the wing clip he lacks confidence. He only moves from perch to perch for food or water on his own accord.

Sometimes he comes out of the cage if i open the door. I tried taking him from the cage with a perch but he flies back to the cage, even though he is clipped. Maybe I am trying to move him too fast, and should bond with him more before I attempt it again, next time ill try what you said Michael! Thanks again !
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby Pajarita » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:06 pm

Yes, you are expecting way too much, too soon. You have a rehomed, adult, parent-raised, aviary-type bird while Michael's birds are human-imprinted, raised from babies by him, companion-type birds. You need to make the bird bond with you first so he won't want to fly away from you but, because your bird was raised by its parents instead of a human, he will never develop the deep bond of a hand-fed bird (it's impossible, the window of opportunity for this to happen came and went a long time ago). You are also dealing with a bird that doesn't love you, trust you or even know you yet because five weeks is nothing under the circumstances. He is also an aviary-type bird, not a companion-type one so, again, the bond, even if the bird had been hand-fed will never be the same as for a companion bird.

Having said that, it doesn't mean that you cannot have a good relationship with the bird, that he will not trust or even love you or that you will be unable to train it - it just means that you have to put much more work, more time, more patience and that you cannot expect the same kind of results that Michael got with his birds.

Now, if I were you, I would forget about training it or even moving him from one room to another until the bird feels 100% comfortable with you (he will want to be with you, fly to your shoulder and ride it while you move around, take treats from your hand without a problem, etc) because, given the parameters you have to deal with and the fact that your bird is clipped (the insecurity of not been able to get away from a predator is very stressing to birds), you want to establish a firm relationship of trust so the training doesn't backfire on you.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby terra81 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:30 pm

hi pajata,

Yeah I am worried he won't ever want to ride on my shoulder =( He already takes treats from my hand and targets the stick for a treat if i put the target stick on the same perch he is on. He steps up onto a perch with millet coaxing and steps off. He eats from my hand but doesn't want to step on it yet.

I really hope he will bond with me, I have no idea if he was hand raised or not, I just know he is not hand tame and had a mate that the pet store sold seperately from him 3 months ago.. Kind of sad. He was there all alone and looked so lonely and quiet. Now he chirps and makes nice whistles and i recently introduced him to my 2 budgies (who are hand tame but bonded to each other) and he seems to like them so far =)

Do you think there will be any chance he will want to hang out with me :(
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