Suggestions for training rewards?


Active member
Oct 19, 2014
Chicago, IL
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Elby - lovebird)
(Bitty - Cockatiel)
(Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
Hello, I feel as though this topic has been discussed in the past, but I've tried a couple of suggestions I found on old posts (chopping fruit into small pieces, pine nuts, etc) with no success so far, so I wanted to reopen the discussion with my lovebird in mind.

My lovebird likes millet. I did a treat test with millet, apple, pear and pine nuts. She ate the millet first, pear second, and didn't touch the apple or pine nuts. I'm going to do it a few more times since it was the first time I presented pear and apple to her in tiny training size chunks so she may not have recognized them but I do think millet is her favorite. I can train semi-successfully with millet. But it doesn't seem to be high-value enough to convince her to step out of her comfort zone. If it's truly her most desired treat, I can tolerate taking itty bitty tiny baby steps in training, but I'm just not sure she's motivated enough to really care to follow instructions. For instance, she now knows that if she pecks a stick, she'll get millet. She even pecks the stick *while I'm holding it*, which I'm very satisfied with. But if I move it more than about four inches away from her, she just doesn't care enough to follow it. It could be that she doesn't understand yet that she needs to follow the stick, but I think she just doesn't want to work for the millet.

So, on to my question. First--if you have a lovebird or similarly sized bird, what do you use for treats? She's rejected yogurt coated sunflower seeds and other store bought training treats. Second... generally, I free-feed pellets. All of my birds have pellets accessible to them all day. But it has occurred to me to take her pellets away at night so that she's hungry in the morning and more willing to work for her food. Is that a terrible, mean idea? It feels kind of mean... lol. Thoughts?


Well-known member
Dec 9, 2021
Tony-Green QP(M)
Tom-Pineapple GCC(M)
Sheer Khan-Cockatiel(F)
Billy- Green budgie(M)
Hedwig- Green budgie(F)
Striga- Blue Clearwing budgie(M)
Grim- Mauve budgie(F)
It's perfectly fine to take away food at night, I do that with all nine of my parrots, I also feed them in mealtimes. I use safflower mostly or really small pieces of almonds.

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