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The good, the bad, and the ugly about caiques

mastrude

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About biting: Though my caique loved me from our first day, she was very a very dominant bird and threw fits including biting when she didn’t get what she wanted. I’m a guy and used to shedding a few drops of blood, working on cars and so forth. I don’t get mad; I don’t lose it and scare my bird. You mustn’t do that.
One day when she was eight she was throwing a tantrum. She stopped and looked at me, and I could see the wheels turning for several seconds. I believe she was thinking “Wait. I love this person and he never responds to violence anyway.” She stopped biting and throwing tantrums for the rest of her life.
That’s one thing I love about caiques: They think, they make decisions, and they stick to them. I wanted you to know that there can be a far end of the tunnel. You must achieve and maintain nurturing dominance.
They are little teenagers; they can be bullies; if they can make you flinch then you lose dominance. Turn off your flinch reflex. Towel and time-out them, without violence or yelling, when they challenge you. Then reassure them that you still love them when it’s over.
It’s hard to believe how smart they are. Treat them that way. You won’t be sorry.
 
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BashTinkLuna

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Well I have 2 caiques...
1. Hoki, a male White Bellied Caique, 4 years old.
2. Xiao Lao Ban, a female Black Headed Caique, 1 year old.

Please do notice, all individuals might be different....

Let me tell about Hoki, my White Bellied Caique...
I got him as a rehomed when he was around 2 year old, due to biting and aggression (for me, it's hormonal) and his previous owner wanted to replace Hoki with "better" bird, as he hardly found mate for Hoki that time. So Hoki came to my home, as a sensitive and aggressive baby. We needed around 6 months for adjusting each other... all bites, all loves, tears, trusts... Hoki is still with me until today, as a brand new loving parrot with sweet and beautiful personality.
Good:
He is super funny, little clown, little gangster with beautiful stunning color. And with me, his person, he is super sweet, really never bite me. He is super sensitive. He knows when I said good words to him, when I tell him I love him, he is in his forever home, and etc. He just knows it, and become super sweet to me.
Bad:
He never accept word "NO", "DON'T", he will be mad when I forbid him from doing naughty thing. Instead now I learn how to divert his attention when he is naughty. He is super loud. When he dislikes someone, he "lock target" and will chase you around. Once he reached you, he will bite your skin off. He just won't stop until he got you.
Ugly:
The poop is super big one... He loves tossing his food... And his scream is loud (for such small body)

Now, let me tell about Xiao Lao Ban, my Black Headed Caique...
I got Lao Ban since 3 weeks old. She was super cute and loud crying baby voice. Lao Ban belongs to my husband, but at the end, parrots always have their favorite person, right? which is me... So Lao Ban loves to follow me everywhere, even now showing her mating behavior towards me.
Good:
Black headed caique is known have better personality than White Bellied Caique. Laoban has the same fun, the same clown personality, as Hoki.
Bad:
I don't know, but my Lao Ban loves to bite. Making holes on my shirt, even bed cover.
Ugly:
Yeah.. same with White Bellied Caique...
 

Bibliofang

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I'll be bringing home a WBC in a month or so. I fell in love at the store and I've been visiting a couple times a week. I've been doing research and knew they could be aggressive and territorial and hormonal. And now I'm terrified. I'm wondering if I should forfeit the money and save the bird from possibly being in a bad home/my family from injuries. I'm thankful you all were honest with what you said, I'm just scared out of my mind now.
 

finchly

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I'll be bringing home a WBC in a month or so. I fell in love at the store and I've been visiting a couple times a week. I've been doing research and knew they could be aggressive and territorial and hormonal. And now I'm terrified. I'm wondering if I should forfeit the money and save the bird from possibly being in a bad home/my family from injuries. I'm thankful you all were honest with what you said, I'm just scared out of my mind now.
It's certainly not something to do on a whim!
To continue my story posted ages ago, when I thought my girl was a boy.... we had her DNA tested, found out she was a girl, and got a 2nd one, DNA male. They are 3 and 2. The 3 year old female suddenly turned on my husband. She stalks and attacks him, rapidly biting the back of his neck or his hand. He's older/ on medication, his skin is paper thin so this causes some serious damage. The male for the past 6 months attacks 2 other birds (really sweet ones, so I think his choices are deliberate). This is seriously limiting their out-of-cage time, to the point I considered rehoming them. It's very sad. You can't tell them "if you would just stop this."
 

mastrude

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There are "animal communicators" who can talk telepathically with them. One is Raphaela Pope (google her.) Another is Regina King I think (I don't remember precisely.) They are awfully good at it, whatever you might think. When I bought my first caique I asked her through Raphaela if she would like to live with me. She said "the tree?" (I'm very big) And we said yes. She said "ok". It was a wonderful relationship, though with a lot of biting. She lived for 17 years and I miss her every day. Earlier in this thread I described how she permanently quit biting me when she was 8 years old.
 

finchly

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Earlier in this thread I described how she permanently quit biting me when she was 8 years old.
I live for that day! Rio gave me 6 bites yesterday. Then she attacked hubby from inside the cage as he tried to give her a grape.
 

Laurie

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I'll be bringing home a WBC in a month or so. I fell in love at the store and I've been visiting a couple times a week. I've been doing research and knew they could be aggressive and territorial and hormonal. And now I'm terrified. I'm wondering if I should forfeit the money and save the bird from possibly being in a bad home/my family from injuries. I'm thankful you all were honest with what you said, I'm just scared out of my mind now.
Caiques can definitely be a handful as can any parrot. You should spend some time and money if needed to learn how to handle a parrot using only positive reinforcement. You can not argue with a caique (without damaging your relationship with them) but you can definitely persuade them to do things that you want or need them to do.

Your goal should be never to force or trick them into doing things because you can only get away with that for so long before you create a biting monster parrot.

Training is key and disciplining yourself to act in a consistent manner is very helpful too. If your bird is biting you then you need to figure out what you are doing wrong before it becomes a habit. Biting is communication. Study up on the more subtle forms of body language like head posture, how they use their eyes and feather posture and you can learn how to get what you want out of your bird as far as behavior goes.

They are very smart.

What do you do if you bird does not want to step up? You definitely do not try and corner them or force them to step up. Not if you want to keep your fingers. You bribe them.
What if they do not want to go back to their cage? Chase them around the room, use a towel, use a glove. Nope! Bribe them.
What if they pick up something that they shouldn't but it's not exactly dangerous. Wrestle it away from them. Not if you don't want to get bit. Trade them for something they would rather have like a toy or treat. Basically bribe them, LOL!

One lady who got a caique from me called me one day and said "Odetta (her caique) and I are about to have a problem" she was biting and not doing anything that the lady needed her to do. I suggested that she lure her with her favorite treats and start training her. Later when I followed up she said she just keeps the treats handy and they get along great.

Another, thing to do is be consistent and follow a routine in how you do things. When you feed, when you get them out, when you put them back, how much time is independent, how much time is with you.

Teach everyone else in the family to do the same or do not let them interact with you bird. If you form good habits with your bird then things will go well. Be alert to changes and make an adjustment because if you buy a baby they will change and you will need to adjust because if you treat your adult like you get used to treating a baby things will not go well. Your bird will slowly become more assertive and you have to respect that, also they will become more cautious usually so you have to be sensitive to that as well.
 

Riyam

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How needy are caiques attention whise? Do they become untame if you have a bonded pair with each other for a while?
 

finchly

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How needy are caiques attention whise? Do they become untame if you have a bonded pair with each other for a while?
They need daily interaction. At least 1-3 hours out of cage time. That’s my opinion.
They don’t come untamed as far as I know. Mine love me and love each other.
 

Riyam

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Are you sure? That would be nice if they don't lose tameness. Can I stick 2 baby birds together without worrying about fighting? And in case i only get 1 do i have to interact with them often because they are socially needy ?
Thanks
 

Riyam

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How do caiques tolerate heat? I live in the Middle East which gets up to 45 degrees Celsius and 112 degrees Fahrenheit. If I place misting systems, Cold water, and shade it still won’t be enough right?

Also it does get cold in the winter even though it’s the desert. (Nights can drop to 8 degrees Celsius) I don’t know how cold this is for a caique. I was thinking of giving them winter jackets if it isn’t an outlandish idea...
 

Laurie

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Are you sure? That would be nice if they don't lose tameness. Can I stick 2 baby birds together without worrying about fighting? And in case i only get 1 do i have to interact with them often because they are socially needy ?
Thanks
I would not get a caique if you do not plan on interacting with it. I really like for there to be two together because you will never be able to entertain a caique in the same way that another caique can. You will always have to monitor that both birds are getting along but if you get two babies at the same time and raise them together there is a very good chance that they will continue to get along. The great thing about caiques is you can definitely have two and they will remain tame as long as you continue to handle them. I have 10 caiques and they are all kept in pairs. All of them are still tame and interact with each other and with me.

As to your other question about temperatures I believe the extremes that you mention are both too cold and too hot. They will definitely need access to the indoors in summer and winter.

I would like to see you try to get a coat on a caique, LOL! This idea will not work but it is also not hard to provide supplementary heat to a aviary if your birds have access to outdoors. The heat is likely to be a more insurmountable issue than the cold.
 

Laurie

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Your numbers keep growing!
LOL! Yes, I kept too last year because they stayed so long before the person finally realized they just were not going to be able to bring them home. By then I was attached so I kept them here. They are both girls so of course I had to keep two boys this year to go with them.
 

finchly

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LOL! Yes, I kept too last year because they stayed so long before the person finally realized they just were not going to be able to bring them home. By then I was attached so I kept them here. They are both girls so of course I had to keep two boys this year to go with them.
I love it!
 

Lindsay08

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Great posts ladies!!

I'll add a few thoughts .. specific to my two Cake Monsters:

Good Stuff:

They are an absolute riot together, and .. like many people have read/heard .. play more like puppies than birds. They're not picky eaters, and pretty much eat everything offered. I often call them my "feathered goats" .. they'll eat just about anything. They don't really have any phobias .. no fear of new toys or objects, and will play with a variety of different shapes, textures and materials. They LOVE baskets filled with footie toys to roll around in.

My two LOVE to bathe .. in a water bowl, they don't much care for a spray bottle, but oddly enough, will tolerate a misting from the shower or, in summer months, outside with the hose.

As other's have stated, they are super charged birds, extremely high energy. They love to play and can turn just about anything into a toy or gym. A top to a pop bottle or milk carton could keep them occupied .. well for a few solid minutes .. they do have a bit of A.D.D.


Bad/Ugly:
As far as the Bad/Ugly .. well, there's been a lot of that here as well. I'm hesitant to really lay it out, because I don't want to "scare" people away from Caiques, but .. I do want people to know what they "could" be in for.

I mentioned having "A.D.D." .. it's fun having birds who like to play with different things, but .. because they seem to lack focus <mine do anyway>, nothing will really keep their interest for very long, and then they want to move on to something else. They won't play with a footie for longer than a minute or two before becoming bored and wanting a different toy, for instance.

They can be loud, and since I have big Macs, loudness to me is relative. They have a very annoying "Piggy Squeal" thing they do, and boy oh boy, it can make my ears and eyes bleed. Ever see the Geico commercials with the pig yelling "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee" .. well, that .. times 100 .. for long periods of time. While they don't have the volume of my big Macs .. their pitch is a lot higher. I can often hear them above all the others in my home just because of the pitch/tone of their screams.

They can, and usually are, bird aggressive. My two would absolutely do harm to/kill a bird of similar size, and they have no fear around the bigger guys either. They mean business, they're not bluffing or testing. They can and will do serious harm, this is no joke. I knew Caiques often didn't get along with other species of birds, which is why I got two at the same time <mine are siblings>. Their style of play is also a factor, they don't play like birds, they play like puppies and most birds don't appreciate that style of play.

Even having two Caiques is no guarantee of harmony. They've been known to turn on their cage mate .. and I've read several stories about one Cake killing it's long time cage mate. So, you must be ever vigilant about their behavior towards each other as well as with other birds.

They're not hard birds to read by any means, however, their change from "good" to "evil" can be so fast that you never see it coming .. in a blink .. your Cake is ripping you apart, when just a moment ago, he was a cuddle bug. It's like Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde .. or a severe case of unmedicated Bi-Polar disorder .. a switch in their brains just flips and they lose it big time.

They can really be nasty during hormonal periods. It seems most Caiques are given up from the ages of 3 yrs. to 7 yrs. old. I gather this is when they're at their worst. I've had some really difficult battles with my two, and they'll be 5 yrs. old come this October. They really went off the rails just before their 4th birthdays. It was no fun at all.

They will stalk you, chase you down a hallway, jump/fly from whatever they're on to do damage if you're the one who is currently on their poop list. They mean business too. Their bites are NASTY!! I've got birds 10 times their size I'd rather take a bite from. They use the sides of their beaks to really grind in .. resulting in a bite that is not just deep, but usually removes a ton of skin.

They with throw themselves at their cages bars so violently that you think they'd hurt themselves if they want to get you.


I know I don't paint a pretty picture of Caiques, and I know quite a few people have absolutely sweet Caiques <Saroj .. with JoJo and Chickie .. whom I'm so jealous of!!>. However, a lot of the information out there on Caiques doesn't really give the truly ugly side of their personalities. You always hear about "clowns of the parrot world, playful, high energy" .. but there is a much darker side to this species.

It takes a certain personality to deal with them I think, they are DEFINITELY not for everyone. I certainly would NOT recommend a Cake to anyone who needs a "everyone must get along" dynamic in their household. I would NOT recommend them for people with young children .. Cakes have thing for faces/facial bites .. not good for an adult, but absolutely horrible if it's a child.

Anyway, that's my view of Caiques. They can be absolutely awesome birds, and not all of them will be like my two. Just be aware of what the potential future could be before getting a Caique.
YIKES! I just put a down payment on a baby Caique, female. She is not done weaning yet so it will be about 4 to 6 weeks before I get her and my plan is to visit the store often to bond with her. I have had other parrots, a blue fronted amazon with a bad attitude towards most men but loved me, a white cap and maxi Pionus and a sun conure. But I have not had a parrot in about 13 1/2 years. My 14 year old Pitbull passed last month ( and I miss her dearly) and due to my disabilities I can no longer care for a dog so I wanted to get another bird since I miss my others so much. I was really hoping to get another amazon, but the place I went to have not had any in for about 2 years and they asked if I wanted to see this baby caique. She was super sweet and we started bonding fast. I was worried about the fact that she is a female and may not like me in the future when she starts going through her hormonal stage, but I was told to make sure that I am the one who will be bonding with her which will be the case. I am retired and home pretty much all day and will be spending lots of time with her. My husband is not as much of an animal person and probably will not be spending much time with her. I had done a little reading about the species but apparently not enough... Now I am kind of nervous about getting her and too late to to change my mind as the store does not give refunds of earnest money unless the bird is not healthy (so I would be out $1466). I have had some pretty nasty bites from all of the birds I have had personally and ones I used to care for when I was a kennel Tec, especially from conures. If you have any advise or good sources of training for these little guys that might be helpful that would be awesome. I realize all animals have their bad days ( I was also a pet sitter for 10 years and found this to be very true haha) but maybe an work with her in such a way that she will stay relatively nice. I have no children and no other pets, but had thought about getting an amazon in the future when they become available.
 

Kat7

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I am new - how do I start a topic of my own, please? Thank you! Kat
 

Dona

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I am new - how do I start a topic of my own, please? Thank you! Kat
Hi Kat! Tap the blue Avian Avenue sign at the top. All the topics will open up. If you want to talk about general flying issues for example tap on "The Airport" or if your question is specific to caiques, for example, tap on "Caique cul de Sac." Then tap the blue box that says "Post Thread." Title your thread with something like "Why doesn't my caique like to fly?" and write away. Then hit Post! Looking forward to hearing from you!
 
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