How to Finger Train a Parakeet in Less Than 2 Days
Four Finger Trained and Happy Budgies
Parakeets As Pets
Parakeets, otherwise known as budgerigars, are energetic little birds that adapt quickly to new environments and are very sociable. This often makes them perfect as pets since they make little mess and are otherwise easy to care for.
This article will discuss one method on how to finger train a parakeet that still bites your finger or does not want to come out of its cage.
Parakeets that are bred and raised by hand should not have trouble adjusting to humans and by the time these budgies can fly, they are already tame. However, parakeets which are purchsed from large commercial pet stores are not hand raised are often still wild and afraid once they are brought home. The article will discuss how to train a store purchased parakeet.
Step 1 - Before training
Before you bring a parakeet home, ask the store associate to trim both its wing feathers so the bird can not fly away for some time. Feathers grow back fairly quickly but a one-time trim should be able to give you enough time to train the bird. Afterwards you can decide if you want to continue trimming the bird's feathers (for example, if you are going to play with it outside, it is recommended you do so.)
Once you bring a parakeet home from the pet store, it is important to let it get accustomed to the house. It is best if it is kept in a quiet room that is only occasionally walked in, such as a guest bedroom.
Leave the parakeet in its new cage in the room and visit it a couple of times that day but do not open the cage. I recommend leaving the bird alone for at least one day, two days is even better.
Step 2 - Taking the bird out
At the end of the second day, begin by opening your parakeets cage. If it comes out on its own, that's half the battle. If it does not try holding a piece of millet next to your finger so that the bird has to step on your finger to get to the treat.
If it still does not come then darken the room so that you can see the parakeet, but the parakeet can not notice you. Take a small light towel or a glove and gently take the parakeet out. Place it on top of the cage and open the lights.
Note: Make sure your parakeets wing feathers are trimmed so that they can not fly away too far.
Step 3 - Getting accustomed
Have some treats nearby, but leave them aside for now. The parakeet will probably be too terrified to eat at this point so have patience with the next steps.
Have a light glove on your hand if you think you may not be able to handle a parakeet bite. It hurts if it bites, but it is not as unbearable as you may think. It is important NOT to jerk you hand away if the bird does bite you as it will teach it that biting you is effective in making the danger (your hand) go away.
Slowly extend your finger toward the parakeet.
Step 4 - Getting on
If the bird backs away, follow it slowly with your finger extended. If the bird flies away somewhere into the room, it should land on the floor or somewhere you can reach it (if you had its wing feathers trimmed).
If the bird is on the floor, get on the floor as well and follow it slowly with your finger keeping your hand near its feet. The bird will be scared and try to defend itself, but do not get discouraged.
Try leading the bird somewhere in which the only way out of that spot is if it jumps over your hand or onto your finger. A corner of the room is one option, or the corner of the top of their cage.
Extend your finger to the base of its feet and push lightly since the bird will not automatically jump on your finger just because you are touching it.
Step 5 - Stepping up
Keep trying until the bird is on your hand. Offer some millet or other tasty treat but do not force your bird to eat if it do not take a bite.
At this point, take your other hand and try to have the bird step from one finger to the other, you may have to push at the base of its feet in order to get it to move. At this point it may try to bite, so stay alert and remember not to jerk your hand away. Again, use a fabric glove if needed.
If the bird flies away, just repeat step 4 until your bird is stepping from one finger to the other. Offer, but do not force, a treat again.
Step 6 - Repeat
Keep the training sessions short, about 15 minutes once or twice a day. You can repeat this routine until the bird comes out of the cage willingly.
If your bird does not respond to this type of training, no worries, there is more than one way to train a parakeet. Scroll below to watch a video showing a different method of training.
A different finger training method to try out
Average Training Time
How long did it take to train your parakeet?
Quickly Training a Parakeet
Since parakeets are sociable and playful birds it should not take too long to train them. The time needed may vary among parakeets and is also influenced by how much time is spent with the bird.
All of the birds I have finger trained (quite a number) have taken a week or less to train, and their skills have gotten better with more practice after that. Do not give up, it is not very time consuming to train a parakeet.
Millet Spray is an effective training treat for parakeets
Useful Treats for Training
Here are some of the preferred treats among budgies.
- Millet spray
- Grass seed (you can find these in your back yard)
- Dandelion leaves
- Fresh fruit
Find Out What Foods To Feed Your Parakeet
- Essential Parakeet Diet: What To Feed A Budgerigar
What foods can parakeets eat? There are many foods such as seeds, pellets fruits, vegetables, nuts and treats for budgies out there. Here is how to give your parakeet a healthy and balanced diet.
© 2013 Laura Writes