Training Your Baby Parrot
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It’s all too easy to be bowled over by the cuteness of your baby parrot when you first bring him home. You will obviously have been given lots of information on care and training from the breeder, but when you cuddle your parrot for the first time, in your own home, undoubtedly you will feel a wave of unconditional love that may make you forget some of the advice you were given.
You will certainly not forget things like the type of bird food to feed him, or the essential nutrients and supplements, like Soluvet and Calcivet, that he needs to keep him fit and healthy. What you may forget is discipline and training.
What is required when training?
For the first 6 months your parrot is considered a baby, and like human babies, this is a time for bonding. Unlike human babies, parrots, even those under 6 months old, are highly intelligent and can spot a pushover a mile away. If you allow him to do certain things at this age that you do not want him to do when he’s older, you will have a battle on your hands trying to re-train him out of those bad habits. From 6 months onwards, your parrot will be going through the equivalent of human puberty and all the behavioural issues that this raises. This is why it is so important to set the ground rules in those first, early months. Whilst your average teen parrot is not known for throwing tantrums like its human counterpart, it will try pushing boundaries. Regular training sessions using food treats such as parrot pellets or a favourite bird toy will encourage obedience without breaking the birds’ spirit. Parrots can be extremely vocal and are capable of making such high pitched noises that they are hard to ignore. However, resist the urge to shout back or give too much attention as this will be seen by your parrot as a good result, any attention is better than none at all. So make sure you reward all good behaviours and ignore or gently admonish the bad behaviours. In addition to good all round training, it is important that your bird has a routine, again, just like children, your parrot should have a bed time, feeding time and a time to wake in the morning, and the environment should reflect these activities. A dark quiet place should be provided for your bird to sleep, and during its waking hours he should not be left in isolation. Parrots are social pets, they like and need company and may become stressed and destructive if left alone for long periods of time, feather plucking is a major sign of stress and boredom in all breeds of birds.
The time and hard work that you put in during the 1st year with your parrot will reap rewards because you will have a well-trained, amusing companion that will give you and your family many years of pleasure.
Jason Balchand has been keeping parrots as pets for ages and loves to write about them in his blog at Online Pet Accessories. You can also join him on Facebook if you would like to read more.