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Causes Of Cage Aggression


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#1 QuakerFriend

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 04:55 PM

Does anyone know why it starts?

 

Could it be the breeding environment, how they see people in the first few weeks of their life as trustworthy or not? And how many generations away from the wild? And I guess if it's from breeding particularly aggressive or non aggressive qps, there would be a reduction, and probably a breeding program for nice qps.

 

When it starts or changes that create worse aggression?

 

I often find people who say "yeah, they are all like that" but Bob isn't at ALL. At least to me smile.png I feel so lucky ^-^

 

Is it just for certain people they trust they are ok with hands in the cage? I know most people here have cage aggressive qps. And I am sure they are all trustworthy.

 

I know about being in the wild how their nests are situated and they have the front as "family" and the back as "babies and mom" and outside just "friends". But aren't we often compared to being "the flock" for them? So if we used that wouldn't we be "family" and let in the front?

 

Maybe it's just dependent on how nice their cage is lol.

 

Or a combination?

 

Or is it just random?

 

 

Maybe it would be more accurate to ask what makes qps NOT cage aggressive?

 

I don't think I've yet run into someone who said their qp wasn't.

 

I have a feeling this might turn into an interesting discussion smile.png


Edited by QuakerFriend, 30 April 2014 - 04:56 PM.


#2 Siobhan

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:19 PM

My cage-aggressive Quaker Jade was not handled nor let out of her cage for approximately three years before we took her home. She developed personality issues in that time, and distrust of humans and I think someone teased her or poked at her. She says things that sounds like she heard a lot of arguing and possibly violent fights. Her cage was all she had and all she knew and I think that's where hers came from. However, much patience and bleeding on my part have resulted in my being allowed to reach in, change food and water and paper, and if I respect her boundaries and talk to her while I'm doing it, I can even replace toys and move them around. It has not been easy to get to this point. 

 

My other Quaker Clyde isn't cage aggressive as long as I leave his favorite toy alone. I can do whatever I want to his cage if I don't touch that. So it's the toy, and not the cage. The other birds, even my pigeon, freely go in and out of his cage, eat his food, play with his toys, poop on his paper, he doesn't care. 

 

My cage-aggressive tiel, Freddie, is just a brat. LOL I got him at 8 weeks and he's never known anything but being carried around on a satin pillow like the royalty he is, full food dishes and a willing servant (me), so the hissing and wing-spreading and so on is just his feisty personality. He acts that way with any cage, not just his own. If he happens to be nearby when I'm changing someone else's paper or food or water, he does the exact same thing, and when I say, "This isn't even YOUR cage!" he is unmoved. The other birds aren't cage aggressive in the least. 

 

The bottom line is probably that to a bird, his cage is his home and it belongs to him and you are an invader. It may be rooted in the wild, where they have to defend the nest to protect babies, and it may just be similar to the way you'd feel if some random giant came along and started poking through your stuff in your house. Except when it's strictly necessary, I don't bother the birds' cages beyond cleaning. I only move toys if they're worn out and have to be tossed. I don't move perches unless they have to be replaced. I don't rearrange cages. Jade has rearranged her own toys and so has Clyde and I leave them where they put them. 



#3 CaptainNapalm

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 05:29 PM

Same here.  My quaker parrot has never displayed any form of cage aggression whatsoever.  I can wake him up in the middle of the night, turn on the lights, stick my hand anywhere in his cage, even move my hand towards him pushing him out of the way and he'll just cuddle with my hand or move out of the way until I'm done messing with his cage and toys.  I can clean his cage with him on it and or in it with no issues at all.  The only time he get irritated a tad is in an instance where I start physically moving around or removing his toys, but even then he won't get mad at me and start biting me or anything, he'll just get irritated in general and start mumbling and squaking. 



#4 Sharyn and Mr Piggy

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 07:13 PM

I believe it has to do with how they have been treated as they were growing up. I adopted Mr P in January. He was VERY cage aggressive. My understanding of his background was that the family he was with (raised with) got busy with life and didnt have time for him anymore. They let him sit in his cage for about a year (he is 3) before they gave him up.

 

He was pretty bad when I got him, would lunge at me when I put my hand in his cage, even the front area. As the months have gone by and we have built a bond, I can put my hand in his cage to some extent but not all the way in the back where he sleeps. I also can't mess with him while he is on his food dishes. I have deliberately put 2 food dishes, one on either side of the cage so if he is on one, I can change out the other. NOrmally I try to change out his food and water while he is out of the cage. I let him watch me putting my hand in there.

 

We still have our days when he doesnt want my hand even in the front of the cage. The good news is instead of lunging at me and trying to bite me, he either pushes my hand away with his beak or he backs away. Things have definately gotten better.

 

I firmly believe that the qps that show the most cage aggression are the ones that are not let out of their cage often or have much human interaction. Their cage is the only sanctuary they know and they defend it.

 

I hope as the years go by that Mr P will continue to get less cage aggressive but I am unsure if this is something they can totally unlearn, or it just gets better as time goes by, but never goes away, once it manifests itself.



#5 Jan Cullen

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 10:31 PM

Shah has become happy hut aggressive over the past couple of years but just recently he has become cage aggressive.  He is nearly 10 years old so not sure why it is happening.  I just have to watch his body language before putting my hands into his cage. I have told him I am not happy about it, but he doesnt seem to want to listen to what I have to say because it is all about him and his needs and I should know better!



#6 Casey's Mom

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 10:51 PM

Casey is like your QP, she never has shown cage aggression and she is 7.5, when we got her from the rescue we were told never to give her a happy hut, she is content every night to perch on the highest perch in the cage and I cover her cage every night. We do make sure her toys and perches are rotated around, though not as often as we used to, and I think that has helped too 



#7 Sharyn and Mr Piggy

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 07:02 AM

I also rotate toys weekly, perches not so much, although I should start doing that again. I think this has also helped. I rotate the placement of food dishes too, changing it up every so often so Mr P actually has to look for his food.

 

Mr P's foster mom (before I adopted him) told me he had a happy hut in his cage but she pulled it out because he never came out of it. So, I have been hesitant to put one in.

 

Without the happy hut, Mr P was sleeping in one of his food dishes that was in the top, left hand corner of the cage. He was soiling his food from sleeping in it.

 

I now have an empty food dish in that corner (I'm guessing that was where his happy hut used to be) that he sleeps in and he is fine, except I can't get my hand anywhere near him when he is in the dish.

 

On a good day when he's in it and I need to get my hand in there, as long as what I'm doing is on the opposite side of the cage, he won't come after me anymore like he used to.

 

So, it *can* get better, just not sure it will ever go away


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#8 Cindi&Jeriel

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Posted 03 May 2014 - 11:34 PM

Ocho is not cage aggressive at all. Sometimes Jeriel will stick her head right into his cage to talk or sing to him. He will get nippy if he is eating.
When we got him last August, 3 months old, our breeder suggested rotating toys every week so that he doesn't get used to things looking a certain way. We take out and add toys to keep things fresh. We do what we call Extreme Makeover: Cage Edition every two to three weeks where we take out everything and rearrange including perches, bowls, toys, hidey hut, EVERYTHING. Ocho just hangs out on Jeriel's shoulder or on top of the cage, taking in the whole scene with no argument.

We also move his cage every day or two. Sometimes he gets rolled a foot to one side or the other, or he gets moved to another room where there is activity. we do this because it was suggested that if the bird is always in one specific spot that they will also begin to claim that whole area, as if it were their tree. It made sense to me, so we keep the boy on the move! Tonight he is having a sleepover in my room!

 

I wondered if our luck would change with first molt and hormones, but so far, so good. He went through a "chomp and laugh' stage a month or so ago, but that is easing up and was more an out of cage behavior, anyway.


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#9 QuakerFriend

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 04:15 PM

Well, I would assume lots of rescue bird would be cage aggressive. Since who knows what happened to them and they could have been in very bad situations. Bob was found outside. So he was not stuck in his cage at all xD

 

So, for people who don't have cage aggressive qps or have helped them become less cage aggressive, what do you think helps or that you do differently?


Edited by QuakerFriend, 06 May 2014 - 04:17 PM.


#10 Siobhan

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 03:50 PM

With Jade, I tell her what I'm doing when I change food and water and paper. A couple of years ago for her birthday, I emptied her cage entirely and cleaned it inside and out and gave her all new perches and stuff. She'd had her stuff so long and was SO cage aggressive and ignored that everything was worn out and some of it was even potentially dangerous. I had to go at her pace. I had to distract her for some of the removal of things. She sat on top of her cage the entire time and bossed the job and I think she understood what was going on. There is NO way I could have done this when she first arrived. She'd have chomped me into bits. But over the  years, we've come to an understanding and I had to bleed a lot to get here, but it's a matter of gently conditioning the bird and respecting her turf. The hardest part was untying all the intricate knots she'd made with her strings and ropes. LOL I even asked her a couple of times, "How did you DO that?" 



#11 Bene_Gesserit

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 10:23 PM

Wait.  Let's try this another way.  How many of you got your babies as young birds, and are they aggressive?

 

Those of you who got older, possibly mistreated birds...are they aggressive?

 

I think this is the key difference. If a bird has been either abused or neglected, their cage is their safe place. They may identify more with it when they are never let out, for instance.  Someone who gets a bird very young, on the other hand, has the ideal setting for perfect trust from the get-go; I suspect these fids are the ones who are most trusting and the least aggressive (although puberty may change that.)



#12 cnyguy

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 08:05 PM

Ralph was about 6 months old when I got him. He isn't cage aggressive, but is possessive of his food dish. Anything else in his cage I can touch, but not the food dish. He still doesn't get the concept of "don't bite the hand that feeds you-- especially when it's bringing food." biggrin.png

 

George the YCA was between 25 and 30 years old when he came home to stay, and had at least two previous homes, besides spending a few years in the pet department of a chain store. He wasn't cage agressive, but he didn't really appreciate having hands reaching into his cage either. He wouldn't attack or bite, but it was easy to see that he was unhappy about it-- and he would sometimes growl to express his displeasure. 



#13 Sharyn and Mr Piggy

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 09:05 PM

Mr P's cage aggression (he is adopted, I've had him for 5 months now, he was 3yrs old when I got him) has gotten MUCH better since I got him this huge, new cage.

 

The best part of about it is that I have his dishes distributed on each side of the cage. So, when he is on one side, I can change out the stuff on the other side and by the time he runs over  to either check out what he's getting or to bite me, my hand is long gone.

 

And, in all fairness, he rarely even bothers to come to the other side of the cage to "protect" his dishes.

 

Now, trying to change out the food on the side of the cage he is on...well, I have yet to do that successfully, without coaxing over to the other side first smile.png

 

He's pretty much fine with me touching everything else and he will step up onto my hand from inside the cage.

 

So, I'm beginning to think the size of their cage has something to do with it too. The smaller the cage, the more it bothers them when you intrude into it


Edited by Sharyn and Mr Piggy, 20 May 2014 - 09:06 PM.


#14 Siobhan

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 02:06 PM

Freddie was 8 weeks old when I got him and he's (now that Jade is somewhat settled) the worst of the bunch. He's aggressive about OTHER birds' cages as well as his own. I have no idea why. He was hand-raised and has been carried around on a satin pillow for the four-plus years he's lived with me, never locked up for punishment, always had a nice big cage of his own and lots of toys, and plenty of freedom to fly around the house. 



#15 Extracrazyblonde

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 04:43 PM

I have a 9yr old and a 14 yr old recently re homed and they both are cage aggressive :(