I love these little birds.
The good: amazing talkers with squeaky little voices. Always doing silly things for attention - very entertaining. Very easily trained and enjoy doing tricks for treats. Not overly dusty. Most love water and are small enough to comfortably take a shower with you. Hens are very affectionate for the most part and enjoy head rubs. Most seem to genuinely enjoy human company. They are good at entertaining themselves if provided with the toys and space to do so. They will invent their own games to play with foot toys and forage toys. Gentle and affectionate, but not overly clingy birds. Wonderful companions, and just beautiful. Big bird in a tiny package, and each is an individual with a distinct personality.
The bad: amazing talkers. Be very careful what you or the TV says around these guys, or your living room, like mine, will sound like the Looney Tunes meets the discovery channel complete with all the wacky sound effects and things you don’t want to hear. Like a ringneck putting a new spin on the kookaburra call. You have to supervise these fids when they’re out of their cages/aviary. Constantly. A few of the games invented by my pals include, “Wait until mom and dad leave the room to destroy the lampshade,” and “Shred the chair,” as well as the charming “Bird safe plant must equal bird food plant so let’s see how many chomp marks we can put in this sucker before mom gets back with her drink refill!” Gotta admire their intelligence, the little schemers.
Random hate of random objects accompanied by eardrum-blowing screaming fit. Every critter hates the vacuum. Ringnecks (at least mine) hate the vacuum, your dust cloth, magic erasers, brooms, dustpans, and especially the yellow fluffy Swiffer things. You would think I beat them with cleaning implements everyday from the awful screams and flailing they do when it comes time to do some housework... I learned very quickly to move them into another room when cleaning.
The ugly: The worst food thieves you could ever meet. Dogs will beg. Ringnecks will just take that tasty looking morsel, whether from your hand, plate, or mouth. Learned this the hard way after my hen divebombed the salsa bowl on taco night. Can be a plus if introducing them to new food; just munch on some and look pleased with it. Whatever you eat, they want.
Sneaky biters. This is another game that you will need to prevent, as they wait until you’re distracted and then chomp your ear, neck or nose for the sheer entertainment value. These aren’t warning bites or hormone bites. No, these are done for the lulz, or because you’re paying too much attention to the TV and they’re jealous. My hubs is a TV watcher, and Korben nails him all the time when he feels ignored. Hubs also jumps and yelps, which is just great fun!
Adolescent biting is terrible, and this grumpy phase can last weeks or months. It’s very trying, and you will get nailed over and over while you and your bird are working out boundaries and acceptable behaviors for both of you. Both parties will be frustrated during the process. Never have I ever been so grateful for a high pain threshold as I was when working with my ‘keets.
You have to handle them daily for the first several months or it will negatively impact the trust relationship you’ve been striving to build.
You will never have a boring day ever again if you open your heart and home to one of these birds. I love mine from the bottom of my heart and would not trade them for anything. They’re pint sized family.