Taming Your Pet Bird
Updated on 3/2/13, Originally posted on 4/14/12
Weekly Bible Verse: Ecclesiastes 10:20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.
This verse is saying, you should not say bad things behind people’s backs as word often gets back to that person.
Creature Tip: In order to tame a bird you must have plenty of time to spend with the bird and you need to be consistent. Younger birds often tame faster and, of course, hand fed babies are easiest to tame.
Some birds can be practically impossible to tame, like older birds or birds that have been used for breeding. To start taming your bird you will want to house it in its own cage away from other birds so that the bird will bond with you. If your bird has lived several years with another bird it may be too stressful on them to be separated. I would suggest leaving them together and not attempt to tame them, but you could try without separating them. Also, it is very important that your bird does not have a mirror, in or near its cage, if you plan on taming them. While mirrors are great for lonely or single birds, they are bad if you want to tame the bird. Often a bird will bond with their refection in the mirror thinking it is another bird.
Getting a bird use to your hand is obviously very important. You can start by offering your bird their favorite treat in your hand. Offer the treat to your bird, using your hand, on the outside of the cage, through the bars. If the bird takes the treat, great! If not, place a small dish on the inside of the cage next to the bird’s favorite perch. Offer the treat again on the outside of the cage through the bars and if the bird will not take it, drop the treat in the dish. Continue every day to offer the treat in your hand by this dish near your bird’s favorite perch. After a few days (or a week or two), the bird should take the food from your hand and you will no longer need to drop it in the dish. When the bird has become more accustomed to your hand, try placing your hand inside the cage and offer the treat to your bird. If the bird will not take it drop it in the treat dish but do not remove your hand from the cage until the bird has finished the treat. Once the bird takes the food from your hand, while it is inside the cage, see if you can get the bird to come to the cage door to take the treat from your hand. The next step is to offer a treat at the cage door with one hand, and place your other hand between the bird and the treat. Use your index finger (or your whole hand if it is a big bird), gently press it against the bird right above the feet and say “step up”. It may take a few tries but the bird will eventually step on your finger/hand to reach the treat in your opposite hand. There are many different methods and techniques for taming birds. My best advice is to read up on them and try a few different ones to see what works best for your bird.