Dear Parrot Lover,
Wild parrots have a natural habit of defecating only in particular areas that are nowhere near their nests. This is not only a habit of cleanliness, but also a matter of survival for these wild parrots. It is important to understand that all parrots have a mindfulness of where they go potty. By understanding this, along with other nuances of wild parrots, we can better aid them in fitting
in well in our domestic homes.
One of the best ways we can do this is to potty train our parrots. While it is always easier to train a young parrot, even an older parrot can be taught in just a few hours a day.
The first step in potty training your parrot is to simply pay attention to your parrot’s behavior. In particular how old your parrot is, along with its daily diet, will determine how often it needs to go potty. Baby parrots that are still on formula will have the urge to defecate nearly every 20 minutes. Budgies, parakeets, cockatiels, and similar small parrots will typically defecate every 10 to 20 minutes. Smaller birds will sometimes even defecate as soon as you pick them up. Larger parrots, such as Macaws and Cockatoos will need to go every 30 minutes. Obviously the length of time will also be determined by whether or not your parrot has recently eaten.
Pay attention to your parrot for a few days and it will quickly become evident how often he defecates. Notice when last your parrot ate and what time of day it is.
Once you have identified a pattern, try to catch your parrot defecating while in the cage. When it does happen, make sure you provide your parrot with plenty of verbal praise and quickly take him out of his cage as an immediate reward. Choose a praise that it is easy to replicate. This praise will be the command you use when potty training your parrot, such as ‘Go Potty’.
Now that you have an estimate of when your parrot will need to go potty, you can place him back in his cage to prevent any accidents.
After just a few days of following this method your parrot will be potty trained. He may even try to go potty as soon as he sees you, because he knows his reward is to get out of his cage.
When you feel that your parrot has mastered this concept, you should begin to use your chosen command to encourage your parrot to literally go potty on command. Just remember that this will only train your parrot to go potty when you say so; it will not, however, teach your parrot to have control over his bowel movements.
The Wild Bird at Home
Wild vs. Captive
Click here to see easy ways to train your parrot
Parrots and other birds, although our pets, are still very much wild birds at heart. The exact same birds can be found in the wild; whereas, our domesticated pet dogs don’t exist in the wild in their forms. This wildness in our birds can create challenges both in training and in understanding their behaviors.
Parrots are very intelligent birds, and during their daily lives in the wild they fly as far as the heart desires, hang out with the many members of their flock, and use their curious minds to investigate the world around them. This is in sharp contrast to the pet home where there is a cage,
and they are often the only bird. They are normally left all alone for many hours a day, and flying doesn’t happen hardly at all.
Click here to learn more about natural behaviors in birds
When you look at the vast differences between the wild and the captive environment, it shows you that in order to work with your bird, you have to understand his wild instincts and also working on enriching his captive environment. For example, one way zoos do this is through food enrichment exercises where the birds aren’t simply given their food in a dish but are instead encouraged to hunt for their food and figure out how to get it out of various toys.
Training is another way of enriching your bird’s life and environment. It allows him to use his natural curiosity to work out a problem and figure out the solution. Training can range from simple behaviors or working on vocabulary to more advanced tricks.
Click here to learn more about ways to enrich your bird’s environment
Gaining training know-how
Knowing how to best replicate what your bird needs can be challenging. Understanding that many of his strange or bad behaviors are perfectly normal in the bird world can be hard too. That’s why it’s helpful to have professionals with a lot of years of experience of living and working with birds help guide you. Training professionals, like at Bird Tricks, can show you through videos and other training materials exactly how easy it can be to train your bird. Once you know the tricks, the sky is the limit with your bird, and he’ll be happier and more enriched too.
Learn more about the Bird Tricks training system