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Can This Bird Be Tamed?

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Goodmom42
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Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by Goodmom42 » Fri May 21, 2010 3:35 pm

I need advice as I just acquired a male ringneck who is at least 5 years old. He belonged to a friend whose son bought it and gave it lots of attention for the first year, gradually lost interest (typical kid stuff lol) and for the last few years has been basically ignored in its cage. Naturally, its frightened when I get close to the cage but does take food readily when I put it between the bars. Has been on a seed diet plus bananas. It makes an ear-piercing sound sometimes, but otherwise just sadly sits on his perch, not playing with the few toys in its cage. Probably gave up on life :( a while back.

I've never had any other bird than cockatiels and my current African grey buddy, so not sure what to expect or hope for with this sad fellas. Any advice would be appreciated.

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smallworld
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by smallworld » Fri May 21, 2010 11:54 pm

Yes it can be done, dont worry. Check out the numerous posts in the behaviour section of the forum. Alot of people with problem birds too and the users here have suggested alot of different approaches, so its up to you which one you'll pick.

4 years of neglect huh? Thats going to be one angry and frustrated bird. Poor thing. Well since you already have experience with quite a few birds, you'd at least know how to read his body language and know how to approach him. So good luck and if you dont find anything in the behaviour section, then would be happy to hear your questions :)

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SarahandEco
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by SarahandEco » Sat May 22, 2010 8:40 pm

I agree with smallworld. Check out behavior forums. Also remember to be patient. It will take time to gain your trust.
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Goodmom42
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by Goodmom42 » Sun May 23, 2010 4:06 pm

Thanks for your replies. He's been with me for 2 days now, and is still quite frightened, naturally. He wants to get out of the cage, but I will wait until he gets to know me better. My African grey has his wings clipped; he is never in his cage other than at night and I don't want him to fly out the door! I would like to have "Polly" (they didn't know it was a male ringneck!) clipped so that I can let him out as much as he wants. The previous owners said they couldn't catch him when he escaped, which I imagine was terrifying for him. They hadn't clipped his wings for years. Do you think it will be too traumatic for him?
My other question is, how long should I wait till I get a larger cage? His current one is probably 30 inches high by 18 inches wide, but since he's been in it for his entire life, I don't want to rush him into another stressful transition. At least he has room for that long tail!

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SarahandEco
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by SarahandEco » Sun May 23, 2010 5:49 pm

I actually think it would be much easier to tame "Polly" if you clipped his wings. It's really not all that traumatic for the birds if someone who knows what they are doing clips their wings. It's a lot easier to gain his trust when you're not running around chasing him all the time trying to get him in his cage.

I also think you should get a new cage as soon as possible but just gradually introduce him too it. Some suggestions I've read on the boards are to put the new cage by the existing one for a while, and then let your bird play in the new cage some, and then gradually let them start staying in the cage. When I got Eco I just put him in his new cage but it didn't bother him at all since his other one was so small he felt like he was a king and got a new palace.

I'm sure whatever you decide to do will turn out well. Good luck!! :P
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Goodmom42
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by Goodmom42 » Sun May 23, 2010 6:35 pm

Eco is certainly a handsome bird! So far I'm really enjoying this sweetheart. I read much of the info on this site (thank goodness I found it) and it's amazing how they will eat all kinds of fruits, veggies, etc. My african grey Mac is so picky, I have to beg him to eat any vegetable other than warm sweet potato. I'm slowly feeding Polly small amounts of fresh fruits & veggies, and he acts like he's starving to death the way he devours it all.
Thanks for all your input, I will follow your suggestions.

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smallworld
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by smallworld » Mon May 24, 2010 3:28 am

I'd agree with Sarah about the new cage and the clipping. Something bigger is always better in this case. :)

However, dont clip him yourself. Because you dont want him to regard you as the evil one who rendered him flightless. So take him to a vet, so he thinks he's the bad guy. I always clip my birds for 1 season. In that time, I train them and tame them as much as I can. Because I dont like clipping a bird and I think a birds beauty is really in its flight. Besides its also healthier for them to be able to fly around. However, sometimes it really has to be done for the taming process.

All the best to you and 'Polly' :lol:

Goodmom42
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by Goodmom42 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:15 am

Hello again! Just a little update on my "Polly". I can't believe that the previous owners thought that this sweet baby was "aggressive" :( He is absolutely lovely. I figure he probably was acting out in frustration from being sadly ignored.
Anyway, I did have his wings clipped by a local gal, to help in the taming process. He did attempt to fly, landing on the carpet, and stepped up onto my hand with no problem. He was quick to jump back off as soon as he got close enough to his cage, though! Since then, he is quite comfortable to take food from my hand, responds to my voice, but is still wary of coming too close to my hands. One time when I picked him up from the floor, he allowed me to snuggle him and rub his neck and head. :D I leave his cage open when I'm home (his cage is next to my recliner) and he enjoys sitting on the top. So, we're going slow, but he is happy and it is a joy to watch him devour all of his new-found veggies & fruits.
I'm going to leave him in his present cage for a while, as he is so secure in it. I figure its an okay size for now, since he can get out most of the day. Thanks for any input!

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smallworld
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by smallworld » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:47 am

Hello again :)

Yeah slow and steady is the way to go and its working for you, so good job! By the way the cage isnt the right size for an IRN which is why Sarah and I told you that you should really get something bigger.

Try to get a bigger cage or make one yourself. Its not so hard to make one and sometimes it cuts cost, maximizing the size :)

Goodmom42
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by Goodmom42 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:53 pm

Thanks for the advice! I definitely can get a larger cage, no problem there, I was just afraid to stress him out too soon since he seems secure in it. How large do you think he needs?

On a side note, my CAG can now perfectly mimic his distinct IRN call :) And he says, "Pollybirrrdddd" like I do, I think he thinks he's his new best friend!

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smallworld
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by smallworld » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:14 am

Well then you know what they say 'the bigger the better'! :D When it comes to cages for birds, I think it can never be too small. Here's a link to our Echo in his new cage, quite awhile ago:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10257

There were not much toys in it then, so it does look a lil bit more 'roomier'.

Thats so cool, what your Grey does. I always wanted to get a Grey or a Hahns Macaw :lol:

Goodmom42
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by Goodmom42 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:24 am

That's a sweet cage! Love the natural branches. I'll start looking for a new one. Now that I leave the cage door open, Polly likes to sit on the edge of the opening so that his tail hangs out. They really need exta room just to manipulate that lengthy tail around!

Echo is adorable :D

Goodmom42
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by Goodmom42 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:21 pm

Well, "Polly" seems to be content here in his new home, although still quite afraid of everyone other than myself. I am a bit worried as he seems to have removed his two long tail feathers and has quite a few of the small green ones in the cage bottom. Don't know if it could be stress from the move, or perhaps too many new foods introduced (all fruits & veggies other than a few bites of bread). I've been adding a vitamin to his water and using a conditioning spray bi-weekly, which he seems to enjoy. Maybe just too many changes too soon?

My question is, do your ringnecks lose the long tail feathers? He still has some up to 8 inches long, but these were supersized. Thanks.

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SarahandEco
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Re: Can This Bird Be Tamed?

Post by SarahandEco » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:44 pm

He's probably just molting. Ringnecks molt once a year, I think. The move might have stressed him a little and triggered molting a little early, but it's probably just natural. Eco started molting a couple of weeks ago. I don't think it's anything to worry about. :)
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