Getting chatty with your pet bird

Have you always dreamt of teaching your pet bird to talk? Not only can this be a fun way to bond, it also makes for a great party trick! However, just because you may be able to teach them to talk, pet bird aren’t for everyone – these intelligent birds require a lot of attention, and can live for decades, so please do not buy one solely for the gimmick of a talking pet.

If you have a pet bird for all the right reasons, our handy guide may help you teach them their first words!

Firstly before you start any form of training you should check that your bird is in fact a breed that can speak. There is very little point in trying to teach a bird to talk if it will just chirp back at you. Some of the bird species that can learn include: Amazonian Parrots, Indian Ringneck, Quaker Parrot, Eclectus, Hill Myna, African Grey, Cockatiel, Cockatoo, Budgerigar and the Monk Parakeet.

Birds that can speak are particularly social animals and often require a large amount of attention in order to build up trust with you. This can be helped along by regularly speaking to your bird in gentle tones to get them use to your voice. Like many other animals, keeping your bonding sessions short and sweet, and at regular intervals should help with training.

When you start trying to train words, start simple! Begin with words such as hello or howdy and say them frequently. You could also try to teach expressions your bird is likely to hear often from you and other people.

If your bird starts to imitate tones or parts of words, reward them! It is important to encourage behaviour that approximates speech, as your feathered friend will start to pick up that speaking is something they should continue to develop in order to receive a treat. That said, make sure you increase the difficulty of the words you attempt to teach your bird as they start picking them up. Birds that can speak are very intelligent and will need to be challenged in order to keep them interested in learning. Holding your bird in front of your month when training will ensure that you have the bird’s full attention.

Repeating a word or phase every time you perform an action will also help them associate a certain act with the word you are trying to get them to learn. For example, when you feed your bird, repeating the word food will help them associate that word with being fed. Therefore every time he is hungry, he will think of being fed and therefore think of the word food – which he may start to say when he wants to be feed.

The main skill to have when trying to teach your bird to speak is patience! Learning capacities vary from bird to bird with some being able to speak after a few months, and others taking years to develop. Give your bird as much time as they need and eventually your patience will pay off.

We hope you have found this guide helpful and please remember to have fun with your feathered friend during the training. If you have any questions, feel free to call us and speak to our friendly staff or alternatively pop into your local Myhills store and browse our wonderful products for your feathered friend.