As tempting and entertaining as it may be taking your new found friend out of his cage every few minutes the first few days to play with and admire him is the first and most serious mistake most new owners make. Contrary to belief, owning a happy, well adjusted Quaker does not mean spending all your time holding, babying, talking, and playing with them. This giving of constant personal attention to your bird will become expected behavior, at least as far as he is concerned, and he may verbalize his unhappiness in different ways when your frequent visits and personal handling taper off.
Spending too much time with your bird can create a demanding, overprotective Quaker with lots of behavioral problems. He may become despondent, lonely, and depressed. He may become aggravated and manifest physical signs of his unhappiness such as general feather plucking, chewing his tail feathers off, or pulling his crop feathers out. He may also become very vocal and scream incessantly for attention. This does not mean that you have chosen the “wrong’ bird! It does mean that you need to educate yourself on why your bird is behaving in such a manner, and investigate what actions you can take to try to correct the situation as soon as possible. Ideally, you should know how to train, socialize and nurture a Quaker before you even bring him home.
In the wild, the ultimate goal of the parents is to create a chick that is independent and self sustaining. In captivity, our birds will always depend on us for their care. However, we must take responsibility for assisting in creating a bird that can be independent enough to at least entertain itself at various times without being destructive. If the owner does nothing but cuddle his or her Quaker for hours at a time then as the bird matures the owner will probably experience serious behavioral problems such as the ones mentioned above.