Hand raised Caique parrots as Pets
Availability at Birdsville
These are not common but are sparsely available all year round. If you are interested in owning one of these beautiful birds call or visit us for a chat at birdsville.
Distribution and Habitat of Black headed Caique’s
Caiques in their natural habitat can be found in hight forest, forest edges as well as flat savannah woodlands. The range from north of the Amazon River in Brazil to Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana and Surinam.
They are known as the clowns of the parrot world with their distinctive plumage, playfulness and clown like characteristics.
They live on average about 30 years, but can live for atleast 35 years with good health diet and enrichment.
Cage suitable for Caique’s
When selecting a cage, it is important to select the largest cage you can afford, remember the bigger the cage the happier the bird. Caiques are very active, playful birds and require room for many toys, perches, food/water dishes, as well as sufficient space for them to move around. Caiques are known as chewers and require a steel cage with different
size perches to hop and jump around.
Caiques love toys, such as ropes, wood, leather and chains. They require a large variety of different toys for mental stimulation. Toys need to be rotated and replaced on a regular basic to prevent boredom.
Cages, toys, perches and everything you will need for your Caique is available at Birdsville.
Diet for Caique’s
Caiques diet should consist of a combination of seed, pellets, fruit and veggies.
Pellets – are developed to meet the nutritional needs of birds, so they should be a part of a
bird’s diet whenever possible. At Birdsville we recommended the Kaytee pellets, Vetafarm South American mix, Vetafarm Paradise Pellets or Roudy Bush Pellets, feed with seed. Caique’s particularly enjoy tropimix
Seed- is still very important for birds as it encourages the natural foraging behaviour with the cracking of the seed. The best seed for your Caiques is either Cockatiel mix, Peachface Mix or Small Parrot. Birdsville recommended a small parrot mix for younger birds and Peachface or Cockatiel mix for older birds.
Soaked seed- Caiques love soaked seeds, cocky mix with grey striped sun flower is great to use to make soaked seed.
Fresh fruit and vegetables- Corn, apple, sweet potato, green beans, broccoli, mango, peas, cucumber, spinach, banana, pear, carrot, calcium supplement- is important. These birds should have calcium provided in their water or a calcium perch as shell grit as cuttlebone is not recommended for these birds. Caiques are unable to absorb calcium without vitamin D. Vitamin D supplement- This is essential for the health of your caique and avoid expensive vet bills in the future. Vitamin D is absorbed from the sun so if your bird is inside and does not receive un filtered sunlight your bird will not be getting vitamin D just the same as humans. Remember sun through a window is filtered and your bird is unable to get the essential vitamin D they need.Do not feed your bird (or any other bird) avocado, onion, chocolate, caffeine or alcohol.
Fresh Water should be made available at all times throughout the day.
The cage requires regulars cleaning and old food shouldn’t ‘be allowed to accumulate in the cage, on perches or in feeders. Water should be changed daily basics. Do not allow fruit
and veg to become old and moldy.
It is important to worm your Caique every 6 month. Worms will not kill your bird, but will lower it’s immune system and allow your bird to catch a virus or bacteria bird, which may. Once getting your Caique you will need to be wormed in a few weeks to two month (check with the staff from Birdsville, when purchasing). Bird wormer is available at Birdsville.
Caiques like all birds are suscpitable to the two most common parasites of cage birds and their environment, lice and mite. These parasites are easily controlled with a Mite and Lice spray, available at Birdsville. When using spray, spray bird, entire cage, perches, and toys, remember to remove all water and feed and avoid spraying in birds’ eyes.
To have a well behaved hand raised Caique, training is a must. Handle your bird in a quiet, relaxed situation, but don’t over stress your bird in the first few weeks of taking it home. Caique’s are very intelligent and learn quickly. The more time you spend with your Caique, the better it will become. More training tips on the training page.
Enrichment for your Caique
Toys are the most comman environmental enrichment tool and are very important for a happy, well rounded bird. If enrichment is not provided your bird is likely to develope psychological problems such as self mutilation, feather plucking and excessive squarking.
Caique often prefer to walk, jump, climb, or hop as a mode of transportation, other than flying. They are excellent climbers, with very strong feet and legs. So choose toys that encourage this, such as foot toys, ropes, swings, ladders, bells, balls, birdie balls, plain card board, small boxes, wicker baskets, tray of wheat grass, plants, bird baths, different foods, food kabobs, nuts, just to name a few. Many toy suitable for Caiques are available at birdsville. You may also find in your local area pine cones to hide food inside, twigs, bendy branches, flowers and branches- safe flowers are bottle brush, grevellia, eucalypt melaleuca flowers, hubiscus, marygolds, dandy lions leaves and all, roses, violets to name a few.
Note anything found outside should be disinfected and non poisonouse and toys must be non toxic.
Enrichment tip – the trick to keeping them entertained is regularly rotating toys as they will become bored with the same toy in there cage day after day. Changing them regularly will create interest for your bird as if they are receiving a whole new toy to play with.
More information can be found in store 445 Gardeners Rd Rosebery or call Birdsville (02) 9667 2555