Being a parrot owner can be fun and rewarding. Birds have a long lifespan, and are very loving and entertaining pets. It’s essential to start off on the right foot with your parrot, as your behaviors in the first few days and weeks will build the foundation for your relationship.
Earning trust is an absolute must with any pet. Even more so with parrots, as they are very sensitive animals and are not quick with forgiveness of hostility or mistreatment. There are many things that are threatening for birds, and it’s important that your parrot does not perceive you as a threat. Take your time! As the old adage says, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same applies to building a strong and trusting relationship with your new pet.
Placement of the cage is key in making your parrot feel comfortable and at home in his new environment. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering the best placement for the cage. Birds are happiest in high places. You’ll no doubt notice, no matter where you house its cage, that your bird will spend the majority of its time on the highest perch. It’s a good idea to put the cage on a table or cage stand, but be sure that the highest part of the cage is not above your head. When your bird is constantly higher than you, it feels dominant, and can quickly become difficult to handle and train.
Also, be sure that the parrot’s cage is roomy, and provide plenty of toys to prevent boredom. Bored parrots turn to attention-seeking behaviors such as loud screeching, cage pecking, and biting. Providing a variety of quality toys, as well as spending time with your parrot on a regular basis, will prevent many common training problems.
Rewards are an absolute must have in parrot training. Birds respond very well to food treats as reward for desired behaviors. Each time that your feathered friend allows you to touch him, steps onto your hand, attempts to mimic a sound or word, offer a treat as reward. Fruits, vegetables, millet spray, seeds, and nuts are all good treats. Just be sure that what you’re feeding your bird is safe for it to consume, and that it’s getting a well-rounded, nutritionally sound diet.
Above all, go slowly. Be patient and gentle with your parrot. Be respectful of his space… parrots are very territorial. Let your parrot get used to its surroundings first, and then your presence in the room, before attempting to remove him from his cage. Once your bird is comfortable with you, you can move forward to more advanced training, such as teaching him to talk to perform tricks. Once you’ve built a good foundation, your training options are limitless. Be good to your parrot, and he’ll do the same for you!