Note: We do not breed quakers anymore, however often have knowledge of
other breeders. If you REALLY want a baby, let us know.
Species: The Quaker parrot, also known as the Quaker parakeet,
also known as the Monk parrot or parakeet. Scientifically known as Myiopsitta monachus.
Origin: South America, including parts of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay,
Bolivia and Uruguay. Escaped, feral birds have also established themselves in parts of the US, particularly in Florida, but
also in scattered cities as far north as Chicago and New York.
Size: Around 11"; weight range is 85-150 grams, but the "average" Quaker is
about 90-120 grams. Quakers are about the size of a large cockatiel, but have a stockier build.
Life span: Barring accident or disease, a Quaker can be expected to live around
Price: Quakers are relatively inexpensive; expect to pay around $200-$300
from a breeder depending on where you live and whom you buy from. Birds from pet shops average a little higher, from
Diet: A base diet of pellets is ideal; there's various brands to choose from
(Kaytee Exact, Pretty Bird, Roudybush, Harrison's, and Zupreem just to name a few), but it doesn't really matter, and young
Quakers are not usually picky. Quakers will eat either a cockatiel sized pellet or a larger parrot sized pellet; some
birds prefer one over the other. Besides pellets, a wide variety of other foods should be offered; fruits, vegetables,
breads and grains, and some seeds as well, although seeds should not form a large part of the diet. The more variety
in the diet, the better.
Cages/Supplies: Quakers require relatively large cages, the larger the better
of course. Preferably at least 18" x 18" x 24". Look for a sturdy, easy-to-clean cage that you have every reason
to believe will last your bird's entire lifetime; be prepared to spend some money. Quakers have a tendancy to be territorial
and nippy around "their" space, and this is usually their cage. To prevent this, try providing a "bedroom" area within
the cage; a Happy Hut, sleeping box or similar product is ideal. The idea is to allow the bird to have their space to
be territorial around, but not have that space be the entire cage. Quakers usually love toys, however many are not as
rowdy and acrobatic with their toys as conures are - there are exceptions to this. Get your Quaker used to a variety
of toys at a young age, or they're liable to be afraid of them later in life. A good playstand or playgym type thing
equipped with food dishes and toy hooks is a wonderful thing; it's just someplace to keep your bird when he's not in his cage
and you don't want him right on you, as well as additional space to explore and play in.
Grooming/Care: Quakers are bath-loving birds as a species, and the Quaker
that doesn't like bathes is the Quaker that wasn't socialized to them at a young age. Most Quakers prefer "bathtub-style"
baths; fill a pie dish or similarly-sized container with about an inch to an inch and a half of water that's just slightly
cool to the touch. Encourage your bird by shaking your hand in the water. Never place a bird in the water unless
he's comfortable with that, and never hold your bird in the water when he wants to get out; this defeats the purpose by making
the bath a thing to fear. Some Quakers prefer "shower-style" baths, involving a spray-bottle that has a "mist" setting.
Spray the water over the bird, so that the mist floats down like rain; don't spray directly onto the bird, unless he seems
to want you to (most dislike this). If he acts scared or avoids the spray, leave him alone; if he sits and ignores it,
you might as well keep spraying. Some Quakers like to join their owners in the shower. Baths should be given as
often as the bird wants them; sometimes as often as everyday, sometimes only once a week or less. Bathing is an essential,
but often ignored part of bird care; it does wonders for a bird's feathers and skin, as well as providing entertainment, and
can help to prevent or even cure feather plucking.
Personality: Quakers have a kind of self-assured, "loud" personality. They're
the kind of bird that will always let you know what they're thinking. They aren't quite as playful and cuddly as the
conures, or quite as gentle and sweet as the Poicephalus (Senegals, Meyers etc.) but they have all of those characteristics
in one package, along with the talking ability and the "I know what I want" attitude of an Amazon. Quakers can be stubborn,
and rather exasperating birds. They're extremely smart in a clever sort of way, and have a definate sense of humor.
They can be nippy and downright mean if they're not properly socialized and/or have decided they don't want people near "their"
space or talking/touching/looking at "their" human(s). They have definate opinions on all subjects and will willingly
let you know what they think, whether you care to hear or not. At the same time, Quakers are exceptionally loyal birds
and love their "chosen" with all their heart; they are big sweethearts and always want to be near you, loving you, cuddling
you (well, except when they're not in the mood...). They're adventuresome but always ready to run back to mommy should
things take a scary turn. They're bullies with birds smaller than themselves but usually scared of or perfectly accepting
of birds their size or larger. Properly socialized, Quakers get along with a variety of people, and make good kids'
pets (with lots of supervision); not properly socialized, they may hate everyone but "their" person.
Noise leval: Quakers can be very noisy birds. I qualify this statement
by saying that the noisiest Quakers I've ever heard, still don't reach the volume and "screechiness" of a Sun or Nanday conure.
They can, however, be very loud. Quakers love noise; that's what makes them good talkers. But not all of their
noise is talking, and they will make a variety of louder noises, some of which can be quite annoying. If you or your
close neighbors are very noise-sensitive, a Quaker may not be for you. However, most Quakers are not as loud as they
*can* be. A single pet Quaker will be much quieter than a pair of Quakers, because a single pet Quaker will talk back
and forth with you, whereas a pair will YELL back and forth to each other. If your Quaker is being particularly noisy,
talk to him in an excited but low-volume voice and encourage him to talk instead of screech; in most cases they will want
to "go with the flock" and mimic you. On the other hand, daily "screech fests" during periods of the day when it won't
bother family or neighbors, will allow your bird to express himself the way nature intended!
Talking ability: Quakers are probably the best talkers among the mid-sized
birds, although there's a few others that come close, including Indian Ringnecks and certain individual conures. But,
there's few birds that can be counted on to talk like a Quaker; it's very rare to hear of a Quaker that doesn't speak at least
one or two words. Some become very good, and most will say their words in context ("hi" when you come in, "good night"
when you cover the cage etc.), just so long as that's the way it was taught to them.