Ringneck Parrots as Pets: Typical Behavior, Training and Care
Personality / Pet Potential
Ringneck Parrots are highly intelligent and, for the right owners, can make excellent pets. They must be handled consistently in order to remain tame. If not sufficient interaction is provided, they will quickly revert to their wild behavior. However, well socialized Indian Ringnecks generally have pleasant personalities.
They learn concepts quickly and like to perform tricks, such as untying knots, ringing a bell, picking up objects and even stringing beads,
These energetic parakeets love to fly and explore; and are very playful. They need lots of toys to keep them entertain. They particularly like chew toys. The toys that should be provided to them are wood chews, perches, swings and assorted bird-safe toys that you can get hold of that is appropriate for their size. Small toys that they can easily hold in their claws are good choices.
Besides flying, which is important for all parakeets, these birds love to chew! Be sure you provide them with lots of assorted toys and wood chews, perches and swings.
Although mimicking speech is not their strongest point, they can be taught to speak, whistle and mimic other sounds. They can be very vocal and noisy -- rivaling their noisy larger cousins. They can also develop screaming habits, if teased. Their piercing, high-pitched calls can annoy intolerant family members or even close neighbors.
There is a general misconception that males are friendlier than females, but there is no real basis for this. However, we have noticed in the past that some - more than other parrot species - tend to pick their favorites amongst genders. Some bond more easily with males and others with females - and often it appears that they are showing a preference for the opposite sex (male ringnecks favoring female caretakers, and vice versa).
In summary, Indian Ringnecks are enjoyed for their amazing beauty and fun personalities; but they are not the easiest parrots to keep. We only recommend them to people who have had experience with larger parrots and are willing to put in the time and effort to keep them well socialized and entertained.
Housing / Set-up
Indian Ringnecks require a roomy cage with room for lots of toys and several perches.
The general rule is that the more time they have to spend in the cage, the larger it needs to be.
Ideally, have a "toy box" with toys for your pet and rotate those in the cage frequently.
Behavioral challenges that ringnecks present include:
Any parrot will chew. In nature, they use their beak to "customize" their favorite tree, to enlarge the size of their nest in a tree hollow. Doing this keeps their beaks in good condition. The problem is excessive and undesirable chewing. Undisciplined ringnecks may chew on electric wiring potentially causing house fires. The owner needs to provide plenty of "healthy" chewing opportunities (bird toys, natural wood branches, etc.) and training is necessary to teach a parrot what is "off-limits."
Jealousy / Aggression:
The ringneck parrots can be jealous of other family members and pets. They can develop a bond with only one human and refuse to interact with other people, even attacking them in some cases. Although this is a small bird it does not seem to believe so, and will attack larger birds and even dogs if it feels it or its human is threatened. Owners should be cautious in multiple-pet homes. Continuing to socialize the hand reared pet bird from a young age and letting many people handle and interact with it can prevent single-person bonding and allow it to become an excellent family pet.
They can be noisy - albeit not as noisy as their larger cousins. Not everybody can tolerate the natural call of a ringneck parrot, and even though it can't (or should not) be entirely eliminated, there are ways to discourage screaming / screeching in your pet. Ringnecks are known for their talking and whistling ability, and teaching and encouraging your pet to talk is one way to reduce undesirable screeching in your pet.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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