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  #1  
Old 11-19-2016, 07:39 PM
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Hi All,

I've had Kikker for nearly 3 months now. She is very comfortable in her cage. She plays with her toys and chatters happily. She is also fairly tame.

The problem is, she is a cage potato. She hates spending time outside her cage. I never take her out by force. I just leave the cage door open any time I'm in the room and hope that she will come out. She never does. Sometimes I lure her out with millet seeds. As soon as she's done eating, she tries to head back in. I say she tries, because (sadly) her wings are clipped to the extent that she cannot lift off more than knee height. So whenever she's on the floor (and at the verge of panic because she can't reach her cage), I hold my finger within her reach and she jumps up. She learned quickly that this is a reliable way for her to get a lift back to her cage. Once she gets back inside, she lets out a tiny birdy sigh (sounds like a sneeze) as if she wants to say "Thank goodness I'm back in the safety of my home!"

I feel that her reluctance to get out of her cage is a huge limitation for us to bond. I tried taking her to a different room for bonding sessions so she could forget about the cage, but she gets so stressed that she freezes and poops every 45 seconds. I also bought her a play gym but she jumps back on my face the moment I take her to it. Then of course, straight to her cage. Last but not least, I bought some sisal rope and made a ladder that leads to her cage from the floor. No use.

I think her clipped primary feathers are the main culprit. She doesn't feel safe outside her cage because her range of motion is so limited. She has been molting the last two weeks. She still has pin feathers on her head but stopped shedding any more feathers. The nasty clipped feathers are still there. I think we have to wait till her next molt but I really don't want her to be cage-bound and insecure for 6-12 more months! Do you have any recommendations for a situation like this? What else can i try to make her feel safer?

I would appreciate any input.



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Last edited by kikkerthebudgie; 11-19-2016 at 07:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2016, 08:15 PM
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Some budgies prefer to stay in their cage until they're absolutely comfortable with what's outside of it, and that's okay. I think that allowing her the option of leaving her cage if she'd like is perfect. It may take time, but in the end she will realise that outside of the cage, things aren't that scary.

It's not really a huge limitation to bonding. As long as you're spending significant time talking/reading/interacting with her while she's inside the cage, she will slowly grow closer and closer to you. The growing bond with you will also help her to want to come out of the cage to where you are eventually.

You can also put perches on the outside of her cage near the door so she has a sort of "front porch" that allows her to come out while still being close to her safe space. If she has a favorite type of toy, hanging one near that perch may help, as well.

Best of luck!
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Old 11-19-2016, 08:57 PM
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I agree with everything StarlingWings has said. As always, she gave some great advice!

Does the cage Kikker's in have a large door that you can open up? Sometimes when I want to play with my birds but don't have time to let them come out of their cage, I just open up one of their doors and play with them inside of their cage. I put some seed in my hand that they love to hop on and snack on...or, in Hermes' case, pushing the seed out of my hand. It's also a great way to practice stepping up and stepping down. I don't know how tame your Kikker is right now; it could be a bad idea to invade her safe cage. It would be your call. My guys are completely used to me and it doesn't phase them if I stick my hand in their cage. They even look forward to it

It could also be a personality thing. Hermes loves being out of his cage...Izzy likes it okay but not nearly as much as him. Even when my birds have out of cage time, they like flying back to their cage- it's their favorite landing spot. You could try just working with Kikker out of the cage...but also on top of the cage. Let me explain. If you just let her stand on top of her cage or wherever it is she perches on the outside of the cage, you can let her feel comfortable out of the cage....but still on it. You're doing a great job keeping her cage doors open and allowing her to come to and from on her own terms. I did that with my guys and it worked splendidly. Doing anything that familiarizes her with coming out of the cage but still being allowed to go back into it is great. You mentioned that she can't fly very well up to the cage since her wings are clipped? Try setting the cage on the floor so she doesn't have to fly back up to it. If it does indeed stress her out, that could be a way to remedy that.

Best of luck!

P.S. Once Huck is out of quarantine and you feel safe introducing him to Kikker, he could help as well. I know you just brought him home so he's still probably a little scared himself. But if he handles being out of his cage better, it'll give Kikker confidence if she has a budgie friend who's at ease being out of the cage. That was the case with Hermes and Izzy! Izzy used to get stressed being out of her cage too. Once she and Hermes were bonded, she'd come out a lot easier and didn't get all stressed when she saw Hermes was right by her and noticed that he wasn't concerned, so she shouldn't be either
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2016, 11:06 AM
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Thank you both for amazing advice. I actually tried the front porch thing and putting her cage on the floor. The first didn't work so far and the second made her uncomfortable. I guess I just have to give her more time like you said. I still spend time wih her and talk to her in her cage. She doesn't freak out if I put my hand in the cage. She's just a bit indifferent, leaning into apprehension, unless I have millet seeds. But indeed, she may get some confidence from Huck Finn once the two are introduced. Huck is not tame at all yet (it's been only 4 days since he joined the family) but very energetic. I get dizzy watching him dart around in his cage! His temperament is very different from Kikker's. It's amazing to see how they have different personalities.
Thanks again!

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