New Indian Ringneck mama!

Jadetober

New member
Jun 21, 2022
7
14
Parrots
Indian ring neck
Hi,
I have been trying to read up on Indian ring necks and either I am not looking in the right places or there isn't much information. I even brought a book from Amazon and it was hopeless!

Background:- rescued my little ball of feathers when she was 12 weeks old, she was reared by her parrot parents so she is very hand shy. Until I brought her home she had never even been out of a cage. We assume that she is a girl but I don't know for sure. We named her Echo so it doesn't matter if she is a girl or boy! She was eating an all seed diet :-(

We have had her for 8 weeks.

She is out from 3 hours to all day and she is an excellent flier! She has figured out that windows are not to fly through and how to fly upstairs to find me! She is eating parrot pellets, fresh veg and fruit, nuts and a tiny sprinkle of seeds on new foods. She is doing great! We had a vet check her over and they said that she was in remarkably good shape considering her history.

She doesn't totally flip out when we go near her cage now although if I put my hand in she thrashes about like satan is about to steal her soul!! I let her out before I change her water and food and she watches me suspiciously from a safe distance.

I have a few questions.

1. Is it normal for her to be so cautious after eight weeks? How long does it normally take to hand tame them?

2. She has little grey fluffy feathers that are under her wings and falling out is that normal? She has lost two bigger tail feathers too, she's not pulling them out I am watching closely for that. Is that normal?

3. I have heard that IRN are noisy birds but she hardly makes a sound. She shouts at the cat maybe once or twice a week if the cat gets too close. In all honesty the cat could not be less interested and struts off if Echo shouts at her. Once in a while Echo will sort of chirp once for me if I am upstairs and she is still in her cage. The only other noise she has made was when we made her a play area out of drift wood and other natural woods, she climbed all over it sort of tweeting and making grinding noises (I am describing it so badly! It was very cute). Is it normal for her to be so quiet!?

Is there anything else, any tips or hints for us? Anything to avoid? (We know that avocados are bad and she is never ever left unattended while she is free flying!)

Many thanks in advance!
 

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wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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IRN's are notorious for being hand shy so it will take constant desensitizing over months to reduce that. Patience is the key word. Bribes are your friend!
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
2,168
4,163
If she’s quiet she’s probably still very watchful and a bit scared. Although my birds are often quiet just because the apartment I have is very quiet otherwise…. But I’m guessing she will need a lot of time to get used to you.
 
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J

Jadetober

New member
Jun 21, 2022
7
14
Parrots
Indian ring neck
  • Thread Starter
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  • #4
If she’s quiet she’s probably still very watchful and a bit scared. Although my birds are often quiet just because the apartment I have is very quiet otherwise…. But I’m guessing she will need a lot of time to get used to you.
Hello, thank you for your reply, when you say 'a lot of time' can you please tell me a rough idea of what that means? People keep saying things like that but I don't know what that means. For me two months is a long time but I am guessing that it isn't in parrot world :) should I be thinking more like six months? A year? I know that you can't be exact and all birdies are different but I just want to make sure that I have a rough idea of what to expect.
 
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Jadetober

New member
Jun 21, 2022
7
14
Parrots
Indian ring neck
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
IRN's are notorious for being hand shy so it will take constant desensitizing over months to reduce that. Patience is the key word. Bribes are your friend!
Thank you, I thought maybe we were doing something to offend her!
 

Squeeing_Onion

Active member
Oct 10, 2018
131
150
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
"Bongo" - Green Cheek Conure
“Echo” - Indian Ringneck
"Chicken" - Sun Conure, rest in peace, my precious friend.
I wrote this on another IRN owner's post, and I thought it might help you, too!

To add on some specifics for here, though -- A "lot of time" can mean so many different things. And at the end of the day, I've found, it's the quality more than the quantity that matters, especially with an IRN.

I also have to giggle, we both have an IRN named Echo!

My Echo is very silent; he does this to not draw attention to himself. If he's making noise (that isn't his unhappy panic call), I know he's very comfortable, comfortable enough to play and goof off!

Your Echo freaks out when you stick your hand in the cage because it's too much, too fast for her. She has no way to escape, which drives up her panic; imagine being in a room and a giant arm of some megalithic titan sticks itself in the door and you don't even have a window to jump out of.

One of the most important, easy to do things I've started teaching to any guests we have over to help Echo, is being willing to back off.

If I see him showing signs of stress or fear of me, I take a deliberate step backwards. I have been having others do the same, and it's gone a long way towards him feeling more comfortable around them when they do. When they don't listen to me, it really shows. I had one lady trying to crouch down and walk closer to peer at him when he went to hide in the faaaaar back corner.

"You need to step back, he's afraid of you."
"I'm trying to see him better"
"You still need to step back. He is hiding because you are scaring him in trying to force the issue."

^was about how that went. Echo was very glad when I shooed the curious lady off, because she didn't get it at ALL, and it really showed in his behavior. Poor guy was eye-pinned in stress and hiding as far away as possible. Once she left, he cautiously crept back out to his perch and looked at me for reassurance.

Taking a step back when Echo shows fear of my proximity, shows him I am paying attention to his boundaries and am willing to respect them. I don't stick my hand in his cage when he is inside, except to service his water and food dish. I also talk to him and tell him what I am doing and why which seems to help him a lot. (things like "I'm going to open your door, I brought you fresh water, I'll get you fresh food")

I really think a big key is not to try and "trick" the IRN -- they know if you aren't being honest, even if it's as innocent as trying to lure them into the cage for bedtime with a treat. The mere act of having an ulterior motive gets interpreted by them as a mixed signal, which makes them suspicious.

They also very quickly learn to know the difference of when you are using food as a lure and when it's freely given. If they do something, its because they decided they were okay with doing it.

After all, if you aren't going to do something they wouldn't like, why would you be hiding something?

I think IRNs get a bad rep as being difficult and shy, but after my experiences with Echo, I am beginning to think it's more that they are misunderstood and highly sensitive. Think the difference between someone who is known as being acutely empathic, versus someone who just isn't as attuned in that manner.

My IRN very distinctly thinks in a different way than my conures did/do. It's like he's processing and paying attention to so much more information than my other birds. So, they react to stimuli you may not even be aware they are recognizing and responding to.
 
OP
J

Jadetober

New member
Jun 21, 2022
7
14
Parrots
Indian ring neck
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
I wrote this on another IRN owner's post, and I thought it might help you, too!

To add on some specifics for here, though -- A "lot of time" can mean so many different things. And at the end of the day, I've found, it's the quality more than the quantity that matters, especially with an IRN.

I also have to giggle, we both have an IRN named Echo!

My Echo is very silent; he does this to not draw attention to himself. If he's making noise (that isn't his unhappy panic call), I know he's very comfortable, comfortable enough to play and goof off!

Your Echo freaks out when you stick your hand in the cage because it's too much, too fast for her. She has no way to escape, which drives up her panic; imagine being in a room and a giant arm of some megalithic titan sticks itself in the door and you don't even have a window to jump out of.

One of the most important, easy to do things I've started teaching to any guests we have over to help Echo, is being willing to back off.

If I see him showing signs of stress or fear of me, I take a deliberate step backwards. I have been having others do the same, and it's gone a long way towards him feeling more comfortable around them when they do. When they don't listen to me, it really shows. I had one lady trying to crouch down and walk closer to peer at him when he went to hide in the faaaaar back corner.

"You need to step back, he's afraid of you."
"I'm trying to see him better"
"You still need to step back. He is hiding because you are scaring him in trying to force the issue."

^was about how that went. Echo was very glad when I shooed the curious lady off, because she didn't get it at ALL, and it really showed in his behavior. Poor guy was eye-pinned in stress and hiding as far away as possible. Once she left, he cautiously crept back out to his perch and looked at me for reassurance.

Taking a step back when Echo shows fear of my proximity, shows him I am paying attention to his boundaries and am willing to respect them. I don't stick my hand in his cage when he is inside, except to service his water and food dish. I also talk to him and tell him what I am doing and why which seems to help him a lot. (things like "I'm going to open your door, I brought you fresh water, I'll get you fresh food")

I really think a big key is not to try and "trick" the IRN -- they know if you aren't being honest, even if it's as innocent as trying to lure them into the cage for bedtime with a treat. The mere act of having an ulterior motive gets interpreted by them as a mixed signal, which makes them suspicious.

They also very quickly learn to know the difference of when you are using food as a lure and when it's freely given. If they do something, its because they decided they were okay with doing it.

After all, if you aren't going to do something they wouldn't like, why would you be hiding something?

I think IRNs get a bad rep as being difficult and shy, but after my experiences with Echo, I am beginning to think it's more that they are misunderstood and highly sensitive. Think the difference between someone who is known as being acutely empathic, versus someone who just isn't as attuned in that manner.

My IRN very distinctly thinks in a different way than my conures did/do. It's like he's processing and paying attention to so much more information than my other birds. So, they react to stimuli you may not even be aware they are recognizing and responding to.
Thank you! Excellent name choice :) Our little feather baby seems to be settling in. She doesn't get too mad when we stand near her cage anymore and she has started to shout for me (one cute little cheeep) when I am upstairs and she is alone downstairs. She is happy to sleep outside of her cage and she grinds her beak etc so I know that she is getting better. Every now and then she gets all chatty and makes very nice little noises. Slowly slowly getting better...still an absolute NOPE to getting hands any where near her but hey ho maybe one day.
 

Squeeing_Onion

Active member
Oct 10, 2018
131
150
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
"Bongo" - Green Cheek Conure
“Echo” - Indian Ringneck
"Chicken" - Sun Conure, rest in peace, my precious friend.
Thank you! Excellent name choice :) Our little feather baby seems to be settling in. She doesn't get too mad when we stand near her cage anymore and she has started to shout for me (one cute little cheeep) when I am upstairs and she is alone downstairs. She is happy to sleep outside of her cage and she grinds her beak etc so I know that she is getting better. Every now and then she gets all chatty and makes very nice little noises. Slowly slowly getting better...still an absolute NOPE to getting hands any where near her but hey ho maybe one day.
D'awwww!

With enough time and patience, eventually, they're going to get curious and be comfortable enough with you to feel safe exploring that curiosity. Echo has been starting to 'grab' my finger with his beak, just gently closing it around my finger, and oh man, it has taken willpower to hold still and let him, especially when I wasn't expecting it. Sometimes I have startled anyways and dropped what I was holding, oops 😅
 

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