Keeping Indian Ringneck Parakeets as Pets

Indian Ringnecks Make Delightful Companions
Indian Ringnecks Make Delightful Companions. Neha Gupta/Getty Images

Common Names

Indian Ringneck Parakeet, Indian Ringneck Parrot, Rose-Ringed Parrot

Scientific Name

Psittacula krameri manillensis

Origin

India, Asia

Size

Medium, at about 16 inches in length including the tail feathers.

Average Lifespan

Between 25 to 30 years, although instances of Ringnecks living past the age of fifty have been authenticated.

Temperament

Although the Indian Ringneck has something of a reputation for being nippy and hard to train, it is largely undeserved.

Because they are so smart, Ringnecks get bored very easily, and will often resort to chewing and other destructive behavior if left to their own devices. They also go through a bluffing stage during adolescence that is difficult for some owners to manage. Ringnecks that are handled often and properly cared for, however, generally have sweet, charming personalities that make them a favorite of bird enthusiasts everywhere. Their voices are almost comical as it is a very high-pitched yet sweet little voice. They do not have the reputation of being very affectionate but they are generally a low-maintenance bird if there is really such a thing. They do require time and attention despite their aloof personalities. 

Colors

Ringnecks are available in shades ranging from bright yellows, greens, and blues, to albinos. Like a few other bird species, they are known as dimorphic, meaning that a bird's sex can be determined by its colors and markings.

Males sport deep red beaks, black facial markings, and three bands or color around their necks. Females, while still beautiful, lack the facial and collar bands, although some do display a barely slight darkening of color around their necks.

Feeding

Wild Indian Ringnecks usually feast on a diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, and seeds.

In the wild, they live in lightly timbered areas as well as farmed areas of the countryside. They can be found in western and southern areas of Sudan. This species is quite popular in the middle east and they are often bred there. But they can still be found in the wild. They travel in flocks so they are used to having company. In the wild, they eat berries, fruit, nectar from flowers as well as well as the flowers themselves. 

While most vets agree that it is best for captive birds to eat a nutritionally balanced pelleted diet, a Ringneck will appreciate a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Leafy greens and vegetables are crucial for any companion parrot for a nutritionally sound diet and the Indian Ringneck parrot is no exception. As with all birds, food and water containers should be emptied, cleaned, and refilled daily to reduce the risk of bacterial growth and infection.

Exercise

Parakeets are very active birds. As with most other bird species, it is a good idea to have a safe area for the pet to play and stretch its wings. Ringnecks also have powerful jaw muscles to maintain, so it is wise to provide an array of chewable toys, perches, and cage accessories so that the bird is less likely to gnaw on something valuable or dangerous.

Ringnecks As Pets

Indian Ringneck Parakeets have been kept in captivity from as early as 200 B.C. In their home country of India, they were regarded as sacred beings when religious leaders began to recognize their ability to clearly mimic human language. Highly regarded by wealthy Indian royals, Ringneck Parrots were kept in decorative cages and were admired for their colors and charming dispositions. In the 1920's, however, aviculturists began breeding captive Ringnecks, and with the advent of different color mutations, the popularity of the bird began to explode. Now widely available in the pet trade, Indian Ringneck Parakeets continue to gain increasing popularity as pets. Their relatively small size and beautiful markings help to make the Ringneck a good choice for many bird owners. With adequate attention, handling, and love, an Indian Ringneck Parakeet can quickly become a beloved companion and family member.

There are many Indian Ringneck parrots that are in need of homes. Contact your nearest adoption and education foundation or parrot rescue for help with adopting one of these wonderful birds. 

Edited by: Patricia Sund