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AfricanGreys.com • View topic - How do I Teach my Greys to talk?

How do I Teach my Greys to talk?

Welcome to the Grey Play Round Table African grey Question and Answer Board. Maggie Wright, author of the Barron's Grey pet manual and creator of the Grey Play Round Table African grey newsletter/magazine, and Lisa Bono, African grey behavior expert, will be the two moderators to answer your questions. Please check out the areas that have already been dealt with... and submit your new questions.


Due to the incredibly high volume of SPAM, the board has been set up so that you cannot submit a question. Instead, please send me your question at merlin@AfricanGreys.com and I will post it for you. Then, both Lisa and I will post responses. Sorry for the inconvenience.

PLEASE send me your questions... we REALLY want to help you!!! merlin@AfricanGreys.com.


Wishing you GREY'T Blessings!
Maggie Wright

Moderator: merlin

How do I Teach my Greys to talk?

Postby merlin » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:44 pm

I have a question that i would like your opinion on. I live with a 6 month old baby grey that I have had since 5 weeks. He is not talking yet but whistles at me, like I'm pretty when I walk away from the cage, lol and he has started garbling. Then I recently adopted an older grey . The older one only whispers "wanta cookie," at least i think that is what she is saying. It's soooo soft. She also makes a very obnoxious loud screeching sound like her cage door opening or something. ( I ignore it) . I tried teaching her to say "wow" but what it comes out is "whooo."

Anyway I am trying to teach them both to talk. Should I move them to separate rooms? Will they talk living in the same room? I have read that too much freedom can keep them from talking too. I have mine out all the time when I'm home. I have perches everywhere so they can be with me, but i really want birds with at least a decent vocabulary. I mean they don't have to be Alex or anything, but i want audible words. not whispers. can you give me any advice?

Donna
merlin
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Re: How do I Teach my Greys to talk?

Postby merlin » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:47 pm

Hi Donna,

Your Greys sound precious! Your 6 month old is basically too young to be talking a lot. Your older grey whispers because the former owner must have had, either a quiet voice... or she/he talked to the bird in whispers. This will change in time as the older grey becomes more comfortable with you and your home. Then she will adopt a different voice (a new flock voice), so don't worry about the whispers at this point. How old is the adopted grey?

Greys generally learn to talk and become babblers in the 12 to 18 month range... some earlier, some later. Some NEVER become big talkers at all. This does not mean they are not smart, but they have learned a different way to communicate with you. Some just are not interested in becoming talkers. Also, I have found generally that usually there is ONE bigger talker among a flock of pet birds... at least among greys. So, one of your greys will most probably become the bigger talker than the other. The other will find a different way to become endearing into your heart. Of my three greys, my Merlin is the bigger talker. She does not babble all of the time, but she is incredibly smart and comes up with amazingly intelligent phrases every now and then.

I found the best way to help Greys learn to talk is to focus on the power and action words. This gives the greys the opportunity to control their lives ... which they LOVE to do... control theirs and everyone else's! LOL. For example, the "want" nut..."want" perch... "want" cheese. The WANT phrase and other phrases like that that establish commands are very powerful.

I have NEVER heard that having freedom stops a bird from learning to talk. To the contrary, curiosity and learning are what excites greys. Also, reward helps. Reward can be in praise, praise, praise.... or a simple sunflower seed at a time. But reward them when they succeed or even when they are trying. I get overly excited which gets the bird excited.

I taught Merlin to talk by focusing on the power words. Every time I gave her something to eat, for example, I said "Want cheese(the object)." Then once Merle started babbling/practicing the word, I gave it to her. Got very tiring after a while... LOL... but it worked. Hang out with your guys and observe what makes them curious. Then pursue talking with them about what they are curious about in a simple, but not childlike, manner.

Please check out my article on teaching greys to talk: http://www.africangreys.com/articles/overview/alexteachtalk.html

Also, check out the Helpful Hints section of my website. There are some good ideas there, too:
http://www.africangreys.com/hints/talking.htm

Hoping this helps. Please let me know how you're doing.

Blessings,
Maggie-
www.AfricanGreys.com
merlin
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Re: How do I Teach my Greys to talk?

Postby merlin » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:41 am

thankyou so much for your advice and i did read the articles. i love your site. it was one of the first sites i ran into before i even got my first grey. i think you made me fall in love with the idea of having one. and i now i don't see how i lived without them!
merlin
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Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am


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