African Grey now territorial in his cage

by Kathy
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

We have an African Grey that we got just after he was weaned at about 3 months old. He would step up to anyone and is very friendly to anyone from the time we got him. We would get him out of his cage daily. he is now a year and a half old.

However, there was a period for a couple of months when he was almost a year old that we were too busy to get him out of his cage very much. He now "flips out" when anyone puts their hand near him while he is in his cage. He doesn't bite or anything like that, but he quickly moves away in his cage.

He has a very large cage. It's like he is now very territorial in his cage. Once he is outside of his cage, he will step up. This behavior is just when he is inside his cage.

He is a precious pet. He loves everyone, never bites anyone, talks up a storm almost constantly, and waves at everyone he sees whether they are inside the house or he sees them outside the window. He chats to himself and sings to himself a lot and just seems extremely happy. How can we get him to come to us again when we put our hand inside his cage? He will come to the front of his cage and allow anyone to pet him on the head through his cage bars.

Comments for African Grey now territorial in his cage

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 25, 2009
Safe space
by: Anonymous

A bird's cage is often not only his territory, but his safe place, if you reach in you are invading and his door, and let him come to you, this might take time. My Macaw was like that, now when we both want her to come out, she sits on her door I swing it open and she steps up.
My Quaker, however gets into nesting mode, and as long as he has sticks to work with, there's no going near his cage. Eventually most of the sticks get worked through the cage, I take them away, then procede with my first suggestion.

Nov 04, 2008
Grey wont come out
by: Lewis

First go slow do not force him out. Take a deep breath and relax when you go to take him out. They can sense your mood. If he will not come out with stepping up try using a perch to get him to step up. Also you should get a training stand put it in a separate room from the cage and work with him to step up it is always better to do training away from the cage. Or maybe he just does not feel like coming out when you want him to. It will all be ok just be patient with him.


Nov 04, 2008
Bird attacks when you put your hand in the cage
by: Tracie

Hello Kathy,

Sometimes birds get cage territorial and I am not sure there is anything we can do about it. Our Green Cheeked Conures are like your African Grey, they will bite us if we put our hands in the cage.

We open the door and let them come out before trying to handle them. Last winter, I did curb the biting some. I put on a long sleeved jacket and put my arm in the cage to put some treats in their cups.

They would attack my arm, I would just hold it still for them to attack. They figured out that my arm was not going to hurt them and that they could attack and bite all they want and that arm would not go away. ;-)

After a couple of weeks, they would fluff out at my arm, but not attack the arm. I did not continue this experiment and never tried getting them out with my hand though.

Click here to add your own comments