How to Tame an Old Indian Ringneck Parakeet

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Your parakeet can live up to 20 years or more.
Your parakeet can live up to 20 years or more. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

The Indian ringneck parakeet is a native of India and Sri Lanka, weighs about 8 ounces and is approximately 15 inches long, including its tail. Their life span is usually up to 20 years or more. These birds are so intelligent that they are bored easily. They need stimulation through a variety of new experiences and toys to enjoy. Their powerful jaws require exercise in the form of chewable toys. You will likely have this bird for many years, so it is important that it is well trained.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bird cage where the entrance door opens out as a platform
  • Four extra perches
  • Parakeet treats
  • Four parakeet toys that include chewable toys

Instructions

Buy a cage large enough for your Indian ringneck parakeet to move around freely and spacious enough to arrange several perches at different heights. Make handling and training easier by purchasing a cage with a door that opens down to form a platform so the bird can get in and out of its cage with little effort.

Set up the cage before you purchase your bird so there is as little trauma as possible when your parakeet first enters it.

Allow your bird at least two days of calm and quiet to get used to its home. During that time talk softly to the bird at frequent intervals a few yards from the cage. Approach closer to the cage each time until you are a few inches away.

Open the door to the cage slowly and quietly and insert an extra perch. Touch the perch gently to the bird's chest near his feet and wait patiently for the bird to step on the perch. Do this several times for a couple of days.

Place your finger against the bird in the same manner as you did the perch. Wait for the bird to get on it and talk quietly to your parakeet. Do this at various times of the day for a couple of days. The more familiar and comfortable the bird is with you, the easier it will be to train.

Talk softly to the bird while you wait for it to perch on your finger. Slowly take the parakeet out of the cage on your finger. Allow your bird to fly around and hopefully it will perch on your shoulder or the door of its cage. Let your bird get used to coming back to you or its cage for a few days.

Encourage the bird to hop on your finger and place it gently on the floor or a low table where you have set up two or three parakeet toys. Old Indian ringneck parakeets are naturally very curious and your bird will probably be eager to explore the toys.

Play with the bird and reward it with a treat of a food it likes. These parakeets have powerful muscles in their jaw that must be maintained, so they also like and need chew toys.

Continue with this procedure each day until you and the bird are comfortable together. Teach it to talk by repeating words and phrases repeatedly to your bird.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask for a very young bird. Choose a parakeet that appears healthy, friendly, vocal and not timid. A bird with this personality should be easier to train.
  • Have the bird's flight feathers trimmed if you are experiencing difficulty with its flying wildly around the room or trying to fly into mirrors or windows. This will calm the parakeet down and its feathers will grow back.
  • If you want to teach your bird to talk, it is better to have only one bird. If you have more than one, the birds are likely to just "talk" to one another.
  • Ask your veterinarian for advice on what to feed your bird and what food treats are safe. Some human foods are not safe for these parakeets.
  • Before the bird comes out of the cage, close all doors and windows. Keep it confined to one room that you have made safe and remain in the room with your parakeet. Birds are very curious and will land on, peck at and examine anything in the room.

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