Last Updated on January 27, 2024 by Carrie Stephens
Caiques are the clowns of the parrot world due to their quirky and fun-loving personalities. Their interesting antics will keep you entertained for hours.
Caiques are small birds, with adults reaching 9-10 inches and weighing 150-170 grams (5-6 ounces). Their cage must be 36 x 24 x 48 inches and have 3+ perches set at different levels and angles.
Their diet comprises pellets, vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, cooked eggs, and white meat (like chicken). Caiques need 10-12 hours of sleep and must get 2-4 hours of out-of-cage activity.
Caiques have an average life expectancy of 25-30 years in captivity.
The vocabulary of caiques is limited, and they don’t speak clearly. They prefer communicating their needs and emotions through actions and other vocalizations, like whistling and clucking.
The average caique parrot costs $1,000 to $2,000, depending on its age, health, color, and gender.
Suitability of Caiques for Beginners
Caique parrots can be difficult pet birds for first-time owners. People with more experience will find their parrot’s temperamental and territorial behavior easier to prevent and manage.
A caique must be well-trained, lest it becomes prone to the following problems:
Caiques are smart, but they’re stubborn birds. If you lack the patience and persistence to reinforce their training, their less desirable traits will soon manifest.
Types of Caiques Parrots
There are two types of caiques parrots:
White-Belly Caique Parrots
The white-belly caique is also called 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 are reddish-brown.
Their colors differ before puberty, including black feathers and a gray beak.
There are 5 subspecies, but they all share the same traits.
Black-Headed Caique Parrots
The black-headed caique has a primarily black head extending past the eyes to the top of the beak.
They also have orange-yellow throats, thighs, and legs—most combine 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 white chests and bellies. The tip of the tail is yellow, and the beak is gray. Their eyes are an orange-red color.
There are 2 subspecies, determined by subtle differences in their colors and patterns. The black-headed caique is about ¼-inch shorter than the white-belly caique.
Caiques Are Loud Birds
Caiques get loud when they don’t get their way. However, if well-trained, they may make less noise.
Like most parrots, caiques will scream if they’re stressed, lonely, scared, or want attention. Their instinct is to chirp and whistle, escalating to louder calls if they don’t get attention or a response.
Caiques develop bad habits. If screaming at you gained a response, they’ll scream again.
Caiques Can Talk
With training, you can teach caiques basic phrases and words. Unfortunately, they’re unlikely to develop an extensive vocabulary and lack a clear voice, struggling with more difficult pronunciations.
A caique will take longer to pick up words than African grays and Amazon parrots. However, they’ll happily whistle tunes, mimic household items, chirp, cluck, and squeal.
Caiques Make Good Pets
If you’re prepared to invest the time, caique parrots make wonderful pet birds. However, they’re unsuitable if you lack time to train and care for caiques.
The disadvantages of having a pet caique parrot are as follows:
- Grow bored easily.
- Become territorial.
- Prone to biting.
- Temper tantrums.
- Require 2-4 hours of daily attention.
- Destroy items when stressed or hormonal.
- They’re not good at talking.
- Noisy and vocal.
Males often fight when sharing a cage, hence why calmer female caiques are more expensive.
The advantages of getting a caique parrot are as follows:
- Bond closely with owners.
- Affectionate and loving nature.
- Creative and enjoy puzzles and games.
- Small-sized, making handling easier.
- Colorful feathers with interesting patterns.
- Perform tricks.
- Fun personalities.
The strong personality of caique parrots means they’re not suitable for everyone.
Caique Parrot Care Guide
If a Caique seems like the ideal pet bird, it’s time to welcome this characterful parrot into your home. Here’s everything you need to know to keep a Caique parrot healthy and happy:
Seeds don’t contain sufficient vitamins and minerals to give a parrot everything its body needs to stay healthy, often leading to vitamin A deficiencies (hypovitaminosis A).
Parrots need a diverse diet to stay healthy, including the following:
Pellets are highly nutritious, but many birds find them bland-tasting. It’s recommended that pellets comprise around 60-70% of a caique’s diet, with other foods making up the remainder.
You should feed a parrot fresh vegetables, such as:
You can hand-feed parrots or leave food in a bowl. If there’s anything left after 24 hours, replace it with fresh food. Never allow food to decay due to the risk of aspergillosis.
Fruit provides parrots with other essential vitamins and minerals. Options include the following:
Combined with vegetables, they should comprise 15-20% of a caique’s diet.
Seeds can be included in a caique’s diet, including the following:
- 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 A Caique
Some items are toxic to parrots, including the following:
Also, avoid feeding parrots junk food and sugar to prevent obesity.
How Much To Feed A Caique
In the morning, give a caique:
- 1/2 cup of pellets.
- 1/4 cup of fruit and vegetables.
What you feed a caique throughout the day depends on how much it eats is eaten. If a caique eats everything, feed it another meal 1-2 hours before it goes to sleep.
Toys for Caique Parrots
Caiques grow bored and need attention. According to Applied Animal Behaviour Science, parrots allowed to forage are less likely to pick at their skin and feathers.
So, when you’re not spending time with a caique, you’ll need to provide a wide selection of toys. Even certain baby toys are okay, but toys the bird can peck, chew, and unravel are recommended.
The best toys for caique parrots include the following:
- Foraging baskets.
- Key chains with bells.
- Vine balls.
- Wooden chewing blocks.
Avoid plastic or rubber toys. Caiques have sharp and strong beaks, which may cause them to tear down materials. Once damaged, they may ingest the material or choke.
Cage Caique Parrots Need
Caiques must reside 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 needing rest.
According to Watchbird, caiques need a large cage, ideally with these dimensions:
- 36 inches long.
- 24 inches wide.
- 48 inches high.
The bars can be horizontal or vertical, although caiques prefer scaling horizontal bars. They should also be metal, not wood, and less than ¾ of an inch apart.
Caique parrots don’t need nesting materials or bedding unless you’re intent on breeding them. Most caiques sleep on their perches.
A parrot’s cage should have at least 3 perches in the following places:
- Perch 1 should be high so the parrot can scale up to it.
- Perch 2 should be positioned near (but not directly above) its food and water dishes.
- Perch 3 should be in the middle of the cage.
Although parrots chew on wood, it’s helpful for its beak. Caiques beaks must be filed down on cuttlebones and abrasive surfaces.
Where To Place A Caique’s Cage
Caiques are social, so their cage should be in a centrally-located part of the house where you spend the most time. This helps a caique to feel like a part of the family.
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.
Caiques Can Be Cuddly Birds
Caiques are loving birds that sit on your shoulder and nuzzle against your neck. You may even receive gentle nips at your ear, or they’ll preen your hair.
Caique Behavioral Problems
Caiques can develop behavioral problems as they grow and are trained. The parrot will adapt and behave if you’re consistent with its lessons. If you don’t stay on point, the following issues can develop:
Besides being natural comedians, caiques are stubborn and willful. If a caique doesn’t want to do something, don’t force them. Training needs to be consistent, or a caique will grow rebellious.
Caiques Can Be Aggressive
Caiques are easily agitated by other birds or family pets, so they may hiss and bite, attacking you out of jealousy, territorial behavior, or stress.
Caiques Do Bite
Caiques like to chew on things, which signifies affection. However, a caique may bite forcefully if it isn’t adequately trained. Give the caique durable toys, allowing it to focus on pecking toys and objects.
Caiques grow 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 Caiques Need
Caiques need about 10-12 hours of sleep, which may not be in one long session. Instead, they wake up in short bursts to check their surroundings or nap during the day.
You can cover their cage with a blanket to create darkness. Also, keep the area peaceful, even if you’re not sleeping. Parrots are light sleepers, so too much activity will disrupt their resting cycle.
Parrots have a nictating membrane, so you may notice that a 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 wear down their beak to stay healthy. Otherwise, these appendages would grow too long and misshapen. The beak may even curve inwards and prevent it from eating.
To keep the beak in good shape, provide a caique with the following:
- Wooden perches.
- Wooden toys.
Provide foods that contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A and D, and protein. These can be fresh foods like kale and grains and low-fat meat like turkey or chicken.
If a parrot’s beak overgrows, a vet can trim the beak to make life easier.
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 the 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.
- Misting them with a spray bottle of water.
If you opt for a bird bath, ensure they have fresh water.
For the spray bottle, ensure the water is lukewarm so the caique isn’t shocked by the cold temperature.
Training is among the most critical parts of having a caique parrot. If you begin training early, a caique will become well-behaved, affectionate, loyal, and patient.
Here’s how to train a caique parrot:
- Give the parrot 3-4 days to adjust to your home before commencing training.
- Spend time with the caique so that it can identify you.
- Teach the caique to accept a treat.
- Teach it to let you pet it on the head or beak.
- Don’t correct bad behavior during the first few sessions to avoid harming the parrot’s trust.
- After 4-6 sessions, correct bad behavior with a tap on the beak and ignore it for a few minutes.
- Upgrade to teaching it small tasks, like stepping up onto your finger.
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 the caique when it’s most active and alert.
- Keep training sessions under 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 will revert to their old ways.
The more the parrot trusts you, the more responsive it’ll be to lessons.
Health Problems for Caique Parrots
Common illnesses and diseases in caique parrots are as follows:
- Respiratory problems (viral, bacterial, and fungal).
- Pox virus.
- Proventricular dilatation syndrome.
- Psittacine beak and feather disease.
- Candida virus (thrush).
- Conjunctivitis (red eye).
- Internal parasites, such as worms.
- Nutritional deficiencies.
Aside from checkups, a 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 that enter the home.
Caiques make good pets for experienced owners. They require ample playtime, attention, and care but reward you with love and attention. Once they’ve bonded with you, it’s a lasting friendship.