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Owner Beware!!


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#1 singermanlynne

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 02:18 PM

There is an adorable and mild mannered female chick that I am thinking about BUT
everything I read seems to say " OWNER BEWARE"!!! I read that they can't tolerate
other types of birds, that will will attack with intent to do real harm to another bird or
a non-favorite person, that they bite for fun or because you told them to stop-get off -
wait - not now or anything that is not their idea. That females and males,white bellied,
or black capped all have these traits. That a sweet young one can switch
to a mean bird at 2 for no reason, that they will not like other people even if exposed to
them as a young bird, that they are bullies and demanding and shrill.

It is hard to believe all this is true and they are still popular. Is this true? I have an Alexandrine
that is not supposed to like cuddles but she does , I have a Blue Crowned and a Cherry Head
that are supposed to loud and they are not ( on occasion they are when separated ). So
from my experience sometimes the common wisdom is wrong but is so much bad really
not mostly true??? The message I get is that even a good owner that is prepared to do good
socializing can not expect to have a easy pet. I need to steer clear if even 1/2 of this is true.

Thanks, Lynne

#2 singermanlynne

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:36 PM

Never mind. I have read enough! This is not the bird for me.

#3 Lexx

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:06 PM

The fact that they are unpredictable is what drew me to them i love my kaeek and wouldnt trade him for the world.

#4 champagne4amy

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 01:03 AM

Well, I have a 3 month old WBC so the terrible 2 myth I can't help you with. All birds are different and you have to be prepared for that. I have 2 GCCs for instance and they have completely opposite personalities. My baby is just a little sweetheart. He is always so happy and even when he throws a fit because he doesn't want to go back in to his cage it isn't a mean fit of rage. He is very energetic and is always in to something unless you wear him out. I did a lot of research before I got mine and watched TONS of youtube videos and it seems to me that most people are totally in love with their Caique. Hopefully some of the more experienced Caique owners can chime in.
Chaos - White Bellied Caique
Julio - Sun Conure
Shake - Quaker
Jose - Cinnamon GCC
Pickles - Turquoise IRN
Cabo and Mini- The Parrotlets
Little Dude and Pita - The Budgies
Limey - Green Lineolated Parakeet
3 Rosey Bourke's Parakeets and Ricky Bobby -Diamond Dove

#5 Monica

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 06:03 PM

I don't really have any experience with caiques so I can't say yay or nay on the matter, but would say that, in general, it's probably not a good idea to house caiques with other species simply because their natural behaviors differ so greatly from others. What another caique may find enjoyable, a different species may find annoying. They are rowdy, on the go birds that act as if they are on a sugar high during the time that they are awake! They need a *lot* of stimulation and interaction and can be fairly good at entertaining themselves so long as they have enough (aka *plenty*) of things to do.

To expand a bit further, going from my limited experience with caiques...


I read that they can't tolerate other types of birds, that will will attack with intent to do real harm to another bird or a non-favorite person, that they bite for fun or because you told them to stop-get off - wait - not now or anything that is not their idea. --- That a sweet young one can switch to a mean bird at 2 for no reason, that they will not like other people even if exposed to them as a young bird, that they are bullies and demanding and shrill.
I wonder how much of this is because caiques are naturally playful birds and want to play with *everything,* and somehow, some of this behavior is changed into aggression. Calypso, a white bellied caique at my local bird store, goes to *anyone* and he loves going for a walk around the store sitting on a persons hand or shoulder. He'll even rub his beak, body surf, or do other activities while interacting with customers. He's also very "beaky" - but beaky as in explorative, not bitey or nippy, unless you do something he doesn't like.

Monica & Fids (Fids = Feathered Kids)


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#6 Freedomoflight

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 05:05 PM

All I can do is recommend reading lots and talking to caique owners. I have a site with lots of caique info - Caique Crazy Informational Web Portal and we have a forum as well if you want to talk with caique owners about all your questions and concerns.

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#7 rockybird

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 09:32 PM

This has been true of my caique. He was a sweet loving bird until about 3-4 yrs. of age. Now, he will get dangerously angry at the drop of a hat. His eyes will pin and he will bite terribly. In fact, my mother just visited and I had to scrub blood off the walls and wood floor (MY blood) from recent bad bites before she came. I have had to go to the ER for a bad bite to the lip. He will bite and chew and not let go. He will also stalk me. The other day, he crawled down from the cage, walked across the kitchen floor, and got my achilles. Another time he jumped on my back from the kitchen island and tried to get to my face. He did go after my mother while she was visiting (and bit her), and trying to manage the dynamics while she was here was diffiucult. When his eyes pin, if he is on my shoulder, he will go for my face. It is extremely scary. I have found that the anger is directed at me and seems to revolve around me not giving him enough attention (he gets 3+ hours out of the cage a day and LOTS of attn, including walks around the neighborhood-but this is not enough for a caique.)

He does go after other new birds. He leaves my conure alone as the conure was already here when I brought Zeek in (this apparently is common for caiques). But, I birdsat a sun conure and he tried everything he could to get to it. This was not play behavior. He wanted to kill it. The same with a pionus I rescued off craigslist and gave to a bird rescue. I now have a parakeet that was found outdoors. He wants nothing more than to kill it. If he can get to the cage, I find him on top of it, eyes pinned, trying to get to it through the bars like a pit bull. I had to raise the cage up higher off the floor to keep him from climbing to it. I have read of caiques killing other birds - a conure and also a canary.

He is a handful. When not angry, he is a sweetheart - loves to snuggle, is very needy, affectionate, etc. I have considered giving him up, but I am afraid he will bite the next owner and get sold, and eventually end up in a bad home and abused. I have decided that I will give him the best home possible. He is truly a wild animal, and in my opinion, does not belong as a pet. Nonetheless, I am all he has.

I have considered buying a female to keep him co. but I am afraid he will hurt her as well. At this point, I dont know what to do, but do my best to give him a good home.

Would I buy another caique again if I know what I know now? The answer is no. Would I buy another green cheek conure? Yes, in a heartbeat.

#8 jaggersmom

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 04:20 AM

As someone who used to raise caiques - Blackheaded - and had a whitebellied as a pet, I have to concur with rockybird regarding the caique disposition. Yes, they are playful and very animated, but very, very beaky. I do not recommend them as a first time parrot, nor for anyone faint of heart. I did find, however, that females were typically much better behaved then the males and not as prone to serious bites/attacks. But that was IME. Hubby did not like the sound of their contact calls, or the beakiness/pinching, hence I will not own another.

#9 singermanlynne

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 04:34 PM

Thank you for your reply everyone and especially Jaggersmom who said it in a very clear way. My Avian Vet also was VERY CLEAR - he said "One of the worst birds to own - I have 3 clients who would be happy to give you theirs ". Now on to my next possible bird - " Lilac Crowned Amazon female " a women that breeds and hand -raises them and owns a Blue Front said they start out sweet but she said " They all turn into *******s when they mature". Thoughts?

#10 champagne4amy

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 04:49 PM

Ok. I don't think it is fair to say that they are the worst birds to own. Someone told my friend that about her African Grey when she got him and she absolutely adores him. She said she can't imagine her life without him. I also have been told that Amazons are the worst birds to own and Quakers too. Now you guys are scaring the crap out of me seeing as I have a 3 month old WBC. Please tell me that I didn't do the wrong thing in getting him. :(
Chaos - White Bellied Caique
Julio - Sun Conure
Shake - Quaker
Jose - Cinnamon GCC
Pickles - Turquoise IRN
Cabo and Mini- The Parrotlets
Little Dude and Pita - The Budgies
Limey - Green Lineolated Parakeet
3 Rosey Bourke's Parakeets and Ricky Bobby -Diamond Dove

#11 jaggersmom

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 01:44 PM

If you are for sure getting a FEMALE lilac crown amazon you should have no trouble even when she matures. Male amazons are a different story though. I always always tried to steer folks to female amazons as pets over males. Male 'zons normally do talk better (at least those in the "hot" 3 which are Blue Fronts, Yellow Napes and Double Yellowheads), but once hormones hit look out. Do keep in mind that amazons do not typically like to be petted except for head scritches. They are happy to hang out with you on a playstand or on your knee watching tv, but are independent for the most part and don't need constant handling. They can be noisy so listen to their vocalizations to be sure you are okay with it. Also, diet requirements differ a bit as they should not have alot of fat in their diet as they tend to gain weight easily.

We have a male Blue Front that I handfed - (Hates me loves hubby). We feed Tia soft food in the morning with fresh fruits, veggies. He also gets access to roudybush pellets and about 1 T of seed (which he normally does not eat). Afternoons the birds get their "treats" which can be anything from corn on the cob, pomegranate, fresh baked birdie bread to whatever is in season. Amazons LOVE their food!! :)

#12 jaggersmom

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 01:51 PM

In case you are wondering why I steer folks clear of male 'zons yet own a male 'zon of the hot three, it was not intentional. We thought Tia was a girl all along until DNA and attitude at maturity proved differently. lol

#13 Freedomoflight

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:25 PM

Champagne4Amy - please don't regret your decision to purchase a caique. For each 'bad thing' you hear about caiques, I can give you 2 glowing recommendations from other longtime caique owners.

As far as 'the worst birds to own', I would never ever EVER say that. Caiques make wonderful companions for the right person. And as someone that has worked with rescues for the past 7 years, I can tell you I have only ever seen a handful of caiques to rehome - including 2 that I adopted.

Remember that lots of common 'myths' you may hear about birds don't always prove to be true. For example, with what Jaggersmom posted - I personally owned a wild caught double yellow headed amazon that was the sweetest bird ever. He was a rescue, was abused, but was extremely gentle, even with small children. He was very quiet, easy to read, and I never experience any hard to handle hormonal periods with him.

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#14 jaggersmom

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 10:38 PM

FreedomFlight - you got extremely lucky!! :001_smile: Our boy will bite to draw blood and has to be handled with a perch stick. You cannot pet him at least not right now. He is very hormonal. When is "back to normal" he will step up for hubby and allow the occasional scritch session. Definitely have to watch his moods. But I must say an amazon in full strut posture with tail flared, eyes pinned, etc. is absolutely stunning. Too bad this is when you absolutely CANNOT handle him or attempt to. lol

#15 Freedomoflight

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 01:47 AM

LOL I know, right? My BF has a blue fronted and his bird is the sweetest ever. I have actually met very few male amazons that live up to their tendency. With amazons and caiques, I think they give you fair enough warning that if you receive a bad bite, its almost always your fault. However there are some flukes, and I've been bitten for what seems to be no reason from my caiques as well.

As far as hormones go, I really tend to monitor diet if I feel my birds hormones are getting out of whack. Top 3 things I eliminate are cooked foods (soft mushy items, stuff like bread is OK), pumpkin seeds (did you know pumpkin seeds have the highest content of zinc, and that zinc is included in lots of products that increase libido?) and hemp seeds (acts like a birdie aphrodesiac, I learned that awhile ago and I'm still not sure WHY, but I do notice a big difference when going on a hemp free diet).

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#16 lisaninon

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:08 AM

Hmmm. I've been a caique companion for 7 years. Mango is definitely my boy.

Cons:
*He did lose his mind at 2 years and I walked around my house with a garden glove to protect my fingers.
* His emotions can flip on a dime but he generally gives me warning signs, and I am a stupid human who was a slow learner.
* He is beaky to express anger, love, playfulness and joy
* significant time is required. I have 2 cages in my greatroom and bedroom, plus perches on 3 windows, my bathroom mirror, and craft room
* he hates my hangers, I don't know why. He attacks my closet when I hang clothes
Pros:
* he is supper funny, he will consciousnessly go out of his way to make me feel better
* he licks my tears when I cry
* he snuggles in bed by preening my hair and face before curling up under the sheets before going into his cage for bed
* he enjoys bird to hand wrestling and knows "gentle" and "kind" to ease up the grip
* he is trying to find an acceptable relationship with my boyfriend

Tips:
* learn the body language. Once I figured out warning signs I pretty much stop getting bit.
* physical play that involves wrestling and chasing with my hand is his favorite exercise
* a big cage as u can handle with lots of chew toys to shred
* consistent rules rules rules.
* follow through when a rule is broken... ultimate torture is simply being put on the floor and being ignored
* if you get bit, don't fight back or make noise as it will generally make it worse.

Mango gogo bird will b with me until I am 65 and I will never trade him in. He is super affectionate, funny, adventurous, and good to everyone if he is outside my home. I think he is very territorial but in unrelated places he is the sweetest belle of the ball ever (especially in his green tuxedo jacket and white shirt: )

#17 rockybird

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 06:26 PM

Lisaninon said it very well. I was also a slow learner and was so shocked at the sudden change in behavior at 3-4 yrs. of age. You have to learn what sets them off and closely watch their behavior.

I also recommend doing a lot of socialization. My caique was not socialized enough. He does not know what to do with other people. I try to take him out with me on trips around town, but he does not know how to react to others and so he bites them. I dont think he means to, but he is curious and confused at the same time.

As Lisaninon said, my little guy will be with me forever also. He is what he is. He is quite an adventurous (takes off wandering and exploring the house often) and affectionate bird. He will also gently "preen" my face for long periods of time. He insists on his nightly snuggle and cuddle before he goes into his night cage. My guy is not beaky, and when wrestling, he is so gentle not to bite too hard. He will cry if scared at night and I will take him out and snuggle him.

I love him to death, but after the bites, the constant loud contact calls, the difficulty in socialization to others (much of this is my fault), I still would not have bought one had I known what I was in for. But, he really is a wild animal. He is doing his best to assimilate into the human world. I cant blame him for being what he is.

#18 lisaninon

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 05:11 AM

Speaking of the screaming. I think if you only respond to pleasant sounds you may be able to take control of the
noise. Since I got mango at 2.5 months, our conversation are whistle based. He rarely screams unless something is really wrong (being left in another room). He whistles goodbye when I leave for work.

I board him at the avian vet when I travel and they always tell me what pleasant and unique vocalizations he has because 95%of the time he whistles making of his own tunes.

I whistled to him from the beginning and don't respond to obnoxious screaming except when I leave the room for any reason other than to nap. He understands that screaming during "nap time" does nothing but get the blinds to his cage closed... which is the second worse punishment after being alone and ignored on the floor.

So whistle to those babies to create their communication with you at a nice decibel and a pleasant sound.

#19 Lexx

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:42 PM

Ok. I don't think it is fair to say that they are the worst birds to own. Someone told my friend that about her African Grey when she got him and she absolutely adores him. She said she can't imagine her life without him. I also have been told that Amazons are the worst birds to own and Quakers too. Now you guys are scaring the crap out of me seeing as I have a 3 month old WBC. Please tell me that I didn't do the wrong thing in getting him. :(


My WBC is 2 years old and he is also a 2nd hand bird , i agree with beaky,moody very animated but hes a sweet heart and will go to anybody thus far , hes passed his hormanal period and is fine it all depends on the bird and the owner.

#20 champagne4amy

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:16 PM

I have just made up my mind that I am going to enjoy my baby and not worry about what other people say. I have done well so far with making sure he is learning to play on his own in his cage. I have tons of toys for him and I even switch out a couple everyday to change things up a bit for him. He plays all day in his cage. He knows that in the morning he gets to come out for a bit and then in the evening we have our play time as well. He is the happiest bird I have ever seen. He is very stubborn when he wants something that he can't have and yes is very beaky but those things don't bother me. I knew that going in to it. He is a fun little guy and I love him! :)
Chaos - White Bellied Caique
Julio - Sun Conure
Shake - Quaker
Jose - Cinnamon GCC
Pickles - Turquoise IRN
Cabo and Mini- The Parrotlets
Little Dude and Pita - The Budgies
Limey - Green Lineolated Parakeet
3 Rosey Bourke's Parakeets and Ricky Bobby -Diamond Dove




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