One of the most commonly kept Psittacula is the Indian ringneck parakeet. Other ringnecks kept as pets include the African ringneck parakeet, the moustached parakeet, the plum-headed parakeet, the derbyan parakeet and the Alexandrine parakeet.All of them are regal and sleek in stature with long slender tails.
Their sizes range from just a bit larger than a cockatiel for the ringnecks, the moustached and the plum-headed to the size of a small Amazon for the derbyan and Alexandrine. They all can be good pets, especially if you obtain a hand-fed bird, because they are easier to tame. Most Psittacula are excellent talkers and their speaking voices are very clear, with some developing extensive vocabularies, even uttering complete sentences.
My Indian ringneck was a beautiful lutino and her name was Luke. Yes, you may be wondering why I named a female Luke. The reason is that I assumed Luke was a male when I first got her because she had a bossy attitude and she was aggressive towards my other birds. She often tried to control the bird room by chasing the other birds back in their cages. She eventually learned to get along with everyone, except my parrotlet, who would never back down either, so they could never be out at the same time. This was my first ringneck, so I did not realize at the time that females are generally more aggressive than males.
Ringneck parakeets can be visually sexed when the males develop the ring around their neck, hence their namesake. This usually occurs when they obtain their adult plumage at around 2-1/2 years. By the time Luke was this age, I realized Luke was a female! Ring or no ring, she was very pretty with her bright yellow feathers and personality plus.
At about this time, I decided to return her to the breeder I bought her from, so she could put her in a breeding program. Luke had become quite aggressive towards everyone except my son, who was her favorite. She was fully flighted which made her capable of stepping up her attacks on my other parrots. The breeder was delighted because she was looking for a lutino female to carry on that color line. This breeder is a wonderful person and I knew Luke would be very happy. At this time I have no desire to breed parrots myself, so if a bird strongly indicates that they would rather be a breeder than a pet, I usually return them to the breeder who raised them and everyone is happy all around. I often get updates when they hatch chicks and raise young which I enjoy hearing about.
Luke would probably have remained tame if she was a single bird and not in a room with other birds, where she perceives herself to be part of the flock. Ringneck parakeets need to be handled regularly to remain tame or they can become independent and nippy. Most enjoy time out of their cage everyday. Psittacula are very intelligent so it helps to provide them with a variety of
toys to prevent boredom. They are usually good eaters and like various parrot seeds and nuts, as well as added pellets, and they should be given fresh fruits and vegetables daily. These should be placed in a separate dish, so they can be removed after a few hours, before they spoil. Most Psittacula love to bathe and they enjoy being misted with a spray bottle. They often dip their food in their water, so their water must be changed as necessary to keep it fresh.
I hope you find joy sharing your home with one of these magnificent ringneck parakeets. You may have some challenges, but they will reward you with their beauty and spirit. Many do not like to be petted or stroked because of their strong, independent personality, yet they are sociable and crave their owner's attention. In the past, Kings often kept them as pets and were enchanted by them because of their beauty and speaking ability. Perhaps you will be enchanted by a pet Psittacula as well.
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