How To Raise a Talking Parakeet
What pet is more fun to show off to your friends than a talking parakeet? Sure, dogs and cats are cuddly and can be taught tricks, but nothing is more impressive than demonstrating your pet's ability to communicate with humans through speech. If you already own a parakeet or are thinking of purchasing one, you should learn the basics of teaching it to talk.
While all parakeets have the ability to talk, not all have the interest. Some parakeets will begin talking on their own with no prompting or teaching by you, while others will show no interest in learning to talk no matter how much effort you expend trying to teach them. To increase your chances of success, start with a young, male parakeet. Learning tends to come easier to the young, and male parakeets tend to be more vocal and interested in learning to talk than female parakeets. Once you have your parakeet, put in the time and effort to take excellent care of your new pet. It is important for you to be a good caretaker so that your bird will want to communicate with you.
To turn your pet from an ordinary bird into a talking parakeet, you will need to commit a minimum of 15 minutes per day to speech training sessions; if you can spend even more time with your bird, you will see better and faster results. The ideal setup for speech training is a dark, quiet room that is free of distractions. Ideally, you will have a second cage that is dedicated to the training sessions, so your bird will not be distracted by being in its living area. It is important that there are no mirrors or other birds around, as your parakeet will prefer to communicate with them rather than pay attention to you. It can be helpful to eliminate distractions by placing a towel over your parakeet's cage for the duration of the training session.
Repetition is key in teaching your parakeet to imitate you, so be prepared to spend a great deal of time repeating the same word or phrase slowly and clearly for your bird to hear. It is best to choose words with hard syllables (b, t, w, k or p), as these are easiest for parakeets to repeat. If the constant repetition becomes tiresome for you, you can make a recording of your speech training session so you don't have to do it yourself every time. This will still be effective, but remember that you want your bird to see talking as a way to communicate with you, so be sure to talk to your parakeet in person as well.
During the times you are not training your bird to speak, you should provide them with a mirror or another bird to talk to, so they will practice the sounds they are learning. Eventually, after receiving plenty of speech training sessions and practice time, you will have a talking parakeet! Once your parakeet knows a few words, you can even teach it to associate them with objects. Simply hold up an object while saying a word in your bird's vocabulary, and it will soon understand that the two are related. You can teach your parakeet the name of its favorite toy or even to request a treat.
Teaching your parakeet to talk can be a fun and rewarding activity for everyone involved. Your parakeet will enjoy the attention and the stimulation, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped your pet reach its full potential. You will also have the added bonus of a talking parakeet to perform for your friends - much more interesting than a dog that can roll over!