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PLEASE HELP- BEGINNER WITH BABY BIRD

parrotnewb

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Hi everyone, I hope you are doing well.

I’m coming here pretty much as a last resort. I bought a new Indian Ringneck parakeet around May time of this year and it was just born 6 months prior to that, so a baby. And I have had a really hard time to tame him. At the start we kept him in his cage for around three months, then we took him out but our mistake was that he wasn’t hand trained so he wouldn’t go back to his cage.
We would let him out and he would never fly to our hand and it was the hardest thing ever trying go get him in the cage, so we used food. And sometimes that worked. Now it’s December, and he still isn’t used to us. I’ve tried to train him on my finger using a perch, using the same words, but he doesn't listen and only flies when there’s food. Anytime I try approach him he hisses at me or flies away. This means that its very hard for me to get him in the cage as he loves being out. I feel bad for him when he’s in his cage because he doesn’t really play with his toys and latches on the cage door trying to escape, so I let him out.

I feel like all he is doing is eating, sleeping and pooping. Theres still no trust and he still isn’t tamed. I’m really struggling I don’t know what to do, I’ve tried to read up on it but I’m very overwhelmed. How do I tame my bird, get him to trust me, get him in the cage if he flies away all the time and basically hates the cage even when he’s hungry he won’t go in.

I know this is a all over the place ask, but honestly any help would be appreciated greatly. Thank you.
 

GoDucks

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Hi everyone, I hope you are doing well.

I’m coming here pretty much as a last resort. I bought a new Indian Ringneck parakeet around May time of this year and it was just born 6 months prior to that, so a baby. And I have had a really hard time to tame him. At the start we kept him in his cage for around three months, then we took him out but our mistake was that he wasn’t hand trained so he wouldn’t go back to his cage.
We would let him out and he would never fly to our hand and it was the hardest thing ever trying go get him in the cage, so we used food. And sometimes that worked. Now it’s December, and he still isn’t used to us. I’ve tried to train him on my finger using a perch, using the same words, but he doesn't listen and only flies when there’s food. Anytime I try approach him he hisses at me or flies away. This means that its very hard for me to get him in the cage as he loves being out. I feel bad for him when he’s in his cage because he doesn’t really play with his toys and latches on the cage door trying to escape, so I let him out.

I feel like all he is doing is eating, sleeping and pooping. Theres still no trust and he still isn’t tamed. I’m really struggling I don’t know what to do, I’ve tried to read up on it but I’m very overwhelmed. How do I tame my bird, get him to trust me, get him in the cage if he flies away all the time and basically hates the cage even when he’s hungry he won’t go in.

I know this is a all over the place ask, but honestly any help would be appreciated greatly. Thank you.

Welcome to the site!

I am wondering if you are trying too hard to get him to perch on your finger and not enough with just talking to him. To tame any of my birds I would just pull up a chair next to their cages and talk to them, read to them, sometimes for up to an hour, several times a day. Then I would end our talks by leaving a tasty treat in their dish. I would never walk toward them when they were out, as a big human can scare any animal by approaching them in that manner. Have you tried to slowly approach him and see how close you can get before he starts to get agitated?
 

Sweet Louise

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There will be folks along to help. I do believe there are several articles on how to acclimate your bird in the board's forum. He probably is afraid of you--that is often a birds initial state as they are prey. They are not a domesticated animal so everything can take training and effort. Often, I see folks recommend starting at the beginning: sitting by the cage, talking, reading and offering treats. Common for new birds to be afraid of hands until they trust it is safe--again, takes training as perching on a human is not a natural state. As they get comfortable with that, you could move to step up training. It sounds like you have really hung in there with him. I am sure folks can offer more structured advice on how to help your bird not be afraid. I had trouble returning my friends bird to his cage, and I found that putting a preferred treat got him in--along with praise following.
 

Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue :)

Starting from the beginning is a good idea. Spend some time by your birds cage, talking, some enjoy singing, feed him some of his favourite foods through the bars. These are key ways to build a base for trust.

From there, here is a good link to read : Some things to do with a new bird....

Just remember, he was locked up for 3 months and wasn´t let out, so he is not going to want to go in the cage. Maybe he is just frightened that you will do the same again. Getting in a routine could help overcome this. If he knows he gets let out daily at XYZ time, he won´t be scared of being locked away.

Be very patient, and good luck :)
 

parrotnewb

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Welcome to the site!

I am wondering if you are trying too hard to get him to perch on your finger and not enough with just talking to him. To tame any of my birds I would just pull up a chair next to their cages and talk to them, read to them, sometimes for up to an hour, several times a day. Then I would end our talks by leaving a tasty treat in their dish. I would never walk toward them when they were out, as a big human can scare any animal by approaching them in that manner. Have you tried to slowly approach him and see how close you can get before he starts to get agitated?
Thanks so much for the quick reply I appreciate it!

So I will definitely try to talk to him some more, I always bring his cage eveywhere with me, whether I’m cooking or just watching tv but maybe it is the talking that will help. And honestly it depends on his mood how close I get to him, he won’t let me touch him ever, and I’d say there’s always a 30cm distance between us before he flies off. I’ve just fed him some porridge and grapes (his favourite) because I locked him in the cage. So I will try that, thank you.

I’m sorry just another question. I’m a bit of a worrier and I’ve been overthinking the diet I give to my parrot. I give him grapes, bananas, strawberries, bell pepper, apples in a bowl everyday. And have just started giving him porridge. With the seeds I just have a seed stick with honey and eucalyptus hanging also. I dont give him any peanuts because he started getting black dots on his tail and learned that it happens from too many peanuts. He still has the dots but theyare starting to fade. Does his diet sound okay? I give him water which I change 2/3 times a day because he always gets apple bits stuck in it. Is there anything I’m doing wrong with his diet? He doesn’t really like much veg, I’ve tried carrots, cucumber, peas in a pod, lettuce etc and he doesn’t really bother with it. I’m sorry for such a long winded question but I’ve researched online and nothing seems to give me an answer. Thank you again.
 

parrotnewb

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Thanks so much for the quick reply I appreciate it!

So I will definitely try to talk to him some more, I always bring his cage eveywhere with me, whether I’m cooking or just watching tv but maybe it is the talking that will help. And honestly it depends on his mood how close I get to him, he won’t let me touch him ever, and I’d say there’s always a 30cm distance between us before he flies off. I’ve just fed him some porridge and grapes (his favourite) because I locked him in the cage. So I will try that, thank you.

I’m sorry just another question. I’m a bit of a worrier and I’ve been overthinking the diet I give to my parrot. I give him grapes, bananas, strawberries, bell pepper, apples in a bowl everyday. And have just started giving him porridge. With the seeds I just have a seed stick with honey and eucalyptus hanging also. I dont give him any peanuts because he started getting black dots on his tail and learned that it happens from too many peanuts. He still has the dots but theyare starting to fade. Does his diet sound okay? I give him water which I change 2/3 times a day because he always gets apple bits stuck in it. Is there anything I’m doing wrong with his diet? He doesn’t really like much veg, I’ve tried carrots, cucumber, peas in a pod, lettuce etc and he doesn’t really bother with it. I’m sorry for such a long winded question but I’ve researched online and nothing seems to give me an answer. Thank you again.
Just a picture of his tail
 

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parrotnewb

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I took the food out because he’s about to go to sleep I’ve been talking to him. At the bottom I just have a big lid with small lids that he plays with, and a big lid with cardboard that he also plays with. He has a swinging perch and a toy. He has more toys but he doesn’t play with them so I just removed them and kept one.
 

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parrotnewb

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There will be folks along to help. I do believe there are several articles on how to acclimate your bird in the board's forum. He probably is afraid of you--that is often a birds initial state as they are prey. They are not a domesticated animal so everything can take training and effort. Often, I see folks recommend starting at the beginning: sitting by the cage, talking, reading and offering treats. Common for new birds to be afraid of hands until they trust it is safe--again, takes training as perching on a human is not a natural state. As they get comfortable with that, you could move to step up training. It sounds like you have really hung in there with him. I am sure folks can offer more structured advice on how to help your bird not be afraid. I had trouble returning my friends bird to his cage, and I found that putting a preferred treat got him in--along with praise following.
Thank you so much for the advice! Its definitely reassuring me to keep persevering
 

parrotnewb

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Welcome to the Avenue :)

Starting from the beginning is a good idea. Spend some time by your birds cage, talking, some enjoy singing, feed him some of his favourite foods through the bars. These are key ways to build a base for trust.

From there, here is a good link to read : Some things to do with a new bird....

Just remember, he was locked up for 3 months and wasn´t let out, so he is not going to want to go in the cage. Maybe he is just frightened that you will do the same again. Getting in a routine could help overcome this. If he knows he gets let out daily at XYZ time, he won´t be scared of being locked away.

Be very patient, and good luck :)
Thank you so much!!
 

Sweet Louise

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Pat
I took the food out because he’s about to go to sleep I’ve been talking to him. At the bottom I just have a big lid with small lids that he plays with, and a big lid with cardboard that he also plays with. He has a swinging perch and a toy. He has more toys but he doesn’t play with them so I just removed them and kept one.
Very beautiful bird!
 

fashionfobie

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@parrotnewb Thank you for coming to us for help. I am going to give you a bunch of info to process. :) It is not my attempt to be rude, so please don't take it that way, I may be direct, but it is what you need. I only want what is best for your bird and to help you find the right place with your treasured little friend.

Indian Ringneck parrots are a social and friendly species. They live in large open areas and fly with their flock, of 30 birds or more, to forage and explore all day. Flying! They have amazingly soft feathers, so soft in fact that they do not allopreen. This means that they don't require help removing new pins. Because of this behaviour IRN are not comfortable with a lot of touch. Touch can be overwhelming to them, especially if they don't trust you yet. Or touch can be very sexual and stimulating. There are people that can scritch their IRN, but they are the exception and not the norm. You should never expect an IRN to want to be touched, especially on the head. They could understand that action as a sign of aggression.

IRN are amazing problem solvers and come up with creative ways to find food in regions where they live in the wild. This is a highly intelligent and sensitive individual.

These are some immediate concerns that you need to change ASAP!

1. The cage he is in is unacceptable. You need a cage with a foot print that is around 36" (900mm) in size. The bar spacing and material should be appropriate for his strong beak. --Bigger is Better with a cage... As BIG as you can go, but at least the 900mm.
He should get time to fly out of the cage daily, even when you upgrade the size. Never chase your bird around. Leave the food and water there, he will go back.​

2. Toys: He needs wooden blocks and chews to support his beak health. A natural behaviour will be shredding the wood into pieces. This is a wonderful pass time for him, it helps his beak, relieves stress and keeps his mind occupied. I see some wooden blocks in there, but no sign that he has chewed them. Stay away from cotton toys.
In my opinion the reason he isn't chewing his toys is because he has too small of a cage. He has no room to move, to feel comfortable and to be himself. With an improved cage he should get comfortable enough to interact with his toys.​

3. The diet you have has some mistakes, but some things are good. NO Peanuts! He could get a fungal infection from peanut shells, it isn't worth the risk. Remember peanuts aren't nuts.. they are legumes (beans). I know you said you stopped, good instinct! :tup: I am not sure what kind of porridge you are feeding, that is too broad of a term. I suggest weaning him off of the porridge and try to convert him to a pellet diet. The seed stick you are feeding is birdie junk food. Consider it like potato chips, sure he can have a naughty snack once in awhile, but every day and he will get obese and no longer be healthy. The veggies and fruit you are offering are great choices. Try adding some more variety there. You want more dark green veggies like broccoli leaves, silverbeat, green beans. It is also a good idea to add more vitamin A rich options like sweat potatoes, pumpkin, carrot, mango, passion fruit, etc. There are SO many options. Add variety! When in doubt ask here. I will link a quick supplement. https://www.animalenrichmentaustralia.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Healthy-Food-List-for-Parrots.pdf

4. Taming, First SLOW down! Remember that your little baby bird, is actually an independent animal. Birds are empowered through choice. Your bird will never respond to you forcefully telling him what to do. Your little bird will only participate in things that seems like fun or a great idea to him. Taming first starts with the bird learning about you as a person. The bird needs to understand what this new human does, how you sound, how you move...the bird also wants to know how predicable you are. Are you calm? Excitable? Your little dude, is trying to figure you out. The next thing the bird is wondering.. is can he trust you? Are you a person that will make his life fun and rewarding? If not the bird will NOT want to interact with you. The three months of being in isolated confinement have hurt the relationship.

You should think of yourself as starting all over again. Read over the information that Zara linked. Try starting over and going through the steps. You need to earn the bird's trust.

Keep your hands low, prevent reaching above his head. He may start to understand that your hand is more like a warm heated perch, not a big scary moving thing. Be calm, move consistently and always let your bird know when you are entering the room.

--My parrots are all hand tame-- I still tell them when I am entering the room. I still warn them when I am carrying something that might be scary.. I tell them, "Ok boy, big scary coming through" This helps build trust, they learn that you care about their feelings.

Remember a parrot is a prey animal. You can't think of a bird as a dog or another human. Your parrot has a natural instinct to be wary of predators and death. If I were your parrot in a small cage and afraid of these hands reaching at me..I would bite too. Your parrot isn't acting aggressive because he is a bad bird. He is a scared and protective bird.


If you take the info people shared here to heart you could see improvements. Birds require respect. It may take time to earn his trust. Don't set a time line, just take it one day at a time. You have time to be an amazing parrot owner, even if you got off to a rocky start.
 
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parrotnewb

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Thank you so much for your reply.

I have been thinking of getting him a new cage and I’ve been looking but places I read have conflicting and varied answers, so on the hunt now for a better cage.

I feel better now about the diet because I do agree more greens, thank you again. Are pellets and seeds safe? I’m going go buy some pellets today, but can I feed him them everyday?

Just another question, while I’m trying to tame him, do I keep him in his cage? Or do I let him out. Because if I let him out it’s very tricky to get him back in. He waits till the very last minute when he cannot deal with hunger anymore to go in the cage!

Again I really appreciate your advice, it must be frustrating seeing so many mistakes by beginners but we all learn!
 

fashionfobie

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Fantastic news! I am very pleased you are upgrading his cage. And yes! If I am honest about my life I have also made mistakes with my birds. Keeping birds is all about lifelong learning. New research is informing our care everyday :)

Not all pellets are created equal. You should buy a respected brand. This link will take you to the blog of an veteran member of this forum.
Pellets for Parrots
Make an informed choice. Pellets can be given everyday. Make sure you always replace wet or soiled pellet in a fresh and clean bowl.

When buying seed, buy a small parrot mix that is fortified. I trust a brand called Golden Cob, but I'm in Australia so I don't know what is around you.

For taming, you will have the most success allowing your bird out. Get him a play stand or set up a play table. If you are getting a new cages some have playstands on top. Let him explore things at his pace. Sit with your back to him reading, talking. Offer him treats. He will return to the cage for food and water.

Remember birds need choice! In the cage you can be overwhelming. If he can walk or fly away from you on his own it will help him build confidence.

We don't want our parrots to have forced dependence. We want our parrots to be themselves, to feel safe and to choose to be our friends. It makes a lot better relationship. Sometimes no matter how hard we work the parrots never accept people, this isn't ideal clearly but it does happen. This is why you can't damage the trust. You must nurture trust.

Let him out of the cage everyday.
 

parrotnewb

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Thank you!

Just went to the pet store, couldnt find any pellets so going to go to another one and look online. These are the two cages. I decided to go for the house looking one, looked taller and had more doors for food containers. Does this one look okay!

Just again want to say thank you for everyone being so helpful and kind, definitely should have come here sooner! Thank you
 

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fashionfobie

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I wouldn't get the house shaped one.

It is better to get a cage that is longer and wider over high. Birds aren't helicopters so flying vertically is impossible. The one in the right is getting warmer and looks more like a parrot cage. Notice the locks on the bowl doors. But this cage isn't big enough for an IRN.

You want something more like this
default_name.jpg
 

Zara

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@parrotnewb i had that house cage in black for my lovebird and I hated it. I found it hard to clean and my bird couldn't fly inside.
Also, I believe that these bars are not strong enough for your bird. The size is definitely too small.
If you already bought it, maybe they will accept returns?
The white square cage is better, but it looks like there's a black flight cage behind it?
 

parrotnewb

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Hi guys for the great advice! On my way back to the return the cage. I’ve scoured the internet for more cages and found a few, some I can’t return so want to make sure I’m buying the right one. What do you all think?

The one for £149 has dimensions- 95cm (l) x 58 cm (w) x 138cm (h)
 

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Zara

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I have that first cage and wouldn't recommend it for an IRN. Great for lovies, budgies and other littles.
Hopefully there's someone who owns the other two cages to add some input :)
 
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