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How To Care For A Caique Parrot [A Complete Beginners Guide]

(Last Updated On: October 6, 2022)

Owning a caique parrot is rewarding. They’re referred to as the clowns of the parrot world due to their fun personalities. Their interesting antics will make you laugh and keep you entertained.

To care for a caique parrot, its cage must be 24 x 24 inches with 3 perches. Its diet should consist of pellets, vegetables, fruits, and seeds. Caiques need 10-12 hours of sleep and must be given out-of-cage time to play. Training should be in 20-minute exercise sessions.

Caiques can talk following training, but their vocabulary isn’t as extensive as other parrot species. However, they make rewarding companions due to their affectionate, fun-loving nature.

How Long Do Caique Parrots Live?

Caique parrots have a long lifespan, with a well-cared-for bird living for up to 40 years in captivity. Although not as long-lived as Macaws, you’ll have your companion for most of your life.

Caiques form close bonds with their owners, so they don’t cope well with rehoming. So, their long lifespan must be carefully considered in advance.

Caique Weight And Size

Caiques are medium-sized parrots. Adult caiques will reach about 9 inches in length and weigh between 150 and 170 grams (around 5-6 ounces.)

If you get your caique when it’s a chick, it’ll fit in the palm of your hand, gaining half its size by puberty when it’s 4-5 months old. At this point, it’ll reach its full length over the next few months.

How Much Are Caique Parrots?

The average price of a caique parrot is $1,000 to $2,000, depending on its age and gender.

Females cost more than males. Because females are more relaxed, they’re more popular pets. If you want a bird with a calmer disposition, you should expect to pay a higher price tag.

A caique that’s already been socialized and trained will cost more money, while a younger parrot that needs more time to train, develop, and socialize will be cheaper.

Parrots aren’t a one-time expense. Here are the other costs:

  • Cage
  • Perches
  • Cage liners
  • Cleaning materials
  • Toys
  • Water and food bowls
  • Food
  • Hiding places
  • Pet insurance

Other expenses include trips to the vet and repairing damage to their cages, toys, or your home.

Are Caiques Good for Beginners?

Caique parrots aren’t recommended for first-time owners. Those with more experience are needed due to a caique’s temperamental and territorial behavior.

A caique needs to be well-trained, lest it becomes prone to:

  • Biting
  • Damaging items around the home
  • Finding a way out of its cage
  • Harassing other pets
  • Screaming and hissing

Caiques are smart parrots, but they’re stubborn. If you lack the patience and dedication necessary to reinforce their training, their less desirable traits will become evident.

are caiques good for beginners?

Types of Caiques Parrots

There are two types of caiques parrots: the white-belly and the black-headed.

White-Belly Caique Parrot

The white-belly caique is also known as the yellow or green-thighed caique.

White-belly caiques usually have orange-colored heads paired with yellow coloring along the sides of their head and throat.

Their back and wings are green, while their chest and belly are white. Their beaks are light pink, and their eyes a reddish-brown.

Their colors will differ before they reach puberty, including black feathers and a grey beak.

There are five subspecies, but they all share the same traits.

Black-Headed Caique Parrot

The black-headed caique, as the name implies, has a mostly black head, which extends past the eyes and to the top of the beak.

They also have orange-yellow throats, thighs, and legs—most pair this with an orange band around the back of their neck, bordered by blue feathers.

Their back, wings, rear end, and upper tail are green. The black-headed varieties have chests and bellies that are white. The tip of the tail is yellow, and the beak is grey. Their eyes are an orange-red color. 

There are two subspecies within this variety, determined by subtle differences in their coloring and patterns. The black-headed caique is about ¼-inch shorter than the white belly caique.

Do Caiques Talk?

With training, you can teach caiques basic phrases and words. However, they don’t have the most extensive vocabulary and lack a clear speaking voice, struggling with more difficult pronunciations.

A caique will take longer to pick up words than other parrots. However, they’re happy to whistle tunes or melodies, chirp, cluck, and call out to you.

Do Caiques Scream?

Like most parrots, caiques will scream if they’re stressed, lonely, scared, or want attention.

Their first instinct will be to chirp and whistle at their owners, which will escalate to louder calls if they don’t get attention or a response.

Caiques are prone to developing bad habits. If screaming at you once or twice gained a response, they’re more likely to scream again in the future.

Are Caiques Loud Birds?

Caiques get loud when not getting their way. If well-trained, you may find your caique makes little noise.

Do Caiques Make Good Pets?

If you’re willing to invest the time, caique parrots make great pets. However, if you lack time to train and care for them, these aren’t the parrots for you. That’s because caiques:

  • Grow bored easily
  • Become territorial and aggressive
  • Require hours of daily attention
  • Destroy items when stressed or hormonal

Males will constantly fight if they’re required to share a cage, which is why females are more expensive. However, caiques can make good pets for the following reasons:

  • Bond with owners, especially those who fulfill their entertainment needs.
  • Creative and enjoy playing games.
  • Medium-sized, making them easier to manage in modest-sized living spaces.
  • Colorful with multiple patterns.
  • Intelligent and capable of learning words.

Caique Parrot Care Guide

If a caique seems like an ideal pet, it’s time to welcome this vibrant parrot into your home. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your caique healthy and happy:

Caique Diet

Despite what some people believe, parrots can’t live on seed alone.

Parrots need a diverse diet to stay healthy. Seeds don’t have enough nutrients and vitamins to give your parrot everything the body needs.

Instead, you should feed your caique:

Pellets

Pellets have a variety of vitamins and minerals, along with fiber, fats, and protein. These formulated diets save you the inconvenience of preparing each food group.

Fresh Vegetables

You should feed your parrot fresh vegetables, such as:

You can hand feed parrots or leave food in a bowl. If there’s anything left after 24 hours, clean it out, and replace it with fresh food. Never allow old food to go moldy due to the risk of aspergillosis.

Fruits

Fruit provides parrots with other essential vitamins and minerals. Options include:

Combined with vegetables, they should make up 20-25% of a caique’s diet.

Grains

Grains provide the necessary vitamins and minerals your caique parrot needs to live a long and healthy life. Also, fiber can improve digestion.

Seeds

Seeds should be included in a caique’s diet. Options include:

  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Flax seeds

Parrots can grow addicted to sunflower seeds, so offer them in moderation.

What Not to Feed Your Parrot

Some items are toxic to parrots, so your caique should never eat:

  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sugar and sweeteners, such as xylitol
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms

How Much Do I Feed My Parrot?

In the morning, give your caique:

  • 1/2 cup of pellets
  • 1/4 cup of fruit and vegetables

What you feed your caique throughout the day will depend on how much it eats of that first meal. If your caique eats all of it, feed it another meal 1-2 hours before bedtime.

If it appears hungry and searches for food, you can provide a smaller portion in the middle of the day. As a snack, it can eat seeds, nuts, insects, etc.

Consult a vet if your caique is gaining weight, losing weight, or refusing food.

Toys for Caique Parrots

Caiques are easily bored and need plenty of attention. According to Applied Animal Behaviour Science, parrots allowed to forage are less likely to pick at their feathers from boredom.

So, when you’re not spending time directly with your caique, you’ll need to provide a range of toys. Even certain baby toys are okay; toys that your parrot can peck, chew, and unravel are recommended.

The best toys for caique parrots include:

  • Foraging baskets
  • Ropes
  • Key chains with bells
  • Vine balls
  • Wooden chewing blocks

Avoid any plastic or rubber toys. Caiques have sharp beaks, which may lead to them tearing or shattering those materials. Once they have, there’s a risk of them ingesting the material or choking.

caique parrot care guide

What Cages Do Caique Parrots Need?

Caiques must be placed in a safe and secure cage when you’re not home.

Caiques are mischievous parrots and will wreak havoc if left unsupervised, especially if they have nothing else to do. Additionally, caiques need a place to retreat when stressed or in need of rest.

Here’s what your caique will need from its cage:

What Size Cage Does A Caique Need?

According to Watchbird, caiques need a large cage. As the minimum, a caique cage must be:

  • 24 inches long
  • 24 inches high

The bars can be horizontal or vertical, although caiques prefer scaling horizontal bars. Also, the bars should be metal, not wood, and be less than ¾ of an inch apart.

Cage Bedding

Caique parrots don’t need nesting materials or bedding unless you’re intent on breeding your parrots. Your caique will sleep on its perches.

Your parrot’s cage should have at least 3 perches in the following places:

  • Perch one should be placed up high, so the parrot can scale up to it.
  • Perch two should be placed down by its food and water dishes.
  • Perch three should be placed in the middle of the cage, away from the food and water. Otherwise, droppings may contaminate their food and drink.

Although parrots chew on wood, it’s helpful for its beak. Caiques have sharp beaks that need to be filed down on cuttlebones and toys. Their claws will also benefit from scratching away at the wood.

Where Should I Place My Caique’s Cage?

Caiques are social, so their cage should be placed in a centrally-located spot in the house where you spend the most time. This helps your caique to feel like a part of the family.

The back wall of the cage should be against a wall to make it feel more secure. Keep the cage away from the kitchen, as cleaning agents, smoke, and nonstick pans (Tefal) can kill parrots.

Caique Parrot Personality

Caiques are show-offs, happy to be the clowns of the bird world. They’ll dance and bob, make mischief, play games, and want your constant attention.

Since their energy levels are high, they’re outgoing parrots. If you want a bird that can entertain you like a friend, you’ll never feel lonely with a caique.

Do Caiques Like to Cuddle?

Most caiques are affectionate. They’ll sit on your shoulder and nuzzle against your neck. You may even receive a few gentle nips at your ear or preening of the hair.

Caique Behavioral Problems

Caiques can develop behavioral problems as they grow and are trained. Your parrot will adapt and behave as long as you’re consistent with the lessons.

If you don’t stay on point, these issues may develop:

Stubbornness

Besides being avian comedians, they’re also stubborn and willful. If a caique doesn’t want to do something, don’t force them. Training needs to be consistent, or the caique will grow rebellious.

Are Caiques Aggressive?

Caiques are easily agitated by other birds or pets, so they may hiss and bite, attacking you out of jealousy, territorial behavior, or stress. 

Do Caiques Bite?

Caiques like to chew, which signifies affection.

However, if a caique isn’t properly trained, it may nip or bite forcefully. Give your caique a range of durable toys, allowing it to focus on biting toys and objects.

caique parrot personality

Easily Stressed

Caiques get distressed when left alone or get bored, so they may:

  • Become cold toward you
  • Hiss when you come near
  • Refuse to be trained
  • Start biting
  • Act territorially

This can all be resolved with training, but caiques have good memories and may revert to bad habits.

Caique Care Information

Now you’ve set up the caique’s living space and understand its personality, here’s how to care for a caique parrot:

How Much Sleep Do Caiques Need?

Caiques need about 10-12 hours of sleep, but it may not be in one long session. Instead, they wake up in short bursts to check their surroundings.

You can cover their cage with a blanket to create darkness. Keep the area quiet and peaceful, even if you’re not sleeping. All parrots are light sleepers, so too much activity will disrupt their resting cycle.

Parrots have a nictating membrane, so you may notice that your caique sleeps with one eye open. Half of the brain remains active, known as Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep (USWS).

Caique Beak Care

Caique parrots need to file down their beak to stay healthy. Otherwise, these sharp appendages would grow too long and become brittle. The beak may even curve inwards and prevent it from eating.

To keep the beak in good shape, provide your caique with the following:

Provide foods that contain calcium, magnesium, and protein. These can be fresh foods, like kale and grains, and meat, like turkey or chicken.

If a parrot’s beak overgrows, a vet can trim the beak to make your caique comfortable.

Bathing Needs

Caiques will bathe themselves if they’re provided with a large water dish. The bird will splash, fluff its feathers, and preen at leisure.

However, as a bonding activity, you can help your parrot clean itself, which can involve:

  • Turning on the sink faucet so that it can take a shower.
  • Placing a large water bowl outside the cage and splashing it.
  • Gently mist your caique with a spray bottle of water.
  • Gently petting and massaging its head and neck as it grooms itself.

If you opt for a bird bath, ensure they have fresh water daily. For the spray bottle, ensure that the water is lukewarm so that your caique isn’t shocked by the cold temperature.

Training

Training is one of the most important parts of having a caique parrot. Your caique will become well-behaved, affectionate, and loyal with consistency, patience, and dedication. Begin training early.

Here’s how to train a caique parrot:

  1. Give the parrot 3-4 days to adjust to your home before you commence training.
  2. Spend time with the caique so that it can learn your voice, identify you, and smell you.
  3. Teach your caique to accept a treat.
  4. Teach it to let you pet it on the head or beak.
  5. Don’t correct bad behavior during the first few sessions, as this might harm the parrot’s trust in you.
  6. After 4-6 sessions, correct bad behavior with a tap on the beak and ignore it for a few minutes.
  7. Upgrade to teaching it small tasks, like stepping up onto your finger.

You’ll need to pick the right time, place, and tools to make your training more effective. Do the following:

  • Use treats, such as a piece of strawberry, as a reward for obedience.
  • Train your caique during the evening when it’s most alert.
  • Keep training sessions to no more than 20 minutes, with at least 1 hour between sessions.
  • Repeat each trick 10+ times before moving on, as caiques need repetition and consistency.
  • Avoid skipping days in their training because caiques are stubborn and will revert to their old ways.

The more the parrot trusts you, the more responsive it will be to any training and lessons.

Health Problems for Caique Parrots

Here are some symptoms of illness that indicate whether your parrot has grown ill or has been injured:

  • Ruffled plumage
  • Resting with their head turned back
  • Beak swelling
  • No appetite
  • Sneezing
  • Discharge from nostrils
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Any change in droppings

These symptoms can signify one of the illnesses below:

  • Internal parasites, such as worms
  • Intestinal influenza
  • Coccidiosis
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Feather picking
  • Psittacosis
  • Polyomavirus

Schedule a vet trip annually to ensure your caique parrot remains strong and healthy.

Regular checkups will identify possible issues developing. According to Veterinary Ophthalmology, caiques can develop congenital glaucoma, depending on their bloodline.

Aside from checkups, your parrot will need a polyomavirus vaccine and a booster every 12 months. This will ensure they don’t catch this deadly virus from other birds or contaminants brought into your home. Polyomavirus can turn into gastroenteritis and affect the heart, liver, and kidneys.

Caiques make good pets for experienced owners. They require ample playtime, attention, and care, but they reward you with constant love and attention. Once they’ve bonded with an owner, this friendship can last for several decades.