Caique parrots can make excellent pets. They’re loyal by nature and are nothing short of brilliant birds.
But are they a good choice for beginners?
Caiques are not good pets for beginners. They’re highly energetic, intelligent, and prone to behavior problems — like biting, territorialism, and screaming — if not adequately trained. Caiques thrive when adopted by experienced and patient bird owners who are comfortable training a new parrot.
Why Caiques Aren’t Good Pets for a Beginner
Despite being social and lovable, caiques don’t make good beginner pets.
They’re high-energy birds and can become quite territorial when raised in an inadequate environment and without suitable training.
Caiques that aren’t well-trained may harass other pets, scream, hiss, or even damage items.
Many caiques can also find their way outside of a cage, opening the door to even more behavioral issues.
The best caique owner would be someone experienced with parrots, knows good training practices, and has patience.
What Birds Are Good for Beginners?
A good bird for beginners is usually a smaller bird, which can be less noisy and require less space than a large parrot.
Small birds also have shorter lifespans and are less of a long-term commitment than the caique, which can live for up to 30 years. Finches, by contrast, live only 5-10 years.
A beginner might also appreciate a bird with less of a need to be social because they might not be prepared to dedicate many hours of interaction with their bird every day.
A good choice, in this case, would be a bird such as the canary or finch.
All things considered, the following birds could be a good choice for beginners, more so than the caique:
- Pionus Parrots
- Quaker Parakeets
- Amazon Parrots
Are Caique Parrots Cuddly?
Caique parrots can bond with their owners in many different ways, provided that their owners offer them enough time and attention.
A stressed caique parrot is less likely to be cuddly than one who feels calm and comfortable.
Are Caiques Cuddly?
Caiques can be both cuddly and loyal and will enjoy sitting on their owners’ shoulders, nuzzling their throat or neck from time to time.
They’ll even groom your hair and nip playfully at your ear. Your caique is most likely to behave this way if it’s trained and socialized around humans from a young age.
If your caique appears uncomfortable or stressed, don’t push for more cuddling. This pressure will only lead to negative behaviors and won’t reinforce a positive bond.
Do Caiques Bite?
Caiques may bite for many reasons. For example, these birds naturally like to chew, and they’ll also nip as a display of affection.
However, they can also bite out of stress or boredom if they’re not taken care of or trained correctly.
Do Caique Bites Hurt?
Caique bites can hurt if the owner doesn’t put in the time to train their caique not to bite too forcefully.
Even affectionate nips can be painful, so it’s essential to teach your caique what’s okay and what’s not.
You can also decrease the likelihood that a caique will bite to the point of hurting by providing a durable chew toy.
Training Your Caique Not To Bite
Biting is a symptom of stress and distrust. That said, preventing biting comes down to getting your caique parrot comfortable with your presence and used to human interactions.
You can encourage a healthy bond between you and your caique parrot by following these steps:
- Wait 3-4 days after adoption to attempt training to allow your caique to adjust to the new environment.
- Spend time talking to your bird and being in the same room together to build familiarity.
- Offer your caique treats gently and patiently.
- Once your bird is comfortable with you, discourage negative behaviors like biting with a gentle tap on the beak and a “timeout,” refusing attention for a few minutes.
As you’re training your caique, remember to be consistent. Don’t forget to spend quality time together every day and consistently reinforce or reward the same behaviors.
This will help your caique learn to trust you and know what you expect in terms of behavior.
How To Take Care of a Caique
To take care of a caique, you need to understand its unique needs.
First, make sure that the living environment you’re providing is adequate and that you’re offering the right kind of food and enough stimulation.
Training is also essential for teaching your caique that you’re safe to interact with.
Caiques are very energetic birds, and they don’t do well when kept in small cages. Instead, consider a large aviary, and ensure that you provide your caique ample time outside the cage.
Make sure that the bars of your aviary are close enough together to keep your caique from escaping. Caiques are intelligent birds and can easily make their way out of some cages.
Caiques do best with a diet of species-appropriate pellets like the Lafeber’s Nutri-Berries supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables that caiques can eat safely include:
- Beet greens
- Carrot greens
- Winter squash
These give your caique an extra boost of vitamins and provide a source of enrichment.
Avoid feeding your caique foods that contain caffeine or alcohol, as well as anything carbonated or any pitted fruits.
Onions and mushrooms are also dangerous for caiques to consume and can even cause death.
It’s also essential to provide your caique with plenty of clean and fresh water, especially during summer.
A caique needs about 12 hours of sleep in a dark, quiet environment.
You can make sure that your caique can get enough rest by covering the cage with a blanket and making sure that the aviary is in a quiet, low-traffic part of the house.
Caiques — like other parrots — are very light sleepers, so maintaining a good sleeping environment takes some effort.
Without proper sleep, a caique can become stressed, develop behavioral issues, or even come down with a severe illness.
Caiques need regular baths, which they give themselves if you provide a large bowl of fresh water.
Or, you can bathe your caique yourself by misting it with a spray bottle or turning on a faucet that your bird can access.
Just make sure that the water you wash your caique with is lukewarm, not hot or cold.
Without proper care, caiques’ beaks can become brittle and sharp. They may need occasional filing, which you can encourage by providing it with a cuttlebone, wooden toy, or wooden perch to chew.
You can also provide fresh food containing calcium, protein, and magnesium, which support strong beak growth.
These foods include an appropriate pellet mix, fresh fruits and vegetables like kale, grains, and fresh meat.
If you notice your caique’s beak is becoming overgrown and brittle, you can contact your avian veterinarian and bring your caique in for a professional trim.
However, never attempt to trim your caique’s beak on your own.
Because caiques are so intelligent and energetic, they need plenty of toys to chew on and keep them mentally stimulated.
Try giving your caique a foraging toy like the Hamiledyi Bird Foraging Toy or a chew toy like the BWOGUE Bird Chewing Toys.
Having appropriate toys can prevent destructive behaviors from developing.
Caiques can make excellent pets, but they aren’t an ideal choice for beginners.
They require a lot of time, care, attention, and training, and they’re best suited to those who already have experience working with parrots.
If you adopt a caique, make sure that you give your bird plenty of space in a large aviary and provide it with plenty of enrichment.