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Incoming BHC

AYA

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Hello! I'm going to be bringing a black-headed caique home soon, and I'd like to ask if anyone has any advice or tips on raising one of these lovely birds-- like, what are some toys/types of toys that can keep your caiques busy/entertained (such as particular foragers, etc.), what are some favourite foods, and are there maybe any things that, in hindsight, you wish that you had done/didn't do when your bird was still young?

I've read up on the species quite heavily, which includes reading 'The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly' thread, as well as other threads like it on other forums, as well as a couple of species-specific books and just general information about them, but one can never know too much! :D

But enough about that, here (on the right) is little Wyatt:

He's around ten weeks old, a budding explorer, a good eater, and is sweet and very easy-going, according to his breeder :)

Very excited to welcome this cutie home! :D
 

Lady Jane

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Are the birds in the video yours? Lucky for you to get them.
 

CrazyKozmo

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Congratulations on the new baby! I have 2 white-bellied caiques (3 year old girls), I don't have experience with the BHC but think they're fairly similar (members will correct me if not!). It's good that you read the "good, bad, & ugly" file, because it sums up most experiences fairly well. They are awesome birds! You will need to learn their body language, because their moods can change quickly....and can get aggressive. They love to chew and tend to be "beakie" birds....I have bird shirts, and towels to use when they are out of their cage to chew on and to help me if they get over-excited when we're playing. They are incredibly entertaining and active and social. Make sure that you have time to spend with them daily. They are good eaters!!! Little piggies with feathers!! Favorite foods include: carrots, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, kale, fruits (apples, bananas, kumquats, berries...blackberries, raspberries, pomegranates), and walnuts. Just a summary. Enjoy your sweet baby and the members are here to help!
 

CrazyBirdChick

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I'm sorry I don't really have advice but wanted to say congratulations!

Wyatt is adooorable! :xflove: He looks like a refined little gentleman. (Especially compared to, what looks like, a trouble maker on the left:lol:)

So cool that the breeder has gotten them used to the harness too! I bet you're excited! :heart:
 
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AYA

Walking the driveway
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Congratulations on the new baby! I have 2 white-bellied caiques (3 year old girls), I don't have experience with the BHC but think they're fairly similar (members will correct me if not!). It's good that you read the "good, bad, & ugly" file, because it sums up most experiences fairly well. They are awesome birds! You will need to learn their body language, because their moods can change quickly....and can get aggressive. They love to chew and tend to be "beakie" birds....I have bird shirts, and towels to use when they are out of their cage to chew on and to help me if they get over-excited when we're playing. They are incredibly entertaining and active and social. Make sure that you have time to spend with them daily. They are good eaters!!! Little piggies with feathers!! Favorite foods include: carrots, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, kale, fruits (apples, bananas, kumquats, berries...blackberries, raspberries, pomegranates), and walnuts. Just a summary. Enjoy your sweet baby and the members are here to help!

Thanks for the reply! I'm aware of the dual nature of caiques, but some more info on the specifics of their body language would be appreciated :)
Thank you for the examples of fresh foods, and I generally have about 5 hours of 'free' (read bird) time each day, with some days having more but rarely less :)
 

AYA

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I'm sorry I don't really have advice but wanted to say congratulations!

Wyatt is adooorable! :xflove: He looks like a refined little gentleman. (Especially compared to, what looks like, a trouble maker on the left:lol:)

So cool that the breeder has gotten them used to the harness too! I bet you're excited! :heart:


Thank you, and I'm super excited! :D

His breeder says that he's a pretty chill little sweetheart who happily comes up to greet her, while his buddy there is a little more handshy and also a little more cheeky (so your guess was right on the money lol), and I'm also super glad that she harness trains all her baby pet birds.
 

CrazyKozmo

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Body language to be wary of: pinning eyes, pinning eyes with raised hackles (fluffy neck), pinning eyes with raised hackles and swaying body, all of the above and lunging. Basically, once the eyes start to pin, I will set my bird down for a "time out"....or, at least, make sure she's away from my face.
These birds can be a handful, but are certainly worth it!! I love mine to pieces!:heart::heart:
 

AYA

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Body language to be wary of: pinning eyes, pinning eyes with raised hackles (fluffy neck), pinning eyes with raised hackles and swaying body, all of the above and lunging. Basically, once the eyes start to pin, I will set my bird down for a "time out"....or, at least, make sure she's away from my face.
These birds can be a handful, but are certainly worth it!! I love mine to pieces!:heart::heart:


Thanks! At least the little buggers make their displeasure clear, my conure can be a little hard to read sometimes because you can't really see her eyes pinning thanks to her dark irises, so the 'red eyes take warning' aspect of caiques is kind of neat in its own way, and thanks for the info on the feather display and swaying :)
I'm sure that they're every bit a joy as they are a challenge, lol :D
 

rockybird

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The one thing I regret not doing is buying a second caique while mine was young. My caique is incredibly focused on me and very demanding of my attn. I cannot possibly give him what he needs - a buddy to play with and groom.

I would buy the absolute largest cage you can. My bird is in a 4 ft. Wide cage and uses every inch. Train him to sleep in a night cage. Also, get him used to being snuggled and wrapped in tee shirts or very light towels. This really helps me manage my caique. He refuses to go to bed at night, so I snuggle him in a shirt, while he lays on his back, and they while holding him in the shirt set him in his night cage. WHen he is angry, managing him with a shirt seems to calm him down (sometimes) and definitely makes it easier to handle him.

Be prepared for the amount of time and attn. your caique will require. My caique takes more time than all of my three little easy going conures require. It might be best to integrate him into your schedule and have him out with you while getting ready in the am, eating breakfast, eating dinner, making dinner, getting ready for bed.
 

Laura729

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Congrats - Wyatt is adorable (and love his name)! How great the breeder has already gotten the babies comfortable with the flight harnesses! I don't have experience with Caiques, but my amazing bird groomer has 2, so I will ask her for any additional toy suggestions and tips!:)
 

Tim

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Congratulations! Honestly the BEST decision I made was getting two. They are so demanding of your time and attention, having two takes a LOT of that pressure off. They love us, but they LOVE each other. They will spend hours playing with each other--on me.
Honestly, I have never had a caique who is a picky eater. They love peppers of all types. I always give them the pepper cores because they love eating the seeds (organic or home-grown, of course!). Carrots, Kale, quinoa, raspberries, blackberries. Walnuts and almonds as treats. Safflower seed for training. Snap peas are one of Petunia's favorites. A little scrambled egg now and then for protein (cooked in coconut oil).
Toys--Prepare to change them out frequently to prevent boredom. Things my two love--Small birdie bagels, cork toys, balsa slices, cross-cut (chippy) pine, small barrel (snappy) beads, leather strips, they each have a foraging wheel that they get in their cage once a week or so, FOOT TOYS of all types. They each have a basket full of foot toys attached to the side of their cage. And a basket full of toys in the middle of the bird room (our living room). They want to play with all the toys at the same time. Especially the one that the other has!:rofl:
 

Tim

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Also, he probably won't play full-force for a few months. You have to teach them how to play--get on the floor, get out a lot of foot toys and hop them across the floor, dangle them above your bird, encourage interaction. Within a couple of months he will be bringing toys to you because he wants to play with YOU. I love that!
 

WendyN

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I agree with Rockybird about having 2 caiques to keep each other company.
Also when you see a cage you like, consider getting one size bigger :) for when they get to playing....
 

AYA

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The one thing I regret not doing is buying a second caique while mine was young. My caique is incredibly focused on me and very demanding of my attn. I cannot possibly give him what he needs - a buddy to play with and groom.

I would buy the absolute largest cage you can. My bird is in a 4 ft. Wide cage and uses every inch. Train him to sleep in a night cage. Also, get him used to being snuggled and wrapped in tee shirts or very light towels. This really helps me manage my caique. He refuses to go to bed at night, so I snuggle him in a shirt, while he lays on his back, and they while holding him in the shirt set him in his night cage. WHen he is angry, managing him with a shirt seems to calm him down (sometimes) and definitely makes it easier to handle him.

Be prepared for the amount of time and attn. your caique will require. My caique takes more time than all of my three little easy going conures require. It might be best to integrate him into your schedule and have him out with you while getting ready in the am, eating breakfast, eating dinner, making dinner, getting ready for bed.


Thank you for the reply! However, as much as I would like to, I can't get Wyatt a buddy, as all of his breeder's other bh caiques are spoken for and the species is very uncommon in Australia in general, with his breeder being the only one I've been able to find that even lives in my state. How long would be too long to wait for a second caique?

I am currently on the hunt for a good, big cage with feeder doors, but the problem is that the cage selection here goes from tiny 'budgie' cage, to flight cage without feeder doors, to cockatoo-sized cage with feeder doors but too wide bar spacing. It's a bit of a struggle, but I've found a couple that, while not as big as your cage, seem to be pretty decent... I'd link them but they're at a pet shop and just had prices and no name or brand that I could find. Whatever cage I do pick will likely be a temporary one, as my goal is to get both Lawrence and now Wyatt each a spacious stainless steel cage within the next year or so. If it's any consolation, Wyatt will be spending most of the day out of his cage :)

Just curious, but why do you think a night cage is necessary? I've never done that for a bird before so I'd like to know more please :)

Thanks for the towel/shirt advice!

I generally have at least 5 hours of time to spend just hanging out with Lawrence if she wants it (she usually just wants to nap on me for half an hour and then go back to her cage lol), as I work either in the morning or the evening, and some days I'll have more, but if you don't think that that's enough time, let me know! Lawrence is usually on me when I'm doing my morning routine etc. and I don't want to displace her-- she is First Bird, after all-- though, should the planets align and they become friends, I would like to be able to have them both out with me (I am well aware of the fact that, for the most part, caiques and other birds do not get on, so I'm not saying that I'll ignore this issue and endanger my birds/Lawrence, just that I'd obviously love for them to be able to tolerate each other). Also, there's the hurdle of quarantining and splitting my time between the Lawrence and Wyatt ends of the house :D

Thanks again, hope you're having a good day! :D
 

AYA

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Congratulations! Honestly the BEST decision I made was getting two. They are so demanding of your time and attention, having two takes a LOT of that pressure off. They love us, but they LOVE each other. They will spend hours playing with each other--on me.
Honestly, I have never had a caique who is a picky eater. They love peppers of all types. I always give them the pepper cores because they love eating the seeds (organic or home-grown, of course!). Carrots, Kale, quinoa, raspberries, blackberries. Walnuts and almonds as treats. Safflower seed for training. Snap peas are one of Petunia's favorites. A little scrambled egg now and then for protein (cooked in coconut oil).
Toys--Prepare to change them out frequently to prevent boredom. Things my two love--Small birdie bagels, cork toys, balsa slices, cross-cut (chippy) pine, small barrel (snappy) beads, leather strips, they each have a foraging wheel that they get in their cage once a week or so, FOOT TOYS of all types. They each have a basket full of foot toys attached to the side of their cage. And a basket full of toys in the middle of the bird room (our living room). They want to play with all the toys at the same time. Especially the one that the other has!:rofl:

Also, he probably won't play full-force for a few months. You have to teach them how to play--get on the floor, get out a lot of foot toys and hop them across the floor, dangle them above your bird, encourage interaction. Within a couple of months he will be bringing toys to you because he wants to play with YOU. I love that!

Thank you for replying!

As I said in a (slightly) earlier reply, at this time I can't get two, as much as I'd like too (and know that it's a good idea).

Thank you for giving me more food suggestions, I'm starting to get quite the long list!

Don't worry, I know that there's no such thing as having too many toys ready to go when it comes to parrots, especially energetic ones like caiques! :D I thought foot toys would be a favourite, glad I ordered a bunch, and I plan on getting a few different foragers so that I can rotate them daily like I do with my conure. I'll be sure to get some more leather and balsa toys then-- already have a few, as well as some toys made out of stainless steel and harder woods :)

Oh, that's interesting, thank you for the info on playing-- haven't heard that before! My conure loves to fetch, it truly is the most endearing thing :D

Thanks again, hope you have a lovely day!
 

TWR

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Congratulations. Wyatt looks a real cutie pie.

If you're looking for SS cages in Australia, here's where I got mine. I believe they ship anywhere in Aus. They're pricey, but that's because there are so few places that stock SS cages in Aus. So far as I've been able to find, they are pretty much the only place to have them

Stainless Steel Bird Cages - Petfood Plus

It sucks we don't have more choices here for SS cages, but that's the reality.
 
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AYA

Walking the driveway
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Congratulations. Wyatt looks a real cutie pie.

If you're looking for SS cages in Australia, here's where I got mine. I believe they ship anywhere in Aus. They're pricey, but that's because there are so few places that stock SS cages in Aus. So far as I've been able to find, they are pretty much the only place to have them

Stainless Steel Bird Cages - Petfood Plus

It sucks we don't have more choices here for SS cagea, but that's the reality.


Thank you! He has stolen the heart of many of my friends lol

Yeah, these guys are the only people I've found for ss cages as well-- my main problem is that these cages are currently out of my price range, so I'm going to have to do some saving first! :)
 

TWR

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Thank you! He has stolen the heart of many of my friends lol

Yeah, these guys are the only people I've found for ss cages as well-- my main problem is that these cages are currently out of my price range, so I'm going to have to do some saving first! :)
They have gone up heaps in price since I got mine in Sept 2015. I got 2 extra large for $1,999 each and 1 large cage for $1,599. I see now though that the extra large cost $2,799 each and the large costs $2,399. I'm glad I got them when I did, as I don't think I could stretch to their current prices. It was really hard even at the old prices, so I get what you're saying.
 
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Kolkri

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I had two but one passed away a few months back. So far Scooter does not seem to be effected by it. He loves the extra attention he gets andr. But Scooter (my Buddy)and Twitter were never that close. They could not share a cage. Twitter was bit of a Bully.
Oh great as I sit her typing this and watching him he is picking his nose again. :hehe: Don't think he likes water in his nose he just got a light shower.
 
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