Biting Problems
How To Tame a Budgie

Parakeets are relatively small creatures with very little in the way of defenses. They don't have stinky odors like a skunk, or razor-sharp claws like a tiger. All they have to defend themselves with is their beak. If they feel afraid, that is the only way they have to defend themselves. And since the original word for budgie in Australian aborigine means "good to eat", there are a lot of creatures a parakeet had to defend itself against!

Usually a parakeet that is biting is feeling afraid. And usually that's because you're jumping ahead in your interactions with the parakeet. You are the owner, you are the one "in charge" that has to get your pet used to his new surroundings. You have to first give him time to settle into his cage. You then have to move slowly through the hand training instructions, not going too fast. Make sure the parakeet is thoroughly accepting one stage before you move on to the next stage.

Most cages can be cleaned without putting your hands into the cage. Many modern cages even let you change the water and food without putting your fingers into the cage. Think of the cage as the parakeet's safe sanctuary. Let's say you were in your favorite treehouse, where you were safe. Now say a gigantic hand came reaching down for you from the sky. You'd try to defend yourself in your treehouse, right? That's all that the parakeet is doing. You have to teach him, slowly, patiently, to trust you. But it won't just happen in days, or even in weeks. Especially if you have an older keet or one from a bin-of-budgies, it might take months. But you will be developing a friendship that will endure for years and years.

Really, the essence of not being bit is to not put your fingers near a bird that is afraid. If your bird is not hand trained, your hand should not be near it. Talk quietly and soothingly to your bird. Keep the stress levels down, by not introducing new birds until the birds are thoroughly familiar with each other (in separate levels) and letting the bird have a full 8 hours of fully dark, quiet sleep each night. Just like humans, birds get cranky if they don't get enough sleep, or if they are harassed while they are awake.

If your bird does bite, NEVER hit it. That will only make your bird more afraid, scared, and feeling threatened. Don't use water sprays (like some people do on cats) - water needs to be a healthy, normal thing for your bird. Just say NO in a loud, firm voice, and put a blanket over the cage to hide him from his world. That will both help him calm down and make him feel lonely, which is the punishment birds enjoy the least.

Parakeet Hand Training Step by Step Instructions

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