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How to Care for Indian Ringneck Parrots

I have cared for Indian ringneck parrots for over 10 years with many ups and downs along the way, but we are still all together and well.

Indian ringneck parrots are beautiful birds with a lot of personality. Learn what it's like to have these parrots as pets.

Indian ringneck parrots are beautiful birds with a lot of personality. Learn what it's like to have these parrots as pets.

What Is It Like to Have Indian Ringneck Parrots as Pets?

I have four Indian ringneck parrots: three boys and one girl. They all have their own very unique personalities. Oscar can talk really well and has learned to associate certain words with their meanings (food words being the main ones). He is the only one out of the four who will allow me to handle him. The other two boys, Ollie and Oren, also talk and have learned to say some of the words that Oscar says. The female, Oriel, is the most dominant among the group and will bite the others if they get too close (except for Ollie, whom she has bonded with).

Indian ringneck parrots are a fairly independent species of bird, which means they generally don't like to cuddle as much as other birds (although some may, depending on their personality), but they still need a lot of your time and attention.

Caring for These Parrots

This article includes advice on the following:

  1. Feeding
  2. Housing
  3. Toys and Entertainment
  4. Toy Safety and Household Safety
These independent birds still need plenty of your time and attention.

These independent birds still need plenty of your time and attention.

1. Feeding Guide

A variety of the following should be offered to your Indian ringneck parrot on a regular basis.

  • Seeds: Provide a high-quality bird seed mix; you can make your own with human-grade seeds (organic is best) and mix them up yourself.
  • Fruit: Options include (but aren't limited to) apple (remove seeds), banana, kiwi fruit (I peel the skin off), mandarin (no seeds), passionfruit and blueberries.
  • Vegetables: Options include (but aren't limited to) broccoli, carrot, zucchini, kale, spinach, green peas, sweet corn and capsicum.
  • Nuts: I usually offer them almonds as treats throughout the day.
  • Fresh Water: Preferably, offer filtered water instead of tap water.
  • Pellets: I provide TOPS Organic Parrot Pellets, which are now available for purchase within Australia.

Try to offer organic if you can. If this isn't possible, I usually remove the skin. There are a number of foods that are toxic to birds; the main one is avocado, which can cause death. You must be careful and research the foods that are safe before adding them to your birds' diet.

Water should be changed regularly to ensure it is clean.

This is a food mixture for my birds.

This is a food mixture for my birds.

2. Housing Guide

Your Indian ringneck will need a cage or aviary that it can call its home. This will be its safe haven, so it is important. The cage should be as big as possible to allow your bird to move about freely without restriction. The bird should at least be able to spread its wings out without them touching the sides of the cage in all directions.

Stainless steel is the safest cage material, followed by powder-coated and then galvanised (after welding). Rust can be dangerous to birds if chewed, so try to ensure your cage is rust free.

How to Clean the Cage

The cage, perches and food bowls need to be cleaned regularly. Be careful with what you use for cleaning as cleaning sprays are generally toxic to your bird.

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I would suggest using warm water (no chemicals) and a cotton cloth (not microfibre, as tiny bits of the material may break off and possibly be ingested by your bird). Try not to leave any broken-off threads or material within your bird's reach.

3. Toys and Entertainment

Toys are a very important part of your birds' day-to-day life. In the wild, these birds would spend the majority of their day foraging for food and avoiding predators, which would keep them very busy.

When they are kept in captivity, neither of these things are necessary, which leaves the bird with a lot of spare time. If birds become bored, they can take on destructive behaviour such as feather-picking or screaming.

This is a tempting toy for a parrot.

This is a tempting toy for a parrot.

4. Toy Safety and Household Safety

Parrots need stimulation, and toys are a great way to provide it for them. However, toys need to be very carefully selected as they can pose a danger to your bird in the following ways:

  • Some toys can contain toxic materials (such as toxic paints or metals) if they aren't created with your birds' well-being in mind.
  • There are also rope toys that can cause your bird to become tangled or, if chewed and swallowed, cause your bird's crop to become impacted.

It is very important that you research the safest toy materials for your bird before making a purchase. I buy my toys from Pandemonium Parrot Toys, and they are fantastic (made with safety in mind), as well as very reasonably priced. It's a good idea to have a few toys that you can alternate regularly to keep them interested.

There are also many other possible household hazards that need to be considered when having pet birds. It is important to familiarise ourselves with these dangers in order to prevent an unfortunate accident.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Miranda Bain


Miranda Bain (author) from Australia on August 18, 2015:

Hi Ash Dhu, I am no expert in what to feed or in what amounts but if you would like to see a detailed list of what I feed my birds each day then you can visit my other blog at:

Ash Dhu on January 03, 2014:

I want to know about the frequency of feeding IRN adult 3 yrs old. Thanks

Miranda Bain (author) from Australia on December 08, 2013:

Oh no Pam, Im so sorry to hear that. I am afraid that I am not a vet and don't know what happened to your ringneck. Sorry for your loss xx

pam on March 23, 2013:

my blue ring neck bird died at 11 years old why blue's one eye looked caved in and blood on the right side of nose she was enjoying the morning then i went to play at 8pm and she was cold on the bottom of her cage why

Grant N.Z from New Zealand on September 04, 2012:

What??, i knew about advocardo and choc. But not apple seeds. Thanks .I have been showing my ringneck how to play soccer, and now we shot a little soccer ball back and forward to each other. I spend 15 mins playing this with him as soon as i get home each night.Then he goes onto his stand in the dinning room, and at bedtime he has another stand in my bedroom.So he only lives in his cage on workdays from 7.30 till 6. He is very well behaved and never screems at all. I beleive the cliped wings and always being on a stand and always in whatever room i am in is the reson. I repair very large damaged tyres as a sideline at home and when i have a job on he even comes out into the shed and sits ontop a tractor tyre and watches me work. I just love birds and feel so sorry for them as most people never realey understand just how much they need company and love. Just like us. Cheers Grant

Miranda Bain (author) from Australia on July 21, 2012:

My parrots love apples too but be careful to never give them the apple seeds, as this can be very dangerous to their health and has been known to cause death. Also avoid radish, caffeine, avocado and processed foods. The best diet is raw organic vegetables (check first as to what is safe, you can find lists online) along with seeds/pellets etc.

Grant N.Z from New Zealand on July 17, 2012:

Good hub, i love Ringnecks. I have a 2 year old male. Very well behaved. Give them a huge cage, lots off toys-toys and more toys, also put a nail through an apple, un peeled and whole and nail it to a fat perch,you shoud have a big fat perch and some different size smaller perchs. If you give him an apple every 2-3 days like that, and pear or banana on other days that keeps them bizy. Always keep there wings clipped -always. They should never be able to fly.And whenever you are at home have a portable stand with a perch and whatever you are doing , just have him in the same room. My bird comes into the bathroom every morning and sits on his stand while i shave and shower. Then i cart him into the bedroom while i dress etc-etc.They will just sit there happy as , as long as they are just close by and have something to watch. And of corse always remember to say hi to him every time you move or get up etc eyc. And you will be fine and end up with a nice quiet bird. And wtith correctly trimed wings you can even take him outside and he can sit on his stand while you do the gardens , or whatever, Cheers and goodluck-Grant

jess on April 26, 2012:

i have a ringneck who is now 1 and a half and he is a love bug - he does scream but only if he has been cooped up in his cage for to long and/or is bored and wants attention. females are more aggressive because in the wild they are more dominant and almost incharge of their mate.

gina -i would suggest a play stand so that your bird feels more part of what you are doing

indian ringnecks have the emotional state of a two year old so you should keep that in mind - they get scared and confused and you can hurt their feelings and they have moods just like toddlers.

all birds bite sometimes - its their way of letting you know that they are grumpy or think you are a threat. its not okay though for them to bite because they don't get what they want or becase they want your attention when you are busy - in those cases you should eith give them a time out where you put them back in their cages and ignore then for a min or 2 or a sturn NO also works in some cases - i use both

i would also suggest you target train your bird -google to see how. it helps with aggression and makes the bird easier to handel.

Hannah on March 28, 2012:


If your IRN is a shoulder sitter I would suggest having her hang out on your shoulder or on a play gym as you work. That way she can hang out with you and feel like she's part of the action. I know it doesn't sound like much but if you make her feel like she part of what is going on she is more likely to respond better. As far as the screaming goes try giving her a favored treat or attention when she's behaving like you want her to. I've done it with several cockatoos but the process may take a few weeks. Patience is part of being a bird parent though.

s.hemant raju on March 16, 2012:

I am having an indian ring neck female parrot, she is very talkative, but whenever my mom giving her anything to eat,she has to bite her, Is there anything to avoid this type of biting tendency. please advice.

bexi on March 10, 2012:

Hi im thinking of getting a ring neck. I work from 9 til 5 and so the parrot would be on his own most of the day. Would it be fair to get a ringneck?

Also he would be staying in my bedroom at night...are they noisy birds?! Thanks

Karan king on November 25, 2011:

M having a nepal green parrot and when ever i put ma finger to the cage he screams and tries to bite me so m scared of him

Miranda Bain (author) from Australia on July 28, 2011:

Hi Suls, The younger the IRN the easier and more likely it is that it will become tame and bond with you. I think that as long as you spend at least a couple of hours interacting with him/her each day then you shouldn't have any problems.

suls on July 20, 2011:

im getting a tree month old how long will my 3 month old irn take to tame

Miranda Bain (author) from Australia on November 18, 2010:

Hi Gina, I know that some people think mirrors are not good for birds but sometimes i put a mirror in with my birds because they love it and it occupies them for hours. They stand in front of it and talk and dance to the reflection. It is just something else you could try if all else fails. Good luck.

Gina on November 16, 2010:

Thank you, Oscarbabe.

I do try and keep the radio on. She loves to whistle movie themes, so I know she likes to engage in it.

I'll have to try the foraging toy. She's such a diva and very picky. I've finally found out that she LOVES Yogurt Yummie Bites (they're actually for larger birds).

It's a lot of trial and error with her, but I'll have to give the foraging treats a try. She's smart and she definitely needs something to occupy her time.

Miranda Bain (author) from Australia on November 16, 2010:

Hi Gina, I'm no expert but i thought that maybe a foraging toy with some treats (almonds, dry fruit, etc.) in it might be a good idea as that way she will get something out of it when she plays with it (although you would have to be careful not to give her too much). She might also be lonely during the day if you are away studying, so you could try leaving a radio on for her whilst your gone so that when you do come home she isn't starving for as much attention. As i said i'm no expert and some professional advice would be better, but these are just a couple of ideas that i would try if i were in your position. Hope it helps and good luck. Let us know how you go :)

Gina on November 16, 2010:

I have an eight year old IRN and I'm trying to find toys for her. She's becoming bored and screaming more. I'm working on my doctorate and do not get to spend nearly as much time with her, but I'm almost always in the room with her. Hence, she sees me, wants my attention, and screams until she gets it (usually negatively, from me).

I've found she doesn't like typical parrot toys (as in the stray type) and I'm trying to find something that will interest her. She's wicked clever and will pick apart things. Her favorite past time is picking up quarters and chucking them against things to listen to the sounds they make.

Any suggestions?

Miranda Bain (author) from Australia on September 27, 2010:

Hi kosbi, In regards to your question i suggest that you visit the following site for some important diet information

kosbi on September 26, 2010:

hi guys how many times do u feed a blue ringneck parrot a day

cheesecake on January 22, 2010:

gd work i can see u have put a lot of effort into this well done

kiko on November 28, 2009:

tnx man u r awsome

mazzi.... on October 23, 2009:

hi ppl i've just bought a pair of ringneck, a male and a female.. how do i like tame them and make them less scared of me... i work about 12 hrs a day everyday. i only have about an hour to spend time with the burds... pls pls help

PBTGuy on September 04, 2009:

Excellent hub, I've been considering buying a Ringneck parrot and I'm glad to learn more about it from your hub.

musebaby from Australia on August 28, 2009:

I have a male blue Ringneck Parrot that would be around the same age as your bird. I also have a younger grey female.

They both have different personalities and they both learn at different levels and can behave in different ways! The female is more aggressive even though she is the younger one and often "stands over" the boy.

Miranda Bain (author) from Australia on August 22, 2009:

Well from my own experience parrots can squak and carry on for so many different reasons. They might be unsettled or afraid of something nearby, which could be fixed by something as simple as moving their cage to a different location or changing the toys inside. They might be wanting more of your attention which isn't always possible, so instead you could try to stimulate them with something else, like maybe a foraging toy with a few treats inside to keep them busy. There could be many reasons though and if you are worried then i suggest seeking advice from a qualified vet or bird trainer.

Teaching them to talk can be easy or more difficult depending on the individual bird. My parrot has learnt to talk mostly from listening and repeating, he has also learnt to associate words with certain foods which he can also say. So in this case if you were feeding him an almond you could say 'would you like an almond' everytime you were to give him one and he/she might eventually learn what it means and to say it him/herself.

odis on August 21, 2009:

how do make your parrots shut up and talk

bird toys on August 11, 2009:

Great information. In addition to bird toys they also need foraging toys to keep them busy and healthy.

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