We Love Our Baby Caiques
And You Will Too
We love our babies and we treat them like family. Though we would love it if our parent birds would feed and raise their babies on their own, it just hasn't worked that way. So I hand feed most of our white-bellied and black-headed caique babies from the very first day. Our babies grow up under our loving care along with their siblings or other baby caiques their own age. They also get to see adult caiques playing, interacting with us, eating and flying. This way they get to learn to be birds and learn to love and crave human company.
From Hatch to Fledging
We give our baby caiques everything they need to grow up happy and healthy. Our little featherless hatchling chicks start out needing to be kept warm and with just the right amount of humidity. They need to fed every few hours (sometimes as often as every two hours) around the clock. We are fully equipped to raise our babies from egg to weaning and beyond. We have invested in the proper professional equipment required to give our caiques the best start in life.
As they grow, we carefully adjust their care and feeding to optimize their physical and mental growth. We provide a safe environment and housing for our baby caiques from hatching until they wean and go to their new homes. This involves three different brooders and two to three additional cage set ups to provide a safe and stimulating environment that is just right for their age.
Food is also adjusted to give them the biggest advantage by allowing them to grow and gain weight. Feeding from 1-5 days requires one formulation and 6 days until weaning requires another version of baby bird handfeeding formula. Once babies start to pick up things with their beak we offer them nutritious foods including parrot pellets, seeds, veggies, fruits, nuts and other healthy foods. This helps them to grow, wean and learn to eat a variety of foods.
I allow all my birds to fully fledge and do not clip wings. Mastering the skill of flight is an important step in the development of babies birds. At about 8 weeks of age they start to learn to fly and in my opinion it takes them until about 6 months to master flight and perfect their maneuvers. Once they take their first flight the caiques are no longer hatchlings, they are considered fledglings.
From Fledging to Weaning
Having a whole room full of fledgling caiques is fun, fun, fun! We love the wondrous curiosity and nonstop energy of a flock of flying fledglings (say that three times fast).
At this point the baby caiques are housed in large cages which allow them to jump, hop, wrestle, play and even fly a short distance. Their cage is stocked with a variety of toys, swings, perches, foods, water dishes and a water bottle. Most importantly they are housed with other caiques who are around the same age. Usually there are 3-6 housed together and it is not unusual to have another 3-6 birds in another cage. If they have been properly introduced and are getting along we will often have a rockin' caique house party when they all come out and play together.
Regardless of how many caiques there are, the babies are out of their cages 2-3 times a day for handfeeding until they are fully weaned. In addition, they also get daily recess time to fly around the bird room, play and make their own choices about what to do, who to be with and where to play, rest or fly. This is a great time to learn, explore, make friends (or enemies) and perfect those flight skills.
Weaning is the process that natural occurs as a baby caique learns to be completely self sufficient and learns to eat on its own. Each bird matures and weans at its own pace and we never force a bird to wean by refusing to offer formula. Generally caiques wean at 12-16 weeks of age. We consider a baby caique to be weaned once he can maintain his weight without handfeeding formula and has been off formula for about two weeks.
Once weaned our young caiques are ready to move on to their new pet homes.
Nothing But Caiques
We specialize in caiques because we think it's fun (and important) to get the details right and focus on doing one thing well. Our small home-aviary of White-bellied and Black-headed caiques consists of about a dozen birds. Three of our pairs are breeding pairs. The others might just be future caique moms and dads, only time will tell.