Do you have a bird, but does it get scared and panicky every time you approach? As with dogs, you need to build a relationship based on trust before you can positively interact with that animal. This article will give you tips on how to get the bird used to your presence, how to train it to go places you determine and even to speak.
Method 1 of 4: Getting the bird used to your presence
Step 1. Get the bird used to you
You don't want him to see you as a threat; therefore, always approach slowly and calmly, making noise (if necessary) so that the animal knows what is coming. Never surprise the bird – this will slow down the process of getting it to trust you. Use something that “clicks” like a pen to train the bird to associate rewards with these sounds.
- Just like people, individual birds come to trust you at different speeds. Don't force the animal to accept your presence in less time than it needs to. This will only hamper the process.
- Start at a point that is out of the bird's field of vision – perhaps a different room.
- Approach the cage slowly and calmly until the bird becomes apprehensive.
- When he starts acting like he's scared, stop approaching him. Don't go back; just stay still. Wait until the bird calms down.
- When she calms down, reward her by making the click. Then turn around and leave. By removing stress stimuli you are rewarding the bird and associating the clicking sound with that reward.
- Do this twice daily. Be sure to use this technique for long periods of time – the bird may get used to its absence.
- Try to reduce the distance between you and the cage each day; however, don't overdo it.
- In due course and with due practice, the bird will eventually let you approach the cage.
Step 2. Adapt the bird to your hand
When you put your hand in the cage to remove the bird, the animal can be scared if not trained – and do everything to stay away from you. The best thing to do to train him is to get him used to the presence of your hand in the cage – his home, the safest place for him. Practice helping the bird get used to your hand a few times a day for at least a week before advancing.
- Open the cage door, making sure the animal cannot escape.
- Calmly insert your hand into the object.
- Rotate your hand from side to side so that the bird gets used to the movement.
- Move your hand slowly around the cage, giving the bird enough time to back away.
- Never use sudden or sudden movements – they can upset the animal. You want to try to convince him that your hand's presence is harmless.
- Try wearing glittery rings that catch the bird's attention and keep it focused on you in a positive way.
Step 3. Feed the bird by hand
During training, it is very important to build a trusting relationship. A good way to do this is to hand-feed the animal; then he will begin to associate you with positive rewards.
- Remove the feed tray from the cage.
- Choose a treat that the bird can only receive from you (in this case, you will not leave it on the tray). Search for nice items for your bird's breed; for example: parrots like seeds, nuts, nuts and the like.
- Open the cage door and insert your hand into the frame.
- Leave your hand completely still and wait to see if the bird approaches and takes the treat from you.
- It may be necessary to wait several days before the animal trusts you to the point of feeding from your hand. Be patient!
Step 4. Get the bird used to your voice
He must know that his voice is not a threat and can be trusted. At first, always keep your tone low and gentle when talking to the animal. Praise him when he reacts to something the way you want him to – for example, if he eats right out of your hand.
Method 2 of 4: Training the Bird with Targets
Step 1. Show the bird that the item that produces the clicks generates a reward
You used it to introduce the bird to such a reward and when you wanted to approach the cage. Now, you must teach him that the object he clicks can also benefit him in other contexts. He will probably need a few days to get used to this, so be patient and train with him every day.
- First, click the moment the bird takes the treat from your hand.
- When she gets used to doing this, click just before offering the pet the treat. This will train you to understand that this noise indicates a reward.
- First, when training the bird to perform certain tasks, use both click and mime. As time progresses, you can use noise alone to guide the bird and make it complete these tasks.
- Do not abandon the pampering until the bird reacts properly to the noise. Keep the association between them as a reward until you no longer need it.
- You can buy this item at pet supply stores or on the internet.
Step 2. Present the bird with a training stick
Don't let the bird confuse this object with the perch – you don't want it to rest on it; make sure it is thinner. Also, avoid sticks with paint, as you will have to encourage the animal to put its beak on the object (and you don't want it to ingest something poisonous). A wooden stick is a good option. Train the bird inside the cage by inserting the object into the structure.
- Most birds will be curious about these objects when you put them in the cage – and they'll investigate on their own.
- If not, don't force the stick. Keep it still until the animals are comfortable to explore it on their own.
- Hold the stick so the bird's beak is near the tip, not the middle of the object.
Step 3. Reward the bird with beak strokes
As soon as it touches the end of the stick, remove the object, click and treat it. Repeat this process until the bird understands that doing so generates a reward.
- Again: over time, you can switch the combination of mime and click object just for the noise.
- Don't let the bird chew the stick; he should just touch it with his beak.
- Wait until the animal is hungry for pampering if it doesn't adapt to stick training right away.
Step 4. Train the bird to move around the cage
When she learns that touching the pole with her beak generates a reward, use this object to encourage her to walk around different parts of the structure. Each time the animal follows the stick and touches its tip, remove the object, click it and reward the animal.
- Don't make the bird move in a “pattern” (left, right, left, right). Use random paths to make the animal actually follow the stick instead of predicting its next location.
- The bird will learn to follow the stick wherever it goes – first, using its paws; then flying.
Method 3 of 4: Teaching the bird to get on and off your hand
Step 1. Lure the bird towards your hand
Insert your finger into the cage and place it in front of the bird at an angle where it can climb – like a perch. Hold a treat in the other hand, which should be close, to get the animal's attention.
Step 2. Reward the bird when it climbs into your hand
You may need some time before the animal is comfortable to climb on your finger; so at first use the click and the mimes – just put them close by. When the animal gets comfortable, put your finger farther away from it and reward it for getting closer.
Step 3. Give the “up” command
The moment the bird finally climbs on your finger, say something like "up" or "up". Click and reward her with a treat.
Don't vary the commands – use the same phrase every time. Consistency is very important in these trainings
Step 4. Don't make sudden movements
If the bird explores your finger with its beak, don't panic trying to pull your hand away. If you have a certain level of trust in the animal it won't hurt you; even so, you should not approach the bird's hand until you have such a trusting relationship with it. Making sudden moves will scare the animal and ruin the relationship you've built.
Step 5. Teach the bird to descend
When the bird is comfortable climbing on your finger, teach it to descend. Use a treat to attract her. As soon as the animal leaves, say “down” or “down”, click and reward it with a treat.
- Instruct the bird to descend and land on a specific object (and varied between exercises).
- For example, use perches other than the cage. Have the bird land and lean on the base of the structure.
- If you are training her outside the cage, have her land in different places around the house.
Step 6. Remove the bird from the cage
You shouldn't do this unless your wings have been trimmed (which will prevent her from escaping). Trimming the animal's wings doesn't hurt it; it simply keeps it safe, preventing it from flying to inaccessible places. When the bird feels comfortable and climbs your finger inside the structure, you can slowly remove it.
- Give the bird the command to "climb", reward it and slowly remove your hand from the cage with the animal resting on your finger.
- Take him wherever you want and give him the command to "down".
- Enjoy the pet's company as it gets freer outside the cage.
Step 7. Return the bird to the cage when you are ready
Give her the "up" command so that it comes back to your finger. Place her in the cage and give the command to "down" next to a perch. Be sure to close the frame door securely.
Method 4 of 4: Teaching the Bird to Speak
Step 1. Determine if your bird species can speak
Not all birds speak; so, research your pet to find out. Parrots and parakeets are the main examples of talking birds in Brazil.
Remember that in some species, such as parakeets, males speak more than females
Step 2. Talk to the bird every day
Get her used to your voice from the moment you discover the cage in the morning. Build a verbal relationship with the animal; to do this, give him your constant verbal attention.
Step 3. At the beginning, teach the animal a single word
Choose a simple word – like the bird's name. Make sure the term in question is short and simple. Say it every time you treat the bird, pass by its cage, or otherwise interact with it. Birds learn through imitation; thus, expose your animal to the word whenever possible.
Many birds find it easier to pronounce the sounds of letters like B, D, K, P and T than other components of the alphabet
Step 4. Keep the bird's attention focused on you during training
After exposing her to the word, try to make her repeat it with you. If you have more than one bird, only train one at a time. Put him alone in a cage and cover three sides with a sheet; that way, the animal will be focused on you. Make sure there are no audible distractions such as other people's footsteps, the TV, or a radio.
- Speak clearly and slowly.
- Click and pat the bird immediately after it repeats the word.
Step 5. Introduce new words to the bird
After he learns the first one and is rewarded, he will be ready for new words. Teach him terms you use in interactions with other people – like “hello” and “bye”.
Step 6. Create a routine
After teaching the bird to say “good morning,” use this expression first thing in the morning. Birds are incredibly smart and your pet will soon learn to say “good morning” in the early hours of the day. Likewise, say “good night” before bed. Thus, you will develop an important communication with the bird.
- Make sure there are no loud noise sources nearby so as not to frighten the bird.
- Be patient. The process can take hours or even days. Make sure the bird knows you won't hurt it. Talk to her calmly while training her. Don't make any sudden movements or it may scare her.
- Place something the bird likes in the palm of the hand, such as a dry piece of pizza crust (no cheese or sauce).
- Do not try to do this while the bird is eating, sleeping, protecting an egg, etc.
- Don't lose your patience and hurt the bird! Neighbors or your friends can report you to the responsible authorities and you can be arrested.