Keeping Parrots CAGELESS! | Parrot Training Podcast Ep. 14

– [Announcer] Parrots are the third most popular pet in the world but the number one most re-homed Help us put an end to this Listen to the Parrot Training podcast Brought to you by Bird Tricks – Hey everybody Welcome to another session of the Parrot Training podcast I’m your host, Dave Womach – And I’m Jamie Womach – We are from Bird Tricks – So, this week I asked you guys in my YouTube community tab for some podcast topics, and you guys definitely delivered So, one of the questions that we are asked are what are our opinions on cageless homes So, birds that are living without a cage in a home And, this is an interesting concept At first we were thinking about it from a different perspective And then I realized it is actually something that I implement with project birds quite often And, most recently, with Lefty and Touche So, Lefty was a sixteen year old Quaker parrot, and Touche was a two year old Indian Ringneck And, the reason that I was able to have them cageless was because they both lacked confidence in their environment So, obviously, it was a brand new environment bringing them home I had them for a few months, and I was able to keep them cageless almost the entire time The only time I put them in an aviary was when we were gonna be gone for an extended amount of time And, obviously there’s no way to 100 percent bird-proof your home, which is what we’ll kind of get into And so, I didn’t want to risk anything happening while we weren’t able to supervise them So, cageless is one thing when you’re there to supervise Cageless is another when you’re not And I don’t really have a lot of experience doing this just forever – I also think it works until it doesn’t And we’ll jump into that too But, I think really the bigger thing to look at this from is the whole pet-shaming that’s happening And where people are like, hey, you’re a crappy bird owner if you don’t let your bird out of the cage for X amount of hours every day That’s a wrong reason to let your bird out of the cage Because, we can jump into this, but if you have a super confident bird, you might run into issues where your bird becomes very aggressive And being out of the cage is no longer a good thing It’s actually similar to having a wild bird in your house, and then you can’t get him in the cage And, is your relationship with the bird better because he’s cageless? Or is it worse? Or is there no impact on your relationship? And I think that’s kind of where a lot of that needs to be looked at too because if you’re approaching this from, you know, someone saying you need to have your bird out a certain amount of time, that’s not necessarily the right thing Where cageless can be really enriching for the bird – Yeah, and I actually have a blog post on this it’s a blog article on our website at If you just use the little search feature and search cageless I’ll also put it in the video description about some different people that we interviewed and talked to that actually do keep their birds cageless And we’ve seen some amazing setups Do you remember that one that was actually part of a rescue? Where her own birds were indoors – Yeah – And she had literally used the entire wall of the upstairs and made this amazing jungle gym – In Pittsburgh, right? – Yes – Yeah – And it was beautiful and fantastic and amazing, and it was for Macaws Now, the other thing is the personality in birds So, we have birds like Comet who’s our lazy boy He will hang out He’s not very destructive as far as household things He’s very destructive in his aviary when he has his toys But, he’s not super destructive just out And, he will be happily out on play stands for quite a while – Most of the day – Whereas our Cockatoo, Bondai, she’d last like point two seconds before she’s onto something And anything, whether it’s negative attention or positive attention, she’s all for it So, she’ll start chewing on something just to get you to come over and make her stop or to give her attention – Or just because she wants to chew on something – Yeah – It’s really, like, having a Galah in your house, cageless, would be foolish – It would be awful! – You might as well like, live in a cement box – I would not live in the house I think it would be fun as long as you don’t live in the house too – Well, that’s the thing is do you want to live in the bird’s cage? ‘Cause that’s what it is, right? – In the birds house? Yeah I think the other thing is it’s easier, in my personal opinion, to have very small birds cageless Because, one, they’re way less destructive Two, their poops are itty bitty tiny, and then they just get hard, and you flick them off – It totally sounded like you said, “Boobs.” – Boobs? – Yeah – Instead of poops? – Yup, poops, okay – Oh no! Their boobs are itty bitty tiny (laughs) – Until you just flick them off – Oh my God! This podcast, I’m sorry guys – This is why it’s a podcast, folks – Apparently, nobody understands me Not even my own husband But, anyways, I don’t know where I was going with that But just that little birds are easier to have cageless for larger amounts of time In my opinion, with our birds, because they are less destructive, and they’re less less messy They make a mess, but nothing compared to Kressie – Oh my gosh, Kressie cageless, there would be like food slopped, soup splattered everywhere – She would find everything to eat

Yeah, so, I just think it really comes down to, it would be a totally different story if we went through our entire flock and just said, what would it be like to have Tousa cageless? What would it be like to have Jinx cageless? Oh man, no You know what I mean? – Some would be a disaster – Some would be a total disaster – You know having our Budgie cageless is a joy – Yeah It’s fun – He’s fun He just roams the house, and it’s such a neat thing But, like you said, his poops are tiny, and you can just flick them away (laughs) – I think this is a to each their own sort of thing For me, personally, I don’t see how you would 100 percent parrot-proof your home Because there’s paint, there’s outlets There’s just normal things that build a home that a bird shouldn’t be able to access that could really hurt it So, for me, I can’t figure out a way that it would be okay I do love the idea of a bird room Were it’s not necessarily in a cage, but it actually has its own room which makes it’s environment – Well, Ashlynn and David have a phenomenal picture You did a blog post on that, right? – Yeah But, the whole thing with them even, they still have a cage So, for sleeping, Tango still has a cage But, this is kind of a way for him to exert his energy and be able to destroy things And he has a full room for enrichment So, I love the idea of bird rooms I think that’s awesome And if we could have our birds, how I always think about it, is cageless, but you guys are probably gonna be like that’s not technically cageless, is a huge environment outside where it would be netted somehow in a way where it would be enclosed But, it’s mostly enclosed to keep scary things out versus keeping them in But, you know what I mean That’s how it would act So, you’d walk in and not feel like you’re enclosed in anything But technically, still an enclosure – Well, and that’s, if you look at it your house is still a cage, right? It’s just not bars, so maybe it doesn’t feel bad But, you’re still keeping your bird in a cage It just happens to be 2000 square feet or whatever your house is, right? So, the whole concept of a bird being cageless is really an interesting thing to interpret because what you think is great, but at the end of the day, you still have a wild bird in an enclosed area So, are you a better owner because it’s not in its cage? Or are you doing more damage because you’re constantly having to correct behavior because he’s eating the electrical cord, or destroyed the lamp or your couch, and you’ve gotta go over and – Or ingested part of a blanket or a towel For me that’s where it becomes just an ultimate safety issue And although you’re trying to improve the quality of life, if the bird doesn’t have a life, you’ve improved nothing You just need to be really, really mindful of how bird-proofed is your home? And speaking of which, we could add in the description our household dangerous download because there’s a lot of stuff where people don’t necessarily think of it I was actually going back through it the other day, and we list safe and unsafe lists of foliage and branches And it’s in alphabetical order for those of us that really need that But, also it lists just household things that you may not think of like certain cleaning supplies and certain things you use on your own body, and all that kind of stuff that you probably aren’t even thinking about with your bird, but you need to be mindful of especially if you’re considering doing a cageless lifesytle So, overall did we agree or disagree with the cageless lifestyle? I think it’s just kind of a – I think it just comes down to a personal decision ‘Cause your house is still a cage You just are living in it with your bird – I like my cage – And I like it not covered in poop – Good thing you don’t watch the other videos on the channel – I’ve sat in your chair before It’s disgusting – I don’t know why they prefer the chair (laughs) So, one of the epiphomys, piphmy? Piphony? – Epiphany – Epiphany? (laughs) I want a different word Can I buy a different vowel? (laughs) Can I use a different word It reminds me of the tv blooper where she’s like precipa, purse, percepa, perc, it’s gonna rain! (laughs) That’s me! Okay Anyways, – I had a breakthrough idea – A breakthrough idea of why a cageless lifestyle temporarily is really, really successful So, one of the things that I did with Lefty and Touche, as I mentioned, was I originally had them cageless And that was to build confidence and encourage exploration So, they didn’t have a cage to retreat into, to become territorial about Any of the things that I always had read or had heard from other people having this sort of species

stemmed from having cage issues And so I was like, well if I eliminate the cage, I eliminate running into those issues What I wish I would have done for those of you on the YouTube channel, please go check it out on my series on Rasta He was an Alexadrine Parakeet, and he did this He didn’t want to come out of his cage He didn’t want to interact He hated hands And getting him to come out, I basically built an environment attached to his cage that expanded his boundaries of comfort in this comfort zone And I slowly built that out But looking back, what I wish I would have done, is what I did with Lefty and Touche, and just had him cageless from the get go I wish I would have just set up a really cool environment play stand, and had them out all the time Because I think it would have sped up his progress of his confidence building, of his flight skills, all of the things I wanted to work on, even his telling me he wanted to interact I think it would have sped everything up if I would have done the cageless thing – Yeah, and you know looking back at Touche, we ended up changing his name to Torpedo – Well, we just called him Torpedo – He got really as he got more confident he would torpedo over to us, crash land on the table, steal our steak, and fly away with it We’re like, Dude! – One time, it was so funny We were not expecting it, because, like I said, he didn’t have confidence yet, and then just one day he did Which is why it comes back to Dave saying a cageless lifestyle is great, and it works, until it doesn’t And that was the day that it totally changed, and we were at the dining room table, which is where we’re at now He was all the way on the other side of the room We didn’t even think he could fly that far And he flew all the way to the dining room table We were laughing, and we were astonished We didn’t think that he would go for our steak, and he literally took a chunk of steak And we were like, “No!” And before we could do anything, he just flew back with it – So, we’re not advocating feeding your birds steak, by the way Let’s be crystal clear – Yeah, no That was not intentional – But, that’s on of the things with having your bird cageless, so to speak, is that as they build confidence, they’re going to get into things that you didn’t expect And, it’s the same with Blueberry He, when he wants to interact, he’d like – Or she – Yeah, we don’t know yet But, one of the nights, because he sleeps out of the cage on the stand that you might be able to see behind us there, behind Jamie’s head Yep, on that stand And so we’re sleeping, and we just hear, on our hardwood floors you hear tick, tick, tick, – Pitter-patter – And he was like, “All right guys, I’m ready.” And as he’s building confidence he’s like telling us he wants to interact He’s telling us when he’s hungry That communication’s really great And you see that the confidence is there, where if he was in a cage he wouldn’t be able to communicate that he needs something or wants something And so, if that was a Macaw that could be a disaster And I think it really comes down to what bird – Yeah Well, even Touche and Lefty I had stands everywhere I have them in every room And so they were able to move themselves to each and every room And Touche, whenever I let him sleep in our master bedroom, I would always wake up with him on the bed Always – I remember that (laughs) – It was hilarious So, there’s a lot of opportunities for cute and getting somewhere with training is when I use the cageless lifestyle To build confidence and supercharge it so it happens faster I really, really believe in it, and it’s something that I like to utilize early on And especially project birds because they’re usually just lacking confidence And, they’re not acting like birds And, so it’s a really great technique I would almost call it a technique, like a training tool or technique that you can use and implement in a really good way, but it’s not something that I would ever do as a long-term, forever, 24/7 lifestyle For me, personally – Well said Well, if you guys are getting value out of this, please help us with our mission to saving parrots on person at a time, while Jamie checks her phone – I was just gonna see if we missed anything, if we should have said anything else (laughs) I knew that you were gonna say that I’m not paying attention, but anyways I think it also goes back to our mission in the podcast where you mention does your bird have too much freedom – Yeah That’s a good reference to go back to that podcast Are you giving your bird too much freedom? And, yeah, if you’re getting value out of this, help us do our part by doing your part by sharing this with somebody who may or may not get value out of this, but that you hope they get value out of it – What in the world? And let us know how you keep your bird If you keep it in a bird room, if you keep it in a cage, if you keep it in your house, how you do it I wanna know, and I’d love to hear more about it (upbeat music)