STEP FIVE - OUT-OF-CAGE FINGER TRAINING
You MUST have your parakeet hand trained before you can bring her out of the cage. There are SO many emergency situations that can arise that require you getting your keet into its cage quickly for safety. A fire could break out, someone could put a teflon pan on the stove, someone could open the doors so there is a clear path to the outside world. You need to get your parakeet on your hand and into the cage. Be sure to Finger Train Your Parakeet before attempting this next step.
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Once your parakeet is fully finger / hand trained, it is time to consider letting her out of her cage. Parakeets are EXTREMELY intelligent creatures and if you leave her locked in her cage for her entire life, she will go stir crazy! She wants to explore at least the room she's in, climb around, fly if she can, look down at the room from the curtain rods. She'll enjoy a playgym, or just hanging out on your shoulders.
Pinto and Nazo hang out on Bob's shoulders
So go through your morning routine. Quiet music, quiet talking. Seal ALL doors to this room though and put signs on them so people know not to come in.
When you're ready, move your hand towards your parakeet. Say "UP" and get your parakeet on your hand. Now SLOWLY bring the hand towards the opening in the cage. Your parakeet may be nervous! Up until now, your parakeet has thought of her cage as the location of safety and comfort. You're trying to bring her out of this safe area! It can really help to hold a stick of millet in your other hand, just by the cage door. Bring the parakeet just to the cage door area, not "out into the scary world". Let her sit there and eat millet. When she's done, put her back onto a perch.
The next day, bring her a bit further out, so she's at the entry-way to her cage. My parakeets love to sit on their "front porch" and just survey their world, even sleeping there. If you have a drawbridge-style entrance this is IDEAL, it can sit open and they can sit there or land there. If you don't have a drawbridge, it might be wise to make one by putting a rope perch or something else at the entry area (on the outside of the cage) so your keets have somewhere to sit.
If your keet starts flying or hopping around, don't panic. Let them settle down and explore. When they are quiet, you can always get them back onto your hand with "UP" and bring them back to the cage. If they can fly, they will fly back to their cage on their own when they are ready to take a nap. Their cage is their home.
Find ways to encourage your parakeet to enjoy the room. Most parakeets love curtain-rod sitting. I'd advise putting some paper towels beneath the rods if you do this, their poops are easier to clean up that way. I put the parakeets' bathtubs on top of their cage - that way when they come out they can take their baths, and their bathtubs are always fresh and clean. I also have a parakeet play gym at the cage's side, so they can go back and forth from the playgym to the cage as they wish.
Nazo Hangs Out at her Cage Entrance
Do NOT let your parakeets just roam around without you being there. Keets are very curious and can easily get themselves into trouble. They can wedge themselves behind bookcases or under couches. You need to be there and aware, so you can rescue them. You don't have to watch them every second - I work on my computer while they fly and hop around me. But I do check every 10 minutes or so to make sure there are still 3 of them in sight :)
Parakeet Hand Training Step by Step Instructions
Cat / Parakeet Info Homepage
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