83 Days of Silence

How to get your Cockatiel, Parakeet or Larger Parrot to Talk and even your Canary to SING! 
Secrets to Success of how a single parakeet mastered a 500-word vocabulary.

Wondering why the title of this manuscript is 83 Days of Silence? This is how many days a pet parakeet did not make a PEEP before an explosion of words and phrases came billowing forth out of its beak! Imagine the delight and wonder the owner felt as her pet started to speak out loud with confidence!

If you have ever owned a Parrot or songbird, maybe something similar has happened to you.

Hello, my name is George Ford and I write to you today about some important secrets I learned recently from a lady named Evelyn. At the time of this writing, she is 80 years old and I must add that she is a very active and independent person for her age. Her extensive knowledge of pets and how they think is uncanny and extremely intuitive.

I really appreciate all of her time in telling me what I am about to give to you. She is an amazing woman that has patience and faith unmatched by any other animal trainer I have ever met.

To you the reader;

I want to thank you for your commitment in advance of reading this entire short report to help you teach your parrot, parakeet or other small bird to speak, sing or just behave the way you want it to. The Secrets here are simple, in fact – you may say to yourself, “well of course” or “that makes sense” and so on.

Many people I have met with over the years have asked me for the secrets of bird training. After all, the Feathered Phonics line of products has certainly been a worldwide hit selling hundreds of thousands of Cd’s and we routinely exhibit at all the major trade Shows in the U.S. – This does put us in contact with thousands of people all wanting to know the same thing…..How is it done? What are the secrets? And until now, very little has been recorded on this subject that you could really call good advice.

First, let’s briefly review the fact that as a pet owner you have a responsibility to your pet, and many times, handling and dealing with your Pet can seem to be a thankless job or chore sometimes… UNLESS- you're looking for the clues and really looking out for your bird's hidden movements!

Most of what you will read in the following pages are opinions, of course, everyone will have a different interpretation of what is best for them or the time they have to spend with their pets.

Here you will learn many secrets. My promise to you, the reader, is a clear and concise approach. I could have filled an entire 400-page book with all this same information. However, you will get the benefit and you won’t have to search all those pages for the information you seek.

Thank you again for taking this journey and I wish you all the success that I have had with my pet birds and seen with others.

Tip #1 Patience

It took 83 days for Evelyn's bird, Fred, to mutter his first word. If she would have given up, he would have never mastered over 500 words. Believe in your pet and never give up. It’s as simple as that. Oh, and I have a copy of the cassette tape to prove how amazing this parakeet was! It’s hard to believe what this little guy could do! What a talker! So – patience is KEY! It’s all about the bird TRUSTING you. IT WILL NOT talk in FRONT of YOU unless it LIKES or TRUSTS you.

Tip #2 Choose the Right Age

A young bird is best, as they will learn to talk from you rather than learn from their siblings. A good idea is to buy a young hand tamed bird that is just old enough to eat on its own. Avoid birds that you will have to feed with an eyedropper, leave that to a pet professional. Although even if you have a bird second hand that is older, don’t think you won't be able to teach him! A good example of this is a bird that has been on national television that is a master talker, and he was given to an organization as an orphan!

Tip #3 Food Source and Trust

To get the best results it is important for your bird to associate your hand and your body as a friendly source of food and comfort. After all, you are their meal provider. With this same point in mind, if you ever forget to feed them even one time, they will also understand that YOU made this mistake. There is no need to ever starve or take food away from your pet at any time. To do so would be to create an unhealthy untrusting bond with your pet. This practice should not be confused with the reward system that allows you to give your pet a special treat that they will work for. A good example is feeding your bird a balanced pellet type diet and uses seeds as a treat.

By putting your hand in their cage you are entering their safety zone. Do so with slowness and respect for their home. If your bird constantly flutters around when you feed or water then you will need to work on building trust and safety with your pet.

A simple method that works was during feeding I would put my hand through the cage door and leave it there for a few minutes. By putting the cage on a table next to my couch, you can sit and watch television as your hand gently rests in the cage. Gradually you should leave it in longer and longer. Soon your bird will trust you and will touch you or jump onto it. – don’t be fearful of being bitten, to jump or startle the bird when he touches you can complicate the process.

Tip #4 Feeding

Feed your pet every day preferably at the same time, always choose the finest pet foods to keep your pet healthy and always seek the advice of pet professionals. Choose pet shops based on how well they take care of their stock and rotate their feed. Try to stay with the same brand of feed and don’t try to be money conscious when it comes to a healthy fresh choice. Ask for name brands, we prefer Pretty bird, but there are others available. Choose a package and brand that rotates frequently through the store. Look for dust on the packaging, you will be able to tell if it has been sitting there waiting for a buyer. Get fresh seed and test it from time to time by germinating it with some water and seeing if it grows.

Tip #5 Vitamins and Minerals

Enough cannot be said about the importance of minerals and vitamins. It’s undeniable the difference it will make with your bird. It will increase the overall vitality of your pet including alertness, it’s confidence and attention span. Like humans, birds need a full balance of minerals like they would find in the wild to stay in the best health.

Always consult with your pet shop on which is right for your pet. There are many water supplements that work wonders as well as pieces of cuttlebone and mineral blocks. A good selection for your pet at all times is always best. - Really, take a moment now and reflect what this paragraph states. Vitamins and Minerals work!

As consumers, we spend Millions of dollars per year on medicines and vaccines. The fact of the matter, it’s in the billions. Medicines work, and for the most part are a needed part of our diet to live longer and healthier. Just like your pet, vitamins help strengthen the immune system. Try it for yourself and see, you will notice the difference right away.

Tip #6 Location of Your Birds' Home

Much thought must be put into choosing the right location for your new pet. Think as a bird would. In the wild, birds fly from tree to tree and roost usually in a high location safe from would-be predators. Choose a good location in your home that is at least four feet or more off the ground and completely safe from prying fingers of small children or of curious pets. Choose a ventilated location that has no drafts, is NEVER in the direct sunlight ( your bird may overheat on hot days) at any time and not too close to a cold window. A bird loves to look outside so choose a safe viewable distance. Generally, you will want to position your pet near a living room or family room area. In getting your bird to speak, you will want a location where your pet will get attention and appreciation. A dark corner in a back bedroom would not be a good location as well as anywhere near the kitchen. Hundreds of birds die every year from poisoning from the fumes of non-stick pans. Always keep your pet clear of a kitchen location at all times.

Tip #7 Choose the Right Words to Teach

Start with simple words like hello, or goodbye. Never teach your bird to whistle, doing so will only teach him or her the easy way to communicate (as they do in the wild). Also, never teach your bird a word that you would not want your church pastor or a four-year-old child to hear. A friend of mine recently responded to an ad in the paper to look at an African Grey parrot that was for sale. I must add that this buyer would have been a terrific owner for this parrot. As this would have been his second large bird, he already knew what he was getting himself into. After examining the bird which was living in a somewhat unsuitable environment he was ready to make the purchase. Just then, this bird erupted with several choice Pirate like swear words. He was shocked to hear these come from a bird, the seller showed a sheepish smile, but at that moment the decision to not purchase the bird was made. An opportunity for this bird to live a more suitable and quality way of life was abruptly ended based on the vocabulary learned. Larger parrots are known to live up to 70 years thus far outliving their owners. The buyer could not risk the embarrassment of having a bird that spoke these words out loud in front of company or his children!

Tip #8 Male Birds of Females?

Many times most experts will agree that generally, males are the best talkers. This may be determined by how they behave in the wild. Males will usually seek out the females by calling to them from tree to tree. Many pet experts can help you determine the sex of your bird but the most accurate is a blood test that may cost up to $25 to perform. With larger birds, this is a good idea so you will know what you are working with.

Tip #9 Choose the Best Time to Teach Your Bird

In the wild, birds are communicative during two different periods of time. The morning and evening. In the morning, parrots begin to call each other and seemingly make a roll call from the previous evening. You can imagine the excitement their calls produce as the excitement of a day of searching for food and possibly of mating. Since birds eat throughout the day, after eight hours of darkness parrots can be extremely motivated to follow their instincts to begin the search for food with the flock. After a good day of eating and daylight begins to set, the birds will again start calling each other in an effort to again determine where each of the members of the flock will rest and roost for that evening. They are again active for the last hours up to twilight.

Tip #10

You will have to listen and be sharp to hear the first word your bird makes. It may sound like a simple muttering of nothing intelligible. Once you hear something that you can decipher as the beginning of a word be sure to praise your bird with excited words such as “Good Girl” or “Good Boy” you may want to place an extra special treat inside the cage that your bird really likes as a reward such as a small piece of apple, orange or fruit. If your bird whistles, or does something else that you do not wish it to do, it is simply best to ignore the behavior entirely.

Tip #11

If you are a busy person and do not get a whole lot of time with your bird as you want, invest in a good Audio CD that will help your bird learn while you are away. Be sure the one you purchase is a CD as tapes tend to wear out. Play it in the morning and evening with a routine. That way your bird will know what to expect and it will lessen any surprises.

Final Thoughts

Now you know some of the REAL secrets to bird handling and ownership. It’s all about TRUST and BONDING with the owner. It’s rather easy to do as long as you practice it daily. Take a moment and think about a good time every day that you can spend with your pet. Most people may choose when they settle down for the evening to watch television, just be sure you do it every day. Your bird will grow accustomed to it and be looking forward to the time spent with you. In fact….Your Bird will begin to LOVE YOU.

Do you have any other suggestions that we can add to this list?

If so, be sure to contact us via our contact page or by mail:

Pet Media Plus
1502 9th Ave
Longview, WA 98632

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts on the subject.

P.S. Again…Review all of the topics discussed here, be sure you follow every one of them for best results all the way including the vitamins. You will notice a Difference! Lastly- be sure to have patience! It takes some time, but well worth the pay-off to get your bird to Sing or Speak!