A variety of fun tricks can be taught to parakeets. This training helps to fulfill their social needs and it also makes them more bonded with their owners. Start by teaching your parakeet to step up onto a finger or perch while saying the command of your choice (‘step up!’). Use millet as the reward.
Parakeets respond well to positive reinforcement, so don’t punish them if they make a mistake. This will only discourage them and they might start to see their cage as a negative thing. Instead, focus on the good behaviors they do perform and reward them with lots of attention. This will make them much more willing to try new things, even tricks!
One of the most basic and useful tricks that all pet birds can learn is to step up onto a finger or perch. This is known as hand training, and it can help build trust between you and your parrot. It’s important to start this training early on, because the more comfortable your bird is with you holding it, the easier it will be for them to do advanced tricks.
Begin by simply putting your hand in front of the bird and telling it to step up. As soon as they do, give them a treat. Do this several times a day until the bird gets used to stepping up onto your finger.
Once your bird is accustomed to stepping up onto you, you can begin to train them to do this with other objects. For example, if you have some millet on your hand and you tell the bird to step up, they will naturally do so. However, if you also say a phrase such as “step off” while you are doing this, the bird will learn to associate the words with the action and will be more easily trained to react to them in future.
Once your bird has mastered perching on your finger and is comfortable with you handling it, try training it to do more advanced tricks. These don’t necessarily require hand taming but are ways to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Begin this trick by offering your budgie a millet treat and talking to it while it perches on your finger. Then slowly lift your index finger and tell it to step up on it. It may not step up as quickly as it does on a perch but, with repeated training, your parakeet will associate stepping onto your finger with a reward.
Once it has learned to step up, try other auditory commands. For instance, you can train your parakeet to walk up to a finger when you say the command, “step up!” You can also use this method for training a bird to retrieve objects, play dead or simply come here.
Keep in mind that these tricks require frequent repetition and short training sessions. If a session is too long or stressful, it will discourage your parakeet from continuing to learn. Offer praise and rewards to reinforce good behavior but do not punish mistakes as it will only confuse and possibly scare your pet. In addition to treats, you can also encourage your bird by giving it attention and playing with it outside of its cage.
Many pet parakeet owners like to teach their bird tricks as they are fun and give the bird something to do that it might not get enough of in its cage. Moreover, these training activities can help the pet to learn new things that can make its life at home easier.
For example, if you have trained your parakeet to step up on your finger, you can then use this to get it to come flying out of its cage. For this trick you will need to start when your bird is feeling relaxed and comfortable. Attempting to grab it when it is anxious or upset will only scare it and make it more reluctant to come out again.
Begin by putting your hand into the cage and offering the pet some millet. This should be done at a time when the pet is not too hungry as it will then be more willing to approach your hand. After a few sessions, the parakeet will become accustomed to your presence and won’t be so frightened of it.
You can also train your parakeet to climb ladders outside of the cage by holding it on your finger and presenting some millet on the foot of the ladder. Repeat this process over a few sessions and eventually your parakeet should be able to climb the ladders on its own without the need for a finger or a word cue.
Parakeets are social birds that enjoy being around humans. If you train them to be comfortable with hand-held interaction, they’ll be able to form more successful human bonds and accept change as they grow into adults. Socialization is accomplished by giving your bird safe opportunities for experiential learning that are appropriate to their stage of development and through nurturing guidance. Exposure to a variety of foods, toys, environments, people and other birds is essential.
Training a parakeet to step up on your finger is an excellent way to help the bird become accustomed to your presence. Begin by letting the budgie sit on your forefinger while you talk to him. Once he becomes familiar with this, offer him a nibble of millet and start the process over again. Repeat this process until the budgie is comfortable sitting on your finger. Once he is at ease, slowly shift him to your shoulder, being careful not to move too quickly so that he flies away and hurts himself.
Talk to your budgie as often as possible, using moderate voice levels and a normal speaking tone. This will get the bird used to hearing your voice and allow it to recognize you as a reliable source of food and water. Once the budgie understands your first word, try to only repeat it for a few seconds at a time and do not move onto another word until it has learned the first expression well.