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Old 01-01-2013, 02:19 AM
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Cool New caique owner

Hello
I am new to owning birds and am proud though slightly nervous owner of two black headed caiques. Male and female aged 18 and 20 weeks.
They are not as tame as I was led to believe so I have been reading as much as I can to work out how to handle them. Advice please! Basil and maple (named by my children) are completely adorable but were frightened at first when I put my hand in their cage. I have worked hard over last few days and now they are eating from my hand and I can just about stroke their necks which is very exciting. However I cannot get them to step up though still working on it using methods suggested in most books! HOWEVER- my big question is should I be letting them out of their cage and how on earth will I get them back in. I feel like we are slowly building trust and to try to grab them if they won't come back will probably make them nervous ... Should I leave it until they are stepping up inside the cage or should I open the cage and let them explore anyway? I only got them on the 28th December so they are fairly new - they have settled well.
Eating loads and playing like mad. Can't wait for them to be a bit tamer and cuddlier though. Any advice welcome as I am complete novice bird owner! By the way I have four kids and five dogs too!
Pollymaria :
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:07 AM
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Re: New caique owner

Welcome....... Love their names
Congrat's with your new babies. 

Have your birds been to the vet? Let the birds be checked over, peace of mind for a healthy birds
Your birds, must have time to settle down and adjust. Just imagine how many new things the bird has encountered, so many new faces and voices, it must be so scary.
To gain your trust could take days, weeks, months even years. Each and every bird is so different. Your birds obviously feels a comfort zone in their cage.
Sit near the cage, talking and singing to the birds. Let them become familiar with your voice. Leaving the cage door open, offering them treats through the bars at first. When they willingly accepts them, try placing a treat near the open door. Eventually they will starts taking the treats from the door, make no attempt to touch them. When they do come out, they will probably climb around on the cage. Let them explore in their own time. To get them back in, place a treat inside the cage, making sure it's visible.

When out the cage, are they jumpy. Perhaps the children are surrounding them at one time. They are still small, an not used to children at all. They may be excited being near your birds. Let them sit quietly, (which is difficult for any child) in the same room, for them to to become familiar with them as well. Please always be present, when the children are in the same room as the birds, especially if the birds are outside the cage. Birds can be extremely unpredictable, one of them could make a loud noise, and startled the bird, resulting in the bird biting one of them.

Good luck
Please keep us updated

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Last edited by antoinette; 01-01-2013 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:54 AM
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Re: New caique owner

Hello and welcome to the board.

I have 8 caiques ( but no kids or dogs), and I agree with Antoinette that they need time to settle in.

If you want to tame them you will need to do so in a quiet room where you can get their attention, with no threat of dogs (caiques are prey animals), or young children (you dont say how old the children are).

They will need regular out of cage time to burn off that famous caique energy, so you will need to build that into your routine.

I let my three tamest loose in the house sometimes, but I am well aware that any sudden movement can spook them and they will tear off towards
a) height
b) windows.

All the effort is very worthwhile. They are a laugh a minute

Last edited by Irishj9; 10-30-2013 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:20 AM
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Re: New caique owner

The best way to bond with your parrot and teach them to trust you is to teach them target/touch training.

You'll need a new chopstick, a clicker (which you can get from a pet shop, or as far as the clicker goes, you can just use the word good. I personally prefer a clicker) and some treats that they like.

NOTE: don't use their fav treat as a reward, save it for later.

So first thing first, train one parrot at a time. If you try to train two parrot at a time, it's most likely to be a mess. So while you're training a parrot, have the other on a play stand or something away from the parrot you're training with so it don't get distracted.

Anyway, show the chopstick to your parrot. Every time they bite or touch the end of the chopstick with their beak GENTLY, click the clicker and reward. Do NOT reward if they attack or bite the stick really hard, instead, mash some berries or banana on the end of the chopstick and show it to your bird. They will try to eat the berries by gently touching the stick. Click and reward. So that helps teaches the parrot not to bite.

Target training are very easy, and most parrot will get it after about 5-15 min of training

NOTE: it's best to train your parrot for about 5-10 min each time, 3 times a day.

Once your parrot knows what to do, it's time to make it harder for them to reach the chopstick. For the start, you can put the stick in front of your bird but not too close, so your parrot need to take a couple of steps so it can touch the target stick. When you have done this a few time, you can target your parrot in and out of its cage. And make it harder every time. If your parrot is scared of your hand, you can target him up onto your hand for step up training.

And after each training session is finished, reward your parrot it's fav treat. So him or her will be looking forward to it's next training lesson.

But NEVER force a parrot to do anything it doesn't want to. Like if you ask your parrot to step up, and it won't and walks away from you, respect him or her and try it again later. If you force your parrot, you're most likely to get bitten. And your parrot will feel uncomfortable and unsafe around you, and it will be less likely to trust you.

If you have any other question, feel free to ask me
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:26 AM
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Re: New caique owner

Forgot to mention, once your parrot has learnt target training, you can target him or her back into their cage without being scared to be bitten. Which you said above that you can't get them back into their cage once they are out and are scared to be bitten if you ask them to step up. I think target training would really help you and your parrots.

Happy training
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:28 AM
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Re: New caique owner

Quote: Originally Posted by antoinette View Post
Welcome....... Love their names
Congrat's with your new babies. 

Have your birds been to the vet? Let the birds be checked over, peace of mind for a healthy birds
Your birds, must have time to settle down and adjust. Just imagine how many new things the bird has encountered, so many new faces and voices, it must be so scary.
To gain your trust could take days, weeks, months even years. Each and every bird is so different. Your birds obviously feels a comfort zone in their cage.
Sit near the cage, talking and singing to the birds. Let them become familiar with your voice. Leaving the cage door open, offering them treats through the bars at first. When they willingly accepts them, try placing a treat near the open door. Eventually they will starts taking the treats from the door, make no attempt to touch them. When they do come out, they will probably climb around on the cage. Let them explore in their own time. To get them back in, place a treat inside the cage, making sure it's visible.

When out the cage, are they jumpy. Perhaps the children are surrounding them at one time. They are still small, an not used to children at all. They may be excited being near your birds. Let them sit quietly, (which is difficult for any child) in the same room, for them to to become familiar with them as well. Please always be present, when the children are in the same room as the birds, especially if the birds are outside the cage. Birds can be extremely unpredictable, one of them could make a loud noise, and startled the bird, resulting in the bird biting one of them.

Good luck
Please keep us updated

Thanks so much for your reply
So do you think I should encourage them to come it of cage every day then even though I am not confident about getting them
Back in the cage .... I don't want to have to grab them and lose their trust
Also what does it mean when they puff up their feathers and make little chirpy noises? Am hoping it means they are happy as when I scratch Basil's head he does this !
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:26 PM
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Re: New caique owner

Hey - I followed your advice and thy came out straight away and had a really good time outside the cage for a couple of hours and I was so pleased I was able to tickle behind heads and gently put them back in cage (cage filled with treats) no problem
Makes me feel much more confident ! Thank you for your advice
Pollymaria
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:50 AM
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Re: New caique owner

Welcome to the forum, Pollymaria!
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