Parakeets are formally known as budgie or budgerigar and are often called Shell Parakeets. They are the most popular pet parrot species across the world.  These are common birds found in pet shops in green and blue colors. In Latin, they are known by their scientific name Melopsittacus undulates, meaning “songbird with wavy lines,” a perfect description of Parakeets who love music.

They are medium-sized birds with a size range of 6 to 7 inches. They have a beak with a black tip and a few black wavy strips on their feathers. A cere on the top of their beak differentiates between male and female parakeets—female parakeets have beige or pink cere, and the former has blue.

Parakeets are native to Australian grasslands, where they are found in large flocks. They mainly breed in the rainy season because food and water are plentiful. They are perfect gifts for kids and people who love to wake up to the chirping of birds.

Parakeet Training

A parakeet is ready to be a pet when it is 8 – 9 weeks old. But in the beginning, it will behave as if it is in the wild—not responding to commands, foraging for its food, etc. But many keepers will be interested in knowing how to train a parakeet to play with them and be comfortable in their home environment.

Parakeets are one of the most intelligent birds and can be easily trained with consistency and patience. Where some parakeet keepers are interested in parakeet training so that their little birdies don’t bite them, others want to hand-train them, yet others will be interested in training parakeets to talk.

But training a bird takes a little time. It may not respond to your activities initially, but it starts to follow your actions and words after a while. It is easy to train a parakeet when it’s a baby. Parakeets aged below 16 – 18 weeks are considered baby parakeets and have no trouble adjusting to humans.

So the question that arises is, how to train a parakeet? A few simple steps can help you train a parakeet.

How to Train a Parakeet?

Training a parakeet is can be a fun activity if you can be patient and consistent. If you want parakeet training to be fruitful, you need to keep in mind that it would take plenty of time—rushing things would be counterproductive. If you have brought home a new budgie, here is a step-by-step guide on how to train a parakeet.

Let the Parakeet Get Comfortable With Its Cage

Start by taking your bird home; let it explore its cage to get accustomed to the new habitat. You should give your budgie around 2 weeks to settle in their new environment. Most novice parakeet owners make the mistake of putting their parakeet’s cage in a room where it is quiet and has little to no activity. We advise you not to make this grave mistake as parakeets get anxious when being left alone for a long time. In the wild, they live in flocks and would expect a little company in your home too.  

Don’t Place your Parakeet in a Dark and Quiet Place!

Place your parakeet in a room with good light. If possible, you should place your birdie’s cage in a pretty busy room. Having family members around most of the time would make the parakeet think of you and other family members as friends and not a threat.

You should make sure that the cage is filled with interesting toys for parakeets. This would make sure that the parakeet doesn’t get bored. During this stage, your parakeet would explore its cage—finding the food and water dish and exploring toys in the cage.

Start Interacting With the Parakeet Without Touching

When the parakeet has settled in and is fully comfortable with you being around, you can begin talking to your birdie. You should keep it as comfortable as possible, as you don’t want this to be too overwhelming and anxious for your bird friend.

Don’t Make Eye Contact!

While talking to your parakeet at this stage, make sure you don’t make eye contact with it, as it might make him perceive you as a threat—a predator.

Get Your Parakeet Comfortable With Your Hand First Outside and Then Inside the Cage

Now that your parakeet is comfortable with your communicating with them, you can start moving your finger close to the cage while talking to the parakeet. This will make you think of your hand as non-threatening. You can offer treats like blueberries to your parakeet with your hand from outside the cage.

When your parakeet gets pretty comfortable with your finger being close to the cage, it’s time to get your finger inside the cage. During this time, you should neither touch your parakeet nor anything else in the cage. You can carry your parakeet’s favorite treat, strawberries for example, in your hand and move it closer to your birdie. Wait for it to make the first move and start eating from your hand.

Once your parakeet seems pretty comfortable with your hand, you can gently nudge your parakeet’s chest—this will be its cue to step on your finger.

Don’t Jab Your Parakeet too Hard!

Gently nudge your parakeet on its chest. Make sure that you don’t jab it too hard. Otherwise, it will make your parakeet think of your finger as a threat.  

Get the Parakeet Out of the Cage While It’s Perched on Your Finger

When your parakeet is comfortable with your hand close to it, you should expect it to perch on your finger. At first few attempts, your parakeet might get anxious and fly away. So you would have to be patient; you cannot force your parakeet to sit on your finger. After a few attempts, it will understand what you want from it. You would just have to be patient until your budgie understands what you expect it to do.  

Now you should slowly and smoothly get the parakeet out of the cage while perching on your finger. After coming out of the cage, your parakeet may fly away, observing the change in environment.

If required, trim its wings to prevent it from flying, but worry not about the wings, they will grow again sooner. Especially if you are taking your pet in an outer environment, trimming wings will not let them fly high, beyond your reach.

Once the parakeet comfortably sits on your finger and does not fly away on coming out of the cage, you can start taking your budgie to unfamiliar rooms, i.e., the bathroom. At first, your budgie might fly away on observing a change in surroundings, but it will soon get comfortable and will keep sitting on your hand even if you move around from one room to another.

Don’t Chase Your Budgie if It Flies Away!

If you are in a closed room and your budgies fly away as you get them out of the cage while perching on your finger, you should not chase them. Instead, you should wait for them to come to you or return to their cage. You can also try to lure them with their favorite treats.

Getting Parakeet to Move From One Finger to Another

When it starts sitting on your finger or wooden perch, put another perch or finger onto its tummy and keep on saying “up, up.” Keep on repeating that word until it puts its feet on the other finger or perch. Once done, repeat on putting next perch or finger and continue making ladder up motion.

Once it gets settled on the next finger/perch without flying away, appreciate the birdie with affectionate gestures, head rubs, high-pitch appreciation words, and treats. It doesn’t understand your sentences but can comprehend the gesture and would try to do better—happy parakeet shows some particular body language like sitting up straight, happy tail wig, and fluff feathers.

Try to keep these activities brief and short. Parakeets are sleepy birds; too much exercise can lead to lousy mode and eventually develop biting habits.

As they say, repetition is the key to success. Keep on repeating this exercise for 1 – 2 weeks until it recognizes your hands and doesn’t hesitate to get out of the cage while perched upon your hand.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

How to Stop a Parakeet from Biting?

Birds usually bite when they are afraid, tired, anxious, or jealous. First, try to figure out what is making your bird bite. If it bites you, don’t pull your hand away quickly or start shouting; instead, stay put and calm, try to rub their heads and speak gently to tell it “not to bite.” After a few times, once you refrain from moving your hand away when it bites, it will stop biting.  

To thoroughly train the parakeet to stop biting, try to provide it with enough toys. Also, maintain its sleep schedule; some birds get aggressive and start biting when they don’t have enough sleep.

Parakeets are calm birds; they like a peaceful environment. They love to learn and get trained, but they will never understand or respond to harsh and threatening tones. Be patient and kind with them during the whole training process.

How to Teach Your Parakeet to Like You?

Once parakeets start understanding your tone, they will begin reacting to it. Sometimes, they even try to copy the tone of your words. If you and your parakeet have gone through the above-discussed training steps, probably your little birdie already like—love—you.  

Getting Your Parakeet to Love You!

Keep on praising it or talk to them in a soothing voiceTake them out of their cage for flying and other fun activitiesProvide them interesting toys to kill boredomKeep your parakeet’s cage clean Feed them nutritious food, fresh fruits, and veggiesTry to pet them—give them head rubs and belly rubsGive them treats—loads of treats.

To build a bond with it, feed it while it’s resting on your hand. Once it starts eating on your hand, it will eventually learn to trust you. Next, engage it in different activities like sitting on your hand and shoulders while eating and playing with other toys. It will make your pet like and recognize you.

How to Teach Parakeets to Talk?

Training a parakeet to talk is a time-intensive process. Once your parakeet gets comfortable and starts liking you, get it involved in what you do; while moving around it, start talking to it like it understands what you are saying. Keep on repeating the same word in front of it until it starts mimicking the sound of the word. Nod to its responses if it does it right.

If not, keep on repeating the exact words unless it picks and starts copying them.  Also, try to associate words with the situations, such as whenever opening the cage, you can ask, “want to come out?” Similarly, while giving it something to eat, say, “are you hungry?”  And so on. With time, your parakeet will learn to mimic these words.

How to Train a Parakeet

Parakeets like music, tunes, and high-pitched sounds and usually respond well to them—therefore, women and kids can easily train them. Parakeets are loud birds and will try to communicate with you in a loving voice.

It is generally thought that male parakeets are more likely to be trained for talking than females. More so, there are many types of parakeets, while some are more trainable, training others may be a more cumbersome task. But there are equal chances for both of them to speak if the bird is trained at an early age. That said, not all the budgies learn to talk. In contrast, few can go as far as learning an extensive vocabulary.

Parakeets are friendly birds, easy to be tamed and trained. Give them time, attention, and build your trust with them. Keep appreciating them in high-pitched sounds and give them some reward food or toys after they successfully follow your command or come closer to following them. Get them a cage that is comfortable for them. It is known that if a bird is comfortable in an environment, it is easy to train them.

So, how to train a parakeet? Hope you now know the answer.

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