Training Alexandrine Parrot to Go Into a Travel Carrier Willingly

Posted by Jamieleigh on

Alexandrine parakeet touch training around travel carrier

It’s my belief that if you have a pet bird, you should also have an outdoor aviary for it. There’s nothing better than being outdoors sometimes, especially for wildlife and creatures designed to be outdoors like parrots. However, a lot of people can barely handle their birds let alone get it to and from an outdoor aviary and such is the case with my clients Karen and Liam who own Rasta the alexandrine parakeet.

So, in order for them to use the brand new aviary they just bought for him, I am crate training their alexandrine to willingly go into his carrier so that they can put it inside, have him go in, close it and transport him into the house to sleep indoors at night. Day 1 of crate training Rasta went extremely better than I even imagined!

We talk about how to crate train your bird in minutes using the same techniques I show, only with troubleshooting and lessons on body language, training sessions and  all the potential problems you’re going to run into (like wanting to shut that door on your bird once he’s in and having to completely back track afterwards, and how to go about it so that that doesn’t happen!) in our seminar course.

Here’s what day 1 of crate training this alexandrine parrot looked like:

Right now Rasta grabs the treat and then leaves the carrier to eat it. Eventually I hope to get him to the point where he’s comfortable enough to eat the treats in the carrier as well as not become nervous or anxious when the door is shut behind him. Because Rasta is an extreme case, he won’t be doing this in just one day, but we do show real live training of doing this training in just a few minutes with a bird in our Total Transformation Series.

That course teaches you everything from getting your bird to be OK with its travel carrier to going inside and letting the door shut behind it without showing any signs of anxiety.

To obtain this goal, I set up his cage so that his travel carrier was part of it, somehow connected, you could say. This way the whole thing could be seen moreso as a toy to play in and on than a place of discomfort.

I then began putting Rasta’s meals inside the carrier instead of in or on his regular cage so that he would have to spend more time there and now he eats INSIDE the carrier. Next step: rewarding him for being in there for longer amounts of time and eventually letting the door close without getting spooked.

Here’s more photos of my progress up until this point:

Rasta’s cage adjoining with his travel carrier

Finding more than one reason to hang out on his carrier

Changing over from almond pieces to real food he can see (the best stuff he likes at the very back)

Serving Rasta his main food at the front of the cage at first

Slowly moving it further back in the carrier

Rasta eating while on his perch from his bowl inside the carrier 

It’s important to realize I have this set up with his carrier up 24/7 so it never moves and while I am gone he is free to explore it as he wants. This way he knows the door won’t close behind him and he has no worries. That can be conquered later. When doing this with your own bird, make sure it can’t accidentally close the door on itself or it may spook it from going back in again thinking it will get trapped.

See more photos of Rasta’s process here.


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