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Caiques as Pets

Caiques standing on a wood stick

Caiques are colorful and intelligent birds, but they are not what you’d call the typical parrots.

Caiques As Pets-Talents

For example, they will not learn to talk. If you’re absolutely set on hearing your pet say “Polly wants a cracker” then its better to invest in an African Gray instead. They will, however, mimic sounds like whistling or hooting. They can’t even sing that well.

However, caiques are natural entertainers. They love to climb, jump, skip—and enjoy displaying their dance routine to their owners! One explanation for their acrobatic talents is that caiques are not strong flyers. They prefer to walk or hop their way from one place to another. This gives them one of the strongest leg and back muscles in the bird kingdom—just watch them lie on their backs, kicking their toys like colorful Chinese acrobats.

Caiques are also very sociable. They will eagerly play games with their owners, from simple peek-a-boo to finger tag or even hand wrestling! They may even try to clamber on your head for a short “joy ride”!

Caiques As Pets-Noise levels

Caiques have very loud voices, and can deliver a very high, ear-piercing shriek if they are excited or upset. In the wild, they would use this to communicate with flock members who were beyond their visual range. So don’t be surprised if they try to “contact” you when you are at work—much to the chagrin of your neighbors.

Caiques As Pets-Aggression levels

Caiques are very territorial. They will not like being around other parrot species, and can be very wary or even aggressive if they hear or see another bird. They may even try to take on a parrot that’s four times bigger than it is—that’s how fearless they are! They’re not the ideal investment for people who already have several existing pets.

Caiques also love to chew. Provide them with plenty of toys, and don’t let them loose in a room full of antique furniture! The chewing can get aggravated if they feel neglected. Lonely, depressed caiques may try to get the attention of their owners by grabbing eyeglasses, or destroying their toys. They need a lot of affection and play time, making them a “high-maintenance parrot”—but they reward their owners with fierce devotion.

Caiques As Pets- Smell

Caiques have been known to emit an unusual scent, similar to dry cardboard. The degree or even the nature of the smell can be affected by genetics, or diet. Some enthusiasts say that feeding the birds flax seeds and premium seed oil, the scent becomes slightly sweet.

Since some find the scent unpleasant, it’s important to personally check out the caique you wish to buy.