My 3 months old ringneck isn't interested in any kind of interaction.

millet

New member
Jun 7, 2020
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Hungary
Parrots
Indian Ringneck
When i got my male ringneck around 2 weeks ago, he was wild, and afraid of everyone. Now 2 weeks later, he steps up, flies to me, takes treats from my hand, and he is also target trained.
But he doesn't care about any form of interaction.
He isn't afraid of my hand anymore, but when my fingers get a bit closer to him, he pins with his eyes and opens his beak, clearly showing that he doesn't want to be touched. I respect that, and i always back off when he does that.
He doesn't step up and doesn't come to me when i don't have any treats.
I let him out of his cage 2 times a day for a few hours.
The only thing he likes to do with me, is to fly to my head and play with my hair. Unfortunately, this is something i do not tolerate, as his claws are very sharp, and it always leads to biting whenever i let him be up there. If i try to get him to step up on my hand when he is on my head he will bite really hard, even if i have a treat in it. There is really no way i can make him stop, since i don't want to clip him, so i usually just end up trying to shake him downs somehow, while he is biting my ear, and it's just a mess. I feel like everything i do is negative. Sometimes i feel like i should just leave him alone, but he always seems so interested to train, and looks so sweet sitting on his perch, that i always get fooled. I tried to give him a bath, play him some music, sing, dance, peekaboo, putting treats on my body, anything that might make him like me more. But whenever he is on me, he is just begging for treats, and if i don't give him any, he gets frustrated and bites.
I also stopped the training sessions for now. I think he might be just too young for it, because whenever he sees the treats, he just goes crazy, screaming and flying around, bobbing his head and flying at me. He always has acces to pellets, so he doesn't do that because he is starving or anything. Because he is so hyper, our communication is very messy, and i think training just confuses both of us. I really do not know how to handle him, in videos birds always seem so curious and more..chill i guess? :eek:
Maybe i should just wait and he will grow out of it..

Long story short: My bird doesn't like me, and will only tolerate me for food.

Any ideas on how can i bond with him? What should i do when he is, for example on my hand/shoulder and he bites me? Are my expectations too high? :(

Thank you for your answers!
 
Last edited:
OP
millet

millet

New member
Jun 7, 2020
4
1
Hungary
Parrots
Indian Ringneck
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I forgot to add, he is not any more/less trusting with me than complete strangers, even tho i'm with him all the time since his cage is in my room. A few days ago my friend came over to meet him for the first time, and he flew right to her when she offered him a treat.
I put "scratch scratch" on cue, so i can kinda pet him when i offer a treat, but he doesn't seem to be enjoying it, so i don't push it.
I understand that he may never be a cuddly pet, but i really don't want him to attack me when he is out.
 

MonicaMc

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Sep 12, 2012
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Mitred Conure - Charlie 1994;
Cockatiel - Casey 2001;
Wild Caught ARN - Sylphie 2013
You've only had him for two weeks. It can take months to form a proper bond with a bird.

Please do not stop with the training! Maybe try training new/different behaviors than the ones you've already worked on? Or try different rewards?
 

ctwo

Active member
May 16, 2019
174
25
Parrots
Mango the Indian Ringneck and Peach the Cockatiel; Kiwi found a new home
My IRN was about 5 years old when I got him and it took a full year to develop a complete and trusting relationship. However, I did not have to go through adolescence with him. IRN can be wonderful, but it takes time for a relationship to fully evolve. Just be patient...
 

Talven

Banned
May 4, 2019
451
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Australia
Last year we rescued a young hand raised IRN. She had been bought by someone who's partner had a phobia of birds. They thought that it would be a good idea to take it out of the cage and stick it onto the shoulder of a 4 year old little girl. Little girl panicked, bird freaked, partner freaked and the poor bird was never let out of it's cage again. A couple of months later she ended up with us.

It took me about two months to build a relationship with her where she would step up and come out of her cage and she was a hand raised bird. What you have achieved in two weeks is amazing. Don't give up now. I would keep up the training. Eventually you will both get there. It will take a lot of patience and dedication from you.

Best bit of advice I can suggest is get a T shaped perch that you can use to get him to step onto rather than your hand. Less bites that way until he is more used to it.
 

wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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Isle of Long, NY
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Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Good advice above! Also keep in mind that most IRNs do NOT enjoy scratching like other species do - their feather stricture is different. at most they will tolerate petting with the feather grain, not against it. And if he is wild caught, forming bond will take time and real consistent effort. Not impossible, just keep at it.
 

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