Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

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crazybirdlady9871
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Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby crazybirdlady9871 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:41 am

Hi there, I recently rescued a yellow/rose ringed Indian Ringneck, I have had him a little over a month now, and am after advice on taming/training. He is male, and over 2 yrs old (no exact age as he is a rescue). He is extremely cage aggressive, bluffing as soon as you walk near it. I cannot even change water/food bowls without fear of blood.

Now with that being said, sometimes he is a sweetheart. He doesn't know step or up but will step if you put your hand infront of him (or bluff and get you with a tear inducing bite, I assume that means no thanks lol). He has had a hard upbringing, he was found out in the wild (captive bred though, is banded) and his owners were located and didnt want him back at all! He stayed with the person who found him for a while, bonded and shared a cage with her male cockatiel. The two were surrendered to a rescue together, however the poor tiel had succumbed to a dog attack. The ringneck I rescued (Mr. Bird) witnessed the attack on his friend he had bonded with.

He also plucks his wing on occasion, though alot less now.

I would love some advice on how to 'tame' him, and get him more human friendly and less cage aggressive. He spends plenty fo time out of cage and with my two cockatiels however I always have to supervise as my IRN can go from singing andd heart winging to pecking, and my tiels are only little!

Thanks in advance!

*ps, ignore the mess on my partners desk lol

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MissK
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Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby MissK » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:43 am

Hi, congrats on your addition. As far as that photo is concerned, it looks like a pet Ringneck's natural state, to me.........

So, first thing I want you to do is pack up all that bluffing notion, stick it in a box, seal it, and put it on the curb with your trash. Give yourself a little mental shake, consider the bird is reacting to stimuli, and let's move forward.

My gut tells me you have a great little bird who needs some assurance and time, and a stable environment to get back in touch with his pet self. We cannot know why the owners don't want him back. Maybe they freed him because they didn't want him, or maybe he escaped. Maybe they have moved on emotionally, or maybe they didn't like his habits. If I were putting money on it, I'd say he either made noise or bit and they got sick of it. Sometimes I'm a little hard on the humans, but it's true that not everyone is right for birds.

You say he is cage aggressive and defends his space physically. I'm going to say he is afraid of you coming to his cage and he can't get away, so he has no recourse for self preservation except attacking. You mean him no harm, but he currently has no way to know that, AND you keep coming back. Although you do go away after he attacks (doesn't matter you were finished and leaving anyway) to him, his attack was successful in driving you off. I am NOT suggesting for even a second that you linger to show his attack is not working. NO. Wrong approach. What you want to do is find a way to service the cage that does not upset him. The ideal time might be while he is off snacking at your partner's computer.

You say he doesn't know step up (command) but will either step up or bite when the hand is presented. I say he has been poorly conditioned to step up BUT is not always confident when you present your hand, which is, by the way, a step up command, just a non-verbal one. Why don't you present your hand a safe distance away and offer a high value treat at the same time. Offer the treat so he must approach the hand to get it, eventually shaping that behaviour to a step up. You may still get some bites as he reassures himself about the hand, and as leftover behaviour pattern, so keep that hand rock-steady, and never, ever fail to follow through with the treat you promised. You can reduce treating later as he progresses.

You say he plucks his wing on occasion. See if you can identify a trigger, and provide lots of other things to do, possibly as well a preening toy. Inspect the area to see if there is any physical irritant and address it if there is.

Regarding pecking your tiels, I would say continue to supervise closely and make sure those tiles are flighted and have some place safe to go.

These advices are my opinions. I do think you can get a grip on this situation by taking a good look at how you are approaching your bird and understanding his actions are largely reactions to his situation, both current and historic. Fortunately, I believe that he will largely allow his new good experiences to supplant the old bad ones as he makes his decisions about what actions to take.

Last, b ut not least, I would not be me if I did not make some small inquiry about his cage. Could you supply pictures and general dimensions, please? Unfortunately, due to recent load of spam and my own crazy life, I'll need you to send me an email heads-up when you make that post. Best wishes!
-MissK

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InTheAir
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Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby InTheAir » Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:13 pm

Hi,

Missk has given some good advice. I second that you forget that "bluffing" nonsense, I haven't found a qualified bird trainer or behaviourist who subscribes to the idea that ringnecks bluff.
Ringnecks can take time to develop a good relationship with new people. Patience and understanding are the keys. Watch his body language very carefully, then you can learn to back off at the first sign of discomfort, you learn to spot how the feathers shift around the beak etc, rather than a bite. The more he trusts you to respond to his signals, the more he will use them.

Also, foraging! Lots and lots of foraging!

crazybirdlady9871
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Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby crazybirdlady9871 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:34 pm

Here are some photos of his area, big cage, playstand uptop and playstand in the middle! The other cage to the side barely showing is the tiels cage (a safe distance so they can retreat). I will also add he doesn't really play with toys, there is one toy he will bash with his head and giggle, but thats about it!

The poor baby. It can't be diet related... He gets fresh fruit/veg daily, aswell as access to seed (he'd much prefer the fruit though ;) ) and brown rice, nuts & quinoa once a week. (small amount with his regular fruit/veg). Sometimes boiled smashed eggs and he does steal toast sometimes...

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InTheAir
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Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby InTheAir » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:43 pm

Seed is really not the best base for a diet. Very high in fat and low in good stuff. I recommend switching him to pellets.

crazybirdlady9871
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Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby crazybirdlady9871 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:45 pm

He will not even touch pellets at all. He throws them all over the floor, emptys the bowl then growls at it!!!! So I have been leaving seeds, however he barely eats seeds. His diet is atleast 80% fruit/veg.

MissK
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Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby MissK » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:56 pm

Check this out -- at my local market we now have DRY POWDERED PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!! Maybe a dusting would imrpove pellet palatability.
-MissK

crazybirdlady9871
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:06 pm

Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby crazybirdlady9871 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:06 pm

Oh wow, that may entice, yes! lol. Todays menu was blackberry, cherry (pit removed), brocolli, kale, spinach, orange, kiwi, brown rice & quinoa!

MissK
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Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby MissK » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:03 am

Cage looks, in my opinion, the smallest that should support irn life. However, to a formerly free range animal, may still be too small, like a trap.

How are things coming along?
-MissK

crazybirdlady9871
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Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:06 pm

Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby crazybirdlady9871 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:34 pm

His cage is bigger than his previous one, and he is only inside when I cook, or go out, otherwise he is free range, in my house! He is doing well, still, even with powdered peanut butter tips pellets out all over my floor! But he eats more fruit/veg/rice ect than he does seeds. His taming is going well, slow but well, his flight feathers have regrown (he was clipped when we got him) and he is still a bit bitey but is getting better! He is very happy, he now makes all kinds of cute sounds and runs around on his play gym! I believe he is getting there, on his own terms but he is learning!

crazybirdlady9871
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:06 pm

Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby crazybirdlady9871 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:36 pm

He also no longer plucks at all! And is currently in love with my female cockatiel, he brings her gifts (broccoli usually). It's adorable!

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

Re: Taming a 2+ year old rescue??

Postby MissK » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:32 pm

Well, I'm going to have to agree, that *is* adorable. Congrats.
-MissK


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