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New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:48 am
by Caty1113
Hi, I am new to the world of IRNs :D

So, I live in a rural area in northern Canada, with one pet store and no IRN breeders anywhere close. I have wanted one forever. Anyway, the pet store finally got some in, but they are completely untame.

I got what was told is a grey lacewing, sex unknown, but probably female as it was born in Feb 08 and there is no ring.

I got her a week ago. If I go near the cage she is ok, but she will try to bite if my hand goes near her, the pet store said she would be tame within a couple of weeks, I should take her out with a towel so she doesn't bite me and hold her there for half an hour.

She is terrified of the towel and honks like a goose really loud if she sees it, and I have to chase her around the cage to get her. She tries to bite for awhile when being held in the towel but I can avoid her beak and pat her head without her freaking out. But she still tries to get out, and if she does she will wedge herself under the tv or some tiny dark place.

She will not take food from my hand.

Please help me with tips etc on how to tame her.. I am scared of being bit (her beak is huge..) and I just want a friendly, cuddly bird, is this even possible with a non hand reared bird?

I have never tamed a bird before, I have a conure but she was completely tame before we got her.

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:24 pm
by nil
live with her 2-3 months and then begin a training
all these months, she must live calm without any fear
her cage with 1 or sides near a wall, like a corner of a room.
she must sleep at least 9-10 hours every night at darkness and without noices
she must eat well (seeds+fruits+vegetables+vitamins or pellets without colourings+fruits+vegetables)
dont push it for any reason, no towels, no catcings.
she must knows you and your place first, then you have work.....
the birds need much patience

good luck

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:35 am
by Lilly
Try the stop and pause method it works with every bird I have ever had. It will take any thing from a few hours to a couple of weeks. It's simple.... put your hand slowly in towards the bird and as the bird starts to react stop and pause, as soon as it stops reacting walk away. Only do this for 5-10 mins a day.... each time you should be able to get a little closer... it works with practically all types of birds. I even have a Magpie that was completely wild but now sits quite happily on my hand or shoulder it took me two days to tame it. The sooner you can handle your bird the easier it will be for cleaning, feeding and he/she will be less likely to damage itself while trying to escape you.
As nil said one side of the cage to a wall helps make them feel secure and plenty of sleep so best to cover the cage at night.. lack of sleep makes them grumpy.

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:06 am
by Technobird
Our IRN was completely untame when we got him from the pet store. While he doesnt let us pick him up bare skin he will come out of his cage on his own and wonder around and if we put a towel over our hand he will step up onto it. Just not bare skin. Persevere and give your bird time. Im sure being an older bird aswell it may take a little bit longer.

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:38 am
by jimmyjack
from doing a quick scan when i first joined the forums, plenty of the topics seem to be "help, my bird is crazy" or some variation there in with the taming process. read read read. i think thats the best advice ive got to give, as im new to this myself, and its worked for me. scoure through the topics, and see what people say.
from what i can tell, there are 2 basic techniques with taming. and it comes down to a) the owners preference; and b) the birds temprement. there is the towel technique and the stop and pause technique, as mentioned above.

personally, ive gone with the stop and pause. its about gaining the birds trust and i think its alot let stressful on both parties. when they see you approach, it can be a scary thing. when they know youre not coming to hurt them, they relax. by and by, they'll trust you more and more, and you get closer and closer. you can buy a clicker to help with training, but i just do a double click of my tongue. the idea is that you click every time they get a reward and come to associate the noise with the click. you do this when giving them a treat. but also when you remove your hand, the reward being the removal of scary object (you!).

as mentioned, you should start just by putting your hand in the cage. when the bird is comfortable with that, you move closer to it and stop. eventually they may let you start to touch them.

the stop and pause can be done when offering treats aswell. you initially gain trust of taking a treat from your hand. sunflower seeds and corn kernals seem to be winners for me (if youre seedmix has sunflower seeds, seperate them, out, as there is no point coming to take the favourite treat from the threatening being if its available stress free from their feeder). then progress to have them stand on your hand for a treat (this is the stage im at, and he usually jumps off as soon as hes finished). from there, i think gaining his trust to stand on your hand without a treat, and then patting them while theyre on your hand are the next steps.

it takes time, and patience is the key. theyre very intelligent and learn through repetition. if they learn that all they have to do is bite you to make you go away, they will. and vice versa, if all they have to do to get a treat is jump on your hand, they will learn that too. but read through the forums and make youre own decisions. hope it goes well

good luck!

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:11 pm
by CharlieBMummy
I have a pet shop irn too. Had him for about 2 months. And i'm now just getting to the point where he'll sit on my hand.
But i don't use a towl. I use a garden glove made of half fabric, half suede. I put the glove on the wrong hand, so the suede is on top of my hand and the fabric is underneath.

I ball up my hand and slowly put it in the cage under his brest and say 'step' and he does.
As soon as he steps up, i praise him not with clicks or treats, But with positive words, and a friendly tone. 'Good boy Charlie, such a good boy'

He wont step on my bare hand without trying to devein my hand, but he's quite happy to sit on the glove, while with my bare right hand, i stroke his back gently. Constantly saying 'good boy, clever boy'

Occasionally i will move his close to my body, but far enough away so that he wont bite.

He will take treats from my fingers when he's in his cage. And i say 'gentle' And hr does. He takes it gently.

Hope the garden glove suggestion helps.


Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:49 am
by smallworld
Please dont use a garden glove. Thats just wrong. The bird will never get used to your hand. Also they may peck and bite a little, yes you may bleed as well. But you're not going to need stitches and you'll never lose enough blood, that you may go into hypovolemic shock.

Its really just a bird, even more. Its your pet and companion or buddy, so handle them the way you'd want to be handled if you were that bird. They dont really understand your intentions at first. Thats why it takes alot of time to develop a good relationship. Once they know you mean no harm, you'll be alright. They'll never bite you to hurt you.

If the bird bites to hurt you now, just remember, thats its only way of saying 'hey im not a softie!' or 'back off!'. Its their self defense mechanism and probably, you reacting negatively to it, increases that response. Because he/she knows its hurting you and they'll keep doing it everytime to make you go away. Really if you have to cradle a new bird or give it medications, a warm towel is offers comfort to the bird and protection. It also doesnt mislead the bird into thinking its your hand.

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:09 pm
by CharlieBMummy

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:15 pm
by Miss Jojo
Time, patience and kind words!

Time ~ Allow your bird to settle into it's new home and get to know it's new flock.

Patience ~ All creatures are different. Patience and loving perserverence always wins out!

Kind Words ~ Always talk to your bird with a soothing, calm voice. Do this regularly throughout the day to build trust.

and finally DO WHAT YOU FIND WORKS FOR YOU AND YOUR BIRD! if using a glove gives you more confidence and your bird is happy with it then use that method....if you are happy to use the towel method then that is what you do. As long as your choice of method does not distress or harm you or your bird then I see no problem!

My Bluey was fiesty and unable to be handled for about the first 6 weeks and although we approached her often with kind words and food we did not pressure her! Now nearly 5 months down the track she is like putty in my hands...not very social with the other members of my family I admit but so loving with me!

There is an amazing level of support and advice on this forum so I agree READ, READ, READ!

PS. Just like men the way to an IRN's heart is through it's stomach and I have found that plain unsalted popcorn is a favourite! :wink:

Good Luck :)

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:31 am
by smallworld
wow some people put alot of thought into what they say.

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:33 am
by jimmyjack
actually i think anything corn is the trick...mine is almost as mad for the stuff as he is for sunflower seeds!

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:57 pm
by bec
i agree with miss jojo
the glove is not a thing i normally use but i do have a bird who is scared of sitting on bare hands........ not because he is scared of me (and anyone who knows mutley knows that) but because he cannot grip my bare skin & loses balance so i wear a long sleeved hoodie for play time with him
and of course i agree with the popcorn i use it for training all my seed eating birds
(doesnt work to well on the nector eaters though :lol: )

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:06 pm
by tiph2608
well i got irn and was told he was hand reared!!!! they said he was 4 months old and ive had him about 5 weeks, been trying to get him on the hand but cant get near him!!! will be trying some of these things. thanks

Re: New ringneck, completely untame

Posted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:29 pm
by bec
hanf trared simply means they were fed by humans it is a totaly different thing to hand tame