Birds - Teaching Your Parrot To Talk - Part 3
By: Michael Russell
Article Word Count: 761
In this last of our series of teaching your bird to talk we're finally going to get into the training process itself.
The best time to teach your bird to talk, if at all possible, is when the bird is right out of its nest. It is best to start training your bird while it is still on formula. When birds are this young they bond much easier with people. Practice patience with your bird and it will respond well. Don't expect a young parrot to start talking right away. While it is still "clucking" for food it is not going to be interested in learning speech, but exposing them to words at this young an age will prepare them for when they are ready to talk. They will recognize words at this age even though they are too young to talk. Smaller parrots will begin to speak between 4 and 6 months while larger parrots will begin to speak between 6 and 12 months.
After a year most parrots will not learn any new words. Some may still learn a new word from time to time but for the most part their learning days are over. Therefore picking an older bird that is also afraid of people gives you almost no chance of coming away with a talker. As for the sex of the bird, males are much better talkers than females. The problem is many times it is not possible to tell the sex of a bird just by looking at it. A blood test is often required.
The best time of day to teach your bird to talk is either early in the morning or late at night. This corresponds with the times when birds gather to eat and congregate with other birds. During these times parrots are very noisy. Don't try to quiet them. Just get used to it.
In order to make learning easier, positive reinforcement is a great tool. When your bird begins to talk, reward it with food, but try to give him healthy snacks. As this reinforcement continues your parrot will more look forward to the training sessions.
When teaching your bird to talk, turn off all TV sets and radios. You want it absolutely quiet. Let in lots of sunlight. You need to be the center of the bird's attention. When you speak to it, the bird will take notice. Say the word you are teaching the bird in a loud clear voice and hesitate between each repetition of the word. Try to associate the word with some kind of action. Birds learn quicker this way.
When teaching a bird to name objects pick an object that is small and bright in color. If the bird gets the word reward it by giving the bird the object.
Some easy words for parrots to learn are grape, paper, box, corn, carrot, nail, water, treat, bean, and rock. So try starting with these words.
The first words your parrot learns will be the hardest. After that they will begin to come easier until the bird reaches the age where it can't learn any more.
Teaching your bird to talk can be a very fun and rewarding experience. Have patience and follow the above guidelines and you should find that your parrot develops quite a vocabulary. You may, however, have a lot of trouble getting him to be quiet.
Article Source: Birds Guide