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Gcc Won’t Leave Cage

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by David Morgan, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. David Morgan

    David Morgan Registered

    hi guys

    I’ve had a GGC for about 6 months now. I’ve tried to start training off slow and he/she will follow me around the cage getting treats. The trouble I’m having is getting him out of his cage, I open the door of his cage every morning before I leave for work and as soon as I arrive home but he refuses to ever come out. I’m reluctant to force him out as I don’t want to scare him. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Dave & Spyro (GCC)
  2. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    :welcome: First of all was your GCC hand reared & used to people.
    Best thing to do is have a look in our behaviour/Training thread lots of good information there and I am sure others will be along with good advice which I am sure @Roz would add to as well.
    I think you need to give yourself plenty of time when letting Spyro out (and of course he needs to get used to going back in afterwards)
    Can we have a photo please.
    @Stinkie @Wakizashi21 .....anyone please for advice.
  3. Wakizashi21

    Wakizashi21 Regular Member

    David, have you tried to make the outside of th cage more appealing? Maybe get one of his fav toys...and place it on the outside? So he comes out to play with it...will break the fear factor too

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  4. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Maybe a parrot stand which you can make yourself from safe tree branches that he can fly to .
  5. Roz

    Roz Regular Member

    :welcome: David and Spyro! As Di asked, could we have a little more info? Is Spyro a rehome/rescue or did you get him as a baby? You are doing absolutely the right thing by not forcing him/her to come out. Waki has some great suggestions too. Right now, if Spyro were to come out, think about what he would come out to. If he has no place to go to, like a familiar playstand or perch, all the more reason for staying in. Hence Waki's excellent suggestion of making the outside more appealing.

    What sort of door does Spyro's cage have? Is it a big one that you could attach a short perch onto the inside of it? That way when you open the door the perch also swings out transforming it into an outdoor perch. I have a couple of short perches on the inside of the doors of all my parrot cages. It might be a more comfortable transition for him.

    As Di suggested you could either buy a parrot stand or make one yourself with bird safe branches. You would probably have to desensitize Spyro to the playstand at first by gradually over days or even weeks moving it closer and closer to the cage until it is right next to the cage. Every step of moving it closer would be dependent on Spyro remaining relaxed and calm. You could make the stand more familiar and fun by attaching toys that Spyro already loves. Who knows, he may decide to come out then.

    That's so great that Spyro will follow you to get food/treats. Using food as a reinforcer, you could easily shape Spyro's stepping up onto your hand or if he/she is hand shy, a familiar hand held perch inside the cage. Hopefully the cage and door are big enough for you to work with this. This is how I worked with Ollie my Orange-winged Amazon to get him out of his cage. You would have to desensitize Spyro to the increasing close proximity of the perch first. Here is a thread to show how you would shape the step up:


    With Ollie who was afraid of humans and hands, I taught him to step up on a hand held perch inside his cage in tiny steps that he could manage, then gradually moved the perch with him on it, inch by inch further towards the door. This took months of working on just one or two reps daily. I couldn't work any faster as all Ollie would take from me at that time was a massive palm nut, and he could only have one a day. Later we changed to pieces of cashew nut and the training was faster as I could ask for more repetition. But still keep training times very short. Just 15 - 30 seconds (or less to start with) here and there throughout the day. Bringing Ollie through the door was the hard part. I watched his body language very carefully throughout the process and didn't ask him for more than he could comfortably manage. But eventually I could bring him out of the door and then I'd put him straight back in again to give him the feeling of control. I'd put him straight back on his original perch after every rep anyway. If I had hurried the process, the training would have been punishing and he might never have come out. Then one day he decided to fly out himself and landed on a hanging toy across the room attached to the ceiling. This took 1.5 years!!
  6. Ararajuba

    Ararajuba Regular Member

    Hi @David Morgan!

    First, I think Roz has some good advice there. I'd like to add some more though, some of it conure specific:

    I think it may help to bear in mind that a bird's perception (any animal's perception) of a particular situation is likely to be quite different to what a human would be feeling in the same situation. It's easy for us humans to view the cage as a sort of prison, and the opportunity to fly around the room and get into things as freedom - but this is actually a projection of human feelings into a bird. Parrots are prey animals in the wild, always on the lookout for danger, and not given to taking too many risks, especially when alone. If the bird is not used to coming out, he's going to view his cage as a nice, safe, cosy, secure place - his territory that he knows and understands - and everywhere outside it as the great unknown, somewhere potentially dangerous to him.

    Parrots are also very sociable creatures, who have an innate expectation that other flock members will cooperate with them in exploring, seeking food, and looking out for danger. In his case, if the rest of his flock (you) is not around, he may be feeling less secure than usual, because his instincts tell him that no-one else is there to help him test things out, show him the way, and watch his back for danger, so he prefers to remain where he feels safest (his cage). I would suggest that if he is at all tame and trusting with you (it sounds like you've made a start) he is actually far more likely to come out with you there. You may be better off trying to get him to come to you, take treats, and play with you, so that he learns that the room is not a dangerous environment and that he can have fun there, while in your reassuring presence. Once this idea has been reinforced enough in his little feathery head, he is likely to feel much more comfortable with coming out when you are not there. I would suggest that if he will perch on you and take treats, you try to get him to come out of the cage to do so, first starting very close, and gradually moving further away, paying attention to how comfortable he appears, and taking him/letting him fly back to the cage if he appears worried. Try to make sure there are no scary objects in the room, that no nasty surprises will happen like him seeing something that startles him through the window, etc, as you don't need him learning aversives (negative stimuli) when outside the cage.

    Our conures like to spend most of their time with me or at least near to me when they are out (or the wife, if she can put up with them) and tend to follow me around the room. They will rarely be more than a couple of feet away from wherever I happen to be if they are playing with something or exploring. Any further and they usually lose interest in what they are doing and fly back to me before long, or go to another place they feel safe like their cage, or the curtain rail (parrots love being high up where they can see everything). If they're not with me or I leave the room, they tend to hang around their cage and will not typically venture all that far away from it - besides flying to look for me, if they think they know where I am. They don't like to be separated from each other for long either, and one will inevitably look round nervously, call, and go to join the other if they are more than about two or three feet apart for more than a few moments. I've never had much success at getting our conures to stay put on a perch (even a play perch) for long, by the way. They're very active and curious birds who quickly lose interest in hanging out on perches. They seem to prefer foraging for food, nibbling on things (including human anatomy and clothes, if you let them), and finding objects they can play with/throw on the floor.
  7. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    put some food pots on the outside and toys and climbing rope. he may of had a bad experience and fills safe in his cage so you do need to extend his cage so he fills like the outside is part of the inside. you have been given great advice. hello and welcome David
  8. David Morgan

    David Morgan Registered

    Hi you all

    No Spyro wasn’t hand raised and was very nervous for the first few months, took a lot to get him to take food from my hand but he is a lot better now and a lot happier.

    Really appreciate all the advice. Was getting a little worried as I read an article saying that birds can become cage bound. After having a read through what you’ve all said seems it’s goinng to just take a bit more time and patience. Going to move some perches around so he can get in and out of his door easier and make the outside of his cage more appealing for him to come out.
    I will keep you updated with any progress we have. Thank you all again.
    Dave and Spyro
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  9. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    Happy birthday and have a great day @David Morgan how are you and your GCC getting along?