How to Teach Your Cockatiel Tricks

two cocatiels on hand

Cockatiels are very intelligent birds that are highly trainable. 

They can do all sorts of tricks, which makes for endless hours of entertainment and amusement.

If you have one of these birds, you’ll want to know how to go about training them. The more of this information you have, the easier it will be.

Socializing Your Cockatiel

It is crucial that you begin socializing your cockatiel as soon as possible. You’ll want to wait until the bird has gotten used to being in its enclosure and your home. Make sure that you keep their cage in an area that is fairly quiet and peaceful during this adjustment period. It typically takes about a week for a cockatiel to get used to its environment.

Next you will need to take them out of their cage. You should speak to the bird softly and do not make any sudden movements. Your goal in this stage is to make your bird feel as comfortable as possible being out of its enclosure.

You need to be able to determine if your cockatiel is truly comfortable with you yet. You can typically tell by observing their body language. If they are fairly still and not moving around a lot, they are most likely okay.

You should also give your bird a treat when you have it outside of its cage. This will serve to further relax it. You want to keep repeating this process each day for at least a couple of weeks. Do not keep your bird out of its cage for more than 15 minutes during this process.

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cockatiel eating

Getting Your Cockatiel to Step Up

The next step in training your cockatiel is to get it to step up onto your hand. This can take a little while, and there are a number of things you’ll want to do.

First you need to open up the cage and extend your hand slowly. It is imperative that you remain calm while doing this. You don’t want to make any sudden movements that could frighten your bird. Make sure that you close all of the windows and doors in your home before doing this so your bird cannot escape.

You’ll want to progressively move your hand closer to the bird when it is outside of its cage. You can try putting a tasty treat of some kind on your hand, as it might encourage them to step up sooner.

You need to put your hand in a position that allows your bird to step up onto it easily. When they finally do this, make sure that you reward them with a treat. The more you do this with your bird, the more natural it will become for them.

Remember to move slowly and purposefully while you are holding your bird. This will serve to keep it calm so it doesn’t become deterred.

cockatiel 2

What Tricks can you teach a Cockatiel?

You can train a cockatiel to do all sorts of tricks, including turning around, shaking hands, and even walking on a tightrope. It is important to keep in mind that some of these tricks take longer than others to teach. You’ll want to be patient while training your bird, as it will make doing this less of a hassle.

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1. Turn Around

If you want to train your bird to turn around, you will need to start by holding out your finger under their beak with a treat. When your bird goes for the treat, you should tell it to turn by actually saying the word out loud. Once they get close to the treat, you’ll want to move it so they are forced to turn to get it.

This is one of the simpler tricks that you can teach a bird, and it is certainly entertaining. You might have to go through these steps a few times before your cockatiel finally learns.

One of the great things about these birds is that once they learn a trick, it stays with them for pretty much their entire life. This means that you shouldn’t need to re-teach them any tricks as they get older.

2. Walk a Rope

Teaching your cockatiel to walk a tightrope is pretty tricky but definitely possible. You will of course first need to have a little tightrope somewhere in your house that your bird can walk on. You can make one of these out of two popsicle sticks and a fishing line.

Once your cockatiel has hopped up on the tightrope, you’ll want to guide them down the line by holding out a treat for them. This is some pretty serious motivation, especially if it is a food they really like. Some birds tend to pick up on this trick faster than others.

3. Shake Hands

There is also the classic trick of getting your bird to shake your hand with its little foot. All you have to do is just put your finger by their feet and say “shake hands”, sliding your finger under their foot. Slowly push your finger under their toes while giving this command

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Conclusion

  • Cockatiels are generally very smart birds, so you shouldn’t have any issues with training yours.
  • It is important that you are patient while training your bird, whether it is to step up or perform various tricks.
  • The first thing that you’ll want to do when it comes to training your bird is to socialize it.
  • Make sure that your cockatiel is comfortable with its overall environment before you take it out of its cage.
  • Keep your bird’s cage in an area of the house that is quiet so your bird can adjust to its surroundings easily.
  • Once your bird seems at ease being out of its cage, you can begin teaching it to step onto your hand.
  • While you are teaching your bird to step up, it is crucial that you not many any sudden movements.
  • There are lots of tricks that you can teach a cockatiel, including how to shake hands and even walk a tightrope.

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