Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

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malafranque
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Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby malafranque » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:10 pm

I'm currently fostering a gorgeous Indian Ring Neck that was found on the street.

We believe it's a she although she has plucked most of her body feathers, and has only her wings, head, back and tail feathers intact, anything on her neck/belly is gone and she sometimes even reaches to the top of her wings to pluck. This behavior is obviously long ingrained, so my hope is not to stop it, but to make sure it doesn't become dangerous to her. She does have a "scratch" on her belly that she sometimes irritates as well. So far it hasn't gotten to the point where I have to take her to the vet, but I'm keeping a keen eye on it. It's gotten a lot better since she's been here. She used to open it up every other day before, and now... about 2 months later, she keeps it healed almost consistently.

I've pretty much left her alone in her corner for the first two months, just going about my normal business. She started by viciously attacking every day when I gave her food or water and has slowly calmed down to the point where she might bite her perch or not bite at all while I do this or when I clean her cage. So we are now ready for more taming.

I've stepped it up by giving her treats by hand and she takes them about half of the time very gently, the other half very aggressively, so we're still working on that. I've introduced the ladder that I will use to make her step up into her cage about once a day for a brief moment, only taking it away once she's calmed down. I can't get it near her, but I can leave it by the door cage at this point... all small steps.
She is fully flighted and I cannot just let her get out of her cage until she is tame enough to step up, so I really want her to get there.

Does anyone have any other ideas on what I can work on?

Also, she has a love hate relationship with my cockatiel, you can tell she loves watching her and seeing her get pet, but the second she sees her fly she tries to aggressively get to her. I'm guessing they will never be able to be friends from what I've read? Anyone else has experienced introducing cockatiels to a ringneck?

This is my first big(ger) parrot and it's obviously not an easy one so I'm doing what I can to make sure I don't make things worse.

Oh... and two positions that I was wondering about one is the craning of the neck back while making cute sounds, I've taken that as a positive, come love me thing? And the feathers all fluffed up and eyes half closed to closing when I talk to her... I'm also assuming that is a good sign?

Thank you!
Marie

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby AJPeter » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:38 pm

Does she have a leg ring? And have you reported the finding of her to Parrot Alert.com if no one calims you should read as many post on this site as possible before asking questions.

malafranque
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby malafranque » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:10 pm

Oh yes, that was all done! No ring on leg at time of finding.
I'm only a foster for a Parrot Rescue in my area. She was too stressed at the rescue because of all the big parrots there, so I was asked to take her on until they could find her an adoptive home.

I just know that this would be a difficult placement as she is "naked" and not tame. I would love to get her tame enough that an adoption would come easily for her. (That is if we don't fall in love and keep her ourselves)

malafranque
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby malafranque » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:13 pm

And as far as reading, that's all I've been doing since getting her :) It's why I've taken a really slow approach with her and why (I think) we have a lot of progress and she is becoming a happy girl.... I guess I was hoping for some personal accounts/help. I can read all I want, watch all the youtube videos I can, but sometimes it's nice to talk to "real" people and get some ideas from others who have gone through the same thing. Sorry... I was looking for a community more than answers to my questions I guess, although a few tips on what else I can do to work with her would actually be nice.

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InTheAir
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby InTheAir » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:57 pm

Hi Marie,

I recommend ignoring Ajpeters at all times, I haven't worked out if he is a troll or just completely socially inept! What ever it is i don't think i have seen a sensible post from him.

I saw your post but was hoping Missk would reply as she has more experience with older birds.

I would highly recommend you take her for a full health check with an avian vet if you haven't already. She may be in some discomfort which won't help taming.

After the health check, you could try target training her (teaching her to touch a stick). This can be very helpful for getting not so tame birds to return to their cages.
I would get her consistently coming to you for treats before trying to progress to stepping up.
The ducking head back thing sounds like inviting you to do the birdy wild thing. Some hens will do it for scratches outside of breeding time though.
What is her diet? Does she forage for her food? How many hours darkness does she get at night? What time of year is it where you are? Hormonal hens can be a little psychotic, if you can try to keep her out of breeding condition she will probably be more responsive to training.I also find my hen is not as food motivated when she is in breeding mode.


Regards,
Claire

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby sanjays mummi » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:57 am

Hi Claire, Peter (AJ Peter) isn't a troll, or socially inept, I disagree with some of his methods, (as does Billie, going by the number of times he gets bitten). Anyway, this little bird sounds female to me, Sanjay puts his head back all year round, for a tickle, I still say "he" on here, but I think, quite frankly, I was lied to about his gender. I suggest "Feather Up", and seeded grapes, a vet would fit a tiny Elizabethan collar to prevent further plucking.

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby MissK » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:03 am

Hi Marie, and welcome. Congratulations on your new charge. I think, despite our deluge of spam, you will find a community here. I've said before, and I'm very happy about it, that we all have our special areas of interest, experience, and knowledge. This is THE place to be, as far as I'm concerned, for Ringneck support.

I have got, as Claire indicates, two older birds who came to me at 10 and 16 years of age. They're not hens, though, so have it with a grain of salt. They arrived in differing degrees of not tame, and both have made great progress developing their comfort level and skills.

Plucking breaks my heart, it really does. I don't want to see any photos of this. Call it a weakness. However, I remain hopeful. While plucking surely has been said to be self-rewarding, and almost all despair of a long time plucker stopping, I wonder sometimes if a complete change of lifestyle could set a bird at ease. We'll never be able to ask them, sadly.

I'm glad you left her alone to sort herself out while you carried on - I think this is a good tactic. If you did nothing else I think this would still do a lot for her. I don't think I would be introducing something that makes the bird upset (ladder) and then removing it after she calms. In my view, it would be better to inch it closer over time, stopping before she gets upset. Once she is upset, you already crossed her line. If you must get her used to it by flooding, since she does calm down, I would rather see you drop it in the far corner of the cage and leave it there. Why put her on high alert time after time after time? If you do that, then you should be dropping a treat on it so she can work up to it on her own with some motivation. Read a little about flooding and learned helplessness and decide if that's what you're doing, or if it just sounds that way to me. In the meantime, don't advance the ladder towards he when she doesn't want it - that's just counterproductive and mean.

I disagree that you cannot let a fully flighted and untame bird out of the cage. If that were the case, I think Sinbad would never, ever get out forever. :roll: The trick here is mostly getting the bird back in the cage. If she has been well treated inside the cage and sees it as a safe place, you can motivate her back into it by placing her resources inside and not outside. If you want to be all slick (and if you have an iron will) you can reserve one super duper favourite treat just for back to cage time. Maybe pistachios (no dye, no salt, etc). If she likes them as much as mine do, you get her used to them and then save them for back-to-cage only time, eventually you'll have a bird who puts herself away when you reach for the pistachio container. Key words located here all in the vicinity of the word "if".....

A word on giving treats - I'm familiar with the variations of sometimes taking a treat nicely, sometimes aggressively. Just keep your fingers clear, make sure the bird is coming TO YOU - just a step or two counts- and not you chasing her with a treat. Make sure she is well fed. Sometimes our food runs low overnight, and that first treat in the morning may be snatched because, well, they're hungry! Don't expect a bird to understand "polite". Don't expect her to always be in a good mood - nobody is! Choose the treats with health in mind, but let them be free flowing. Treat for everything that's not an undesired behaviour, including treating for no reason at all. Remember, though, if you're relying on treats to get a bird back in the cage, don't stuff her while she's out of the cage.

I cannot speak about the Cockatiel thing. I've only really seen vendetta action from female Budgies....... Don't force the birds to be closer than they like, make sure there is at least a sight barrier so they can "hide" from each other if they want, but be sure this barrier doesn't also scare any of them. Should go without saying to not let them together without supervision.

I think it's good your bird is coming on to you, sort of. I think it says she has a rapport with you. That may be not an appropriate rapport, but so long as you be the responsible one I see it as a better sign than if she wanted nothing to do with you come hell or high water.

I hope my comments and opinions are helpful in some degree. When I was preparing to get a bird and when I was a bit greener at keeping them, I read and learned constantly, consciously tried to apply what I learned, kept in touch with my conditioning notes, etc. Nowadays I just kinda go with my gut. I'm still learning because birds are not static. I still get dumbfounded. I have to go back for review of what I learned in the past. I expect that will always be.

I'm not a pro bird keeper or stellar trainer (that's Claire). My primary focus (today) in keeping my birds, I think, is for them to be comfortable living here with me, for them to be as birdie as they can without causing so much hardship that they could be hard to live with, for them to be happy and healthy,as fulfilled as possible, and for them to interact with me to the extent that they comfortable can. If they pay attention to me, if they come for treats, if they fly around the room and land on my wrist because I asked them to -- these are the bonuses for me, not the requirements.

Oh yeah - and tell us about your cage! :mrgreen:
-MissK

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby AJPeter » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:35 am

Actually l am a Trollope, but l am glad the high flyers have joined in.

malafranque
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby malafranque » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:56 pm

Thank you so much everyone!

She was luckily seen by a vet already before I had her, so I know she is ok on that level.

Yes I agree about the ladder, I stopped almost immediately after introducing her to it. She just wasn't quite ready for it yet. She has no problem with me holding it outside of the cage though, so that's what I've resorted to for the time being. I'll introduce it inside of her cage at a later date.
The treats are going wonderfully well for now, she's gotten to the point where she snatches only about 20% of the time, and I believe it is exactly because she's hungry and wants her treat "right now!" as it usually happens first thing in the morning when I feed her.

She eats a mix of seed and pellets right now, and the treats are the nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables that I give her each day. So far favorites are apple, oranges, broccoli... Everything else gets thrown the the floor of the cage and promptly ignored, she especially dislikes banana and loves to throw that one to the floor with contempt.

I'll try target training so that she can get out of the cage. While she has a huge cage that takes up half of the wall of our living room, I would like her to be able to fly around and have fun exploring the place too. She did get out once while I was changing her water dish and loved being on top of her cage, but I couldn't let her be free throughout the day while I was out and getting her back into the cage was pretty traumatizing as we hadn't built up a bond yet at the time. I'll work on the treats for when she gets back in. She does LOVE pistachios too!

I'll keep you up to date :)

malafranque
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby malafranque » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:01 pm

Oh and she is getting a full 12 to 13 hours of dark at night, night fall is at 5:30pm right now and sun is up around 5:30am-6:am She doesn't start talking until about 6:30am though.

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby malafranque » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:14 pm

Just looked up Feather Up too and will try it...

Once she is more comfortable with me I'll try making her the felt collars I've seen on here, but I'd rather not traumatize her yet with another contraption.

Or would some of you recommend I try it now that she's already dealing with changes and let her get used to it right away? I just feel that I wouldn't be able to fix it or replace it easily with her feeling safe at this time. And I'd rather avoid me grabbing her forcefully for the time being.

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InTheAir
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby InTheAir » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:40 pm

Ringnecks don't tend to take kindly to collars, it might not go well with trying to make friends with her. We found the only collar that worked effectively on our guy was a long plastic one but he was also incredibly depressed when wearing it.
Foraging for all food (except for treats that you use for training) will give her less time in the day to play with her feathers. Stainless steel skewers and baffle cages are great for fresh foods, we wrap the things they like in layers of leafy vegetables and the birds must tear up the leaves to get to them. This has helped them develop a bit of a taste for some leafy veggies.
Fresh browse is also very popular with my 2, they will spend hours crunching on native seedpods (I'm in Australia which has lots of suitable plants). Even fresh grass seed can be a nice treat. Sapphire loves dandelion and sow thistle flowers. I'm guessing it must be winter where you are and fresh browse may be hard to come by.

Did you check out my favourite and most shared link? http://learningparrots.com/blog/trainin ... l-parrots/

malafranque
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby malafranque » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:47 pm

Yes I love that link, it has helped a lot!

I just studied foraging and options that I can make for her, so I will be working on that. I've been collecting egg cartons and paper strips... Will have to see about seed pods and grass!

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby MissK » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:22 pm

I've customized the top of my cages to encourage birds to spend time up there. It makes extra use of the space the cage takes up and they love it. I put sheets of plastic (actually the plastic "glass" part of poster frames) over the tops of the cages to facilitate cleanup.

If your bird doesn't want to go back in the cage, it could be a doorway issue. For a while I took the front off half my cage. Keep trying.
-MissK

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby sanjays mummi » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:04 am

I trained Sanjay by taking all food out of the cage whilst he was out, and putting food in the cage when I wanted him to go back in, it worked brilliantly.

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby AJPeter » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:49 am

My bird likes a cue such as holding the cover up so she can play with it and then she goes in, once in awhile she often an hour later wants to come out for a play and stretch her legs and she watches the tv l actually saw her yawn once, and then it is the rigamarole to get her back in and then she sleeps 16 to 18 hours, before l realized she needed so muich sleep she bit me a lot but after allowing her the long sleep she became very docile.

malafranque
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby malafranque » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:00 pm

Thank you, Will try those tips. I'll see how she does with the treats inside when she's peckish.

And yes, we do not use our living room in the evening anymore, because it's the birds' bedtime :) They definitely wrap you around their little wings ;)

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby MissK » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:09 pm

You can always treat through the bars.
-MissK

malafranque
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby malafranque » Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:53 pm

Quick update!

She is doing really well, she is now out of her cage at least once a day and always goes back inside when she feels over stimulated, which is good news! Her cage is her safe place, yay!

Found more yummy foods that she likes, and we are still at the taking treats by hand step... I accidentally brushed my hand against her while changing the water about a week ago and she got scared and bit me, so we are back to square one with just treats and no other training. She is pretty resilient but remembers that hand touching her without being invited though! But she's back to taking treats happily, and the outdoor time is making her happy.

Thank you for all your advice and help, and I'll keep you guys updated little by little :)

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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby MissK » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:19 pm

It's been my experience that the briefer the transgression, the quicker the bird gets past it.
-MissK

sanjays mummi
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Re: Fostering Indian RingNeck Found on Streets.

Postby sanjays mummi » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:15 am

I am always amazed by their resilience, and how quickly they bounce back, and forgive minor transgressions like accidental contact. Sanjay is much more tolerant nowadays, allowing my hand to be in closer proximity.


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