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Training a parakeet and gaining a bird's trust does not generally happen overnight, and losing patience will impede the process. During the taming process, it's a good idea to have the bird's wings clipped. An exotic pet bird can become an affectionate companion, once it becomes socialized and accustomed to human handling. In the early stages of training a parakeet, one person should work with the bird for short daily sessions. A soft tone of voice will help reassure the bird during training.
Every bird will react differently when being approached, and there is no set rule or timeline when training a parakeet. Some parakeets will willingly climb onto the hand after a few attempts, while other birds might take longer to train. An older parakeet that has never been handled will generally take longer to become hand-tamed.
Although the taming process can become frustrating, one must not give up. Once the bird begins to trust its owner, it will begin to bond and show great affection for its caregiver. It's not uncommon for a pet bird to accept an owner as its mate, and the bond can become quite strong.
It's best to keep the training sessions limited to about 15 minutes a day. When training a parakeet, it's important not to frighten the bird by attempting to grab it roughly. The owner should not make sudden or jerky movements with an intrusive hand inside the bird's cage. Offering the bird a favorite treat by hand, such as a piece of millet spray, is a good start to training a parakeet. After several times, the bird will come to associate the owner's hand with something pleasant.
The person should place an index finger gently against the parakeet's chest in an attempt to get the bird to perch on the hand or finger. If the parakeet shows any signs of fear, the trainer should slowly remove his hand from the cage. It's best to stop a session if the bird attempts to thrash inside its cage, as it could become hurt or stressed.
Once a parakeet becomes accustomed to being handled and readily perches on a finger, the owner should train the bird to "step up" onto a perch. This can be a helpful way of capturing a flighted bird and returning it to its cage. Simply placing the perch gently against the bird's chest should coax it to step up. Again, it's best not to use force or frighten the parakeet during this training method.
Allowing the parakeet time out of its cage each day will enable interaction between the bird and its owner. Play outside of the cage will also provide much needed stimulation and exercise. Playpens, stands, and toys designed for small birds can be purchased at many exotic pet stores.