How to Tame a Parrot is a question that will require an answer when someone gets himself into buying and raising an untamed and scared parrot.
And to have the most rewarding, entertaining, and playing along with cuddling times from your pet parrot, you have to ensure that your parrot is tamed and has a level of trust toward you and other family members.
Besides that, a tamed parrot is essential if you want to have a funny pet that could do tricks and talk, a scared parrot won’t do any of that because of his mind being busy and alert all the time looking for safety.
An untamed and scared parrot can make you struggle and can cause him a lot of mental issues. Staying inside the cage almost all the time (Which is the case with most of the untamed pet parrots) is the reason behind the depression and anxiety that might occur to the bird. And with knowing that parrots are really socially demanding birds, no wonder why these issues could happen to them.
And in this article, we will dive into everything you need to follow to tame your scared parrot and gain his trust. And without further ado, let’s get into this.
Table of Contents
Why You Should Tame Your Parrot?
Before we dive into the step of taming scared and feral parrot, let’s find out why taming the pet parrot is essential in the first place. As you know, parrots require a lot of entertainment and social interaction, the lack of these may put your parrot under severe anxiety and depression, especially if there was no cage mate to spend time with.
Besides that, the fear that your parrot has may lead to some unwanted consequences, especially when you try to touch him or refill his supplies. Seeing your hands coming closer to him will activate the defense mode and will make your parrot charge and probably give you some nasty bites and scratches.
So, taming a parrot is also about providing safety for your own and any of your other family members.
And taming a pet parrot falls into the same concept, which is providing safety to the bird. And if you think that being inside the cage all the time is safe for parrots, you are probably right, but if you think about it from the bird’s perspective, you will find that it’s not safe enough.
The parrot will stay alert and anxious toward any movements occurring around his cage, and this will lead to many problems as we mentioned earlier.
Not to mention the existence of other pets, like cats. The untamed parrot will really suffer while the tamed parrot will understand that other pets are also safe, at least when they are introduced properly.
So, if you have a parrot that is scared all the time, you better set him free or you should try to tame him and earn his trust so he can live happily with you and your family members.
How to Tame a Parrot
Taming a parrot is a process that must be repeated every day for at least a couple of weeks. Some parrots may need a longer time. And this depends on the age of your parrot and if there was an unpleasant experience, the parrot had with a previous owner like beating or abusing.
Methods for taming a parrot are also different and deciding which one is better for a certain parrot also depends on the age of the bird.
For example, taming parrots using the hunger element, This method is the best for younger parrots. The older parrots will need to be under pressure, and they may bite and scratch or even fly away from you to the other side of the room or the house.
These are the main ways to tame a parrot, and depending on your parrot age, you can decide which method you need to follow.
The Hunger Method
This method is easy, and it’s better with younger and small-sized parrots. It focuses on the hunger element to attract and lure the scared parrot and it will help to gain his trust. However, this method can establish the initial bond between you and your parrot.
And to take it further, like to touch and pet your parrot’s head or body, you will have to follow the pressure method.
You May want to follow this one or jump directly to the pressure method and make it short if your parrot is large-sized like macaw and African grey, you can jump over to the pressure method directly.
In case you have a smaller breed of pet parrots like cockatiel or quaker, you can start with the hunger method.
The hunger method is really easy, but it will require a huge amount of patience, as you are going to sit still next to your parrot and waiting for him to come closer to eat.
And to start with this, you have put the cage in a very quiet room in your house, no family member, no other pet, no nothing that could distract your parrot.
The next step is to remove the food bowl from the cage and only level the water there. Don’t worry, your parrot won’t starve to death as you are going to feed him again after 6-8 hours.
So, after 6-8 hours you can go to your parrot and open the cage’s door and serve the food using your hand, and sometimes it’s better to use the bowl and let your parrot eat from it while you are holding it, do not put the bowl back in the cage and let your parrot eat alone.
No, you have to be there and hold the bowl, at the beginning the parrot won’t come closer, he will be afraid of your hand. So, all you have to do is to wait, wait until the parrot realizes he must eat.
There is no certain period for your parrot to come and eat, so be patient.
Using the bowl to serve food for your parrot will ease the process, especially at the beginning.
Repeat the process 3-4 times a day, until your parrot comes to eat from the bowl without hesitation. This may take a day or two.
After you notice the courage in your parrot, it’s time now to remove the bowl and use your bare hands to feed the parrot.
Some parrots will ignore the change and will come as they used to eat from your hand as it was with the bowl. Some of them will need patience.
The younger the parrot, the quicker trusting your hand, and to know if you succeed with this, you need to look for any behavior changes from your parrot.
These signs are simple like how quick is the parrot to approach your hand when you serve the food, does he eat more than he used at the beginning, the scared parrot will eat less than he wants, he will eat what will keep him alive.
So, the more your parrot eats from your hand in one session, the better.
Another good sign is when your parrot stands on your hand while you hold the food, putting or standing one leg is also a good sign and it indicates that the bird feels safe and relaxed.
This is basically the easiest method for you to start gaining your parrot’s trust. This way your parrot will start seeing you as a source of safety and food, which are the basis of this method.
The Pressure Method
This method focuses on putting the parrot under extreme pressure, at least from the bird’s perspective. You will make the parrot think that he is in danger until he realizes that he is in the safest place he could ever be as a pet, along with his own cage.
This method is where you are probably going to get bitten. I am talking here about nasty bites, bleeding hands, and the need to use some bandages after the training. You can use some protective gloves though, you can find them on amazon.
You may want to clip your parrot’s wings to prevent him from flying away, if this is possible I recommend doing so.
A quiet place in your house is important, you don’t want your parrot to get distracted.
This method starts with putting the parrot cage in the place you choose to tame him in, open the cage’s ceiling and take the parrot out of it, or try to get closer to him and he will fly away as he is not tamed and still afraid of you.
Remember that the place should be indoors, you don’t want to lose your parrot.
After that, you have 2 options you can follow.
1- Is to try to catch your parrot with your hand, this may lead the bird to bite you so wearing protecting gloves is a good idea. After you catch the parrot, try to sit still and start rubbing his head. Try not to allow the parrot to bite you.
Rubbing or petting your parrot’s head will make him feel relaxed, and when you start rubbing or petting his head, you will notice that your parrot is starting to submit and not resisting you holding him. You will hear a lot of screams and noises, though.
The rubbing should be with more than one finger and it should also be closer to scratches. Don’t wipe his head with your finger and expect him to trust you.
The idea in the second method is to show your scared parrot some dominance. And with this, he will realize that you can hurt him and at the same time, you won’t do that. And you will start to gain his trust. And this is what I call the bare-handed option.
The second option is to use a bedsheet and cover the parrot and go with him under the sheet. This will make the parrot keep his focus on you. And with the same as the first option, start rubbing your parrot’s head from outside the bedsheet.
You may think that the sheet will protect you from bites and the truth is, it won’t. The parrot can strike a nasty bite using his beak to go through the bedsheet and probably your hand causing you to bleed. And this is What I call the camping option.
Is up to you to decide which option to go for, and if you ask me, I prefer to use the barehanded option, especially with older parrots.
However, after 30-60 mins of rubbing, you will need to go for the next step which is to put your parrot in a room corner and use your body to prevent him from flying away.
Do not put your parrot on high ground, no put it on the floor and sit directly in front of him, and this way the bird will feel that just trying to fly away will expose him to danger, so he will sit still and try to defend himself with bites.
Again, you will have to put your parrot on a floor and corner and you have to sit close to him. The parrot won’t attack until you protract your hand to him. And it’s totally fine, even after rubbing his head for 30-60 minutes.
In this phase, you will have to protract your hand slowly toward the parrot’s head and rub for about 30-60 minutes.
Remember that when your hand is getting closer to your parrot, the probability to bite is higher, you are safer when you rub his head and neck.
And as time goes by, the bird will look like he is relaxed, the screams will decrease and it will seem like he is actually enjoying the petting.
Now you can start touching different parts of his body, back, wings, legs. The parrot may bite, and in case you noticed that the parrot is about to bite, return to the previous position, which is rubbing his head, and try again after a while.
You can start touching the legs, and this will make it easier for the parrot to perch on your hand, it’s up to you to decide which part you want your parrot to get used to your touches at, and every part require the same process.
For me, at this phase, I normally rub the head, touch his back and wings, and finish with his legs, with I can almost cover the whole body.
And to finish the session with your parrot, go for one leg slowly and rub it with your finger, and after a while, if your parrot didn’t bite, try to make him step up on your finger.
And to do so, pull your hand back and protract it slowly towards the parrot’s legs. You will notice that the parrot will be raising his leg (which is a sign of exploring, the parrot wants to explore your hand), and this is your chance to make him stand on your finger, even if it was with only one leg.
When you do that your parrot may bite, and if so, go back to rub his head and neck, and slowly to his legs. Try again until the parrot keeps his leg on your hand without fear, and when he does it, slowly raise your hand and he will put his other leg on your finger.
Repeat the legs part, so your parrot gets used to standing on your hand. You can pick a word to use as a command when you want your parrot to perch on your hand later on.
And with this, the taming session is finished. I should mention that switching from rubbing the parrot’s head and neck to other parts of his body must be slow as an attempt to prevent biting.
Do not do any sudden moves when you tame and train your parrot.
The most important thing that you have to know is that when the bird’s bites you must hold it, and you shouldn’t react to it like pulling back your hand so quickly. Any bad reaction will force you to start over from square one.
So you have to hold the pain and make your parrot feel that it’s ok even if he bites, make him feel that you won’t hurt him.
The bad reaction here is mostly physical, you have to stay still. Screaming out the pain is ok.
How Long Does it Take For a Parrot to Get Used to You?
Feral and untamed parrots can take up to 2 weeks to get used to you, and depending on the age, it may take a shorter time. The most important part of taming and gaining the trust of your parrot is to repeat the taming process every day until you realize that your parrot is tamed and won’t charge any attacks when you come closer to him.
How Do You Get a Parrot to Trust You?
To get a parrot to trust you, you can feed him with your hand after depriving him of food for 6-8 hours. Or you can put him under direct pressure and show him some dominance until he realizes that you won’t hurt him.
How Do You Tame an Aggressive Parrot?
The best way to tame an aggressive parrot is to use the pressure method, where you will put the parrot and pin him down with your hand to show some dominance over him. No beating or screaming or any bad things, all you have to do is to hold the parrot with your hand and rub his head initially.
How Long The Taming Session Should Be?
In general, the longer the session, the faster the results. And if you ask me, let me tell you that I go for 3 hours and longer using the pressure method. As I mentioned earlier, the taming process will require a huge amount of patience.
In conclusion, taming a parrot can be a very entertaining process for you as an owner, and it can be a very painful experience, especially when you get bitten. And trust me, you will get a lot of bites. But it’s worth it to help your parrot to feel safe and make him live happily as your pet.
The key ingredient in taming is to have a lot of patience, especially that the taming session could last for more than 3 hours. Not to mention that you will have to repeat the session every day for maybe 2 weeks.
And If you follow the instruction provided in this article you will eventually succeed, no matter how old is the parrot.
Just like what happened with me when I came across a 34 years old feral African grey, and in a matter of two weeks the parrot got well tamed and I started to socialize him with other family members.
The socializing process is the next step after taming, and it’s easy. All you have to do is to put the parrot’s cage in an active place in your house and make the bird observe you and your family members. Later, you can take him out of the cage and introducing him to other family members.
And basically, the taming process is actually a socializing attempt from you to make your parrot trust you, and if you succeed in this attempt, socializing with friends and family will be a lot easier.
And yes, that’s about it hope you find this article informative and easy to digest. Thank you for reading…