1. Bonding with your parakeet
2. Parakeet tricks and games
3. Teaching your bird to talk
4. Clicker training
5. Buying a hand-raised parakeet
You are a lot bigger than your budgie, and you have eyes on the front of your head. To parakeets, this signifies that you’re a predator and the bird will be scared of you when you first bring it home. The key to success and trick-training your bird is trust. Your bird must trust you if you want to teach it any trick. A single bird is more likely to bond more closely to you than if kept in pairs or more. This is because a single bird craves company and affection so much. So it has no choice basically but to either bond with you, or has no mate at all. Although any parakeet would choose another bird to bond with than a human. Here are some tips while bonding with your bird.
Start Slowly; When you bring your bird home with you will want to immediately put it in its cage to relieve stress. Never look directly at your budgie’s eyes, and move slowly and quietly around it. The first indicator of beginning trust is for the bird to “Step-up” onto your finger. You can coax it on with some millet. Quietly talk to it, this usually relieves stress. When bonding, always keep the bird’s cage, play gym or other birds out of sight so that your parakeet won’t tempted and distracted to fly aw-
ay from your hand.
You will probably get bitten a few times; When bonding with your bird, you can pretty much expect to get bitten! It’s one of the only things a scared bird can do besides fly away, which isn’t an option when its wings are clipped. One of the reasons a lot of budgies never become tame is because of the owner becoming afraid of the bird. If you get bitten, don’t react to it. Sure, it may hurt, but if you react to it by screaming, or leaving the bird alone, this will teach it that “Oh! I see! All I have to do is bite my owner and they’ll leave me alone… and I get a great show with it too!” Always remember to never punish or yell at your bird.
Always handle parakeets gently; This is very important when bonding with your budgie. Always be slow and gentle while working with it, and don’t let your self get frustrated.
After Bonding and taming your parakeet, and after it trusts you, you’re ready to teach it tricks. Keep verbal cues short, two words at the most is good. Keep training periods 10 minuets or less so your parakeet doesn’t get bored. Rewards can either be treats, or giving it love and encouragement after it does what it’s told. Don’t make treats to big though, or the bird will get full and won’t work for any more food. Birds learn better if the tricks they are given have something to do with its behavior in the wild. Birds climb, chew, vocalize ect. Always keep a positive attitude and don’t get frustrated, or it will rub off on your parakeet and it will not work for anything.
CLIMB THE LADDER; This is a simple trick you can teach your bird. Start with a ladder (Bird toy ladder) and lean or hang it on something (so it doesn’t fall over). Then, place your parakeet at the foot of it and say “Climb” or whatever your cue is. Coax it onto the ladder by lightly touching its tail. If the bird makes any effort to move onto the ladder, give it a Reward (Do this only in the beginning). Do this repeatedly for 5-10 min. and then return it to its cage. Keep progressing the climbing distance every day until it reaches the top. Then give it both the love reward and extra treats. Then return it to the foot of the ladder and say “climb”. If the bird does this again, also give it more extra treats. The bird will soon learn that if it climbs the ladder, it gets a treat. When the bird gets
the hang of it, you can attach several ladders on top of each other to increase the height.
RING THE BELL; You can combine this trick with the ladder one. Hang the toy above the ladder within a parakeets reach. Then tell it to “climb”. Once it does this, keep it at the top and say “Ring the bell!” This trick is a little more difficult to teach a bird to do. You may gently tap the bell to encourage your bird. If it even touches the bell, reward and praise it (Do this only in the beginning). Keep training sessions short then return your parakeet to its cage. Repeat this until the bird actually hits or rings the bell on purpose, reward it greatly. Once the bird gets the hang of ringing the bell, you can work on fusing the two tricks together.
PLAY DEAD; This trick is pretty easy to learn, but it takes a lot of trust on your bird’s part. Tell your bird to step up onto your finger and carry it to a familiar place in the house that’s quiet and secluded from other family members and/or pets. So as to it’s not as stressed. Gently roll your bird onto its back and quietly say “Roll over” or “play dead”. If the bird even allows you to grab it, reward it (Do this only in the beginning). The trick is to get your bird comfortable with lying on its back for a few seconds. Ideally as long as you want.
FLIGHT TRAINING: You can flight train your parakeet to fly to you when you call it. This is very difficult to do in small bird unless you two are extremely bonded, and the bird actually wants to come to you. Your bird also has to know its name, and this trick takes a very long time to master. Place it on a play gym of the top of its cage. Then, hold your hand as if it were to be stepping up and say “come” or “(your bird’s name)”. When it steps up, reward it (Once again, does this only in the beginning). After a while, slowly start moving your hand away (1/2 to 1 inch a session, depending of whether your bird is a fast earner or not). Reward the bird every time it gets to your finger. You hand will soon be off the cage/play gym. Once this time comes, move your finger away even slower (1/4 to ½ inch every training session). If your are really good at this you get multiple birds to fly to you.
Birds can become obese if they don’t get enough exercise. These games will help you get your bird of that perch and into some action.
Tail touch runaway; Place your bird on the ground and touch its tail. The bird should start running around. You can egg it on by saying “ooh! I’m gonna get your tail!” This is a great way for your bird to get exercise.
Climbs the rope; You can also use a towel for this game. Get a thick rope and hold it up.
Place your budgie on the bottom and call it. If should climb up the rope but may need a little coaxing. If you use a towel, you can place multiple birds on the bottom and race them.
3, 2, 1 Takeoff! Have your bird step-up onto your finger. Then gently hold its feet with your thumb. Now, gently move your hand up and down, causing your bird to flap its wings in order to stay balanced.
Climb the steps; Some birds won’t catch on to this immediately, so don’t be disappointed if they don’t get it. Place your bird at the bottom of the staircase (carpeted is better because it serves better grip). Go two steps up and call your bird. It should climb up the stairs to get you. You can also have another person at the bottom to help coax your bird up.
Mirror jogging; If your parakeet likes its reflection; this is the perfect game to play. Place your bird on the ground and get a mirror toy. Hold it a few inches in front of your bird and it should come running to it. Then start moving the mirror so the bird is running around to reach his reflection.
Parakeets are the third best talkers in the parrot family. Though not all birds will learn to talk. You shouldn’t expect the bird to, and then get angry when it doesn’t. Parakeet’s voices are raspy and harder to understand but can learn over 300 words and sentences. It’s a lot better to start when the bird is young. Also start with a simple word, like “Hi” of “hello”, even it’s name if it is simple enough, like Bob, Kito, or Rosy to name a few. Repeat this word over and over. Don’t get frustrated and move to a different word. This will confuse your budgie and it’ll never learn.
This makes trick training
A lot easier for you and the bird.
It uses clicks too let
The bird know that it did something right. You can buy one at most pet stores for a dollar or two. You have to first get the bird used to the sound because it may be startling. Training your parakeet to perform tricks using a clicker has more benefits than
Most people think. Clicker training will help keep the bird occupied.
It can literally save you months of training and bonding time if you purchase a hand raised parakeet or budgie. If you buy a "bin of budgies" bird, that bird has learned that birds are its friends and that humans are scary. It will take you weeks if not months of slow, patient effort to teach the bird to think of you as its flockmate. Also, because it was raised with birds, it has learned to talk like a bird and it is difficult for it to "switch gears" and start to try communicating in "human speech" with a human.
If on the other hand you buy a hand raised parakeet, this parakeet was raised by humans, and thinks it IS a human. It is used to humans, to sitting on their fingers, to cuddling with them. Humans are its friends. It is used to human speech, and thinks that human speech is the normal way to communicate, So it is MUCH more likely to begin talking at an early age and to learn a larger vocabulary.
In short, it is MUCH better to buy a hand raised parakeet if you can! Yes, they cost a bit more money. But you're not just paying for "a fancy name". You are paying for hours and hours of time and energy that the breeder put into feeding, interacting with and taking care of this bird. In return, you get a pet who is instantly cuddly and snuggly!
(Buying a hand-raised parakeet is from Lisashea.com)