I mentioned this in another thread, but I needed to start a new one specifically for this issue.
As many may know, Kowhai spends most of his time outside his cage. He never hated his cage, and never seemed bored in it, but he is now flat out refusing to go into his cage anymore. I can't bribe him in, if he's on my hand and I even motion we are heading towards the cage he flies off. He won't go in now at all.
Now he's flying away from me when I approach because he thinks I'm going to try to put him in his cage. He is going completely backwards from his normal hand trained self and avoiding me at all costs which is heartbreaking.
I had to finally break down and catch him with a towel to finally get him in after two days of trying to get him in of his own volition and now he's just avoids me at all costs... I feel like a failure.
I won't do the towel method again - I know it is not advised - it was an emergency. I just don't know what to do and feel like all I had going for us is over. I feel like all my exertions to do all the right things have been reversed and I let Kowhai down...
I think you need to start limiting his treats, make him desperate for his favorite foods, or just feed him inside his cage so he sees it as his only place to get food or as a great reward for going back in. You also need to establish a routine to where he goes back in his cage at a certain time- maybe after he gets his dinner he stays in his cage for the rest of the night. It's really not good for him to be out all of the time, when you sleep he's unsupervised!
Thank you for the tips! I'll try only feeding him in his cage. and setting up a proper routine for him. I only ever give him millet when trying to bribe him in. I did make sure during this whole time he was 'stuck outside' that he was supervised so nothing happened to him (I'm a fierce advocate of supervision since I knew a lovebird that was smothered by their owner when they were sleeping. )
This boy is stubborn. He won't touch the food in his cage, even though he knows he has his seed, chop, pellets in his cage. he won't touch them even after being inside the cage all day. So now when he's out he keeps trying to go on the floor and look for crumbs (I try to keep him off and keep the floor well vacuumed).
I'll keep giving him a few days and hopefully he'll learn that he is only going to get food in his cage...
Thanks for the tips and ideas for my issues with Kowhai over the past few weeks everyone. I am pleased to announce Kowhai will now go into his cage of his own free will and will let me take him there (for the most part) again!
Having his food be only in the cage was a big help, and also, I moved his cage to my bedroom rather than the living room. Before he would just sleep in his small cage in my room, but now he sleeps in the big one, and just spends his time in the living room on the various branches and play gyms I set up for him.