Color: Green- most common, least expensive, blue and other mutations rarer and can be
Age Expectancy: 25 + years
Size: 11- 13in.
Cage size: Large cockatiel cage. Should be large enough to spread wings, climb, and
Common Names: Monk, Grey cheeked or Grey headed parakeet.
Talking ability: Very good talkers. They love to “perform” in front of company too!
I believe Quakers are close to being the “Perfect Parrot”. You get as much out of a Quaker as a larger parrot, but not the price tag, or size and price of a large cage. They are very fun and playful, can be very sweet and lovable and can have very good vocabulary. They like to “perform” in front of anybody also. It’s always fun when you teach your parrot a new trick and get to share it with others too. Parrots like to mimic things like smoke alarms, dogs barking, snapping fingers, zippers going up and down etc. Quakers are sometimes labeled “noisy”. I believe this is true when two or more are in the same cage or one is not getting enough attention! Never scold it for being noisy…..you just gave it attention! Wait until it is quiet, then praise it for being good. I know this is easier said then done, but it makes sense. You don’t always have to get it out to be spending time with him if it is not possible at that given moment. Talk to it while your doing dishes or cooking supper. Let it know that you know he’s there! When teaching it to talk, always say things the exact same way every time and say it at the appropriate time. For example, when you turn off the lights at night, say “nighty nite”. It will not only learn to say that, but at the right time! Sometimes mine makes a certain kackle when I’m running dishwater. She’s telling me she wants a bath. What you could do is say “ bath time” Then hopefully it will learn to say that when it wants a bath instead of making noise! Another behavior that Quakers have is that they can be “cage territorial”. Usually when the owners approach its cage its fine. When a “stranger” gets close it will strike at him and try to bite him. For this reason if there are small children in the home, the cage should be out of reach until children are old enough to learn to keep fingers OUT! Quakers can give a very nasty bite and are very fast too! Poking at its cage only makes this behavior worse and you should never let anyone tease your pet. If it gets scared, it can make a “growling” sound.
About a cage for your Quaker… The larger, the better. They need room to flap their wings. They like to play, hang upside down act like a clown. A large cockatiel cage with a play area on the top works great. Let it spend as much time out of its’ cage as possible. They like a perch high up in a corner to sleep on at night. A stand for your cage with wheels works great because you can wheel your little guy from room to room so he can be with you more. The Quaker must be supervised though or they will get into mischief. If they can get down off their cage, they will come find you! They could get stepped on or hurt by other pets. They also like to hide. If this happens, you can find him by asking it to do its’ favorite trick like “bark like a dog” or whatever it does best. Bingo!……He just gave away his hiding spot. Quakers are escape artist too, so always keep cage locked!!!!
Diet is very important in all parrots. The better the their diet, the healthier they are, the longer they can live. I believe a good pellet diet is most important of all. I put pellets in one dish, water in another and use a third dish for fresh foods. Always give your bird a variety of healthy foods to eat. Just because he doesn’t eat something one time doesn’t mean he won’t the next time. Save seeds for a treat. Putting them in his dish of food may create a “Seed Junky”. Seeds are not bad for them but do not cover all its’ dietary needs. It would be like we ate pizza all the time. Everything in it is good for us but we also need other vitamins that aren’t in pizza. Parrots will live healthier and longer on a good diet. Pellets have all the vitamins they need so you don’t need to add any additional vitamins to their food or water. Remember not to give anything that is harmful to your parrot or to much “junk food”.
When you get home with your baby try to keep things calm for a while and let it get use to his new surroundings. On the contrary I don’t believe he should be left alone in its cage like some articles suggest. I think this would be harder on him. Instead hold him close, talk soft and reassure him. Start teaching him to “step up ”when he is comfortable with just sitting on your finger. Put your hand against the front of his legs and say “ step up”. Gently push against him and up, he will then step up. Have your finger ready on your other hand and repeat this step. Practice this several times alternating hands until he is doing this well. At first you might have to reach in and get your parrot out of his cage. When he learns the “step up” command, then have him step up on your finger to get out. If he grabs on to things with his beak so you can’t get him out, then use your other hand to hold his beak to avoid this. If he jumps off your finger before you get him out, then hold your other hand slightly over his back and he can’t jump then. You can occasionally let him come out on his own, but not all the time. If you did, he would get to where he would never let you put your hand in its’ cage. Also work with him away from his cage so he is not distracted by it and never hold him higher then your heart or he will think he is dominant over you.
Grooming….Baths!!! Quakers love them! You can put a small amount of lukewarm water in the sink and leave it trickling, take him the shower with you, put a heavy, spill-proof crock in his cage or mist him with a spray bottle. He may not always be in the mood for a bath when you have time to give it, so don’t misinterpret this as not liking one. He may also take one himself in his water dish! Keep a concrete perch in his cage next to his food dish to keep his nails dull. You can also use a fingernail file to do this. NEVER CLIP HIS NAILS, WINGS OR BEAK YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They have a blood vein in them, ANYTIME YOUR BIRD BLEEDS, IT IS AN EMERGENCY!!! He will be able to fly to the floor, or across the room in a downward motion. When he flies up to the top of your curtains, then he needs clipped again. Probably 2 or 3 times a year. I will be glad to clip them for you or a vet can too. Please do not let someone inexperienced do this. Both wings are to be clipped. It is very dangerous not to keep them clipped. They can get hurt by flying into something or they could fly out the door.
There are two very good books on Quakers available that were written just a few years ago so they are very up to date. If you ever need anything or have any questions just call or email me. I will be glad to help….Thanks so much..Jeri