Shell parakeets are another name for parakeets, which are also known as budgies or budgerigars. They are the most widely kept species of pet parrot on earth.
These ubiquitous birds come in green and blue hues and are available at pet stores. The scientific term Melopsittacus undulates, which translates to “songbird with wavy lines” in Latin, describes parakeets’ love of singing well.
They range in size from 6 to 7 inches, making them medium-sized birds. They have some black wavy stripes on their feathers and a beak with a black tip. Male and female parakeets may be distinguished by the cere on top of their beak; the latter has a blue cere, while the former has a beige or pink cere.
Australian grasslands are home to vast flocks of parakeets, which are endemic to such areas. Due of the abundance of food and water during the rainy season, they primarily breed then. They make wonderful presents for children and anyone who enjoy waking up to the sound of birds.
Gaining Trust Before Training a Parakeet
Pet parakeets have a tendency to be a little flighty, especially when they first move in. Give your pet a week or two to become used to its new surroundings before attempting to hand-tame it. The gradual process of hand taming entails making your pet feel at ease when being handled.
Typically, this is completed in a number of steps. Although there are several methods for taming, experts advise getting your pet’s wings properly clipped before you start. This makes the training process a little safer while also limiting his capacity to fly but not fully eliminating it.
What Do I Need To Train My Parakeet?
You must be prepared to spend some quality alone time with the bird in order to teach a parakeet. When around your parakeet, you must have patience and be calm. Of course, you’ll need a parakeet.
According to Lisa Shea, hand-feeding and weaning your bird will increase your chances of success since it will be more receptive to people in general.
Being very gregarious creatures, parakeets typically dwell in big groups in their natural habitat. Your best chance of success when trying to teach and tame your parakeet is if you just have one bird.
By doing this, kids will develop a relationship with you and be more likely to imitate you and seek out your company. Your family and you become into their flock.
Before you try to start teaching your new parakeet, it will need some time to acclimate to its new surroundings. Having your bird’s flying feathers cut before you bring it home will make it simpler to hand and finger train, even though you may wish to let it fly freely in the future.
After having its wings clipped and being introduced to your house, you should put your bird in its cage in a peaceful area so that it may relax. This is recommended by coopsandcages.com.
Leave the bird in its cage for a day or two before starting training, but visit it at least several times a day so it learns to identify you. Millet is a favorite treat of parakeets, so have some on hand when you begin training.
What is positive reinforcement?
In terms of birds, parrots—including parakeets—are very intelligent. They are inherently interested and have remarkable problem-solving abilities. Training yours is a method to make use of this intelligence, prevent the emergence of “unwanted” habits like biting, and to strengthen your relationship.
Positive reinforcement is the most effective training method for parakeets, so let’s find out more about it now.
Positive reinforcement basically entails teaching by rewarding positive actions as opposed to punishing negative ones (Heidenreich, 2007). Naturally, a treat is the prized reward in the eyes of parakeets. Given that parrots are highly motivated by food, it makes for the ideal training tool.
Even the attention will be a reward if you establish a close relationship with your bird.
How to Tame a Parakeet
To start taming your hands:
Sit down close to your bird’s cage for a while each day to assist them become acclimated to you. Spend at least a week doing this.
After approximately a week, talk to them quietly and in a soothing manner while placing your palm on their cage for about 10 minutes at a time. This proves to them that you have no intention of hurting them. He’ll eventually cease flying to the other side of the cage and start to accept your presence close to them.
You can start reaching inside your pet’s cage if they stop acting so tense as you approach. Simply keep calm as you wait for them to become used to you being in his territory while holding a piece of millet in your hand.
They’ll finally become motivated enough to approach the millet. When they do, remain completely still while allowing them to unwind and feed for a short while before gently lowering them back to their perch.
You may start teaching your parakeet after it is willing to come and eat from your hand.
How Do I Hand and Finger Train My Parakeet?
Now that your bird is settled in its new home, you need to establish trust by simply chatting to it while you’re sitting next to the cage. For several days, keep up with this routine, making sure to always speak in a kind and patient manner when changing water bowls and feeding pets.
Your bird will start to trust you after a few days, at which point you may move on. Don’t try to touch the bird; instead, put your hand inside the cage. Make sure your parakeet understands that your hand poses no danger.
Utilizing a tiny wooden perch or dowel is the next step. Directly in front of the bird, hold it within the cage. Say “Step Up” with assurance, and make sure to say it again each time you want your parakeet to react.
Because of the repetition, your bird will come to comprehend the words as a command. To get the budgie onto the perch, provide some millet.
Always reward them with a treat and give them praise when they take the initiative. You may relocate them to a different perch in their cage and eventually remove them while they are perched inside. Hold an extended finger next to the perch over time, and your bird will ultimately perch both on your finger and the dowel.
Why doesn’t negative reinforcement work?
It’s important to keep in mind that punishment does not work effectively while training parakeets. Negative reinforcement, or educating by punishing errors, is never a good idea! This is due to a number of factors.
For instance, if you scream at your parakeet when it misbehaves, it can interpret this as a reward. You are, after all, attracting their attention, and parrots enjoy noise. Your bird can begin to associate its cage with being bad if you put it back there every time it annoys you.
If you discipline the bird more severely, it will get traumatized and perhaps become more difficult to handle.
Positive reinforcement at the Psittacology headquarters allowed our two budgies to transform from fearful creatures that would only feed from your hand to cheerful, comfortable creatures who will come when called and have even learnt to leap through a little hoop!
Teaching a Parakeet to Step Up and Off
After you’ve worked on hand taming, the first habit you’ll want to teach your pet is to step up. If they are sufficiently hand-trained, you can teach them to climb up onto your finger, but if they are unwilling to be handled, a wooden perch can be used instead.
Bring your pet’s cage into a small room where you can seal the door and control it more readily to do this training. A millet spray should always be available to use as a reward.
Training a Bird to Stand Up
To teach your pet that the millet is a good treat, let them bite on some of it.
Gently and slowly insert your index finger into their cage.
As you say “step up,” softly press it on the lower area of their abdomen. Because they instinctively prefer to perch on the highest spot possible, most birds automatically rise to the surface.
Give your parakeet a bite of millet and gently compliment them when they perch on your finger.
By placing your second index finger in front of and slightly higher than the finger your pet is now perched on, you may get in some rapid repetitions by asking them to step up once more.
As long as your pet doesn’t appear unduly anxious, repeat this technique a few more times. Give them some time to recover if he does, then start training again. Stepping up will become second nature to them with practice.
Tips for Training Parakeets
Plan to spend around 10 minutes at a time working with your parakeet once every day. At first, your pet might not sit on your finger for more than a few seconds, but with further training sessions—especially if he receives a millet reward—they will become more accustomed to being close to you.
If he does fly off your finger, use the millet to reinforce the idea that staying near to you is always a good idea to get them to step back on.
How Do I Train My Parakeet to Talk?
Additionally, this method needs patience and time. It’s crucial to conduct speaking classes at the right time and place. Your bird shouldn’t be worn out or distracted by household activity.
You should begin by repeating one word once your parakeet feels at ease around you. Although it can be used in a sentence, your bird should learn one consistent word.
Your parakeet is likely to utter its first words in a rapid, quiet voice at this stage, so you need to be paying attention. As kids gain knowledge, they could begin to employ these terms on their own.
move on to basic sentences and phrases. Talk to your bird normally while you are not really teaching it. Simply speak to it as you go about, acting as though it could comprehend what you are saying. This will help it become more accustomed to hearing human voice in daily life.
Because parakeets like high-pitched noises and music, ladies and kids may find it simpler to train them to converse. Although not all parakeets will communicate, some may develop large vocabularyes. Males are also more prone than females to talk than non-males.
Training Your Parakeet to Come to You
One of the most crucial trainings is teaching your parakeet to return to you when called, commonly known as recall training. This is especially true if you allow your bird to spend time outside of his cage in a secure setting. The step-up training is a foundation for this training.
Ask your keet to “step up” by placing a millet treat on their lower body and gently pressing it there. Give them some millet spray right away as a treat, and then tell them to “step off” to go back to their perch.
Next, put a small amount of space—about four inches—between your finger and the perch. Then, like in the video demonstration below, ask your pet to “come” or “fly to me” while maintaining careful control of the millet spray with your other hand.
Repeat the term or phrase softly every few seconds until your pet jumps the brief distance to your palm. Then, praise them softly and give them a bit more millet as a treat. Continue practicing at this close range until your keet responds to your commands to come right away.
With each successful training session, gradually extend the distance until your bird will approach you from any location in the room.
Considerations Regarding Training Parakeets
For parakeets, quiet is a sign that possible predators could be close. It is recommended to always use a quiet voice while speaking to your birds and let them know before reaching inside their cage.
Never hit or shout at your birds. They will react much more favorably to affection and encouragement. Additionally, Parakeetplace.org advises against making frequent eye contact since your bird can interpret this as a threat.
When in a flock, parakeets who have been trained to imitate human speech when in a small group sometimes return to speaking solely parakeet.
If you have invested a lot of effort in training your bird, you could be frustrated by this development. A more positive perspective would be that your bird still interacts with you while recovering some of its wild and instinctual behavior.