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My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

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fferro09
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:51 pm

My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by fferro09 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:25 pm

Hi Everyone,


Just some background on my experience with other birds... I grew up with two parakeets (budgies) and a cockatiel. All three of them trusted me and bonded with me, especially the cockatiel, who loved head scratches...

Two weeks ago (on October 11) I went to a small pet store by the beach in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (it's called Farmer Girl - Exotic Birds), and I found an Indian Ringneck. The store's records showed that he hatched on May 16, 2015, so he's only 5 months old. They put him on my finger and he was fine. I took him home, and I also bought the cage he was in at the store (I think this was a mistake...), and of course he was scared for the first day or so, but then he got comfortable - as long as he's in or on top of his cage... and keep my hands away from him. Anytime he's on or in his cage, he runs away and will not let my hand get near him unless I'm holding food or a toy.

Strangely, whenever he tries to fly off his cage and he falls to the ground (they clipped his wings at the store), he comes running to my finger for me to pick him up. I usually use this opportunity to keep him on my finger to see if that will help him stop being scared of my hand. He then calms down and starts fixing his feathers while on my finger, and he puffs up, so he's clearly content. So I don't understand why he's comfortable on my finger when he's on it, but when he's on/in his cage, it's impossible to get him on my finger without him getting scared. I NEVER force him to do anything. He's already been on my finger many times before, so I don't get why he still runs away and panics when he's at his cage? He doesn't act like this when he's on a piece of furniture or somewhere else in the house.

What is the solution to this? I feel like 2 weeks is starting to get too long to be running away from me (our cockatiel let us scratch her head from day one...), but I also never had a ringneck and understand that every bird is different. Is this just a bad personality match and should I just give him away? Should I keep him away from his cage? He tries to spend the entire day on his cage, even when I open it and let him go wherever he wants to, and he won't let me pick him up when he's at his cage, only when he's away from it. Ughhh -.-

MissK
Posts: 3006
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:46 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Re: My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by MissK » Sun Oct 25, 2015 2:59 pm

No, don't give him away. Don't panic. Where are you?
-MissK

fferro09
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:51 pm

Re: My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by fferro09 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:08 pm

I live in northern Virginia, just outside DC. But my significant other works in owings mill, just outside Baltimore.

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InTheAir
Posts: 2040
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:24 pm

Re: My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by InTheAir » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:17 pm

Hi,

It takes time to build trust with a ringneck. Try reading this http://learningparrots.com/blog/trainin ... ing-trust/

MissK
Posts: 3006
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:46 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Re: My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by MissK » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:55 pm

ffero, you're a little far for me to just pop by. Can you link me to the cage you got at Farmer Girl?
-MissK

fferro09
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:51 pm

Re: My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by fferro09 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:58 am

Hi MissK,

I'm not sure I can find it online. I don't have a picture of the full cage but I can take one when I get off work around 6. I appreciate everyone's help.

fferro09
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:51 pm

Re: My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by fferro09 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 3:58 pm

Here is a picture of his cage... This forum only allows me to upload this tiny picture...
Attachments
IMG_1299.JPG

MissK
Posts: 3006
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:46 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Re: My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by MissK » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:14 pm

Cage doesn't look as small as some, though I note it's in front of a window.....
I was concerned about cage size, just because I always am.
:)
-MissK

fferro09
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:51 pm

Re: My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by fferro09 » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:33 am

So I'm trying to do all the right things to gain his trust. I always back away if I see he's getting nervous, and I never force him off the cage or in the cage... The only way I know how to get him off his cage without scaring him is by playing back recordings I made of his chirps. He then gets excited and tries to fly off but glides to the floor. He then comes running to my finger and he calms down.

I always use this playing back recordings tactic, except this morning, and many other mornings, it's very difficult to get him to fly off his cage, and I have to get to work! Ugh, so today I had to corner him on the cage (he got scared of course -.-) to get him in the cage as I don't feel comfortable letting him outside all day...

It's always a problem to get him in his cage with him running away from me, and I don't want him to get scared of me. How in the world do you get a bird in their cage if they're running away from you on top of their cage? My intuition tells me to keep him away from his cage as much as possible. It seems to me that the cage is what is fueling this behavior of not moving forward with trusting me. Starting today, im going to try to keep him away from his cage. If anyone thinks this is a bad idea please let me know and explain why. Thanks!

User avatar
InTheAir
Posts: 2040
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:24 pm

Re: My ringneck doesn't seem to like me

Post by InTheAir » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:37 pm

I would take the conplete opposite approach, if he wants to be on his cage I would be trying to convince him that he can still interact with me there. Attach a dish to the top of the cage near the front, then you can walk up to the cage and drop a little treat in, instead of chasing him. Get him to come towards you when you want to interact.Parrot training is basically an intellectual game of "how to I convince my feathered friend that he wants to do what I want him to". Just like husbands, ringnecks respond best if they think it was their idea ;)

The same applies to going into the cage. Teach him to climb in to get a treat and leave the door open to allow him to come straight back out. Obviously, this is a training game so it needs to be practiced when you have time to be relaxed, not when you are in a rush to go out.

The other thing I really recommend is to search this forum for the "foraging" thread by ellieelectrons and implement foraging for all food except training treats. Start by making it really easy though. A nice easy thing is to buy extra coup cups (the type that screw to the cage) and distribute his food around all the cups. Cups and food can be wrapped in paper. Make sure he knows food is in there and how to get to it.

Foraging is great, it keeps birdies busy in their cages, it mimicks what birds in the wild have to do to earn a living and it makes getting treats for training really easy in comparison. My birds like going to their cages because they want to see what cool stuff is in there. When I call out to tell them it is cage time, they zoom over from wherever they are. They also get small treats every time we put them in their cages (except if there is heaps of new foraging Sapphire doesn't stop for a piece of almond, she just gets started on her favourite toys).
A busy bird has less time to scream, pluck or try to escape from it's cage. It also associates going to the cage with good things, not being locked in and left alone.

Target training is also very useful. When your bird is happy to approach you from the cage top you can start teaching him to target.
http://youtu.be/HaOicTtwIZo

I hope that helps. Let me know if you want more detailed or step by step guidance.

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