Your cart is empty

Talking

Introduction
The following article has been reproduced with kind permission from a post at the Birdboards.com website by Dave. 

I have used and shared this method with many other people and on the whole, it's worked very well. This method especially helps people who are expecting their greys to talk at the age of 5, 6, 7 months of age which doesn't always work. The voice box of the African Grey doesn’t develop fully until they are nearly a year old.  

This method also helps people who want to lengthen their older grey's vocabulary and add phrases instead of just single words.

New grey owners are often disappointed that their birds don’t talk from day one but there are things you can do which help them to get ready for the BIG moment.
It really depends on what age your grey is right now and whether your bird was ever meant to talk. Some don't talk but makes loads of sounds.
If he already talks, but not much, then this might help. It applies to baby birds that don't talk yet up to birds that are about 12 to 16 months old, which is the rough time they start talking but this time line varies from bird to bird.
You first need to know some basic body language concerning talking. If you're close by and you're talking to him, you'll see that he tilts his head either to the left or right. The reason he's doing that is because whatever he is hearing has got his attention. He's very interested and is tuning into it intently.

From now on, you'll be doing that certain thing with him about 4 to 5 times a day.

First off, NEVER teach him just one word in anything you say to him. Always use phrases. Use whatever phrase you want. Have the phrase contain at least 2 to 3 words.
Each phrase has to said with high and low tones, never monotone.--examples---how ARE you.---ARE you a GOOD boy---i WANT some OATmeal. HOW ya DOing etc. If the phrase that you're using has a long word in it, break up that word into highs and lows just like you see above with the words 'oatmeal' and 'doing'. The more highs and lows you use, the easier it is for him to pick up on it. As time goes on, you can teach phrases that have more words in it. You'll teach phrases calmly, you won't yell out loud to him and you'll be doing these lessons up close to him. You'll be teaching him one phrase at a time until he's familiar with the phrase. Make sure there's no TV or loud radio playing as this will distract him.

Attention Span
A grey will pay attention to what you're saying for approx 10 min give or take 1 min. He's listening to you very intently for that 10 min span with his head cocked to one side, staring at you. After he loses interest, he straightens out his head and sometimes turns his back to you. The trick is to find out when he loses interest.
What you need to do is stop the lesson while he is still very interested in what you're saying. If it's a 10 min span then you will need to stop at approx 9 min.

Using the same phrase with the same inflections start with four or five sessions, spread throughout the day each and every day for about a week. After the first week you can cut it down to 3 days a week. Everything he'll learn will be preceded by a lot of garbling. He'll focus that garbling and mumbling on what you're doing and saying. When he finally starts saying the phrase clearly, work on another phrase but also repeat the first phrase at times. The more you do this, the faster he'll pick up on things. In the future, he'll be picking up words that are said around the house and you won't even be teaching them to. Also, in the future, he'll mix the phrases together which makes for a fun time on your part. The whole idea here is to break the ice with this method.

What I can't do is give you any time frame concerning how long it'll take before he starts talking. All greys are different and do things when they feel like it. Older birds take longer but only if they've never been given lessons or if the older bird is an adopted older bird that has never been given lessons. The method works on older and younger birds. Once a grey starts saying things, you'll find that because the ice has been broken, the grey will be picking up things both major or minor, very quickly without any help. There will come that day when the only thing you'll look forward to is for your grey to stop talking so that you can get some peace and quiet".

As well as you think you know your bird, you can't put any time frame or limit on how long this will take. You need to have patience and you need to be consistent with those lessons.
Don't get discouraged. It does take time.------Dave