• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Need tips, tricks, and advice please!

Deft Wolf

Moving in
Joined
5/25/16
Messages
6
Real Name
Courtney
Hi, I came across these forums while researching personality traits and training techniques, etc. for caiques. I've always loved the silly nature of these birds and for the past few years have contemplated bringing one into my home. This past year I've started to consider the idea more seriously and began researching the species further. I came across a local breeder with a great reputation about 6 months ago and had long conversations with him about the birds. I have a large dome-top cage, a playstand almost as tall as I am, and was really looking forward to bringing home a 12-week old Caique.

I just stumbled upon these forums recently, and I saw a few posts that made me hesitate. I had never heard that Caiques are prone to the aggression that is seen in some of the other bird species. I've been bitten by a large Amazon while caring for him at my clinic (work as a vet tech), and the bite was so nasty my arm was sore and bruised for a week. I've been bitten by other birds as well, but one bird that often boarded at the clinic was a little caique that was always so sweet!

So, my point is this: I saw that many of you have said that caiques can become so aggressive that they will intentionally stalk and attack you, they can hate you to the point you think they want to kill you, and that between ages 4-9 they become more hormonal and aggressive... Is this always the case? Is it inevitable that if I get my caique as a baby, it will eventually become this way? If so, I'm not sure how exactly to deal with the behavior, and may have to reconsider my plans to bring a caique home.

Any advice, tips, training techniques, or further information on preventing aggression and avoiding bad behaviors would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

Tim

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
2/11/16
Messages
1,529
Location
Minneapolis, MN
We have several members here who have had great success with caiques for many years. @saroj12 has had Chickie and Jojo for 10 years! My boy is a baby, but I had a BHC many years ago, when behavioral studies were severely lacking, and before the great Information Age of the Internet.

I love caiques. They are the best babies in the parrot world, in my opinion. When I decided that now was the time to have a bird again, I did a lot of research, and still came back to the caique.

The answer is complex. All parrots are individuals. All parrots go through puberty, and have annual hormonal periods. Will you get bitten? Probably. And it hurts. And you'll bleed. BUT--caiques are VERY easy to read. It is easy to figure out what the hey are feeling, and the key, as with all parrots, is to stay out of the way!


I started clicker/target training right away. He loves it, and he loves to perform and to show off for an audience. They require a regular schedule, plenty of play time and plenty of rest. I have never met a timid caique, or one who didn't love all sorts of food. They are playful, engaging and smart. I feel like I've written a book here. Be informed, be aware, and be willing to accept the bird that the caique will become, not just the baby that he is.
 

Deft Wolf

Moving in
Joined
5/25/16
Messages
6
Real Name
Courtney
Thank you Tim! I was starting to feel very discouraged by some of the horror stories I was reading on here. I know how ridiculous it would be for me to expect to never be bitten, and I've been bitten and scratched by animals that most people don't even know exist. lol I've had bites so severe I should have visited an emergency room, but decided to lance it and treat it myself (as stupid as that sounds), although that was a very infected bite from a mammal, not a bird.

The caiques I have interacted with have all been sweet, so before I started reading these posts, I had no idea how mean they could get. How did you start the clicker/target training with yours? Is there a site or a book that taught you how to go about it? I know how to do it with dogs, I'm guessing it should be similar. I have so many questions... Like, do you think it matters which gender or type of caique you get? Is one sex more aggressive or more docile than the other in your opinion? Are white-bellied caiques or black-headed caiques more affectionate?
 

Tim

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
2/11/16
Messages
1,529
Location
Minneapolis, MN
I really learned by watching YouTube videos! Barbara Heidenreich is great. I just set him on a training perch and started. Held a target (chopstick) in front of him and when he touched it with his beak clicked and gave him a small piece of walnut. They figure it out very quickly! I don't think gender differences are major. I have a boy, and I'm getting a girl. They do keep tame in pairs. People say that the white bellied is a bit more docile than the black headed. I don't know if it's true.
 

Deft Wolf

Moving in
Joined
5/25/16
Messages
6
Real Name
Courtney
I'll definitely have to watch some of those videos. I prefer how the white-bellied caiques look, so all the better if it really is true they're more docile also.
Do you know if caiques are dangerous to other animals? I hear they're aggressive towards other birds, but what about to dogs or cats? I have
 

Tim

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
2/11/16
Messages
1,529
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Best to not find out. House rule is dogs are never in the room when the bird is out. Plus cat bacteria can be deadly to a bird. Predators and prey shouldn't interact. That being said, my BHC would wait for the dog to walk by and drop into her back to get a ride. So my experience is no, not aggressive toward other animals, but definitely aggressive to other bird species.
 

Irishj9

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
5/25/12
Messages
3,677
Real Name
JP
My advice is dont buy a single bird. if you become their whole world, you are buying a world of problems as that bird grows up. You cannot possibly meet all their social requirements, leading to all sorts of issues.

It has to remain a bird, not a feathered human, as Tony Silva says.
 

rockybird

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
10/11/11
Messages
3,843
I totally agree with Irish9. I couldn't have said it better. I mistakenly did not buy a second caique when I purchased my male caique as a baby. He is now bonded to me and badly wants to be with me 24/7. I cannot provide the attn. and social needs that another caique can. Because of this, he has been difficult to manage at times and will become angry and aggressive. However, at this stage in his life, at almost 14 yrs. old, I am fearful a second caique would be met with jealousy and aggression.
 
Top