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Faq - Bringing Your New Quaker Home


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#1 Carrie~Anne

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 06:00 PM

Shelly has approved the suggestion of having a thread for submissions for a FAQ on bringing a new Quaker home and thinks it's great that QuakerParrots.com members want to be involved in this.

So this is how it is going to work...

We are asking members to submit a question and answer in this thread. Your question should have something to do with bringing home a new Quaker. Such as:

I own two other birds and just brought my first Quaker home....how long should I quarantine?

Your answer should be as complete as you can make it...

Most avian vets advise that quarantine is a must whenever bringing a new bird into an existing flock. Quarantine should last between 30 and 90 days depending on the advice of your avian vet and where the bird comes from.

If another member has something to add to a question that is already posted, please feel free to post the question again and add your input. We are looking for a FAQ that is as complete as we can possibly make it. So the more information, the better. Posted Image

Something to keep in mind, is that a 'new quaker' could be a 12 week old Quaker, or a 12 year old Quaker. Posted Image

Once there is a good amount of submissions, the information will be compiled by forum moderators and put to Shelly for her to review. Upon Shelly's approval, she will put the FAQ on her website and then a link to the FAQ will be pinned in the Quaker Parrot Talk section.

Please note: Information provided by members may be edited, changed, or removed. This is to ensure that we have a FAQ that is as complete and as accurate as possible. As always, Shelly has the ultimate say in what goes into the FAQ or if the final product is complete enough to post on the website as a FAQ.

Lastly, this thread is not meant to debate answers to questions that are posted. If you have a different answer to a question, then repost the question and add your answer. Again, all the information will be compiled and reviewed by the forum managers and then again reviewed by Shelly.

We have a vast variety of experience at QuakerParrots.com and we're really excited to see what every one comes up with. We encourage and invite all members to participate, as we have all gone through the experience of bringing home a new bird and what information worked best for our own situation.

So start posting those questions and answers Posted Image

#2 QTQP4me

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 07:03 PM

i just brought my bird home yesterday and he's not eating/vocalizing/moving around very much. help!

any new addition to your home needs time to settle in. his whole world has just been turned upside down. everything he's known is now changed and he needs time to acclimate to your house - the people, the sounds, the smells. some birds will adjust to this major change quicker than others, so let him determine the pace at which you move forward. just let him stay in his cage for now, but don't ignore him. greet him as you walk by, sit and read a book outloud near his cage so he can get used to your voice. watch his body language for signs that he's getting more secure in his new surroundings. he will eventually start to move around and make his way toward the front of the cage. when you get that far, open the cage door and let him come out if he wants to. don't rush things - quakers, with the proper diet and care, can live upwards of 30 years. you'll still have plenty of time with your new companion, and taking time to build trust will benefit you in the long run.

it's also important that he have a constant from his previous home, whether that's his cage or a specific toy (or toys) and his food. a lot of times we bring our birds home and they have been on a seed diet. don't attempt to convert to pellets right away. let him continue on his previous diet until he's more secure in his new surroundings. you want him to keep eating in the midst of all this change. you can do the conversion after he's settled.

#3 jaytee

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 08:30 PM

I just bought a Quaker Parrot. I'll be bringing him/her home in a few days. What do I need to take care of him?

Well, you're going to need a cage. Minimum suggested size is 18x18x24, with maximum bar spacing of 5/8 of an inch. The cage should have a few perches at different levels, and a few toys, for your baby to play with. You'll also need food. A Quaker's diet should mainly be Pellets. The Pellets can be supplemented with Fressh Vegies, Some Fresh Fruits, and many other Human foods you'll be learning about. A lot of seed is not good for your QP. Many seeds are high in fat content, and QPs are prone to Fatty Liver Disease. Food and Water dishes should be cleaned and refilled daily. If you can, get something to your new companion, before bringing him home. Snuggle Bunny, Tiny Blanky, a Toy,..... some thing that will be familiar, when he comes home with you. This will help with the transition to a new place.

#4 Carrie~Anne

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:35 PM

Is there anything I should ask the breeder before I bring home my baby Quaker?


The most important thing is to make sure your Quaker has been fully weaned. If you have zero handfeeding experience it's best to let the breeder finish weaning the bird. This way, when you get your new bird finally home, you won't have to worry about what temperature of formula to feed, how much, how often, is your bird getting enough formula, when to add water, etc. A bird that has been fully weaned (and this means it should be eating solid food on it's own for at least a week) makes for a much more enjoyable first few weeks. Do not believe the myth that handfeeding a bird ensures a tighter bond. This is completely untrue.

Another important question to ask the breeder is what type of diet is your bird on. You will want to have the same pellet/seed that the breeder is currently feeding, this way your new bird will have something familiar to eat. Pellet based diets are best, but if your bird is currently eating seeds, then allow him to continue to do so until he settles in. Also find out if your bird has a favorite treat, or food. This can work as a training tool in helping the two of you bond.

#5 Miss_Pandamoanium

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 11:50 AM

I don't think I'me xperienced enough to give answers fully, but I thought these were some great questions that I'd had when I took in Scooter like:


"What household cleaners *if any* are safe, and what harmful effects do they create"

"Non stick cookware use around birds, harmful effects etc"

"Candle burning, smoke etc"

"To clip or not to clip" (IN the state of Ohio it is legally required to clip your quakers wings)

I wondered if anyone could possibly address these and use them? Just some questions I'd thought of.

#6 QTQP4me

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 01:45 PM

jaytee posted a link to a previous post about why one should not bring home a quaker, and in that thread there was an awesome post from connie about what to expect when the bird first comes home. would it be ok to copy that as another response to the question i posted? it's pretty detailed and covers some stuff i missed.

#7 Carrie~Anne

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 03:06 PM

I don't think I'me xperienced enough to give answers fully, but I thought these were some great questions that I'd had when I took in Scooter like:


"What household cleaners *if any* are safe, and what harmful effects do they create"

"Non stick cookware use around birds, harmful effects etc"

"Candle burning, smoke etc"

"To clip or not to clip" (IN the state of Ohio it is legally required to clip your quakers wings)

I wondered if anyone could possibly address these and use them? Just some questions I'd thought of.


The point of this thread is to get feedback from members. :) So even if you only have been a Quaker (or bird) owner for a few short weeks, your answers may provide valuable information. This thread is more about brainstorming then anything.

I think you should take a stab at the above questions. If there is more information that someone else can add, then that's okay too. All information will be considered and it doesn't have to be 100% complete...just as complete as you are able to make it ;)

jaytee posted a link to a previous post about why one should not bring home a quaker, and in that thread there was an awesome post from connie about what to expect when the bird first comes home. would it be ok to copy that as another response to the question i posted? it's pretty detailed and covers some stuff i missed.


I don't see why not. Just make sure to explain that it was copied from Connie's post, and provide a link to that post please. :)

#8 QTQP4me

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 10:27 PM

copied from this post (#17) by connie (andie's mom)

What can you expect or need to do when you first bring the bird home?


You can expect several things...He is either going to be very quiet and stand offish or he's going to be doing a flock call over and over because he misses his former owners and the familiarity of the place and their routine.

What I would suggest is, if the current owners are selling him with his cage and toys etc. No matter what condition the cage is in, bring it home. Let him stay in that cage with the toys etc so its once less shock to his system. Birds don't do well with change unless it's on their terms.

There is what we call a "honeymoon period" where many times the bird will be just as sweet as can be and do or allow almost anything you ask of it. This period can last anywhere from a day or two up to a month or so; then as the bird starts becoming familiar with things and feeling safe he will start pushing the issue to see what you will allow and what you won't allow. So you need to decide what you will tolerate and what you won't.

You need to realize that birds have a flock call...They call first thing in the morning (their morning...not yours, yes, there IS a BIG difference) this is to make sure that everyone in the flock made it through the night safely. Then they go off and forage for food etc. for the day, spend time socializing with the other members of the flock, chase off would be predators etc. Then along about dusk (again varies with individual birds) they start flock calling again to make sure everyone is home safe and sound before its time to go to bed. Sometimes its just a squawk or two sometimes it can go on for quite some time. This is probably going to be the most difficult part of getting used to having any kind of bird. Quakers flock calls can be very loud and very grating depending on how sensative your ears are. Some people it doesn't bother and others it drive insane.

When you first bring him home I would put him in an area where its a little quieter but still in an area where he can see most of what's going on in the rest of the house from his cage...That way he'll be able to see you move from room to room (hopefully) and this will hopefully reduce the birds need to flock call because he can't see his flock and they don't like being totally alone. Remember there is safety in numbers for a wild flock. So if you can put him in a place that is not in the main traffic pattern but still visually accessable to the rest of the house that's great!

Now, the next thing is to think long and hard about how your life is going to be for the next 25 to 30 years... Posted Image Posted Image Do you see any major changes in your life coming up. Like a change in your work schedule or adding a new family member that will take time away from the time you plan to spend with the bird? This may sound silly but it makes a big difference. Many times people will bring home a pet and it doesn't matter what type it is, they'll shower it with attention until the new wears off or something changes. Most animals can handle fairly moderate changes but it really effects birds differently. This is because they are Flock animals and for their health and well being they need to have flock near by. Remember for all intents and purposes you are now their flock your family is its flock mates. So for a bird, if you shower it with all sorts of attention when you first bring it home, its going to expect that kind of attention from then on. They don't understand why they are being exhiled and it can lead to many bad and unfortunate behaviors, most commonly screaming (flock calling over and over and over when ever you are out of its sight) or it can lead to boredom which can lead to plucking or self mutilation. So if you think you'll only have a couple hours a day to give attention to the bird then start out with that amount so that it knows what to expect from the get go.

Now remember, quality time is different than one on one time (in my opinion) If the bird can see you and hear you that's still time spent with the bird...One on one time is just that...Just you and the bird. This could take place at breakfast where you spend one on one time around the breakfast table because many times the flock eats together; it could be just sitting and watching TV together while you preen pin feathers etc. Or while you're teaching him how to play with new toys or teaching him how to forage by finding hidden objects and food in different things.

He's also going to need 10 to 12 hours of quiet time so he can get the necessary rest he needs. As the days get longer in the spring that's when the hormones start to kick in especially for sexually mature birds, generally anything that's older than 18 months to 2 years. By keeping the light levels at 12 hrs or less you are going to see a personality change, somewhat, and depending on the bird it can be sutble or it can be very drastic. The length of light levels triggers the hormones, the more light (be it natural or artificial) cause the hormones to kick in and the males will get more"frisky" and the females will become more broody wanting to nest and may even start to lay eggs. Don't assume that just because you have a bird that hasn't layed eggs that its a male because that isn't the case. Many females have never layed eggs because the light levels have been such that the hormone wasn't released causing them to start producing eggs. The hormone trigger is located in the eye so that's why the amounts of light are a factor.

After you've figured out where you're going to place the birds cage, you can then start watching the birds body language; Cacophony's examples were good in letting you know what to expect. You're going to need to play it by ear as to how soon you start handling the bird, and that can depend on several things from his past. If he was well socialized and treated kindly, then he's probably going to want to be played with, if he wasn't then he's probably going to be stand offish and you're going to have to earn his trust.

I would definitely suggest that for now you keep his wings trimmed so he isn't able to fly. This should be done by a knowledgable person and he should have enough primary flight feathers trimmed to the primary coverts (the next layer of feathers up) to allow him to gently glide to the floor but yet not be able to gain altitude when he attempts to fly...this can vari from 3 or 4 on each wing to having all 10 primaries clipped, it just depends on the birds body structure as well as whether he's been allowed free flight before. I generally start out with 5 on each side being clipped and then take one at a time on each side from there till he's gliding, but not falling like a rock. After he gets comfortable with you and his new surroundings you can decide whether you want him to have full flight. For me that would depend on several things. Whether or not you can assure that your home is bird safe to where he can't get into trouble/danger from other animals, or poisonous plants or open doors or big picture windows or large mirrors etc. all the above can be deadly for your feathered friend.

There is one book I'd recommend you acquire and that would be "A Guide to Quaker Parrots" by Mattie Sue Athon. Great resource for the new bird owner.

#9 Carrie~Anne

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 04:19 PM

What are some books that I might want to read prior to bringing home my first bird?


The most often recommended book by members of QuakerParrots.com is Guide To The Quaker Parrot by Mattie Sue Athan. This is an inexpensive book and a great resource for any one who owns a Quaker parrot. A couple other books that are great for information are:

1) Guide To A Well-Behaved Parrot by Mattie Sue Athan
2) Guide To Companion Parrot behavior by Mattie Sue Athan
3) Birds for Dummies by Gina Spadafori and Dr. Brian L. Speer
4) Quaker Parrots Made Easy by Shelly Lane (Click~Here for link)

Edited by Carrie~Anne, 27 January 2010 - 04:34 AM.


#10 debbie00

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 01:45 PM

Hi I am new to this site. I just brought home a green quacker. I haven't yet found out what the sex is I should know either today or tomorrow. My question is any difference in personality male or female? DEB

#11 jaytee

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 09:44 PM

What is the difference between blue and green quakers?

My blue is definitely smaller then most of the greens. She ranges from 88-90 grams. She is very active, hyper and sometimes bitey and she has a large vocabulary. I have read that blues aren't as good talkers as greens but that definitely isn't true with my blue. Of course the price is higher for the color. The color didn't really matter to me, Sammy picked us so we were stuck paying the higher price tag.

Edited by jaytee, 10 May 2010 - 09:45 PM.


#12 jaytee

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 09:50 PM

What is the difference between male and female quakers?

There is no physical dif. They can only be sexed by DNA, or surgical sexing. Personalities are basically the same, as is talking ability. The one true dif. is, Females lay eggs, Males don't.

#13 Tana

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 05:55 PM

I have just bought a Quaker for my daughter for her 13th birthday. She has asked for one for the last 3 yrs and her dad finally agreed.

This wonderful new addition to the family was born on 04/10/10. He/She is still being hand fed and my daughter is doing great at that.

We are talking, singing and holding her/him often and then at bedtime saying goodnight and putting a sheet over his/her cage.

We are wondering if there is something that we should be working on with him/her to help encourage the training process of stepping up/down, talking, singing and tricks.

And also can you actually pay too much attention to your new baby Quaker?

#14 Casey's Mom

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 08:47 PM

Yes, you can definitely pay too much attention to a new bird. The best piece of advice I've ever, ever received was "only spend as much time with your new bird now as you can for the next 30 years" If you spend too much time with them when they are a novelty then you'll end up with a bird with behavioural issues when the novelty wears off. ;)

It sounds like your daughter is very responsible but make sure you spend a lot of time with the bird as well because as she grows and spends more time in school, work etc. you'll need to be there to help our with her baby and you'll need the Quaker to like you too! :D

Congrats and welcome to the forum!

Edited by Casey's Mom, 26 May 2010 - 08:47 PM.

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#15 nelladeya

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:05 AM

hello! I`m new on this forum, my english is not so good, but I hope I can be understood
I wish to by a qp, and I want to know how is his behavior with other species, I already have an indianringneck and a pair of lovebirds especially with the ringneck

Edited by nelladeya, 08 July 2010 - 04:08 AM.


#16 TariAngie

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 05:50 AM

What is the difference between blue and green quakers?

My blue is definitely smaller then most of the greens. She ranges from 88-90 grams. She is very active, hyper and sometimes bite and she has a large vocabulary. I have read that blues aren't as good talkers as greens but that definitely isn't true with my blue. Of course the price is higher for the color. The color didn't really matter to me, Sammy picked us so we were stuck paying the higher price tag.



I would like to add to this.
My Topaz is a blue. Yes she is a tad smaller but talks just as well as many of the green ones I have met. She is the sweetest bird. Only time she has been nippy was when there were certain toys in her cage. Once I remove the offending toy she goes back to being her normal sweet self. She is not hyper but very active.

hello! I`m new on this forum, my english is not so good, but I hope I can be understood
I wish to by a qp, and I want to know how is his behavior with other species, I already have an indianringneck and a pair of lovebirds especially with the ringneck



I always advice to keep quakers away from other species they are known for taking toes off other birds. Little and large.

I am not a risk taker. Many here are and have had no issues with quakers being around other birds. But working on a parrot farm with lots of breeders I have seen what birds can do to each other even when they have been together for many years.

#17 nelladeya

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 02:53 AM

thank you!:)
I need to think seriously if I`ll buy or not the cute bird that charmed me from a pet-shop`s cage
is not the space the problem, but my IRN is verry shy

#18 Marghala

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 09:53 AM

When you bring a newly weened quaker home, do you need to make sure that there are more perches closer to the ground? At that young age, are they climbing and able to balance well or do I need to make sure that everything is lower until he or she gets a little older. Also, what would be a good thing or the best thing to take to the breeder that the little girl could get use to so it could come home with her for more security? Do they like stuffed animals to cuddle with or is that a no no? Thanks in advance for answering all the questions I have. New to forum....thankful for it and should have my new baby home in about 4 more weeks. YEAH!!!



#19 marla76

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:42 PM

Is 8 years old too young for a quaker?
My daughter has been begging for quite a while and her 8th bday is soon.
My husband and I have already devoted our foyer to the "atrium style" cage as we don't use our front entrance and it offers plenty of light, has no vents, and is centered in the most active part of our home. I feel like I have done my homework on what to expect with the other pets in the home, and making the new bird a homey spot, but I am wondering what the temperment of these birds is like. I have already found one that I am quite attached to, but I don't want the bird or my daughter to be uncomfortable around one another.
They have not yet been introduced, as this is a surprise.

#20 Carrie~Anne

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 11:16 AM

When you bring a newly weened quaker home, do you need to make sure that there are more perches closer to the ground? At that young age, are they climbing and able to balance well or do I need to make sure that everything is lower until he or she gets a little older. Also, what would be a good thing or the best thing to take to the breeder that the little girl could get use to so it could come home with her for more security? Do they like stuffed animals to cuddle with or is that a no no? Thanks in advance for answering all the questions I have. New to forum....thankful for it and should have my new baby home in about 4 more weeks. YEAH!!!



Depending on how the bird is moving when it leaves the breeder, depends on if you should have the perches closer to the ground. Some birds are able to move around their cage with no difficulties, while others are still adjusting to perches and cage bars. So ask your breeder if your bird is able to move around the cage/perches with confidence.

You could take a 'birdie buddy'...a piece of fabric that is found in most bird stores. Or a teddy that has no eyes, or buttons, or things the QP might be able to chew off. The danger with this, is that they might bond with it as they grow older and that could lead to behavioral issues.


Is 8 years old too young for a quaker?
My daughter has been begging for quite a while and her 8th bday is soon.
My husband and I have already devoted our foyer to the "atrium style" cage as we don't use our front entrance and it offers plenty of light, has no vents, and is centered in the most active part of our home. I feel like I have done my homework on what to expect with the other pets in the home, and making the new bird a homey spot, but I am wondering what the temperment of these birds is like. I have already found one that I am quite attached to, but I don't want the bird or my daughter to be uncomfortable around one another.
They have not yet been introduced, as this is a surprise.



Personally, depending on how responsible the child is, I don't think 8 is too young. My youngest son was 8 when we got our first Quaker. However, you have to make sure that you take on the responsibility of making sure your daughter is doing the feeding/watering/changing cage papers every day. If you start getting too involved in the Quaker, or if she loses interest, the bird may quickly decide to bond with someone else, leaving your daughter without any Quaker love. We had this happen in our house about 3 to 5 months after we brought Max home and my boys were heartbroken when Max started to lunch at them and try to bite them. My 8 year old quickly gave up, as the bites DO hurt and he wanted none of that, while my 10 year old stuck to it and endured the bites (many of them bloody) and eventually won back Max's love.

Now if your daughter just wants a bird, then I may suggest starting with a Cockatiel or a Lineolated Parakeet (awesome little birds!!). They are more easy to handle, and bond fairly well to any one who will give them some attention.