Ask Lafeber

Question:

October 19, 2020

Indian ringneck wont tame with me


Hello. My indian ringneck has been with me for now a year and he just doesnt like me. He is too scared and shy and i dont know what to do. I communicate with him everyday and talk to him. I think he trusts me he eats infront of me, he plays, he grooms but he’s really scared when i go near him. He just wont accept my hands or the closeness. I also have a cockatiel and they live in the same enclosure. Maybe its because of the cockatiel? Oh and also we got him from the wild technically not me my relative and they dont need him anymore and im taking care of him now. He was really small when we got him maybe 4 or 5 months. Maybe he wouldnt tame with me? Please tell me what to do. Thanks!


Answer:

Hi Aysha,

I would not keep these two birds in the same cage. They have different size beaks and the Indian Ringneck Parrot(IRN) can easily hurt or kill the cockatiel without meaning to. They are also from different continents and would never meet in the wild. Cockatiels are what is called a powder bird – they produce a powder that coats their feathers for protection – and non-powder species can actually be allergic to the powder birds. Also, when trying to tame a bird, you should not have it cages with another bird or it will never have an interest in being tame since it has another bird for companionship.

IRNs are known for being hand shy, even when they are hand fed. They will quickly revert to being wild if not handled daily. And many hand fed IRN do not stay tame even with daily handling. They shy away from hands and prefer to be on a shoulder, which is their way of avoiding handling. It’s not so much that he doesn’t like you, but it’s just his nature to be this way. Some IRNs can be great pets, but more of them end up like your bird. All you can do is continue to talk to him and keep your hands away from him. He may eventually come around. You might be able to stick train him. But most likely he will not ever be very hand tame. I’ll give you the links to our taming and training page, as well as a link to a recent webinar we hosted on communicating with your bird. These tips will give you some direction – just keep being patient and understanding with him and while he may never be a hand tame pet, he might come around and at least interact with you from within his cage.

Teaching Your Bird

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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