Parakeets are cute, inquisitive little birds who enjoy attention and praise. If you would like to tame your feathered friend and teach her a few tricks, you first have to earn her trust. With time and patience, she will look forward to spending time playing with you.
Wash and dry your hands and pour a small amount of birdseed into your palm. Say her name in a cheery voice and offer her the seed. It may take her a few days to accept your offering, but once she does, this is a positive step toward gaining her trust. After this is accomplished, begin trying to get her to perch on your finger. Start by making a fist with your thumb facing up and your index finger pointing outward. Place your hand into the parakeet’s cage and gently rest it inside to allow her to grow accustomed to it being close.
Begin nudging her claws with your perched finger after she seems comfortable with the presence of your hand. This will encourage her to learn her first and most important trick: stepping onto your finger. Say "step up" as you coax her. After she willingly hops onto your finger, you can gradually take her out of her cage while she is perched on your finger. Offer her a favorite treat when she complies.
Watch your parakeet to learn what she likes to do while playing. For example, if she has a toy that she likes to move around her cage, take the toy out of the cage and teach her to fetch it. To begin, offer her your perched finger and take her out of the cage. While sitting at a table or on the floor, take the toy and toss it a short distance while repeating a phrase such as “get it, girl.” When she is successful, offer her lots of praise and a treat.
Hold her favorite treat in front of her face, but out of her reach. Move the treat up and down to get her to nod her head. Say her name and ask, "Do you want this?” As she nods her head in the “yes” motion, reward her with the treat and verbally praise her cooperation. Over time, simply ask her to “say yes.” If she nods her head, reward her success. You can also use this method to teach her to shake her head “no.”
- Fifteen minutes of interaction each day is a good start, but the more time you spend with her, the tamer she will become.
- When teaching your parakeet a trick, don't work more than 10 minutes at a time.
- Patience is vital. Remember that every parakeet is different; what comes naturally to one may not interest another.
- Consider having her wings clipped by a veterinarian to ensure optimal safety while she is out of her cage.
- When allowing your bird out of her cage, always make certain the room is bird friendly by closing all curtains and closing doors.
- Too many food treats are not good for her health; also offer toys and praise.
Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004. She wrote a true-crime book published in 2010 and has two more underway. She also has a strong background in business, education and farm living. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.