Thursday, June 23, 2011

Staring at Birds - Indian Ringneck FAQ

Some questions I've received regarding Indian Ringnecks:
1.  Is it male or female? Unknown. DNA sexing is an additional $25.  Males do not get their rings until about two years of age.  Prior to that time if you want to know the sex it needs to be DNA or surgically sexed.

2.  How old he would be at the time he's ready for his new home?  Average weaning age is apprx. 10-12 weeks.  I don't force wean so the wean date is an estimate and can be about 2 weeks in either direction.

3.  How long is their expected lifespan?  Apprx. 25 years

4.  Any special requirements in terms of care of such a young bird, special food, for how long, long term diet plan/health/happiness -etc. 
No special requirement for a young bird.  It will be fully weaned and eating on its own before it goes home.  Birds should be fed a varied diet.  I have some information and links on feeding at my blog:

5.  You mentoned that he's very tame.... would he adapt to the attention of both my husband and me, or do they tend to bond with just one perferred person? 
All parrots may tend to favor a special person.  If raised well and you continue to socialize and not let it overbond to one person, everyone in the family should be able to handle the bird.  My experience has been that if a bird will only be with one person, that bird was encouraged by the human to be that way.

6.  Does he squak loudly and what are his normal range of noises/chatter?
Noise is a personal consideration.  Ringnecks are known to be one of the "quieter" types of birds.  But I don't know what your tolerance for noise is.  Birds vocalize every single day.  Some info on noise:

7.  Is he good about staying quiet through the night? 
Most birds don't vocalize after dark unless you're keeping them up.

8.  Do you cover his cage at night? 
No.  That needs to be your decision and preference.  I've never covered any of my birds. 

9.  You mentioned that you take him on outings, can you elaborate? 
I take my babies on car rides and errands for socialization purposes. 

10.  Does he always stay close to you and not fly off (are his wings clipped?)
Prior to clipping babies are taken out in carriers to observe the world.  After clipping they travel in carriers and then get to come out to look around.  Being tame, they don't usually try to get away from people and are very calm. 

11.  When at home, do you let him roam free outside the cage? 
I have playstands all over.  Birds are out several hours a day.  Some days they stay in their cages so they're used to being both out and locked up.

12.  Is he affectionate?  

13.  Is he potentially a talker?  
IRNs can be very good mimics.  But don't get a bird expecting it to talk.  Some never do.

14. That's very cool that you are a certified aviculturist.  How long have you been working with birds?   
I've been keeping them as a hobby for over 20 years.

15. Are Indian Ringnecks a good choice as a pet bird?
 Depends on your personality.  I don't know you so I can't comment on whether it's a good pet for you.

16.  Why you chose to breed this type of bird?
Primarily for the colors they come in.  Also, they're "low maintenance" as far as birds go, so I like the balance of their independence with the "needier" types of birds I keep.  I've kept a lot of different types of birds over the years.  Each has their own qualities that recommend them.

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