Parrots are some of the most vibrant and colorful pet birds. If you’ve added a parrot to your aviary, or simply want a loving pet, these clever animals would make for an excellent choice. However, if you have not purchased or adopted an already tame bird, there’s a high chance of it displaying unwanted behaviors that may not be suitable, especially if you have kids around.
It doesn’t make sense to keep a bird that is unfriendly and unlikely to become a friend to your family. But fret not, because we have all of the information you could possibly need to master parrot taming!
Learning Parrot Taming
Training a bird might sound like an arduous task, but it really is not. One of the first things you need to tame a parrot is a healthy level of patience.
Remember, you’re attempting to build a healthy and loving relationship with a pet bird that will most likely become a member of your family. Given the lifespan of even smaller parrots, they’re likely to stick around. Patience and a positive attitude will take you a long way in your relationship with your parrot.
Here are some ways you can tame your precious feathered friends.
Help the Parrot Get Used to Your Home
You will have to remain vigilant and patient for the first couple of weeks. This is one of the most important stages of your pet bird acclimating to the activities, objects, and people in your house.
Try to surround your parrot with a lot of socialization and activity. Your parrot may become uncomfortable or irritable if too much time is spent in a cage.
Spend Time With Your Parrot
As a bird owner, one initial step of training includes spending quality time around your parrot. Simply go about your day or activities, so it knows you’re going to be sharing this space with it. Once the parrot seems comfortable, try coming closer to the cage.
One way to gauge the parrot’s level of comfort is to observe its body language. You don’t want it to be immobile upon its perch. This is a sign of discomfort, in addition to a ruffling of feathers each time you approach it. Don’t make any sudden movements because the bird will perceive it as a threat.
Here’s what you can do to help your parrot relax when spending time with it: engage in conversations. Many people underestimate the power of talking to their pets in soothing, gentle tones. Do it as often as you can to make it feel secure in your presence, especially as you move towards it.
You can also talk to the bird while helping it get used to your hand. Keep your hand still and in clear view of it. For store-bought pets, being touched or held without consent can be a frightening experience.
Once it’s comfortable, gently place your hand inside the cage without making eye contact because it suggests predatory behavior. This is a useful technique for changing the parrot’s food. Don’t forget to keep talking!
Use Positive Reinforcement
Here’s something you should know: birds will never respond to any kind of negative behavior or stimulus. If you want a pliant, friendly bird, always use positive rather than negative reinforcement. A parrot is an animal, not a human. It cannot understand any form of punishment. Hitting, yelling, or hurting the parrot will ruin its relationship with you.
The key to taming your parrot is to offer a reward for behavior you’d like repeated and ignore unwanted behaviors. Parrots are huge fans of treats! You can get them to do almost anything for treats. Other rewards can include attention, playtime, and even treats.
You can offer treats and food by initially sticking them through the cage bars. Once the parrot is more comfortable with you, offer them by placing your hands inside the cage. It will build a positive association with your hands.
Use Clicker and Target Practice
You can have quite a bit of fun training your parrot once it’s comfortable with you. Help the bird learn by association.
Use a clicker to help it understand when treats will be offered. Offering treats after a click will quickly condition parrots to listen for the click. Clickers are an excellent parrot taming asset.
Next, use target practice. Once you’ve selected a target, such as a pencil, bring it closer to the parrot. The parrot will most likely touch it, after which you can make a clicking sound and offer a treat. This will entice it into touching other objects that you point to the target.
The underlying premise of this exercise is to help the parrot understand that touching desired objects leads to rewards.
Using the same methods, you can eventually get your parrot used to being touched. Remember, it takes patience and significant training to reach this stage, so don’t be disheartened if you can’t see immediate results and make mistakes.
Use the clicker first to help tap or stroke its beak and move on to the rest of its body.
What to Do if My Parrot Bites Me?
Always remain calm, and never try to physically abuse the parrot. Curl your fingers toward your palms, and remove them from the parrot’s reach. However, don’t make any sudden movements, or flinch. Lower your hand and attempt a stern, verbal rebuke.
Parrots usually bite out of aggression, fear, and in some cases, just for people to leave them alone. The latter is true of store bought birds that are used to people invading their space. It is best to gauge the optimal solution by reading your parrot’s body language.
Training a parrot can be a fun and rewarding experience if done right. Remember to exercise patience, always be ready to offer treats, be in tune with the bird’s body language, and spend time with these beloved birds if you want their training to be fruitful.
Sooner or later, you’ll have a loving and cuddly bird on your hands! You’ll now be able to master parrot taming.