The ringneck parrots, also known as ringneck parakeets, are a diverse family with origins from Africa, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. They are known for their talking abilities and can be noisy, although talking is often a treat for owners. They are larger than budgies and have long, almost-flowing tails. Several colour variations exist through captive breeding including yellows, blues and the standard lime-green colour. When raising these birds, it is important to understand that a lack of socialisation will result in an unfriendly bird.
- Skill level:
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Socialise your baby ringneck(s) as often as possible. Handling, socialisation and weaning are more important than raising them from newborns, according to "Introduction to Ringneck Parakeets" by Theresa Jordan. These birds also need daily one-on-one interaction, not just the short amount of daily time set aside for cleaning the cages, feeding and watering. Your daily interaction with your young ringneck should include handling, talking to it and allowing it to be with you out of the cage.
Consult with a veterinarian if you are unfamiliar with feeding newborn chicks or are uncomfortable with doing so. They are very small and fragile so feeding poses a variety of potential problems. There are times when the parents refuse to feed the chick(s) and you will have to step in, although hand-feeding newborns is not necessary to get a tame, gentle bird. Otherwise, start hand-feeding your chicks between 2 and 4 weeks old.
Start weaning when your chick is 8 to 9 weeks old with foods such as soft fruits and vegetables (bananas and baked sweet potatoes, for example) while continuing to hand feed a couple times a day. Also, introduce your baby to the correct grind size of pellet suitable for its size. Hand-feed in the morning, then introduce different types of pellets at the next feeding. Soak them in warm water for a softer, easier-to-eat treat. Try the soft fruits after trying pellets.
Spend hours a day with your young birds. Handle them, allow them out of the cage and play with them. Even in adulthood, ringnecks are social and need this time to bond with you.
Tips and warnings
- Your bird might become slightly offset by your presence if you do not socialise it properly. It may begin to bite or show other similar behaviours toward you.
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- Birds N Ways: Winged Wisdom Pet Bird Magazine: Introduction to Ringneck Parakeets; Theresa Jordan; July, 1997
- Indian Ringneck: Hand Feeding Day Old Chicks
- Parrot and Conure World: Handfeeding a Young Bird
- Birds N Ways: Winged Wisdom Pet Bird Magazine: Breeding Indian Ringnecks; Joyce Baum; December, 1999