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Taming Parrots - Creating a Bond With Your Bird

Updated on June 18, 2012
An African Grey Parrot
An African Grey Parrot

It Can Go Either Way

Keeping parrots as pets can be truly wonderful or truly just a nightmare. It all depends on how you bond with them. Taming parrots can be a handful but the rewards are tremendous. Once your bird trusts you the possibilities are virtually endless. They can be trained to do most anything, say almost everything, and be a great companion for years to come. In my experience I have found that the first few steps are the hardest, but as your parrot opens up to you training starts to go smoother and extremely fast. So the main problem is the first steps, and not getting stuck on them. Sure parrots are fun to look at but handling them is a whole new level of awesomeness. So if you are still on those first steps try not to go to fast. Just slow down and enjoy the ride to a tame parrot.

First Thing First

Taming parrots is all about trust. If the parrot does not trust you then all the seeds and treats in the world is not gonna make it allow you to handle it. Which brings me to another good point. Food is a great way to build trust. Simply feeding your parrot at the same time each day lets it get comfortable with the schedule. Lets say you feed your parrot the same time after dinner for a month or two. He then gets comfortable when you come to the cage at that time and knows your intentions are to give him/her food, not to hurt it. Once he builds that trust it should slowly start to open up to you, and be a lot more comfortable around you. In the case of my parrot, that's how I was first able to pet him. At meal time.

Talk To Your Bird

It might not seem sane to others, but when you talk to your bird it really comforts them. I think that's because it implies that you are not their enemy, but their friend. As you feed it, just talk about your day to day activities for a couple of minutes. You can also just plan a time a day when you talk to it, like just as you wake up. At these times of conversation don't try to touch it, causing fear, unless you know for sure it is comfortable with you touching it. Remember, schedule is everything for parrots, so try to talk to them the same time every day. Once they get comfortable with your voice, it can be used to calm them down during training. Always tell them that they are a "Good boy/girl" and never negatively speak to them. Positive interaction is everything, and if they do something negative simply ignore it. If it keeps happening just walk away.

Starting To Train

Once you are confident your parrot has a bond with you, try to get it to step up onto your finger or arm. It will most likely take a lot of trials but they should catch on relatively fast. If it tries it bite or squawk ignore it at first. If it keeps occurring over and over again just stop, close the door, and try again the same time the next day. After you finally get a few successful step ups congrats, you now have something solid to work with. Create a period of the day when you just go and handle the parrot. Hey, I never said taming parrots was easy so if there is a day or to when they are moody and don't want to play, then just leave them be. Eventually trust should continue to climb until finally you should be able to scratch your birds head and stroke his body. Just remember not to touch the bird to early in taming or he will lose trust in you. You will have a lot of time to to make a quality bond with your parrot, so don't jeopardize that by scaring him.

In Conclusion

Make sure to regularly clean your birds cage. Trust me, taming parrots is much easier if you are trying to do so in a clean environment. Every bird will be insecure about their owner at the beginning, but every bird has the potential to grow trained. If things start to go wrong during the process, always remember time is your best friend. Don't try to advance on your bird to quickly. Congrats on taking the first steps on your journey, and may you get through them fast so you can truly appreciate handling your parrot!

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