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How Much Out of Cage Time?

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How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby Michael » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:31 pm

How Much Out of Cage Time

How much out of cage time does my parrot need? That's such a common question and I would like to address it. The answer may surprise you.
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Michael
Macaw
 
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Re: How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby Graeme » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:18 am

Well our Sun Conure, Bailey, is out of his cage most of the day. He is flighted and enjoys our company.
He either hangs out on me or he likes to play on his play gym. When he has had enough and wants some alone time, he will fly to his perch in the games room where it is quiet and just chill out for awhile. He does get some "time out" sessions though in his cage through out the day.

All in all I would say h is a very contented bird.
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Re: How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby cml » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:35 pm

Great topic!

I agree that we need to work on that out of cage time should be quality time.
But how do you define quality time? Is it only when you are 100% committed to interacting with your parrot or does this vary with situations?

I think so!

Take our example, we have two birds who are the best of friends (most of the time anyway ;)). They absolutely LOVE spending time together, regardless of where that is.
If they are out of the cage at the same time (and they always are unless we are training or showering them), they will seek out each others company as much (or more) as ours.
They goof about, play with toys, fly around the appartment and explore together. Its a joy to watch and they have a lot of fun and are always eager for it.

Would you not consider that quality time?

Of course, when we have the parrots out, we also interact with them and dedicate our attention to them. Some of the time 100% (recalls, interaction, play etc), others maybe as low as 30% (?), meaning I know they're there, talk to them and do a recall now and then, but I can also go about my own stuff. This type of mixed out of cage time they get for at least a few hours everyday.

We also have truly dedicated out time everyday with training, weighing, showering etc which accounts for perhaps 1hr.

I consider all of the time they are out to be quality time. Whats your take on it?
Stitch (WFA) and Leroy (BWP)
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cml
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Re: How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby Michael » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:38 pm

The bird will let you know what it considers quality out of cage time (if it's wings aren't clipped!!!). This is why I say that quality out of cage time has a lot to do with freedom, not just interaction. However, from our perspective, if we are not part of that bird's out of cage time, why do we have a social pet? So for our sake, we must ensure that out of cage time for the bird is quality time for us (and I mean not just now but also in the future depending on the behaviors we encourage now). But if the bird enjoys flying around and playing, that's great. It just isn't quality time to sit on the same tree every day for hours at a time with no chance to change that up. If the bird can fly and chooses to sit, then it's quality time because the bird chose to do that!

So when we talk about a parrot necessitating out of cage time, what we really mean is that the parrot needs to have some kind of free time (as in liberty) in order to be content and healthy. The cage is obviously restrictive and not freedom so out of cage time, in order to serve the purpose of out of cage time, must come with freedom of movement and choice. Training of course is based largely on choice so it falls into this category. Being able to move around and make choices is the opposite of being idle and bored.

Harness/outdoor time may be more restricted but it is also mentally engaging and healthy. It too is opposite to idle indoor cage time. Point is we gotta make out of cage time be as opposite to cage time as possible to make it count!

Clearly many people put value on a parrot's out of cage time and realize it's important. It's just really important not to forget the reasons it is important and that the main purpose of out of cage time is to provide the things the parrot misses out on while remaining in the cage... activity, interaction, flight, exercise, outdoors!
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Michael
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Re: How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby rio » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:02 pm

Hello, I'm new to your forum and have read your article on" how much out of cage time". Rio is a lovebird, he's mixed peach and black face. He was not hand raised. I've had him for 2 plus years. He was really easy to train to step up, do tricks. He was anyway. I have let him have free reign of the house because he hated being in a cage. When his wings grow out, I let him fly for awhile, then get them clipped again when he starts setting the house alarm off. I bring him in to the pet store for them to clip his wings, and I found if I hide while they clip his wings, he won't be mad at me. But if he sees me or hears me talk while he's getting his wings clipped, He will stop interacting with me. So thats where he's at now. He runs away when I ask him to step up. He knows what step up means. He'll try to do all his other tricks for a treat, but I'm trying to get him to step up again. Rio has always hated me handling him, so we do tricks instead. However, he's gotten more wild and so I've tried holding him to see if he could get tamer. The more I've held him, the more wild he 's gotten. So I'm assuming I should not handle him at all but just do more tricks and interaction. Is that what you would assume?

After reading your article, I have started locking him up in his cage, and re-introducing step up again in his cage. Lovebirds are so fast that even if he steps up in the cage. He runs away as soon as I take him out. Unlike a parrot, using a perch for a training spot won't work becasue he's like a fast little monkey, and heads back to where his cage area is and hides. I guess leaving a bird out to run free all of the time has resulted in a bratty bird. What would you suggest?
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Re: How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby Tikki » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:44 am

Tikki is out of her cage when ever we are home to supervise.
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Re: How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby cml » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:25 pm

What would you suggest?

I would suggest suggest letting him regain flight, securing your home for a flighted parrot (parrot proofing) and then starting over with basic taming from the very beginning, earning trust and getting the bird to do what you want because it wants to, rather than being forced to.

I am sure that will get you a much happier and more tame bird in the long run!
Stitch (WFA) and Leroy (BWP)
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Re: How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby Apothecia » Fri May 26, 2017 9:48 pm

My yellow-naped amazon is about 23. He is very social but well-behaved for the most part. When my roommate first brought him to our house 2 years ago, he spent a lot of time locked in his cage because his owner thought that he would have discipline problems if he were allowed too much free time. My roommate moved out, and I kept the parrot and now I just leave his cage door open and he goes in and out as he pleases. Sometimes he sleeps perched on top of his open door, sometimes he roosts inside of the cage. I believe he enjoys life much more now that he is not locked inside for several hours per day. His wings are not clipped, but he never flies. I don't think he knows how. There is a dwarf apple tree outside that he loves (>loves<) to sit in and sometimes he will stay outside for hours and won't move that much. I know he doesn't want to come in because I will hold my finger out for him and he takes it if he wants to leave, but will make his annoyed noise when he wants to stay. I just got him a pak-o-bird backpack, and he loves going places with me like to the library when I'm working on papers. I tricked it out a bendy-perch and some toys so he can perch half in and half out of the backpack when we're stationary for a bit. In my bird's case, he does not seem any more aggressive now that he is never locked up inside of his cage, but he certainly seems much less depressed and bored. I used a garden glove as a training tool whenever he would try to get aggressive during the first few months. It only took a few times of me putting the glove on when he would bite for him to figure it out, so now he knows the word "glove" and might protest by growling when annoyed if I make him do something he doesn't want to do, but doesn't bite me hard when he steps up. So much is taken away from birds when they are domesticated, I am trying to give him back as much freedom as I can. Thank you for this post. :irn:
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Re: How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby Pajarita » Sat May 27, 2017 1:59 pm

Please don't take this the wrong way but I would not consider taking a bird without a harness outside because I think he can't or wont fly. They don't fly until they do and, when they do, they get lost.
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Re: How Much Out of Cage Time?

Postby stevesjk » Sun May 28, 2017 4:33 am

He will fly one day and you will lose him, guaranteed.
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