"Sunny, want a cracker?" Well, if you have a parakeet, the answer is probably a very audible, "Yes!" When it comes to talking, parakeets are one of the most talented species of birds. That's because parakeets are very social animals.
In the wild, they learn the "flock language" from other birds in their flock. However, once they're domesticated, their flock becomes made up of you and your other family members. As a result, your parakeet will learn from you and your speech.
Do parakeets talk?-- Yes! Parakeets are able to learn so many words and phrases that they can eventually carry on a great conversation with you! However, male parakeets are generally better talkers than female parakeets.
Some female parakeets simply never learn to talk, whereas most male parakeets learn to talk very well. As your parakeet learns to talk, he often mimics your language, sometimes mumbling the words or making similar sounds at first.
So you might be interested to know -- how to train a parakeet to talk? If you're patient and have some time you can set aside, then it's easy!
Learn 15 Proven Steps to Get Your Parakeet Talking
1. Make sure your parakeet is comfortable.
Your parakeet won't have any desire to have a conversation with you unless he feels comfortable with you. It's important to form a close bond with your parakeet so that he wants to talk openly with you. You can do this simply by spending quality time together.
Sit next to your parakeet's cage and talk to him softly. You can even gently stroke his feathers to help build up the trust between the two of you. If your parakeet is scared of you or ignores you at first, don't worry.
Some parakeets simply need some time to warm up. Give it a rest and try again another day. But eventually, before you train your parakeet how to talk, the two of you need to be close friends who are very comfortable around each other.
2. Choose the right time.
If your parakeet isn't ready to learn, he simply won't learn. Parakeets are picky about how they choose to spend their time. If he's tired or distracted, he won't be interested in learning how to talk.
Instead, he must be calm and ready to focus his attention on you and your speech lessons. The best time for parakeet training is usually first thing in the morning when he's well-rested and relaxed. You can begin by repeating one simple word as you start your day.
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3. Create the right atmosphere.
In order for your parakeet bird talking lessons to begin, everything must be perfect in his world. The lighting must be ideal and he must be well-fed, well-rested and healthy. If he's under the weather, chances are he won't want to learn anything new.
4. Start with one simple word.
Beginning your talking lessons with a phrase such as "Hi, how are you?" is bound to result in failure. You must start very simple with parakeets, and that means to start with one easy word.
The best word to start with is simply your parakeet's name. If his name is Tweety, repeat it over and over again. "Tweety. Tweety. Tweety." Talk clearly and slowly. Parakeets learn the letters D, T, K, P and B the most easily, so if you can use a word with those letters in it, you're most likely to find success.
Your parakeet probably won't know to repeat the word right away, but as you continue saying it over time, he should learn and begin repeating it back to you.
5. Reward your parakeet for good behavior.
When he says the first word you're teaching him, it's time to celebrate! Reward him with verbal praise, as well as a treat such as carrots, celery or millet sprays, which are satisfying, healthy treats for all domestic birds. This will help reinforce your parakeet's talking and also help strengthen your bond with him.
6. Don't wear him out.
Parakeet talking is a big deal for your little guy! It's important not to tire him out by teaching him for too long. Instead, speak to him for a few minutes at a time for a total of about 30 minutes per day. Any more often than that, and your bird could become bored and agitated.
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7. Keep him focused.
If your parakeet has a bunch of distractions around the room, chances are he won't focus on learning. Help him stay focused on covering three sides of his cage with a small cloth.
Stand directly in front of the open side and talk to him gently and softly. Make sure you two are the only ones in the room. This will help your parakeet learn that you're totally focused on him, so he should be totally focused on you.
8. Talk enthusiastically.
When you talk with enthusiasm and emphasis, your parakeet will pick up on it. If you seem bored or like you're just trying to get through this lesson, he will also pick up on that. You have the best chance of getting him to follow your lead if you're happy and animated.
9. Take things slowly.
Trying to introduce too many words at one time can really confuse parakeets. As a result, stay focused on the first word until he says it at least three times in a row. Once he does this, you know that he truly knows the word. At that point, you can move on to teaching him another word in your parakeet parrot talking lessons.
10. Keep things on a high note... literally.
Birds love music. Once you've introduced a few words, say them in a sing-songy voice. This will help your parakeet associate talking with music.
11. Move from words to phrases.
Once your parakeet has mastered his name and a few other solitary words, he's ready to learn a phrase. Just as you did with teaching him one word at a time, repeat one phrase to your parakeet over and over again until he mimics it.
12. Move from phrases to naming objects.
Once your parakeet has learned a few key words and phrases from your parakeet talking lessons, it's time to take it up a notch. The next step is to teach your parakeet to name an object.
As you hold up an object, say what it is. For example, hold up a pillow and say, "Pillow." You can even point to yourself and say your name, or point to another family member and say his or her name, to help your parakeet associate each family member with a name.
Over time, stop saying the word or name and simply hold up the object or point to the person. Your parakeet will eventually learn to name the object or person on his own.
13. Include your parakeet in your everyday conversations.
Your parakeet will learn new words and phrases every day as you speak to him about your day-to-day life. Talk to him like he is a child learning to talk! When you enter the room, say "hello" to him; when you leave the room, tell him "goodbye." Say "please" and "thank you."
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14. Don't expect too much.
Parakeets can often be like little kids -- they might talk a lot around family members but clam up around new people. That's normal. And most parakeets talk more in the morning and less as the day goes on and they get more tired. So don't expect your parakeet to speak on command. Let him talk when he's ready to talk.
15. Be patient!
It can take weeks or even couple months for training parakeets to get off the ground. And some parakeets simply aren't interested in talking and will never learn.
No matter if your parakeet eventually picks up on it or simply has other things to do, be patient with him!
He will learn at his own rate. And even if he never learns how to talk, you should feel proud that you invested the time with him and deepened your bond with your amazing parakeet.
Ready to Train Your Parakeet to Talk?
If you're fully invested in getting your parakeet to carry on a conversation with you, simply follow these 15 easy steps. It can take awhile for him to master the art of speaking, but if he ends up learning to talk, imagine the pride you'll feel! Start simple and be patient -- and your parakeet will be chatting you up in no time!