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Old 10-11-2019, 04:55 AM
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New Birds, Please help

Hello. I just found this forum. I have had birds before growing up.

Recently, I bought a pair of ringnecks and I was told they are six months old. I was told they are tame but it turns out they are not. I have allowed them to get settled in and am giving them time because they fear humans.

They are not food motivated which I find interesting because my previous ringneck was very food motivated. The birds (I am unsure of their gender) stick very close to one another and hide at corner of the cage. The reason I kept them together is that they are very bonded and cannot stand being apart from one another.

Can I have suggestions on foods that they may like? I’ve given them corn, bird feed and some millets so far but they don’t seem to be too interest in food. I know vegetables are essential part of the diet but like I said, they show no interest towards food so I am unsure what to give them.

They are healthy, yes.

The birds are fully flighted and one of them flew out of the cage when I opened the cage to change their food yesterday. It took me a long time to get her back inside the cage and she was scared out of her wits and crashed into things several times.

I’m considering clipping their wings for the time being until I can tame them enough because I cannot let them out of the cage and have them fly in a state of panic and crash into things. All my previous birds were fully flighted and had full access to the house and I used to let them out all day.

Could anyone suggest some means of training them? I’ve worked with single birds before but these two always stick together. And I often find training ringnecks the hardest.

Do you think they’ll be alright with food? I’m assuming that they’re not eating well because its a new environment and they’re still adjusting.

I’m also doubtful that they’re only six months old. Can someone who is experienced with ringnecks let know approximately how old they look? I’m guessing they’re atleast a year old but I could be wrong.

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Old 10-11-2019, 04:57 AM
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Re: New Birds, Please help

This is the cage they came in. I am looking for a bigger cage for both of them and will get it soon.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:06 AM
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Re: New Birds, Please help

SilverSage is our resident Ringneck guru, but from what I've read about ringnecks, its very hard to train/tame them if not raised as a hand tame babies, and most ringnecks in your position ( bonded pair and very scared of hands, and closer to 1yr old) will never tame out.
SilverSage will know more on this as she breeds them.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:53 AM
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Re: New Birds, Please help

Well 6 months may be accurate since they donít seem to have white irises yet.

IRNs are nearly impossible to tame as adults. I would return them to the person who sold them to you since they are NOT what was advertised. This irritates me so much! I get dozens of messages a year dealing with this exact problem; a Ringneck was sold as tame but isnít, and the family is heartbroken.

Here is my article on taming Ringnecks

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Old 10-11-2019, 07:56 AM
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Re: New Birds, Please help

Whatcha Wrench said.
You can visit Avery Life Silversage thread.
She is a impressive ringneck breeder amoung otgere species.

She wrote on her page not to long ago, about the hand taming ad babies and keeping it up for first year of life or this species reverts back to wild. She stated it was bear impossible to get them back to pets, and felt an adult non tsme ringneck should be enjoyed as an Avery only bird....
Sorry....... It could just be new bird fears but I doubt, especially because the two of them came together....
Silversage should see and respond to your post, or you can send her a personal message. After you've posted 20 times, you can post response in other people's threads to reach that number
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:00 AM
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Re: New Birds, Please help

Please don't clip their wings, it will just make them even more terrified as they will feel helpless, and the lack of exercise alone is bad for their mental health as it is for humans. This species especially LOVES to fly, and they have a very high exercise drive. Even lazier species can't satisfy their need for cardiovascular exercise without flight because the respiratory system of flying animals like bats and parrots is so efficient that no other form of exercise is strenuous enough to make their lungs work to full capacity. If one or both is a female, the muscle wastage that flightlessness causes will also make them much more likely to suffer from life-threatening egg-binding if they lay eggs. Finally, there is the problem that many people who clip an Indian Ringneck's flight feathers find that it doesn't work, they can still fly, just less accurately and more dangerously, unless you do a HORRIBLE butcher job such as cutting very close and removing the secondaries as well. Severe wing clips can cause the flight feathers to never grow back properly or the bird to barber or pluck their wings for the rests of their lives. But any less than this and your IRNs will probably still fly anyway, because they are such amazingly skilled fliers they don't need long primaries like most parrots do.

When I first got Bo, he was also around six months old, and also hid at the back of the cage and crashed around in sheer panic if anyone got close. He looked a lot like yours except he had a very short tatty tail and very short tatty flight feathers (not due to clipping, he was the only one of the clutch sold like that to the first owner, so the best guess is his siblings picked on him, he did it himself, or he kept rubbing them against things in the small cage). Because his tail was so short, he sat crunched up in such a defensive ball, and his eyes were all black, he looked like a completely different bird than he did once all that changed, so I thought he was an Abyssinian lovebird at first, and not just me but the parrot charity I sent photos to via Facebook! But despite that, after several days of me opening his cage door while sat beside it at my desktop ignoring him, he cautiously climbed out and in a few times. The next day he did the same, and again I just casually glanced over with my eyes soft and dopey and then looked back at the computer to signal that I had no interest in what he was doing, and this time he flew. He crashed into a number of things and I was scared he got hurt, but IRNs are physically sturdy and I had bird-proofed as much as I could. He was still wary of me sitting in the room so when I diligently ignored him, he climbed back into the cage where he felt safe. After a few more days he learned how to fly in that room without crashing hard, and when his flight feathers came back he started to display just how skillful he really was, hovering and flying backwards like I thought only hummingbirds could.

I never once approached him to make him go back in the cage, it would have scared him possibly to death. If you chase them back in and catch them, you're acting like a predator. My strategy with Bo was to act entirely uninterested, just glance now and then so he knew I knew where he was and he knew I just didn't care. He returned to the cage in just a few minutes at first because he was so scared outside of it, and over time he stayed out longer and longer. By the time he stayed out longer than I could allow him to, he trusted me enough to let me escort him by a long perch towards the cage after rescuing him from the scary floor in the hallway, as long as I acted calmly and didn't make wide-eyed eye contact or sudden movements.

In a few months he was a precious lovebug, and about a week after that a raging hormone monster, lol, but as SilverSage has pointed out, some IRNs can never be tamed, so don't set your heart on having the same kind of outcome. It's worth trying your hardest for, as Bo is the happiest boy in the world and one of my greatest daily joys, but some seem to be genetically predisposed to fear humans just like some humans are genetically predisposed to fear snakes or spiders, so be prepared for the chance that it will fail and you'll have to find them a good aviary keeper.

As I said, Bo was probably around their age, just in the nick of time probably, so you have no time to waste. I don't mean rush the desensitisation process, I mean hurry up and start it by sitting in the same room as them for hours every single day, then go at their pace. The very first step is just waiting for them to start being calm when you're in the same room ignoring them completely, acting slow, quiet, smooth confident movements with no jerkiness. Always with the cage door open, so you are the offerer of freedom. It might take days or weeks but only when that happens should you up the ante, by paying attention sometimes with soft eye contact, slow-blinking, tongue-clicking, slow winking and most of all beak-grinding (signs of friendliness). Bo reacted very noticeably with interest when I made the beak-grinding sound, which I used to do while in the ignoring him phase too just to convince him I was calm and sleepy (the only time birds do it), and started to approach me when I did it close to him, seemingly desperate enough for companionship to take the chance of trusting a friendship invite from the giant featherless monster.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:59 PM
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Re: New Birds, Please help

I won't say impossible to tame a ringneck as a adult. I had to tame one for a friend that was about a year old, but is not easy. I first tried target and clicker training, then I had to use the perch in the cage that the bird was familiar with already to trick him a few times, as a different perch was a no go, but did work and eventually and he step on stick while in his cage and then progress to out of cage, after a few times of flying away from me did step up on the perch as well out of cage, then was able to get him to step up on arm an then on my shoulder. It did take a couple of months to get to that point. Bird was terrified of hands period, he was completely wild and no one could go near before without him panicking, now he has a strong bond with his owner, that almost gave up on him.

It is possible that the ringnecks might have been handle and tamed early on. The thing with ringnecks is they need constant attention and handling, otherwise they revert to being wild. I would start by simply talking to the birds, next to the cage. small movements, nothing too startling for awhile, any quick movements they will see you as a predator, let then get use to you and your routine. The key is to be patient, they may actually be tamed already, it to early to tell. Ringnecks take much longer to adapt to environment and people then most birds I dealt with, but it is possible.

If that doesn't work, you may have to separate them and just keep cages close, it going to be harder to tame them if they are together.

Last edited by ParrotGenie; 10-11-2019 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 10-12-2019, 04:42 PM
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Re: New Birds, Please help

They are probably bonded and pairs are hard to keep tame--especially in the same cage and especially in a cage so dark. That is too dark and will stimulate nesting. Do not cover it unless it is bed time and you are covering for the night. Aggressive birds are often hormonal birds.
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:25 PM
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Re: New Birds, Please help

Welcome. I'm glad you're here, reaching out and getting good advice.
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