Taming Pet Birds

Author: Rob Marshall – Avian Vet – www.birdhealth.com.au

Taming is all about trust.

As your bird becomes to trust you more and more he will sit comfortably on your finger, hand or shoulder in preference to almost anywhere else and will want to play with you.

At this time extend the areas of touch from the top of his head to the back of the neck, to the face, under the wings, down the back and then the feet.

Repeatedly handling and fondling builds up an attachment which then allows you to teach him tricks and so on.

Your bird will talk to you and expect you to talk back.

You’ll learn that most pet birds have the ability to communicate better than you imagine.

Words, however, won’t be enough to tame your bird for when it comes to affection they prefer to participate in a physical fashion.

They love to touch and be touched in a gentle way. Relating to birds then is through words and action.

The rules of taming the new bird are simple.

Your new bird must have clipped wings. A cage with a large door. This allows you to easily remove your bird from the cage. A quiet time with subdued lighting. Talk in a calming soothing manner. “I want to be your friend, please like me. ”Move slowly.When your bird first flies to the floor pick it up with cupped hands. Be gentle and slow so that the whole experience is pleasant and reaffirming. Do not hold the bird tightly. At the next occurrence he won’t mind being caught, because your hands have come to mean sanctuary to him.

Wing clipping is a painless procedure.

Wing clipping is a painless procedure that makes the confinement in the home a safer place for the larger parrots.

It is also used in the new bird as part of the taming and training process.

The main flight feathers are clipped and when performed properly there should be no bleeding or discomfort experienced.

Wing clipping accelerated the taming process in both the young and older bird.

Smaller pet birds are only wing clipped as young birds and left to grow their flight feathers out with the first juvenile moult.

The smaller birds are less likely to damage themselves in the restricted space of the home compared to the larger parrots.

Wing clipping promotes the taming process, protects the new flying bird from crash landings and provides the best opportunity for the initial taming and training processes.

Both wings are clipped so that the bird has more control when flying to the ground.

The wing clipping gives the bird enough lift to float comfortably to the ground. At first, try to prevent the young bird from crash landing on hard ground (e.g. the kitchen floor).

Instead keep on carpeted and soft “fall” areas. This helps prevent serious keel and bottom injuries.

After wing clipping the training process is easy and takes very little time.

Simply replace the bird on your shoulder or hand or arm or on the cage or inside the cage whenever it flies away from you.

Each time it escapes from you, gently pick up the bird with cupped hands.

Never let the bird wander on the ground at any time. This training method teaches your bird very quickly that the cage and you are “safe” zones. By the time it is fully trained, its new flight feathers have grown back, giving it full freedom of the home.

At this time your bird will fly around the house but not land on anything except you or the cage.

This system gives your pet bird the freedom of flight that promotes the fitness and mental well being for continuing good health.

After training, the next step is talking.

The natural ability of the bird to imitate speech and sounds can be enhanced by spending time talking, whistling and singing to the young pet bird.

The more you talk to your bird the more quickly it will learn to talk.

Start by repeating its name clearly at feed times (in the morning and in the afternoon). The short span of concentration of the young birds means that the talking lessons are very short (2 to 5 minutes).

Choose pet names with “ee” sounds separated by a harsh consonant. For example, Peter.

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2 thoughts on “Taming Pet Birds”

    • Please do not try to ‘tame’…
      Please do not try to ‘tame’ wild birds or animals – they have highly complex dietary requirements and taking them out of their environment can deprive them of certain stimuli and may very well cause them stress, putting them off their feeding, causing loneliness from being unable to breed or interact with their flock and other deprivations treatment. This may lead to severe depression and the bird may ultimately die.

      Kea do best in an aviary from experience, I don’t think it would be fair to cage a kea, they really use quite a bit of space. They would need an indoor shelter, however, they’re extremely hardy from both cold or heat, again provided they have shelter.

      They’re loud birds, I would put a kea call on the same noise level as an angry male eclectus. However, they’re one of the most shrill birds I’ve worked with despite their size. It is a very high pitched, ear piercing noise by bird standards. Therefore their calls and whistles are much worse than the eclectus.

      They need a LOT of mental stimulation as they’re one of the most intelligent parrots and are prone to plucking as any macaw or cockatoo. I would say a pair is a better bet than a single individual by a long shot, as they’ll keep each other company.

      Although they’re very fond of people and would almost certainly enjoy being handled, their beaks are much more dangerous than that of other large parrots due to the very large, sharp as a boxcutter knife hook. One could probably train one to be handleable from a young age, but this bird is something you’d need LOTS of experience to keep.

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