Pet Profile: The Indian Ringneck

By Valdette Muller| May 22, 2017 | Blog


Also known as the ringneck parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

This bird is fast becoming one of the most popular of all parakeet species to have as a pet and as such they are readily available for purchase.

Ringnecks have been kept in captivity since 200 B.C., regarded as sacred in India owing to their ability to mimic the human language.

Origins: Indian ringneck Parakeet, Indian ringneck Parrot, or otherwise known as Rose-Ringed Parrot, originated in India/Asia.

Size: When fully grown, they have an average length of 40cm (including the tail feathers). The African variety tends to be slightly smaller.

Lifespan: Their average lifespan is between 25  and 30 years but there have been some cases where healthy birds can live up to 50 years!

Colours and markings: Indian ringnecks normally come in a variety of  yellow, green, blue, and even albino colours. Recent mutations have been observed with a purple colouring. Male birds have black facial markings with the titular ring around their necks while females lack the facial markings and the ring.



The Indian ringneck can make an excellent pet provided they are handled frequently at a young age and given attention and affection throughout their lives. They are cute and tend to have charming characteristics, making them a favourite for bird enthusiasts.

However, they are not affectionate birds by nature and in a way similar to the budgie. They can become affectionate provided that you spend time and bond with your ringneck on a daily basis.

They are highly intelligent and very observant and enjoy exploring their environment. They are curious birds and have a keen interest in anything new. They do get bored very easily though, which can lead to mischief if they are left unattended or are not regularly stimulated.

Ringnecks begin to show signs of vocalisation as early as 7 months old. They naturally have high pitched, sweet little voices.

Although their speech may not be as clear and precise as larger parrots, their vocabulary can grow quite large, around 250 words.


Indian Ringnecks’ natural diet in the wild would have consisted of grains, fruits, berries, nectar from flowers, blossoms and other indigenous seeds.

You can feed your ringneck a diet of pelleted parrot foods and seed mixtures bought from your pet store. Clean water for drinking and bathing should also be provided.

Include a good amount of dark leafy greens and vegetables such as kale, carrots, mielies, celery, squash, as well as fruits such as apples, grapes, pears, pomegranates, figs and banana.

Check out our blog post on What fruits and Veggies your parrot can eat.

Remember that food and water bowls should always be cleaned out and refilled daily to reduce the risk of your bird catching infections from bacteria found in old, uneaten food.

Housing and care:

Ringnecks are active birds and require space to stretch their wings (even when clipped). As beautiful as old vintage cages are, make sure your cage does not have chipping paint, rust or is made of brass, as this can be toxic and cause metal poisoning.

They are extremely active and playful so the cage needs to be able to house toys and perches that are durable for chewing, climbing, and swinging. A good sized cage can be 90 cm by 45 cm by 60 cm. An Indian ringneck can live many years, so make sure the cage is durable, safe and can be easily cleaned. Remember they are very territorial regarding their cage and their toys.

Place their cage where they can enjoy a good outside view or where they can watch the TV. If your bird is left alone for a long time, this can help keep them stimulated.

A tray and a grill should be part of the cage to collect and sieve out seed husks, wasted fruit, vegetables and droppings. Add newspaper coverings to the bottom of the cage to make it easier to clean. Daily cage cleaning is recommended.




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