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I'm thinking of buying a young parrot, but I don't have much experience with parrots.
So I want to know if anybody has one and how hard it would be to train the parrot to talk.

I'll love any useful advice

  • 2
    Roughly quoting Shrek "The trick is to get them to shut up!" If you get a talkative breed, they pretty much pick it up naturally. It is harder to get them to say specific things though. They tend to say the things they like the sound of. Be careful about using profanity around them. – JohnFx Oct 13 '13 at 3:15
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    We had a parrot that was not around humans that often but we found him mimicing the other animals and their toys. The most annoying one was the squeak toy... – user9 Oct 18 '13 at 21:32
  • @Chad Hahahaha. I Imagine how annoying that would be! :) – user34 Oct 18 '13 at 21:33
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    Some species are better at talking than others, but there's no guarantee that your bird will learn to talk, regardless of species. Consider carefully what you want, and if you are not okay with the possibility that they won't learn to mimic language, then just don't get one. I just saw an ad on Craigslist today where someone wants to exchange their bird because it didn't learn to talk ... – Szabolcs Dec 20 '13 at 0:22
  • Just a side-note: Don't but a parrot just to train him to talk. Buy a parrot to have him as a pet, as a semi-family-member. – Nadav S. Apr 30 '15 at 9:26
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It depends on the species of parrot you plan to buy. E.g. African grey parrots are the most intelligent ones and quick learners. They have the most clear voice. Similarly the macaws, alexandrine can also mimic human voices well. Indian ringnecks, budgies etc will not mimic human voices but can only produce different kinds of whistles.

It would be best to buy a parrot when its still on hand feeding, it will learn better and can get better attached with you. But, don't buy too young, at least 40 days old as it's harder to feed younger than this.

Further you can use recorders to continuously play small phrases and words. Keep them at a common place in your house like the living room, place the cage at least at height more than 3-4 ft. Parrots loose interaction when kept on low heights.

It's not really too hard to raise and train parrots, it needs almost the same devotion which any pet would require. Best of luck.

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    They mimic EVERYTHING. Mine does the phone ringing, the cats meowing, dogs barking, the garbage truck backing up, my wife's voice, my voice, the XBox, and a dozen other things. – JohnFx Oct 13 '13 at 3:26
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Parrots will mimic the bird sounds they hear around them.

The key to training a parrot to talk , is having the parrot in isolation from other birds. It is also vital to not have a mirror in the bird's cage, as the parrot will talk to itself, thinking it is another bird.

Teaching a bird to talk requires patience and a lot of repetition.

I have taught budgerigars to talk (in my youth, when I had time and patience). It requires repeating the same word or sound or phrase over and over, as often as possible to the bird; preferably looking at the bird within arms reach.

It is a good idea to start out with a single word; so as you can get a quicker result, this is to encourage you to keep persisting, as the more complex the arrangement of sounds the longer it will take the bird to catch it.

There are some interesting (and sad) cases of the Australian lyrebird imitating the sounds of chainsaws that are used to destroy native bush land.

  • I disagree on isolation from other birds especially if one already talks. I've had a Blue Crown Conure and African Grey Parrot in close proximity and they taught each other words. – JohnFx Oct 13 '13 at 3:22

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