thinking of adding a caique to our flock...seeking opinions
Posted 15 April 2011 - 09:49 AM
My family is thinking about adding a caique, and wanted to get some input (to supplement what we've read in the Barron's Caiques book and the current edition of Mathie Sue Allen's Guide to a Well Behaved Parrot. Currently, we have 5 people in the family (husband, wife, 8 year old daughter, 6 year old son, 4 year old daughter) and 2 birds (8 year old male Bourke parakeet and 9 year old male cockatiel who live in the same flight 24"x36" flight cage). My wife works from home 2-3 days/week and I am a field based employee, which means I'm either working from a home office or at a customer site. Typically I'm in the office 3 days/week, but some weeks I'm gone all week (but wife and kids are home).
We found a bird at a local birdstore who is about 1 year old (the store has had her since she was still being handfed), she likes all 5 of us, and we like her. If we purchased her, we would get her a 24" x 36" cage (which is what the store owner is recommending, so she would have space for ample toys). However,we are concerned about being able to give her the amount of attention that she needs/deserves. I've read a lot on the boards about puberty, direct interaction vs. indirect interaction vs. 'out time', sweet birds vs. sweet caiques who became monsters, it is a bit overwhelming. Our biggest concern is we don't want to take what seems to be a sweet bird and 'ruin' her because the adults in the house aren't giving her enough undivided attention. Sure, the kids will play with her, but that needs to be supervised as we don't want anyone (child or bird) getting hurt, nor do we want to accidently teach bad habits (to child or bird). The kids do well when playing with the Bourke and 'Tiel, and enjoy spending time with them.
My wife and I are both 'flip-flopping' on this, going from 'we can make this work' to 'we are afraid adding the caique will upset the current feathered family members and lower the quality of life for all 3 birds'. We also realize the current birds should not be out at the same time as the caique, because it is better to prevent physical interaction than to need to repair broken bodies & trust in the flock leader.
I appreciate any thoughts from experienced caique owners.
Posted 07 May 2011 - 09:51 PM
When you and your wife work away from home, how many hours are you both gone? If you are working 10-12 hours a day, the bird might get slighted, but that's not to say you can't still make it work.
In terms of the cage, I would call that a *minimum* requirement. If you can afford a larger cage and have the space for it, I would get a bigger one. The bigger the better!
Good luck and keep us posted!
R.I.P VooDoo ~ Cockatiel :i.kame1:
"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to Heaven." ~ Emily Dickinson
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