Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 8, 2016
Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar

A hand-fed parakeet is raised by humans using porridge instead of its mother; this is why it can also be called a "hand-reared parakeet".

This curious upbringing makes these parakeets complete pets, since they can even become affectionate and allow their carers to handle them easily, unlike other parakeets; when hand-fed, they create a strong bond with humans. A negative consequence, though, is that these parakeets do not enjoy being left alone at all.

Since they don't feel threatened by people, raising and training hand-reared parakeets will be as easy as it is enjoyable and fun. With this in mind, in this article we will show you all about training a hand-fed parakeet.

You may also be interested in: Litter Training a Cat

Create trust

In order to train a hand-fed parakeet it is essential to have high levels of confidence and trust. Even though this type of bird doesn't usually feel threatened by the presence of people, it is important it gets used to them before attempting to start the training.

Perhaps you have your bird's cage in a place where you don't usually pass by. This is a big mistake, so the first step should be to change this.

You must put the cage in a place you visit often and delicately move close to it every day before speaking to your parakeet in a soft voice. While this may seem a bit absurd at first, it is absolutely necessary in order for the parakeet to get used to your presence.

Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar - Create trust

Physical contact with people

A hand-fed parakeet certainly needs human contact on a regular basis, as it must be fed regularly. You should make sure that your pet bird gets used to your presence in a positive and friendly way, treating it with lots of affection.

It is quite possible that at first the parakeet will panic, flutter and feel nervous. It is imperative that you keep calm at this point and don't take your hand out of the cage, or otherwise future attempts will be even more difficult. You should do the same when introducing a bar.

You should avoid taking it out of its cage if you don't have it firmly in your hands at first, especially if you have a young chick, since a bad fall could be the end of your hand-fed parakeet. Carefully pick it up and feed it little by little. Likewise, when you pick it up, you should let its claws to wrap around your fingers, thus getting it used to your contact.

Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar - Physical contact with people
Image: YouTube

Letting it out of the cage

Start taking the parakeet cage out of its cage when it has not yet learned to fly. Carefully place it on your fingers and get it used to this position, as it will spend a lot of its adult life standing on sticks. Take precautions if you consider it necessary by doing this above a sofa or bed.

Just as it is important to get it used to being calm inside the cage, you should also help it to understand the world outside the cage.

You will be surprised when your parakeet starts to fly. Always allow it to try it, but remember to shut the windows and place it in a comfortable place where it cannot get hurt. Birds are curious by nature and will try to reach quite far and high; you need to see this coming.

Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar - Letting it out of the cage
Image: Australian parakeets forum

Tips to train a hand-fed parakeet

To complement all the information above, we will tell you some important tips that you should use in the training process for your hand-reared parakeet:

  • Start to train your parakeet when it is used to its new home, as it will be scared in the first few days and will need time to adjust.
  • You should only start using treats during training when the parakeet can eat on its own.
  • Training a parakeet requires sessions between 10 and 15 minutes long, which must be repeated 3 times a day without overwhelming the animal.
  • Through repetition, petting, treats and praise the parakeet will understand what you expect from it; you'll also be providing warmth and companionship.
  • You can try to teach it to kiss, to land on specific things or move to the sound of music: All of this takes a long time and perseverance.
  • When you let the parakeet out of the cage, you must ensure that all windows are closed and covered with curtains; otherwise your pet might fly into the glass. You must also ensure that the environment poses no threat to the parakeet, avoiding stoves or sharp objects.

If you take all of these tips on board, you're ready to start training your parakeet.

Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar - Tips to train a hand-fed parakeet

Are you passionate about parakeets?

Now you know all about training a hand-fed parakeet you may want to expand this knowledge with a range of useful information, so we recommend you have a look at our related articles:

Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar - Are you passionate about parakeets?

If you want to read similar articles to Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.

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1 comment
Elias Clements
Hello! I brought home a parakeet of about 2 months old a couple days ago. At the moment he seems very skiddish and hasn't sung. I'm wondering if this behavior is normal? Whenever I'm near he starts breathing very rapidly through his beak and it's got me a little worried. Thanks!
Matthew Nesbitt (AnimalWised editor)
Hi Elias,

It could simply be your parakeet getting used to her new environment. However, it could also be stress which is causing the fast breathing. You should should check the environment to make sure there are no stressors such as noise or other pets which may be the root cause. If not, it could be an underlying condition which is to blame and a trip to the vet is in order.

This article might also be able to help you getting started:
Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar
Image: YouTube
Image: Australian parakeets forum
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Training a Hand-Fed Budgerigar

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