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Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

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Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Peanut_power » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:42 pm

Hi All

I have had my IRN :irn: since he (I'm hoping for a boy :D ) was a baby (6 weeks old) and even finished off the last of his hand-feeding myself.

He has always been a very curious bird, very tame and open to being held/touched/stroked etc.

Lately, he has become very aggressive towards my wife and I and I'm thinking it might just be bluffing that he's going through. He is around 8 months old at the moment. He becomes extremely aggressive when I try to take him from his cage, or even just come near his cage. For instance, he will leap at my fingers and try to bit if I put it between the bars. He will however accept food from my hands through the bars.

I sometimes struggle to get him out of his cage as he doesn't allow me in at all to change his food and water. Once he is out though, he will calm down within a few minutes and stay on my hand. He is calm enough to step-up from one hand to other continuously and even play "nosey-nosey" where I rub my nose against his beak.

Any thoughts? I'm really starting to feel disheartened, despite my love for him

Thanks
Peanut_power
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 19
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Ringneck Parakeet
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Re: Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Wolf » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:50 pm

Here is the information that I have on the bluffing stage of which you speak.
http://indianringneck.com/bluffing/
What is the birds schedule? How much time each day is spent interacting with your bird? Also what is his diet? When does he get up and go to bed. Are you certain that he is a male?
Wolf
Macaw
 
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African Grey (CAG)
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Re: Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Pajarita » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:15 am

Hmmm, I'll be honest, I don't like birdsites that don't actually prove the person who wrote them has a lot of experience. I don't even know who the owner of this website is, how many birds he/she's had, for how many years, etc. There doesn't even seem to be any other moderators... I mean, anybody can write something that sounds good and/or call themselves an 'expert' but it doesn't really mean the person knows that much, you know what I mean?

I've never actually believed 'bluffing' claims of all members of one species (like macaws, for example). In my personal opinion, everything is husbandry. And, when it comes to psittaculas, everybody knows that their handling needs to be experienced and very long and frequent so I tend to think that most problems with them are caused by husbandry so, please tell us what would constitute a day in this bird's life.. at what time does he wake up and goes to sleep, at what time does he get fed and what (specifically), how many out-of-cage hours and at what time does this happen, diet, training, one-on-one, housing, etc.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Flight: Yes

Re: Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Wolf » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:03 pm

Well, I asked much the same questions at the end of my post, as I find it hard to believe this bluffing thing and rarely find anything about it in anything that could be considered to be scientific, In fact I have never seen this in anything scientific. This leads me to believe that the real issue with this bird is one of not enough interaction, more than anything else.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Location: Lansing, NC
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Peanut_power » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:27 am

Hi

Thanks for all the feedback.

Sex is still undetermined - I'm just hoping for a male because I like the look of the ring, but I'm completely happy if it turns out to be female.

Diet - he is on the animal zone parrot muesli (http://animalzone.co.za/wp-content/uplo ... Muesli.pdf) which is a pellet mix with added peanuts, grains, dried fruit and veg as his base diet. He also gets lots of fresh fruit/veg and the occasional almond/cashew throughout the day. He has always shown some aversion to the pellets though, he'd much rather chomp down on the peanuts/corn/grains. We have researched on the no-go food stuffs, he definitely doesn't get any of those. I generally replace his dry food when his food bowl looks to be running down to the last.

In terms of out-of-cage time, his cage is almost never closed - only when we are leaving the house and need to arm the alarm. In winter I try to get him up around the time I wake up, which is generally around sunrise in any case. I ensure that I open the nearest curtain so that he can see the natural light transition. We usually go to bed quite early and if not that, then at least retire to our rooms - so he gets sufficient dark time. In summer, I make sure that I open the curtain before sunrise (which is sometimes just after 4am, so I need to get up quite early) and then I go back to bed to allow him to wake up naturally. Again, we try to leave the living area relatively soon after dark to give him the rest he needs.

He has been a bit neglected of late in terms of attention as my 1-year old daughter has had some health issues and consumed most of our time. My wife does try to interact with him throughout the day and he is generally spending time with my daughter out of his cage, walking around the house, eating pieces of fruit she shares with him, etc. She also gets involved with his baths, which he loves. We use a little spritzer to spray water on him. I will usually also take him when i get home from the office, if only for 5 minutes sometimes.

At the moment he has become very territorial and lunges at me when I get close to his cage. When I try to get him to step-up, I usually fall victim to a bite or 2, but after a couple of minutes he doesn't try biting anymore. My concern is also that he seems rather submissive initially, so I think he may be acting tame out of fear. I have started to attempt to rebuild our relationship by just spending more time at his cage, speaking softly to him. I can tell that when we are having a meal at the table next to his cage, he really wants to be a part of the family, even though he won't always allow me to take him.

I had him out of his cage for about 10 minutes a couple of nights ago. After a while he was happily stepping up from hand to hand, grooming my beard, exploring my table. He would voluntarily come close and step up onto my hand when I put him onto the floor and sat down next to him. He would even climb up my leg. One thing that I've also noticed is that he still finds comfort in sitting high up on my chest, nestled under my beard - something he used to do quite often when he was very young.

I hope I've given enough info here. I really would appreciate any tips/advice. I've partially accepted that I might need to start from scratch in gaining his trust once more.
Peanut_power
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 19
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Ringneck Parakeet
Flight: No

Re: Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Pajarita » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:01 am

Well, there is your answer:
1. You need to reduce protein (you can't free-feed high protein food to any parrot species but psittaculas, in particular, require it even more than other species because they eat a lot of fruit in the wild).
2. You need to keep it to a strict solar schedule (it's not how many hours he sleeps at night, it's the strict daily exposure to dawn and dusk and falling asleep when night falls naturally to wake up with the sun comes up).
3. You need to interact with him for hours and hours every single day (no weekends off, no vacations, no day trips, no nothing) and interacting does not mean his cage is open, it means you spend 2 or 3 hours with him every single day. Now, don't misunderstand me, I am a mother (and a grandmother) so I understand perfectly when you say that your daughter has had health issues and that his has caused you to mildly neglect him/her for a while but the problem is that, although we, as humans, understand the need for this, parrots don't... and psittaculas, in particular, are not forgiving birds when it comes to even mild neglect and why they are not parrots for people with a normal lifestyle or without the time and experience to devote to them because they 'revert to wild ways' very easily.

So, make sure his light schedule is exact and that he is not exposed to any light once night falls (this is sometimes the problem because we, humans, are used to seeing lights 24 hours a day so we don't even register that little sliver of light that shines in through the windows at night), feed high protein only for dinner and a measured portion at that (no topping off the bowl ever!) and start spending, at least, 2 hours of one-on-one every day.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: NE New Jersey
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Flight: Yes

Re: Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Peanut_power » Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:15 am

Hi Pajarita

Please clarify a couple of things for me:

1. To reduce protein, do I just cut out the almonds/cashews or do I actually remove some of the peanuts from his food mixture? The recommended daily serving is half a cup of that mix and to supplement with fresh fruit and veg. Should I switch to filling his bowl with 1/2 a cup each morning and make that the routine?

2. In terms of spending time with him, would simply keeping him on my shoulder throughout the day count? Or is it time spent actually chatting to him/stroking him gently? He does like head scratches. With him being semi-wild at the moment, would you recommend just standing at his cage and speaking to him or getting him out of the cage, letting him calm down and having physical contact?

Thanks
Peanut_power
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 19
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Ringneck Parakeet
Flight: No

Re: Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Wolf » Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:29 pm

It sounds to me that your bird and I have something in common, at least in regards to pellets, as I don't much care for them either. I feed my birds a fresh fruit, a fresh raw vegetable and a fresh raw leafy green first thing in the morning, followed by gloop about an hour later and then a measured amount od a seed mix for dinner. I provide enough gloop and fresh produce to last all day. This solves the issue of too much protein and it is better for them as it lacks the chemical additives, the artificial colors, the sugars as well as the harder to use artificial vitamins and it contains moisture just like the foods that they were meant to eat in the first place. It is easy to modify for any species of parrot. It is worth your time to look it up in the nutrition section for yourself.

When it comes to interaction with your bird everything that you do and don't do counts and is important. It is through our interaction or lack of it that we earn the trust of the bird and build our relationship with them. The trust that we foster in ourselves and our birds, provides the foundation for the relationship as well as all that follows in regards to our birds. Your bird needs time spent on you just hanging out quietly with you as well as times where you are actively scratching the bird and talking to it. It also requires time out of the cage to fly, explore and / or just to hang out near to you. It is not really about changing the bird to fit our conception of how we think the relationship should be , but rather a bonding of two intelligent beings through mutual trust and respect and the willingness to cooperate with each other in our attempt to successfully live together. There is no one better qualified to tell you how to get you bird to step up for you then the bird itself. When we are training with our birds you should slow down and take note of the fact that as we are training them that they are also training us. And we should be accepting of this, if we are looking for a wonderous and fulfilling relationship with the bird.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
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Flight: Yes

Re: Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:29 am

Wolf pretty much answered both your questions. It's not reducing the amount of food you put in its bowl, it's changing the food you are filling it with. Look up recipes of gloop in the diet section. I've been using different versions (I keep on tweaking it, taking something out, replacing it with something else, etc) of this food for years and years and years and have converted about 400 birds to it without a problem - they all like it! Give him enough gloop to last all day and have some leftover when you got to serve its dinner in the evening, make a point of getting a large variety of produce so you can offer a different thing every day - this is not so easy when it comes to the greens but a breeze when it comes to the fruits and veggies because you can buy one apple, one pear, one small bunch of grapes, a fistful of cherries, one tomato, one zucchini, a tray or a container with some cantaloupe or watermelon already cut up, etc. And even the greens you can just pull a few leaves of each and put them in plastic bag without actually buying the big bunch they offer at the supermarket. I do this every single week with the cabbages, I just pull out enough for one day and put it in a bag - the cashiers just ask what it is and look the code up in their little book, but you can also do it with escarole, chicory, Swiss Chard, kale, etc.

And yes, walking around and doing your stuff around the house does count! Psittaculas are very curious and love to be included in what you do so, as long as you are not actually cooking anything on the stove, you can bring him with you to the kitchen and make him perch next to you on a stand while you work there, or perch on a towel rod while you take your shower, of the back of the head of the bed when you clean the bedroom, etc. I do all these things and even vacuum, dust, sweep, feed the dogs, etc with a bird on my shoulder - right now, I have one on my shoulder and another one on my lap or trying to climb on my laptop screen or my keyboard or pushing my hand with his head so I would scratch it, etc (Sweetpea can be a pain in the neck when it comes to attention :lol: )

Now, if he has gotten bitey, you will need to make him step up to a T stick and have stands for him to perch on because, at the beginning, he will bite you if you try to do it with your hand or have him on your shoulder but, as you improve his diet, put him on a solar schedule and establish a daily routine of out of cage and one-on-one time, he will calm down and you will be able to do these things and more with him on you.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15085
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Tame Ringneck now being aggressive

Postby Peanut_power » Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:12 am

Thanks again guys

We spent the entire day together yesterday and all was fine. We drove around doing errands, visited my in-laws, played step up/head scratch and all of that. It was all going great until we got home and I returned him to his full-sized cage. I only carry his travel cage around when we are out of the house.

He is completely happy to be with me, but when he gets to cage he becomes VERY territorial. He tries to attack me when I get close to him. Lunges, bites, hisses, etc. As soon as he is out of the cage, sweet little bird is back.

Another thing that I've noticed is that he only really chirps a lot when he is in the cage. When he was with me for most of the day yesterday, he hardly said a word. Now that he's back in the cage, he mimics my whistle, tries to say hello and is generally a lot more chirpy.

I am in the process of cleaning up his diet routine and being strict about his solar schedule, so hoping that this would help in the end.

His dual personality just gets a bit much to deal with though, makes it really difficult.
Peanut_power
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 19
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Ringneck Parakeet
Flight: No

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