Caiques as Pets
The size of this parrot is small but heavy. Its body built is compact and stocky with a barrel-like chest and short, square shaped tail. The average weight of an adult Caique is approximately 150 to 175 grams and their average expected lifespan is 30 years. They have a comparatively narrow wing span, which along with their weight prevents them from flying long distances. Caiques have a tendency to group together in treetops in their natural habitat. The chattering and verbal interactions among them are quite loud. They are quick to take flight whenever they sense an intruder approaching.
Other parrot species would find it difficult to surpass the overall pet potential of Caiques. They are quite rambunctious, energetic and are social and happy-go-lucky by nature. They especially love the attention of humans.
A Caique’s main work is to play and it does this with much gusto. Caiques exhibit coordination even in their natural daily antics of climbing, swinging, tumbling, wrestling, rolling, hanging, jumping and even bunny-hopping. This activity has been noted to be specific to Caiques although the etiology is unknown. They have a strong desire to be petted and cuddled more than the other species.
Extreme caution must be taken when playing with Caiques. Biting can be resorted to during periods of emotional overload. They are busy birds that require a multitude of toys to hold their attention. They are partial to anything that makes noise and assists them in their activities such as bells, balls, ropes and hoops. Swings rank high in their list of favorites. Due to the high level of activity, toys should withstand a Caique’s hard play. However, Caiques need destructible wooden toys that will satisfy their chewing instincts just like other companion parrots.
A Caique’s talking ability is not totally impressive but they speak well enough to be understood, especially if listened to closely. Their voices are tiny and high pitched, similar to that of a Budgie. They easily learn whistling musical tunes and shows preference in mimicking those whistled by their employers rather than those heard in radio or television.
Caiques have no special dietary requirements. Pellets supplemented with fruits, vegetables and other food common to parrots will satisfy their needs and requirements. It is recommended that natural green branches are readily provided to answer the Caique’s fondness for chewing it.
The cost of obtaining a Caique is still within the reasonable range and comparable to that of other popular species. The recent increases in successful breeding attempts by many aviculturists have ensured the availability of the Caique to more bird lovers and enthusiasts. Caiques are considered difficult to breed due chiefly to the problem of setting up of compatible pairs.