Training: teaching your bird tricks
Training or rather how to teach your bird tricks
To train a bird, it must first be tamed. However, before you start you need to establish a relationship of trust with this feather ball (the bird is not afraid of you, accepts to eat from your hand, likes to play with you…).
Once trust is established between the two of you, the training sessions can begin. I advise you to do short sessions of 10 to 15 minutes, two to three times a day depending on the envy of your protégé. If the bird is not receptive or/and refuses to carry out your commands, do not force it and stop the exercise. It is important that these times are good times for him and that he stays on a positive note after each session.
Understanding your bird
Parakeets and parrots are very intelligent and sense our emotions and moods. So it is very important to show your enthusiasm and congratulate him (well done; very well;…) when he applies and succeeds your orders. This will encourage him and make him proud of him as much as you.
Another important point, in order for your bird to carry out your commands, you must bait it. To do this, you will need to know your favorite treat. My conure prefers sunflower seeds, so I use these seeds for my exercises. But in moderation. I remove these sunflower seeds from his mixture and I put them in a small box to take them out during the training sessions. Above all, make sure that the treat you are going to use while exercising is not harmful to your bird’s health.
For every action you ask him to do, always use the same word. This word should be combined with a wave of your hand. At first, the bird will integrate the gesture into the command, then with time and a lot of exercises, you just have to say the word without the gesture.
You can also apply the ” Clicker Training ” method that I explain here, for the same exercises.
Examples of easy tours
- Raise “up” and descend “down” with your hand:
It is a question of saying the word “up” for example when taking the bird. As soon as the bird gets on the hand, the behavior is rewarded. The bird will quickly learn that when he hears the word “up” combined with the presence of a hand in front of him, that he must climb on the hand to have his reward. Over time, it will no longer be necessary to give treats. The same is true for the “down” command.
Once the “up” and “down” commands have been acquired by your bird, the recall exercise can begin: “Teach your bird to recall”.
- Paw lift:
To lift it off the paw, try lifting its paw with your fingers and then give it its reward after saying the word you want to associate with this command. Repeat this several times. For the gestures, I use my index finger that I move up and down, saying “give me the paw”.
More advanced tours
For the flip, just put it on your finger and then turn your hand. The bird will hang on the finger with its back down. Then use the other hand to support his back to complete the rotation movement of the first hand (especially do not forget his treat). Finally? put it back on the finger and with the other hand hold its treat in front of it and do the spinning motion trying to make it follow you.
- Roulade or Roll:
Enjoy a moment of cuddling and play with your bird. On a flat surface, take it in your hand and make it do its full roll while saying “roll” (or whatever word you want to associate with this command).
Then congratulate your champion (even if he did nothing and you initiated the action). Repeat the action several times in a row.
Then, gradually, stop rolling it completely until you only have to push it gently with the butt of your fingers to encourage it to go. Then you help it at the end to make its rotation.
- Eagle or the raising of the wings :
For the wings, I started by stroking her under the wings, then little by little, she lifted these wings, and there I started the rewards.
- Positive reinforcement : associating a reward with a good deed.
- The game, because at the time of the games with the bird, he can do tricks himself without asking him, it is at this moment that he must be rewarded, it will make him want to start over to have his treat.