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Old 04-13-2019, 04:06 AM
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Advice on caiques

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Hi everyone. I’ve been doing research on here in preparation for bringing a new feathered friend into our family. I am quite interested in sun conures, but when I took my partner to our local bird shop over the weekend (just to look and familiarise with the birds) there was a black headed caique. It really seemed to take to us and my partner in particular.

Now, I’m a fan of letting the bird choose you and we were a bit smitten with the little guy BUT I’ve read they are very hyper and wouldnt do well home alone during the day when people are at work (for us that would be about 7.5 hours every weekday during primary/high school terms).
When we’re ready to bring a new family member home I wouldn’t want us to fall in love with/be chosen and therefore bring home a caique only for it to be miserable because it would have to amuse itself all day before being let out for the evening most days.

Can all you caique owners impart your wisdom about living and caring for these adorable tumble species? I want to have as much information as possible to inform our choices so we can choose a bird that is going to have the best life possible with us.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:19 PM
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Re: Advice on caiques

Here's my two cents, based on personal experience.

When I lost my GCC, I decided on a sun conure, but was steered away from them because they are LOUD. I ended up decided on a Caique, but after doing a bunch more research, decided their independent nature (read: getting into trouble) wasn't for me. I returned to the sun...but through an odd and twisty series of events, ended up with a sun AND a caique.

The Sun: LOUD. Would like to know where I am NOW, please. Also extremely affectionate, a shoulder bird, wants to be with her humans quite a lot! Loves to rip stuff up (like all birds), lives for food. She's so endearing! She's got a few tricks, and steps up easily. Generally, aside from the loudness, a very easy bird.

The Caique: Now, the caique was the "problem child" of his clutch of three. The store I work with usually gets them very young, and handles them constantly. He came in a little older and, of the three, was the most hand shy and least friendly. Just adding this bit of info, as you may not see the same personality traits in your guy. Like all caiques, mine is an explorer, although he's kind of timid about it (I expect this to change as he gets older and more bold), which makes it easier to keep him contained and out of trouble. He's bonded to one of my conures, so it's not too traumatizing to him to be left during the day (their cages are next to each other). BUT, I'm also home 5 days out of 7, so he gets a lot of out of the cage time to bounce around. He has ENERGY. When the others are napping, he's usually bouncing on top of the cage. And, like the conures, he LIVES FOR FOOD. Oh, the nummy noises he makes when the chop arrives! He's still bitey - he expresses "I'm done with this" with a chomp, although we're working on this behavior (and it's never been a 'hold on and murder' like I've read can happen when Caiques are really pissed). He's definitely not a shoulder bird. We cuddle for a few minutes each night before bed, when I sing him his goodnight song, and he signals when he's done with squirming and bites if I ignore it.

So, I would ask is: what are you looking for in a bird, and what time of time do you have? If you're looking for a shoulder companion, I'd definitely recommend the conure. If you don't have a lot of time for training (tricks and such) and mental stimulation, I'd also recommend staying away from the caique (especially if he's an only bird).

Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2019, 01:55 AM
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Re: Advice on caiques

Thanks so much for the information Jenypher!
What weíre mainly looking for in a bird is a fun companion thatís also somewhat independent. I say independent because the bird would have to remain home alone in its cage whilst weíre at work; I work in public schools so that means the bird would be alone from 8am to 3.30/4pm, Iíd make sure there are lots of stimulating toys in the cage (rotated regularly) and the radio left on, then once home the bird would be out of itís cage until its bedtime around 8/9pm. The bird would also be out most of the day weekends and when Iím home during the school holidays. When out the birdís time would be spent hanging out with us as we do things around the house, playing/learning Ďtricksí, and hanging out independently around itís cage/playpen (with us supervising so it doesn't get into trouble!).

Iím attracted to the suns because they seem calm and happy to ride the shoulder, also they seem like a good fit for a therapy bird (Iíd ultimately want to train the bird up so it can come to school with me once a week.
Iím attracted to the caique because Iíve heard they are very social and a good family bird as they tend to Ďmake friendsí with everyone and love to play. My partner would also prefer a quieter bird than a sun if possible but he hasnít handled/been around a sun yet (our bird shop didnít have suns due to time of year) so heís going to firm up his position on sound after heís hung out with some suns.

From what youíve said it seems that possibly either species would work for us...
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Old 04-15-2019, 07:34 AM
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Re: Advice on caiques

I know it's a WORLD apart, but you might consider a pair of cockatiels. They're easy to take care of, can be trained, do great in pairs, make terrific shoulder birds, and the males tend to be talkative / whistle-y. They're also gentle, which makes them great for taking into a school setting. They're also not especially loud (although they do have their moments, their volume doesn't even come close to a caique or a sun). I know they aren't the sexiest parrot, but they are very fun and extraordinarily sweet.

Also, I forgot to mention: make sure you research puberty in Caiques. They go through a year or two long period where they can get really murder-y. From what I've heard / read, this is the period where most are given up for adoption. If you're interested in avoiding this, you might consider adopting a caique (there's no shortage) over the age of four.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:12 PM
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Re: Advice on caiques

I really donít like cockatiels or budgies. For me they are either too small or too quiet. Iíd like a bird thatís a touch larger with more spunk and playfulness. I have read about puberty in parrots and Iím fairly confident that Iíll be able to manage that when we get to that point. Having said that, Iím looking into getting a bird from a breeder rather than a parrot shop if possible; here there is a breeder who sometimes has older birds or rescue birds.
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