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Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:32 am
by dushan
Hello Everyone,

I'm living in Sharjah and I wanted to own a parrot for long time. Finally I visited the local pet market and bought two IRN's. Here is the picture of them. We named them Ruby & Jacky.


Both of them are un-tamed and seems to very scared of hands. They scream and bite if one tries to handle them. The pet shop guy has clipped their feathers so they could not fly (still they do). They are with us for about 2 weeks by now and if I open the cage they would come out and stay on top of the curtain polls. Since I keep the food in the cage, when they are hungry they come down to cage and eat. So I can close the cage when they are having their meals without having to touch them.

The pet shop guy told the male (Jacky) is about 1 year old and the female (Ruby) is about 7 months old. But I presume they are much older than that.

Jacky has some fluffy feathers and I'm worried that he is having some sort of skin/feather infection.

Ruby seems to be more calmed than the Jacky who is always showing un-easiness when ever we go closer to them and trying to run around the cage.

1) Can anyone tell how old are they by looking at this picture
2) Does Jacky seems to have any skin infection ?
3) Will they be able to Tame ? How long usually it takes to tame these kind of birds ?

Thanks in advance....


Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:49 am
by AJPeter
If you are worried about a possible skin infection they go to an Avian Vet. Read as much as you can on this site and most your questions can be answered there. They look about as old as their tongues and a bit older than their feathers.

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:45 pm
by InTheAir

1) Can anyone tell how old are they by looking at this picture
Not really, but I'd guess your male is at least 2 years old

2) Does Jacky seems to have any skin infection ?
His feather condition isn't great. A vet check is a good idea. Also, he probably needs a better diet. Ideally a good quality pellet, lots of vegetables and some fruit. An avian vet should know the best pellets available in your location.

3) Will they be able to Tame ? How long usually it takes to tame these kind of birds ?
How is a piece of string? It really depends on the birds, you and anyone else who comes near the birds.
Try reading this and watching the videos. ... l-parrots/ ... ing-trust/

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:19 pm
by dushan
Thank you very much AJPeter and InTheAir for the reply and for advises.

I feel the pet shop has tricked me saying the two birds are juveniles. I spent about $33 for the male and $19 for the female. They have even completely clipped “Jacky’s” (male bird) tail to make him looks smaller. Before they gave me the birds, they have clipped the flight feathers as well. How long would it take to grow those feathers (tail & flight feathers) and on what frequency do I have to clip the flight feathers ?

Two birds are having a big affection to each other from the day 1 even though they lived two different cages in the pet shop. Female bird is always seen cleaning the male bird and try to pamper him.

Anyway I was planning to take them to a Vet to get some advises further on their feather condition.

The other thing is, the birds are so fond to eat Sunflower seeds. They love to eat them. I have tried giving them many other seeds including Pine Seeds, pista seeds, peanuts, almonds but they don’t even looking at them. Also I tried to feed them baby carrots, beans, plums but everything is wasted.

They like to eat apples and pears (if tastes better only), little mango and Guava.

Finally I found something call “Trill Parrot Mix” from one of the grocery shops nearby and they seems to be enjoying but again they seems to be very picky eating some of the seeds only and leaving most of the others.

Even though I kept a fresh water bowl inside the cage I have never seen them drinking the water ? Do I have to worry ?

I have read in the forum people feed them boiled eggs and cooked chicken. Is this ok to feed the parrots?

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:29 pm
by InTheAir
Parrots aren't tidy eaters! They take a few bites of this and a few bites of that and drop lots of it. It also takes time for them to try new foods. Keep offering a variety. Also if you chop up a whole lot of vegetables and fruit in tiny pieces or put it through a food processor and offer them some. Remember that your birds are small, so they only need spoonfuls not bowl fulls of vegetables. I spend a lot of time every day diguising healthy vegetables as something nice so my birds eat them.
I do not feed my birds any sunflower seeds at all, they only get other seeds as treats. Seeds are very high in fat and don't have a lot of other good nutrients. I feed roudybush pellets. When my parrots were learning to eat pellets instead of seeds I would pick all the sunflower seeds out of the bowl before I gave them the seeds. Sunflower seeds are like chocolate, and like children, sometimes parrots would rather eat desert than dinner!

I have never clipped my birds wings and I don't recommend clipping, so I can't help you there.

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:32 pm
by dushan
Thank you InTheAir for the reply.

As you have mentioned they are always messy eaters. Throwing the shells all over the place and I don't mind it at all. All I'm worrying is the lesser verity of foods they choose to eat. As you've suggested I will chop the vegies into smaller pieces and offer them to see they would start to eat them.

Yes, I heard about the Sunflower seeds and they seems to call the 'junk food' for them. But my birds are so obsessed on them is my worrying factor. I'm trying to avoid feeding them the Sunflower seeds but my worry is they would starve without them.

Thank you very much for the information on Roudybush Pellets. I would try to find the availability in the local market.

I have seen people feeding green & red chilies to Parrots. Are they ok for IRN's as well ?

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:03 am
by InTheAir
You're welcome.
Chillies are safe. My birds have not touched a sunflower seed in a year and they are far from starved. I have found they have got better at eating healthy food since they have had no seed too.
Just keep offering healthy foods, even if the birds don't eat them. They are seasonal feeders, mine will love certain foods for a while and then suddenly decide they don't like them! A few months later it will be their favourite food again.

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:41 am
by dushan
Hi InTheAir and other lovely people out there...

These advises and the information are so valuable and keep them coming.....

They are definitely make our lives easier, specially novice bird owners like my self :D

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:44 am
by vinayv92

I stay in the UAE as well and I know all about the pet markets here. They will do anything to make a sale even if it involves sick birds. Most of the birds they call 'tame' have been heavily abused and beaten into submission . They sometimes even drug the birds to make them seem docile and unafraid only to have it wear off after a few days of the bird coming home. Most people do not have the knowledge to identify these issues and are sorely disappointed when they bring a bird home.

The posters above have given great advice .
Either ways , good luck with your new birds ! :D
IRN's make wonderful companions and you will surely enjoy them.

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:19 pm
by dushan
Hi vinayv92,

I couldn't agree with you more.......

When I went to pet shop I didn't have plan to buy the parrots and I was not prepared and never done my research enough. Wish I had read through internet before I opted to buy and never realize there are so many information available online for me to make a better decision.

BTW I'm not complaining now and I'm happy with my two birds even though Jacky seems to be having some sort of feather infection so I'm planning to take them both to a Vet soon and get them inspected.

It's been two weeks now since the birds became part of the family. My kids love them and always want to pat them. I have warned, not to do so due to potential bites and the birds would lose the trust towards us.

Jacky the male bird still shows some un-easiness and trying to hide and climb the cage when ever we go closer to the cage, but Ruby the hen seems to have settled little bit but getting confused since Jacky is getting panic. She doesn't mind I sit near the cage when she eat her meal. Jacky is the total opposite and get panicked when ever I sat near the cage. Ruby come closer and eats from the pot but still be cautious. I tried to offer some treats but she retreats when I put my hand closer to her.

Even though they are not tamed they come out from the cage and stay top of the curtain polls. When ever they feel hungry they come down and go inside the cage to eat. So I can easily close the cage without touching them. Ruby has found a way of de-rail the bottom net in the cage and come out from the little space she could create. She uses the same space to go inside the cage when the door is not open. Jacky seems to be still nervous and not showing the intelligence as shown by her female companion.

I'm learning new things day by day and having wonderful time with my birds. As vinayv92 already knows, this process is giving me a big stress release as we have very fast pace & challenging lifestyle here in UAE.

Thank you all you wonderful people for valuable advises and they certainly help me and my birds.........!

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:23 am
by Wessel Gordon

I don't believe Ruby is ''more intelligent'' than Jack. I simply think she's more curious/relaxed by nature and therefor will tend to want to go and explore things. Think of it this way: Ruby is an extrovert that settles down a lot easier in new surroundings while Jack is an introvert that takes a little longer to relax.

I have a total of 6 birds (5 IRN's and a Congo African Grey) and between them I have 6 completely different personalities.

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:16 am
by MissK
Hi. I have two thoughts -

1) Give us a photo of the food mix you got so maybe we can make any suggestion about it. Let the photo be close enough so we can identify each piece.

2) I would exploit Ruby's greater willingness to interact. Jacky will learn by watching her success. I don't mean he will do the same things, but he will see people are OK and gain confidence. Don't try to work with Ruby while Jacky is screaming because the disturbance will take away her attention from you.

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:01 pm
by dushan
Hi Wessel & MissK,

Thanks & much appreciated your responses. Keep coming them as it would be a great help for this transition period.

Wessel, Yeah, it might be the case. Ruby's shown much settled than Jacky and she doesn't mind when I approach the cage to fill the food containers or water where Jacky is still panicking and try to climb the cage all over. Ruby is always curious as she tries to explore more & more her surroundings when they come out the cage. Yesterday both of them climbed up to the AC unit (BTW Jacky initiated this and Ruby followed) from the curtain polls where they usually prefer to stay when they come out from the cage. There is no great support in the AC unit for them to climb UP but they did it using their beaks but there is a very little space on top of it. And they couldn't stay long up there and tried to step down which resulted both of them to flown down one after the other and landed on the Sofa where all my family members were sitting at that moment. My kids got so excited and I stopped them approaching them and touching them. Jacky got panicked as usual and hid behind the furniture but Ruby was showing calmness but cautious. She was slowly got down from the Sofa and walked back to the cage. Jacky followed Ruby eventually.

So I'm happy that the birds are showing some progress for the last couple of weeks and they seems to be getting used to their surroundings and to their humans. :)

MissK , I would definitely post the contents of the "Trill Parrot Mix" once I go home from my work. There are Sunflower seeds so I removed them before serving the rest of the seeds to them. There were some white color shelled seeds (which I didn't identify first) and I noticed birds like them the most, but when I researched in the internet, they seems to be "White Sunflower Seeds" :) so no wonder why they like them but I read they are not as bad as the black ones. BTW they leave most of the tiny seeds in the container and picks up only the ones they prefer. I would post the left over seeds as well.

Good suggestion MissK to exploit Ruby and interact with her more and made her as an example to Jacky. I initially thought to separate the two birds b'cos Jacky's nervousness keep Ruby also in the bay at times, but I thought it would be something nasty to do so as Jacky's only comfort seems now is the presence of Ruby, where she always seen cleaning and pampering Jacky. (Though there are little fights at time as well and steeling food from each others hands :) )

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:08 pm
by dushan
Hi MissK

Sorry for the delay uploading the photos of Trill mix which I give to my parrots

(Please click on the thumbnail to load the full image which is much clearer......)

1) The "Trill - Complete Parrot Food" box


2) Before I served them to my parrots


3) Here are the left overs (for more than 12 hours )


Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:50 pm
by vinayv92
Seeds are alright but a diet with pellets and fresh food is better for your birds. Ringnecks are wonderful eaters and will try just about anything you give them. Start introducing them to fruits like apples, pears, melon , papaya , banana or nuts like Cashew or almonds. My ringneck is so food motivated that he often tries to take stuff from our plates :) . He will attempt to try anything he sees us (humans) eating.
His favourite treat is multi-grain bread toast WITH butter on the side.

Try out a variety of fresh foods and you'll find out what your birds like the best. Once you figure that out , you can also use that particular item to help with your training .

Zupreem pellets are readily available in most pet stores in the UAE. The pellets cost pretty much the same as the 'Trill' brand. If you do decide to give your birds pellets , introduce it gradually in smaller quantities .

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:29 am
by dushan
Last night I have decided to leave them outside the cage and when I went to sleep they were happily sitting on the curtain rods. Early in the morning I got up when my Son called me saying, the birds are sitting on top of my Laptop which was kept on the table in the adjacent room next to the living room where the birds were sitting. So they have decided to explore more and more surroundings (I better keep all my exit doors closed so I don't want them to explore anywhere outside of my flat :D )

Now when I call home from office, got to know they have gone to their usual favorite place on top of the curtain rods. Good thing is no one has forced them to go back and they have walked all the way to the place by themselves.....:)

Hi vinayv, So far I have tried so many food options. Pine Seeds, Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts, pumpkin seeds whats not :) But they don't eat any of them.....

From the fruit plate I have tried Apples, pears, Kiwis, Bananas, Grapes, Plums and many more, they only eat Apples and pears and their favorite so far are Apples.

From the veggies plate I have tried carrots, various leaves, beans, coriander leaves. they dont even looking at them.......:(

There are few seeds they eat from Trill parrot mix but most of the seeds they leave without touching......!

Thank you for the information about ZuPreem pallets, I would try to get that and give it to them.


Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:30 am
by MissK
They are eating the sunflower and safflower (that's the larger long white seed) - my birds would agree with their choice. Nobody in my house seems to like those largest, dark brown, round seeds. Not even my wild birds like them! My Ringnecks will only eat the smaller millet and oat groats (the long one with the dent down the center) if there is nothing else after some days. (**Except millet in a spray, which they always love.)

You can try giving them the dish of seeds and take it back after half a day, blow off the chaff, and return the leftovers to the birds. You do this a few times before you give them new seeds. Of course, you don't want them starving, but on the other hand, if they are not hungry they will only eat the preferred seed. In the beginning, while I was learning to feed my first Ringneck, I pulled out the sunflower seeds completely. Otherwise he would eat nothing else. Thus he learned to eat safflower seeds. Then I pulled them out and he learned to eat the smaller seeds, though he will only eat them if that's the only choice.

Since then he also learned to eat pellets, and I did stop giving him seeds because I got overwhelmed with the mess of seeds. But, when he was eating both, I let him have the mix of seeds and the pellets, too. He liked the seeds better than pellets to a point, and then left the tiny seeds in favour of pellets. If your bird won't eat the little seeds, that's fine. The important thing is that he gets a variety of vegetables and fruits along with these seeds. All my birds love kale, and it's very good for them. Give him some of that. If he won't eat anything, there are birdie vitamins. My bird didn't want pellets for a long time. He did accept them as a mush with warm water to start, and we went through that to the zupreem (which is popular maybe for the colours or maybe for the sugar) and after he would eat zupreem I began mixing in other pellets and eventually reduced zupreem and then quit it alltogether. Now he will eat even the plain brown pellets. But always, if there is a choice, he will eat his preference.

I think it's important to remember the bird's preference, by the way. We can impose the strictly healthful diet on them, but it's kind to give them things they like. Sunflower seeds and peanuts are not poison, after all, they are just not balanced nutrition. So, give them good stuff, but be kind and recall that one of life's joys is eating the food you love.

Fresh foods can be introduced chopped or as part of a toy. Might help if you sprinkle a little water on it.

Re: Hello Everyone - I'm a novice owner

Posted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:58 pm
by dushan
Thanks MissK for the wonderful guidance......!

During the weekend (Our weekend here in UAE is on Friday & Saturday :) ) , on Friday I have avoided them giving any new serving and let them eat the smaller seeds as they have finished off the Sunflower & Safflower (I never knew there is a flower call Safflower :D ) seeds. They seems to eat the smaller seeds reluctantly as there are no other choice. BTW all these time they were sitting outside the cage and going in the cage only when they feel hungry.....

Following day I have removed the remaining seeds as well and tried giving them some sprouts (mung-bean sprouts, chick-pea sprouts and another two varieties) where I could buy in the local super super market and some Okra as well. They have not touched the Okra but finished off all the mung-bean sprouts. Then I filled the space with some sliced-almonds (They never ate the whole almond earlier ) and within no time they vanished. The good thing is I have witnessed for the first time that they drink water when ever they eat the sprouts......