Caiques are playful, intelligent birds that will languish in depression if locked up for hours with nothing to do! It’s important to buy a lot of toys, and to buy a cage that’s large to hold at least 2 or 3 at a time.
Caiques seem to like toys that make sounds or noises. Rattles or squeaky toys are great. Generally any toys that are safe for babies are safe for birds. You can look for a bird-proof bell, too. These bells shouldn’t have holes that can trap claws or beaks, and they should be sturdy enough to be bitten or pecked without breaking apart. You don’t want them to choke on them accidentally!
Caiques are also drawn to colorful toys. They seem to like the color red. You can save the caps of plastic bottles, or the plastic toys designed for very young toddlers.
Caiques are also famous chewers, and will be very happy to play with the used cardboard tubes from toilet paper rolls or paper towels. Some will like rolled up newspapers, though the ink can stain feathers.
If you have the patience, you can also train your caiques to use pops and whistles. They are not very good at learning words, but they can be a one-bird orchestra, with access to enough stimulating “instruments”.
Rope toys and chains are also very common, and can provide hours of entertainment. However, check all toys to make sure that your pet can’t get stuck. When in doubt, bring them out only when there’s someone in the room to supervise, or don’t buy them at all. Safer alternatives include plastic rings and hoops, which give these acrobats a chance to show off their skills at jumping or climbing. They are fearless creatures and will love to hang upside down, especially when encouraged with clapping.
You can also stock your cage with dried seed pods and fresh branches. Try the eucalyptus, golden cane palms, and bottlebrush. They’re safe to chew and give the caiques a way to clamber and climb to their little hearts’ delight.
If you own a black-headed caique, leave a shallow bowl with water in the cage. It will love its miniature “swimming pool”. For your own sanity, make sure there are no paper items near the cage—your pet might make a big, messy splash!
Keep at least 3 toys in the cage and change 2 at the end of the week, thus rotating the items so there’s always something new to pique your pet’s interest.
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