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New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:29 pm
by AussieRNOwner
Hi there,

My name is Kylie and I'm from Melbourne, Australia. My partner and I have just purchased our first Indian Ringneck and can't wait to bring it (not sure of the sex) home on Thursday. I do have some photos which I'll try and upload!

I have done a lot of research into IRN's but can't wait to read up and learn about your experiences with your babies. :)

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:33 am
by SkyeBerry
Welcome! Don't be nervous. I have been coming here for close to a year now! Wow, I did not realize it has been that long. You will find that there are a lot of people that will post once or twice with a problem, a big section on breeding and genetics, and then a bunch of very friendly people (not that the others are not friendly :) ) who want nothing more but to learn about their birds, learn from others, and provide suggestions and possibilities for anyone having an issue with their bird. And please do not hesitate to jump in with ideas. Many of us have had Ringnecks for just a couple of years so many of us are new. You may have read something that we have yet to come across. I was quite surprised how helpful people said I was, even if it was just moral support. Or at east that is what they told me. :shock:

You will also find that a number of us 'regulars' have our own unique sense of humour. But it is all in good fun! We also sometimes disappear when life gets crazy so please do not feel bad or ignored if you do not get a quick reply. I have been in/out sporadically. I also tell myself I am going to have a quick peek and then 1-2 hours goes by in an instant!

Hopefully you have come across articles expressing the need to find a good certified avian vet BEFORE your bird is ill. A wellness exam is always recommended especially if this is your first bird. Take in lots of questions that you have written down in advance but it sounds like you may already know this.

I'll look forward to hearing more about your bird and seeing pictures next time I pop in! and, Congratulations! These birds can be a little quirky at times but they have fantastic personalities if you spend the time with them they deserve. So, have some fun!

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:00 pm
by AussieRNOwner
Thank you so much for the welcome! I'm looking forward to chatting with other members no matter how odd the sense of humour haha!! :lol: I still have to sit down and upload the photos I have, but name wise we settled for Neptune.

Thank you for the advice on the avian vet. I'll have to look into that a little more as I wasn't sure if my normal vet that my dogs and cat see would be suitable. It's funny, everything I've read from a few sites have differing opinions on certain things. I don't really want to trial and error things if it may cause any danger to my new baby. Reading up on different things like diet and cage set up have been interesting but it's hard to know until you have them what they'll like and what they won't.

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:13 pm
by InTheAir

welcome to parronthood!
I believe there are a couple good avian vets in Melbourne. I am a big believer in taking a new bird for a wellness check when you get it (with an avian vet). Not only will they screen your bird for psittacosis but a good av will give you a really good run down on basic bird keeping, foraging and diet.

There is a heap of good information out there and some dubious stuff.

My simple guide is: Always use positive reinforcement, you probably won't do any damage with it.
Unless you are a nutritionalist who specialises in parrots, use pellets as the basis of your diet and don't feed seed except as treats, feed lots of veggies.
Teach your bird to forage.
Find a good avian vet.
Buy a bigger cage than the 'recommended' size in the petshop.
Forget about dominance in all circumstances.
Buy a better vacuum cleaner too.
and read my helpful list of links (there's a thread somewhere)...


Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:31 am
by AussieRNOwner
Thank you for your advice Claire. :) we've just gotten Neptune home yay!!!

It's quite frightened & keeps biting. Haven't reacted to it though. At the moment Neptune is in its cage exploring the toys and perches. I've given it a small helping of seed just to keep it comfortable as this is what it's been fed.

Hopefully Neptune will settle in nicely!

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:52 am
by MissK
When Neptune has that first vet visit you can have a DNA test done. Then you will know if you have a Neptune or a Salacia or Amphitrite. I realize not everybody cares about this, but it just bothers me to run across a bird with a mismatched gender-specific name........
(Let me introduce you to my little hen, Richard... just wrong!!)

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:20 pm
by AussieRNOwner
Hi MissK! Haha I do get your point and maybe after the DNA test Neptune's name might be altered just in case. However my partner is pretty hooked on the name regardless if it's a male or female! :D I've spoke to an avian vet who is conveniently located only 10 minutes from home. They're booked out until the new year so will get Neptune in then.

Neptune has been settling in quite well. I've moved it off the seeds (was using as a comfort tool as this is was the main diet) and my gorgeous baby has been devouring capsicum, carrots, cherry tomatoes (although I'm concerned about the acidity levels so it's only had 1!), cucumbers and lettuce so far. Neptune's not really interested in pellets though but I will persist in that department.

I really do need to get some pictures up! :lol:

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:38 pm
by SkyeBerry
I hope you were able to keep Neptune away from any major Christmas excitement. How is everything going? re: the seeds - it is often helpful to mix the pellets and seeds together for awhile. Neptune knows seeds are something that can be eaten; he/she may not know that pellets can also be eaten. When you mix the two together you hope they make the association. What really worked for switching my birds was eating fruits and vegs they like and then offering them a piece of their own. They then became interested in what I was eating. I then started picking up some pellets and went through all the motions of eating them (Ok, maybe I ate 1 or 2, if they tasted completely horrible, I would not blame the birds for not wanting to eat them -how else could I know for sure?) Anyway, the birds started to eat the pellets I offered. Then I showed them the bowl, and let them see me pick the pellets out of the bowl before offering them. From then, no problem.

Some people only offer the pellets in the morning when the bird is likely the most hungry. You can leave them with just the pellets until a couple hours before bed and then offer the previous diet. I like my 'gentler' approach. If you do not already have one, you should get a scale accurate to 0.1g. You do not want the bird to lose more than 10% of its weight at any time. To be completely candid, I would not remove the seeds right now. A new home is a stressful thing for a bird. I just had a quick check and did not notice a reference to the bird's age. Do you know what it is? It this bird is really young and has just been weaned from his/her parents or from a hand-feeding formula I would definitely suggest going slower.

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:34 pm
by AussieRNOwner
Hi Mary. I won't lie, the last few days have been a little trying for the poor darling with all the Christmas excitement. James (my partner) and I have been on the go so we haven't been home a great deal during the day to socialise with Neptune which I'm not happy with.....and I don't think Neptune is either! Neptune the last couple of days has been adamant to stay in its cage and when we try to coax it out (holding our hand out for Neptune to climb onto), it climbs up to a higher perch and either tries to bite us (trying not to react....but geez it hurts!!) and squawks quite loudly at us. Neptune will take food from our hands without a problem (strawberries, various vegies and seeds) but to actually climb onto us and just generally be outside the cage...absolutely no interest! I'm worried that we've done something wrong or maybe something has spooked her without us knowing. :( Would you or anyone else have an ideas or tips to coax her out?

I will definitely try the pellet idea, thank you very much! I have a digital kitchen scale that I'm very sure reads to 0.1g. Will that work? Neptune I've been told was 14 weeks when we picked it up so it'd be about 16 weeks by New Years. The place we got her from was weaning it until only a couple of days before we picked it up and Neptune was only eating seeds. We haven't eliminated seeds from her diet but we were hoping to reduce the amount eaten and obviously switch that for fresh food and pellets. We have an appointment with a local avian vet but couldn't get in until the new year so will hopefully get a clearer view on age and sex then.

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:21 am
by Donovan
neptune is a great name

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:02 am
by InTheAir
Since my boyfriend and I have a male called Nila, which even the vet's staff refer to as "she" despite his Black ring, I can't possibly critise anyone for a gender inappropriate name. Anyway, Nila knows he's a boy cos he says "good boy Nila." all the time... You could always add "tta" to the Neptune on the vet records if you need to....

As far as stepping up, I don't think I have time to explain in too much detail now, but you need to making stepping up instantly rewarding. Ie: bird is sitting on a perch. Offer bird a treat a couple steps along the perch. If your bird comes over and eats treat, he is keen to try stuff. Now put your hand a couple steps away from bird and rest your fingertips on the perch (make sure bird looks comfortable with your hand being there) and offer a treat on the other side of your hand with your other hand so bird leans over hand to get treat. Repeat until bird is very comfortable with that and then offer treat a little further away so bird climbs (even one foot) on hand. Repeat until bird climbs on hand and stays while eating treat. When bird is happy sitting on hand, bird probably won't mind if hand moves while he is perched there. Just monitor comfort levels. It should be pretty easy as your bird is hand raised.

Here's a pretty crappy video of my aviary raised girl starting to step up as an example
You can see she was not at all confident with this, but because all she had to do was climb on and take a treat and retreat, she was willing to keep trying. Just think like a parrot "what's in it for me?!".

Good luck with winning Neppy's trust and remember that the way to an irn's heart is through its stomach.

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:20 pm
by AussieRNOwner
Thank you very much for the video. Neptune is still a little apprehensive but trying out what you've done in the video over the last week with stepping up has been working slowly. Fingers crossed we can make Neptune feel a little more comfortable.

Mary, short of actually tasting the pellets (not quite that brave hahaha!! :lol: ), I've tried mixing the seeds and pellets together but I find a lot of pellets are getting thrown to the floor. Still persisting with it though but I tried the sweet potato mash in one of the threads I saw here and I've never seen Neptune down its food so fast! So I know it's eating well.

Thank you everyone for your help and advice. Despite research and reading up as much as I can, it's amazing how much more you learn from other people's experiences. :)

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:41 am
by InTheAir
That's good that he is responding well! Just keep at it and he will be your buddy in no time, the you'll be posting How do I get my irn to leave me alone?

Regarding pellets, you can offer them first thing in the morning before he gets anything else. That might help... Both my guys converted to pellets easily by having a bowl always available, I'm pretty sure I scattered seed in it too. If your bird is dropping the pellets out of the mixed dish I'd be inclined to give him a separate pellets dish, you don't want him to think pellets are things he has to move out of the bowl to get to his seed! My vet thinks a cold turkey conversion is fine, if you monitor the birds weight.
Nila will try anything we hand him, so he tried them the minute we opened the packet. Sapphire just eats almost anything, from soap to cactus (but not almonds or coloured pellets), so she was straight into them too. Our guys also like pellet porridge with some sweet potato or berry mixed in.

Keep us updated with your progress.


Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:37 am
by SkyeBerry
Sorry I was away for a bit. Glad Claire replied. re:step up - try not to 'chase' Neptune to get a step up - I did not watch Claire's video but just slowly move your arm/hand closer to the bird - if Neptune starts to lean away/look away/move away - stop your hand until Neptune looks relaxed - then move closer - remember you are gaining trust and you have lots of time - 'chasing' Neptune [sounds like a book/movie ;) ] will just increase apprehension and lead to a bite as you have discovered- speak softly, have treats handy - perhaps even start by offering treats by hand through the cage bars so that Neptune associates your hands as having treats and good things to offer; if Neptune doesn't approach your hand at the cage bars let Neptune see you drop favorite treats through the bars into the feed dish - remove these treats from the regular diet and save them for this exercise - think of the step up hand/arm as a perch/branch you want to coax Neptune to walk onto voluntarily - the idea of pushing your finger into the birds chest to 'ask'/force them to step up is considered incorrect now by many animal behaviourists that work with birds - once Neptune knows your other hand offers treats use it to coax her onto the 'perch' arm - be very still - Barbara Heidenreich - Good Bird Inc is a fantastic resource if it has not already been mentioned above - this video will teach you how to spot apprehension and when to stop even though it is a different problem -

sorry - could not find the video I was looking for and I need to go - I will look again later & post when I find it

this one does show what I was describing above however

re: pellets - ok if you don't want to eat the pellets just pretend. If your bird eats 'mash' - all sorts of mixed vegs including beans and lots of dark green leaf items and broccoli that is fantastic - the breeder did a good job - if you are using a larger pellet try and break up into smaller pieces that are the size of seed. If the bird picks the pellets up I have read that is a good start just as it is for a bird that does not eat vegs to pick it up and play with it. They do start to ingest little pieces and realize it is food. That is the reason to mix it up with seed. The pellets I used/feed now are quite small. Not much bigger than the actual seed.

I use this site:

but she also has this one

Claire - In the Air is also a big fan of her methods.

Re: New and a little nervous!!

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:00 am
by SkyeBerry
thought you might also find this useful ... -bite.html