The Indian Ringneck parakeet (Psittacula krameri), also known as the rose-ringed parakeet, has a tail that makes up over half its total length and a red, hooked beak. The bird has a natural solid plumage of green, with domesticated plumage colours of white, yellow and blue. Accent colours include a pink, green and black ring around the male's neck and blue highlights on the longer tail feathers. Female ringnecks maintain a solid plumage of the same colour with little or no signs of the neck-ring feature.
Indian Ringnecked parakeets, unlike birds of similar size, need a larger cage with room to prevent the tail from being broken when the bird is active. The total length of most ringnecks is between 14 and 16 inches, therefore the minimum cage size for a single ringneck parakeet is 24 inches wide by 24 inches deep by 36 inches high. However, because of their naturally active lifestyle and chewing activities, a flight cage is recommended. At least two perches of different sizes and a cuttle bone for calcium are also necessary for healthy beak, feet and bones.
Diet and Habitat
Ringneck parakeets are native to Asia and Africa, and naturally have a varied diet from millet to grains. Because birds cannot live or thrive on a seed-only diet, ringneck parakeets must be fed a high-quality pellet diet with access to fresh leafy green and orange vegetables with some fruit daily. Seed should be given in moderation or as a treat or reward because of its high fat content. Fresh, nonchlorinated water should be provided twice a day in a drinking dish or water bottle, and a lukewarm bathing dish or misting offered once a day.
Natural Behavior and Temperment
In the wild, ringnecks forage and investigate new environments as they move in search of food and are intelligent birds with an inquisitive nature. In captivity ringnecks become bored easily and are prone to nipping and being fussy without daily out-of-cage interaction. The birds should have out-of-cage hours daily to be healthy, and plenty of devoted training and interaction time with their owner to maintain a docile temperament.
The start-up cost for an Indian Ringneck parakeet is nowhere near the cost of setting up a budgie house. Generally the bird alone is a few hundred dollars. The price of a stainless steel cage matches or exceeds that. Cheap cages are made from toxic metals that will ultimately kill your bird, and cages too small result in behaviour disorders such as feather plucking. Before purchasing an Indian Ringneck parakeet, consider speaking with an avian vet or volunteering at a parrot rescue centre to gain a sound understanding of the commitment they require.
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