Personality / Caiques as Pets:
These medium-sized parrots make captivating and loyal pets. There is little difference in personality between the two species, so which to choose is often decided by price and availability.
Pet owners love Caiques for their outgoing, fun, arobatic and lovable personality. The antics of a hand fed Caique are a constant source of amusement. They can be very trusting and can be taught to lay upside down in the palm of your hand. These outgoing energetic birds make great companions for households containing children. They do best when handled frequently by many different people and taken on a variety of regular "outings."
They are very playful, entertaining, and very active. These parrots are also sometimes referred to as "the Dancing Parrot" for their habit of hopping and dancing, especially when encouraged by rhythmic clapping. They are considered by many to be the class clown of the parrot world.
They are naturally curious and love to explore new objects - which could be a pen, a bottle cap or a new bird toy.
Caiques can also react with unexpected fear or anger to new situations, objects, or even habitual practices such as being put down or back into their cage.
Caiques may display territorial behavior, even toward people. Removing the Caique prior to cleaning the cage will result in fewer confrontations. To discourage beaking / biting, keep some toys handy andsubstitute the toy for your fingers. If the bird insists on chewing on you rather than a toy, some cage time may be appropriate.
Caiques can be noisy, so this may not be the best choice for apartment dwellers. They may develop the habit of screaming for attention. They may get noisy in the morning when they are waiting for food or when their favorite person leaves the room. However, a caique does not approach near the volume of larger parrots such as cockatoos and macaws; and they don't actually "scream" as much as whistle. With a little bit of training, this behavior can be controlled.
One way of gently disciplining your parrot would be to cover his or her cage for a few minutes immediately after excessive screaming, and only remove the cover after the parrot has quieted down. If you are consistent in this reaction, your pet will eventually figure out what the response will be if he screams -- and will be discouraged to do so in the future. This being said, it is completely natural for birds to make noises -- they communicate this way and it would really be counter productive to stop them from doing so. You can, however, teach him or her to talk. To call you, instead of yelling, and this will give your pet another way of communicating with you that is far more agreeable to your ears.
As Caiques are extremely intelligent, which presents the owners with the challenge of keeping them entertained and mentally stimulated. Next are some resources to help you with that ...
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
Training and Behavioral Guidance:
- Pet parrots generally present challenges, such as excessive chewing - especially at certain stages in their life. They do discover their beaks as method of "disciplining us" once they are out of the "baby stage" and they can generally be somewhat naughty, and it really is important to learn to understand them and to guide their behavior before an undesirable behavior has been established. Undisciplined parrots will chew on electric wiring potentially causing house fires. They regard anything in your home as a "toy" that can be explored and chewed on; destroying items that you may hold dear or are simply valuable. Even a young bird that has not been neglected and abused requires proper guidance; this becomes even more challenging when it involves a rescued bird that may require rehabilitation.
- Web Resources: I put together web resources for you to help you understand your pet bird and properly direct him. Please visit the following website to learn more about parrot behavior and training.
The following webpages will be helpful in setting up your parrot's space:
- Housing Your Caique
- The 3 Key Elements for Keeping Your Pet Bird Happy & Healthy
- Optimal Environmental Conditions: Information on lighting, humidity requirements and other environmental conditions that should be provided for optimal health and well-being
- Environmental Enrichment: Tips on providing your pets with mental stimulation, especially when alone at home.
- Housing Your Parrot
General Care and Feeding:
- General Info on Housing your bird / Fun and Safe Toys
- Purchasing or Adopting your Companion or Aviary Birds
- Optimal nutrition to keep your bird healthy
- Caring for your companion bird