Tips to Teach your Parrot to Talk
If you've got a parrot, you'll know that each one has a unique personality. Some species are more likely to talk than others, but it can also be influenced by the parrot's age and past. The African grey parrot or Amazonian species such as the Blue-fronted Amazon are very good talkers. Don't worry, though; you can also teach your friend to talk even if they are a macaw or a cockatoo.
Building a close relationship and being very patient with your parrot are the keys to getting it to greet you with a "Hello" when you come home each day. In this AnimalWised article we'll teach you some tips to teach your parrot to talk. You'll see how, between the two of you, it can be achieved in a matter of months.
Become its friend
You first need to establish a good relationship with your parrot. Some birds get stressed when they move to a new home. It's possible for it to move to the far corner every time you go near the cage. This is normal; give it some space in the early days.
Establish some basic conditions for your parrot:
- The cage should be appropriately-sized and be equipped with everything it needs.
- Parrots love light and heat, so place it in an appropriate place.
- Don't leave it all alone, as it should spend its life with the family. Hearing you talk and seeing you move around near the cage will help it to integrate.
- Use bird treats and small pieces of fruit to make it trust you.
Over the weeks you will be able to interact more with your parrot and even take it out of the cage.
How to teach a parrot to talk
Here are some tricks that you can use if you want to teach your parrot to talk, but they are only advice - there is no exact method:
- Associate times of the day with words: Every time you enter the house say "hello", and when leaving in the morning say "goodbye". You can vary the words you use, as in "bye bye birdie", "good morning, handsome" or "off to work". Use whatever combination you want. The important thing is to always repeat them under the same conditions, so that the parrot associates the moment with the particular word.
- Do training sessions: Spend several minutes a day talking with your parrot. You can do it in 10-15 minute sessions so that neither of you get bored. These sessions are mainly based on repeating words, starting with single words. At first it won't answer you, but be patient with it. As it learns, you can teach it phrases and songs.
- Show it fruits: Whenever you give it a small piece of fruit, say "banana", "pear", or whatever it is. When it starts saying some of these words, reward it with the corresponding fruit. It will gradually associate the word. You can eventually incorporate more words and make sentences, like "give me pear", "how nice" or "I want banana".
- Avoid words that you don't want it to repeat: It might seem silly, but on some occasions parrots can learn words that we don't teach them on purpose. It might all of a sudden say "bloody adverts!" or swearwords that it has heard throughout the day. This is because we say certain phrases or words in a different tone and with greater enthusiasm. Of course, when a parrot blurts out "bastard!" all of a sudden the natural reaction is to laugh and try and get them to repeat it.
- Talk to it a lot: When at home, talk to it whenever you can. Sing songs or tell it things. It will gradually start to answer you with words that it already knows. Make the most of its talkative spells to teach it short sentences.
- Try different tones when repeating the words.
Persistence and patience
There is no estimated time for getting a parrot to talk. Some will learn a few words in a couple of months, while others will need more time. You'll need patience and perseverance for your parrot to become an adorable chatterbox.
It's crucial that you don't get frustrated and give up on the process. The training sessions with your parrot should be regular; it will be your companion for many years, so you need to be very patient with it. The important thing is to establish a good connection with the bird and teach it little by little, under no pressure.
Revise with it - every so often remind it of words that it already knows. This is important so that it keeps using them and doesn't forget them.
Never shout at it or be violent with it, as this is completely counterproductive.
Find out more things about parrots:
- Fruit and vegetables for parrots
- Vitamins for a parrot's plumage
- Forbidden food for parrots
- Differences between male and female parrots
- Why does my parrot scream so much?
If you want to read similar articles to Tips to Teach your Parrot to Talk, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.