A few days ago, I was helping a friend in choosing a suitable pet. He was particularly keen on getting a bird and decided on an Indian ringneck parakeet. This led us to discuss how easy these birds might be to tame, and how the process of taming them may go.
So, how to tame an Indian ringneck? Indian ringneck parakeets are intelligent and good looking parrots that are fairly easy to tame and look after, provided their owner’s care for them goes above and beyond feeding, bathing, and fulfilling routine needs. These birds need interaction and quality playtime with owners.
Parakeets are lovely, friendly birds that are a pleasure as pets. While it is considered quite easy to tame these beautiful birds, it still requires time, effort, and willingness to nurture them.
Like any other living being, they thrive on a lifestyle of good nutrition, adequate playtime, and toys to play with, and a loving owner to interact with. If tended to properly, Indian ringneck parakeets can be very fond and affectionate pets.
Steps and tips for taming an Indian ringneck
Taming an Indian ringneck, or for that matter, any bird, is a matter of patience and care. Other than teaching the parrot tricks and teaching it to talk to you, an important aspect of taming the ringneck is also ensuring its well-being and comfort.
It is necessary to make sure that when the ringneck is new to your home, the bird is eating properly and is drinking enough water, and that it is not unusually unsettled or scared.
In initial days after bringing the bird home, the Indian ringneck parakeet may take time to adjust to its surroundings and maybe a little wary of the new owner.
If proper care and precautions are not taken, the results of trying to tame such a bird can be undesirable for both the parakeet and the owner, so here are some tips to keep in mind to tame an Indian ringneck and enjoy its loving company.
Tip No. 1 – Be committed
To begin with, remember that your lovely Indian ringneck parakeet will need daily love, care, and attention. Apart from feeding it balanced foods on time, bathing the bird and taking care of its hygiene needs, be sure to spend time with your pet.
The more time you spend with the parakeet, talking to it, and singing or humming to it, the faster the pet will grow familiar with you and will welcome your presence. This will also make the bird more comfortable to your touch.
Tip No. 2 – Aggression = Leave
This brings us to the next part of taming the ringneck- teaching it to know and welcome your touch, in essence, teaching it to trust you. While it is a misconception many harbour that birds are prone to and even fond of biting, well-treated birds generally are not.
In the beginning, your parakeet will not know you well and thus may be skeptical of you. If the parakeet does bite you, be careful not to encourage this behavior- DO NOT scold the bird or react harshly.
Instead, simply leave the bird in its cage or perch to calm down, and return when it appears in a better mood. This will teach the ringneck that biting will not get it any attention, and is hence discouraged.
The video below shows how it NOT done. Do not encourage biting. Just leave.
Tip No. 3 – Stay relaxed
In order to tame the bird in beginning stages, get the parakeet to hop on to your arm or a perch you are holding.
If, while prompting it to get on a handheld perch, or on your hand or arm, your hands waver, or you get startled, the bird will also lose confidence and may feel threatened by your inconsistent behavior. Be sure to keep your hand firm and coax the bird gently but confidently to you.
Tip No. 4 – Keep it slow
Trust is an important component of taming a bird and making friends with your pet.
When the ringneck starts allowing you close eventually, assess and increase its comfort level by stroking the top of its head and then the back of its neck, moving on to its face and then under its wings and finally its feet.
Whenever the ringneck seems uncomfortable, makes little growling noises or fluffs up its feathers, know that you have to back off and try again after some time. As the bird grows more used to your touch, it will easier for you to teach it tricks and tame it.
Tip No. 5 – Your Voice
Tone of voice is important, as parakeets are intelligent birds that are sensitive to voice modulations. They will soon learn to distinguish between your loving voice, stern voice, and sad or upset tone.
Thus, when interacting with your ringneck, be mindful of the tone you speak in- be firm when giving commands, gentle when the bird seems sick or spooked. This will help the bird adapt to you and will ensure it listens to you as well.
Tip No. 6 – Keep them in a good mood
As Indian ringnecks are very interactive, make sure they have enough toys, swings, etc. to play with. Parrots and parakeets have strong beaks they use to take a grip as they climb.
They also enjoy using their beaks to chew and gnaw on things, so give them plenty of wooden blocks and organic rope to chew on. Providing the bird with such amusement will keep it in a good mood, will ensure it remains active and will make it easier to tame.
Tip No. 7 – Encourage natural behavior
As mentioned in the previous point, ringnecks like chewing and shredding things such as wood and fiber. Do not scold your bird for such destruction, as it is natural for such birds to do so. Instead, invest in several destructible toys and encourage such play.
You can get swings such as rope swings with bells attached to it, which will give you a chance to interact and play with the bird as well.
Tip No. 8 – Don’t chase the bird
If the bird has been bred in captivity, it is likely that its wings will already be clipped. While this means that the Indian ringneck cannot fly high or long distance, it can fly to nearby places such as down to the floor or near and about the cage, perhaps around the house.
If it does so, do not chase after it or struggle to catch hold of it. This will scare the bird and cause it to mistrust you. To train it properly not to leave the cage without your permission, reach out to the bird gently and softly scoop it into your hold.
Always ensure that your actions are firm but not fast, shaky or hurried.
Tip No. 9 – The bird needs a name
To tame your Indian ringneck well, give it a name early on in the process and be sure to call it by name as often as possible. Over time, the bird will learn to recognize the sound and pick up its name as a call from its owner and will welcome you fondly.
Younger birds generally have a shorter concentration span of around two to five minutes, so in the beginning; don’t talk to the ringneck for more than that duration at a stretch.
Allow intervals of an hour or so before speaking to it again, so as to avoid confusing the pet and to give it time to remember your training.
Tip No. 10 – Make sure your bird is healthy
Ensure that your Indian ringneck is in good health, and remains so. If the parakeet’s health is not well-maintained and cared for, it will be difficult to tame it and make friends with it as it will remain cranky and upset. Thus, take certain measures to ensure your pet’s health.
Wash your hands before and after interacting with touch, and get its cage and perch cleaned regularly. Learn to gauge your ringneck’s mood and general health and avoid putting it in stressful situations such as possible exposure to and threats from other pets, excess noise, etc.
Tip No. 11 – The natural environment
Try to maintain as natural an environment for the Indian ringneck as possible. Such birds have natural habitats among trees, high up in the air and tend to wake at sunrise, sleeping at dusk.
Hence, try to keep the cage positioned high, but near about eye level with you so you can establish a rapport and sense of trust with the bird. Make sure the ringneck has about 12 hours of sleep every day and minimize sound and external light around the cage post-nightfall.
In the daytime, see to it that there is a harmonious balance between natural sunlight and shade.
What are the best foods for an Indian ringneck?
A balanced diet for an Indian ringneck should ideally consist of fresh fruits, vegetables, nutrition-infused pellets, nuts, and berries. However, do not feed the bird onions, eggplant, avocado, mushrooms, and potatoes. Broccoli, lettuce, corn, peas, mangoes, peaches, pears, bananas are good options.
How can you tell if your Indian ringneck is feeling ill?
Signs of sickness in Indian ringnecks include watering eyes, ruffled feathers, and running nose. There may be nasal discharge and greenish droppings. Breathing problems signify a cold or chest infection. Weight loss over a short span of time and decreased appetite can also tell that the bird is ill.