So you have had your new pet cockatiel home for a few weeks now. He has gotten a lot more comfortable in his new surroundings and he is bonding with you more and more each day.
He will step up on your hand without any fuss so that is great. So now you are thinking that you would like to teach your cockatiel to talk.
Well you have already taken the first steps in teaching your bird to talk because human interaction is key to training your cockatiel. Interacting with your pet bird will help him relax and get used to you and to bond with you. A pet bird will also be more relaxed if he is comfortable in his new home and mental stimulation is a part of that. Lots of positive interaction and positive mental stimulation will help your pet cockatiel to learn how to talk. Remember cockatiels are a curious little bird and even though their brains may be tiny they need to be stimulated to be happy.
Also make sure your pet cockatiel is healthy. If you suspect that there is something wrong a trip to the vets could be in order.
Your feathered buddy needs to have plenty of food and fresh water and an environment that he can feel comfortable in. If he is happy it will be easier to teach him how to talk.
Let The Talking Begin!
Just for your information you should know that even though your cockatiel can be trained to talk he will never be as clear as a parrot. Most times you will be able to understand him though sometimes he will sound like he is spouting a bunch of gibberish.
I know my little guy Binkie sometimes goes on these tirades and you know he is saying something but what I have no idea. It is quite funny though as he seems quite serious about the whole conversation.
Anyway back to the training.
Makes sure when you start to train your cockatiel to talk that you do it in a quiet area. Like I said earlier cockatiels are very curious and can get easily distracted so you want to try and eliminate the distractions and see if you can get him to focus.
Start out with just one word or a very short phrase. Cockatiels are used to high pitches so when teaching him you are going to have to speak in a high pitch tone. Repeat the word or phrase frequently. Look for signs that he is listening. Do his pupils get a little bit larger when you say a certain word? Does the crest on top of his head go up to indicate interest? You need to learn your bird’s body language.
Your bird may show no interest at first so you need to keep working at it. He may also not be able to say the word or phrase so you need to keep it simple. As some people have trouble saying the word linoleum your bird may have difficulty with certain words also.
Keep in mind that these birds are quite intelligent and will associate phrases or words with certain things. As an example when you greet him in the morning make sure you are saying “Good Morning” and not “Good Night”. Simple little things like this will help him learn.
Once your bird seems to be picking up on certain words and phrases you need to encourage more of this behaviour and just like dogs nothing does this better than a treat that your bird loves. When rewarding him again just like a dog you need to make it a very positive experience.
Birds however are a bit more fragile than a dog. A sudden unexpected hand movement can frighten your bird and all your work can be set back.
So with any training lots of praise and treats and patience will help.
As your bird learns one word or phrase you can start to introduce other words and phrases for him to learn. You can try and introduce the words in a conversation with him. For example when you give your bird his favourite treat like a millet just say Do you want a treat? Eventually when he sees you coming with his millet he may just start to say Do you want a treat!
Factors That Can Influence Training To Talk
Other factors that will help teach your cockatiel to talk can be as simple as gender. It seems that male cockatiels are a lot easier to train to talk than their female counterparts.
If you have more than one cockatiel it may be more difficult to teach as they will probably bond with each other and not you.
Age can also be a factor. The younger your bird is the faster he will pick up on the training. Many recommend that you start training around 3 to 4 months old.
Avoid teaching your cockatiel to whistle. Since whistling is easier for a cockatiel than talking they may simple choose to whistle and not talk.
As with any training limit it to between 10 to 15 minutes. A bored bird is an unhappy bird and an unhappy bird will not learn.
Another tool you can use is prerecorded words that you can play for your pet cockatiel. You can make your own recording or you can buy a CD. If you make your own recording make sure you say the words you want your bird to learn but be sure to leave long pauses in between.
So good luck teaching your cockatiel to talk. Remember they are very social birds so they do need lots of time to interact with you. When you can’t have them out make sure you have them in an appropriate size cage with some great toys to keep him busy.Share This: