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Returning My Caique

Roman914

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I have wanted a Caique for over a year but none were available in my local area. About three months ago, while getting food for my other birds (cockatiel, green cheek, parrotlet) we came across a baby Caique. We bought her, named her Cookie, and we have loved her, but recently especially we have wrestled with our decision.

Reading the good, bad, and ugly was the final determinator.

We have two kids, 7 and 9. They, their friends, and our family are over at our house a lot. We are very social people. We have never had any issues with our current birds, although the green cheek can get a little nippy and is extremely aggressive towards Cookie. Cookie is always out when people are over, and we have friends, family, and kids handle her, giving her treats, asking her to step up, and giving her head rubs to get her used to people, trying to avoid the aggression many of you with Caiques have described.

Cookie is doing really good so far, she surfs on shirts and has put a couple holes in them, which isn't a big deal, and every once in a while her play bite is a little hard, giving little bit too hard of a bite to necks, and cheeks when she gets excited, but we have been working on that and she responds quite well to trainings. She loves being out of the cage, and calls for us if we leave even the immediate area she is in. She learns unbelievably fast, its amazing. She is trained to poo in the toilet when she comes out of the cage, she is trained wear an avian fashions flight suit and she waddles around the house in it with no problems, and she is trained to step up without using her beak first. I would have to say so far she has been absolutely wonderful, and we deeply care about her.

We are unable to keep all of our birds though, and we are adopting out our parrotlets to my sister, and we have to make a decision about either keeping Cookie, and adopting out our green cheek Skittles to a close family friend or returning Cookie and keeping Skittles.

We were all but set with keeping Cookie, and then I read the good the bad, and the ugly and the horror stories in there are absolutely terrifying.

I can't imagine her going through these changes many of you describe and getting aggressive to the point of your descriptions. I cannot risk my daughter having a scar on her face because of a jekyle and hyde bird. It seems like at the two to three year mark a massive change takes place that is so unpredictable and uncontrollable it becomes a safety risk for families with kids.

We will be so sad to see her go, but my children's safety comes first, and I cannot risk keeping a pet that appears to be almost certain to have issues with physical aggression towards humans, and which is so unpredictable. In almost every single post on the good, bad, and ugly there has been a description of very aggressive behaviors. To protect my family, we will unfortunately be returning our Cookie today, which breaks our hearts.

Thank you for listening, and thank you for you blunt honesty describing this species unpredictable and almost certain aggressive nature as it reaches maturity.
 

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Monica

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So sorry to hear of your decision as you sound just like the kind of person a caique needs. Someone who can train them and work with them constantly to avoid those very behaviors.

I've met and know many caiques who aren't friendly with strangers but I also know one who is an absolute sweety with *anyone* who handles him.

It just sounds like a sad situation overall but I do hope that the ones you rehome end up in great homes! :)
 

Roman914

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So sorry to hear of your decision as you sound just like the kind of person a caique needs. Someone who can train them and work with them constantly to avoid those very behaviors.

I've met and know many caiques who aren't friendly with strangers but I also know one who is an absolute sweety with *anyone* who handles him.

It just sounds like a sad situation overall but I do hope that the ones you rehome end up in great homes! :)
We pulled up tot he bird store and read your post just before we entered. We decided to keep Cookie.

Our kids really didnt want to return her, and we didnt either. We decided not to go based on fear from the good bad and ugly posts, but to respect the potential and make sure we take the time to train her correctly and properly socialize her for the long run.

We did adopt out our Conure to our close friends as part of keeping Cookie. That was way tougher than I could have imagined, but our friends are so happy right now, and we will baby sit her often when they go out of town, so that makes us at least more content.

I think we will just move forward with the knowledge we have, and not try to impart something onto our bird that currently does not exist. Currently, she is extremely kind, easy to train, and does great with the family. We will ensure we keep up on the training, diet, and lifestyle with her that keeps that going.

As a side note, on the way home today my wife was crying because we were upset about adopting out our Conure. Cookie licked her tears, cuddled next to her face and fell asleep, as if she knew that's what she needed, and to say thank you for keeping me.

Very cute.
 

Yoshi&Raphi

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We pulled up tot he bird store and read your post just before we entered. We decided to keep Cookie.

Our kids really didnt want to return her, and we didnt either. We decided not to go based on fear from the good bad and ugly posts, but to respect the potential and make sure we take the time to train her correctly and properly socialize her for the long run.

We did adopt out our Conure to our close friends as part of keeping Cookie. That was way tougher than I could have imagined, but our friends are so happy right now, and we will baby sit her often when they go out of town, so that makes us at least more content.

I think we will just move forward with the knowledge we have, and not try to impart something onto our bird that currently does not exist. Currently, she is extremely kind, easy to train, and does great with the family. We will ensure we keep up on the training, diet, and lifestyle with her that keeps that going.

As a side note, on the way home today my wife was crying because we were upset about adopting out our Conure. Cookie licked her tears, cuddled next to her face and fell asleep, as if she knew that's what she needed, and to say thank you for keeping me.

Very cute.
It’s great that your keeping Cookie but sad about the conure and parrotlet, if you don’t mind me answering why did you have to rehome them?
 

Roman914

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It’s great that your keeping Cookie but sad about the conure and parrotlet, if you don’t mind me answering why did you have to rehome them?
Ill be honest with you.

We did it to ourselves. Two kids in grade school and sports, a dog, a hampster, 4-birds, and life. We found ourselves absolutely overwhelmed. I could definitely elaborate more, but that's it in a nutshell. To be honest, I feel ashamed of getting into this situation. But it is what it is.
 

Zara

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I feel ashamed of getting into this situation. But it is what it is.
It´s good that you saw you were in over your head and did your best to correct the situation by finding loving homes for everyone.

There are many members here who have birds and small children, even babies. The key is to manage the time and attention between everyone. Birds are not pets for children, but you could still enjoy them whilst keeping them off limits to the child.
Maybe you could ask other parents manage it? Get some tips :)
 

mastrude

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I've had caique companions for twenty years. They are difficult, like teenagers, but if you can establish a loving relationship with one, you'll never have a closer and more loving friend. Caiques will communicate with you. They wish they could talk, but sadly they're not equipped. They have the intelligence of a human child of maybe three or four years. You must not let yourself be intimidated by them. You must not lose your temper. Give them timeouts when they misbehave; never violence. One book I found most helpful is My Parrot, My Friend by Mattie Sue Athan. Great patience and love will be rewarded.
 

WendyN

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When Joey goes through his ”monsoon” seasons, I give him a lot lot of space. I also watch how my behavior might trigger an aggressive or hormonal response and manage what I do accordingly.
if he lets me know that he doesn’t want to do what I ask of him, I give him time and come back a few minutes later. By then he usually decides it is OK.
i am so glad you will be keeping her.
 

Roman914

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Thanks for all the advise. We have been reading the book you recommended "My Parrot My Friend" and focusing on the training techniques within. It seems that with the proper training we should be able to fit her into our family unit, per the book.

I have a question about her behavior. Would anyone be able to tell me what this means? She keeps doing it, it was hard to capture because when I pull out my phone she gets interested in it and stops.


 

Teckechick

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Thanks for all the advise. We have been reading the book you recommended "My Parrot My Friend" and focusing on the training techniques within. It seems that with the proper training we should be able to fit her into our family unit, per the book.

I have a question about her behavior. Would anyone be able to tell me what this means? She keeps doing it, it was hard to capture because when I pull out my phone she gets interested in it and stops.



She’s either practicing or trying to regurgitate I believe from that short clip. :laugh:
Yep looks like regurgitation to me too!:D
 

Kimberla

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Ill be honest with you.

We did it to ourselves. Two kids in grade school and sports, a dog, a hampster, 4-birds, and life. We found ourselves absolutely overwhelmed. I could definitely elaborate more, but that's it in a nutshell. To be honest, I feel ashamed of getting into this situation. But it is what it is.
It sounds like you have a lot going on in your house. I totally get it!! I am glad you made the decision to downsize to a reasonable level for you and yours!! They will benefit from your choices. So will you!!
 

finchly

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I get it too3.. sorry, caiques are stomping on keyboard....

I just downslized because my finches procreate and then I have too many birds. It was hard and I did consider the caiques....for a month or 2 thought about it daily. Couldn't do it.

Be SURE to do target training. Look it uop on here or find @Laurie, who has about 10 caiques. I only have 2 and they5're still young.
 

Roman914

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Thanks for the comments. What does it mean that she is trying to regurgiate? Is this a behavior since she is so young?

Thanks for the advice on clicker training. We have started doing some of that. That being said, right now the main focus is to eliminate the biting with the techniques outlined in the book. We have reduced it by about 80% in four days.
 

Shezbug

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When they are young they practice regurgitating......when they are older they will regurgitate for their mate or babies. My boy does it for his favorite toys, perches, my hair and my hand if I hold it in a certain position- it is not something you want to encourage but nor is it something that is bad. When my boy tries to feed my hair or hand I pretend I have not noticed and do something to change his focus.
Others will give you heaps better help with this but it is nothing you need to panic about :)
 

Mockinbirdiva

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Thanks for all the advise. We have been reading the book you recommended "My Parrot My Friend" and focusing on the training techniques within. It seems that with the proper training we should be able to fit her into our family unit, per the book.

I have a question about her behavior. Would anyone be able to tell me what this means? She keeps doing it, it was hard to capture because when I pull out my phone she gets interested in it and stops.


With such a short clip it's hard to tell. Does she bring up any food when she does that? I am inclined to think she is adjusting her crop.
 

Roman914

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With such a short clip it's hard to tell. Does she bring up any food when she does that? I am inclined to think she is adjusting her crop.
I can try to get a longer video. She doesn't bring up any food. Its usually when she gets excited after she comes out of her cage. I thought she was more trying to be territorial. What is adjusting her crop?
 

Monica

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It does look somewhere between regurgitating (bringing food up) and readjusting the contents of the crop (just moving the food around to perhaps make it easier to digest, or?)
 
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