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Macaw Care

Guest Author - Diana Geiger

Housing
Cages need to be secure and big. The cage must be big enough for a bird to stretch his wings. Always buy a cage with a playpen on the top of the cage so the bird can have freedom when being supervised. Or, you can use a separate parrot stand. Make certain sure it is a strong, sturdy cage with a good lock.

Most macaws WILL learn to open any lock. Many times I have seen them figure out a new lock! Rectangular and square cages are much better than a round cage. The macaw needs perches of various thicknesses for healthy foot development.

If your bird has behavioral problems you may want to forego the cage with a playpen on top. Buy a stand-a-lone playpen or build one. You want the bird lower than you are.

Diet & Health Issues
The basic diet should be a special pellet formulated especially for macaws. These pellets should be supplemented with any healthy food that you eat. They can have fruit, pasta, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cooked beans, hot peppers, bell peppers. Pretty much anything healthy that you eat can be feed to your macaw. Our birds ate for dinner whatever we were having for dinner. Fruit is their favorite treat. They should be provided with a cuttlebone and a mineral block.

Keeping a macaw healthy is a complex issue. Advanced research is necessary before buying a macaw. Toenails need to be trimmed. The wing feathers may need to be trimmed so he doesn't escape. You could accidentally cut a blood feather and the bird can bleed out very quickly.

Keep Your Bird Healthy and Active
Macaws are intelligent and complex. The need for toys is immense. Boredom is unhealthy for a macaw and can be fatal. Puzzle toys made for the destructive macaws are great. There are interactive toys where a nut needs to be extracted. Chew toys are needed for these chew happy birds. Anything new and different that is safe for a macaw. Anything that you can find that will confound the macaw for a little while; because it doesn't take long for them to figure out each new game or puzzle. They love to interact with you. He loved his head scratched and soon would ask for a scratch in his well articulated, but nasally voice. We learned many games together. We spent countless hours on the floor playing.

Macaws need a great deal of specialize attention. It is not a good pet for someone that cannot devote his or her entire life to him or her. The macaw is very different from other pets, and each macaw is different from another macaw. Each one is unique!

Riker, the opinionated macaw hated bugs. He would turn his head to one side and with one eye watch a bug crawling up the wall. I called this giving the bug the hairy eyeball. All the while he is yelling, BUG, MOM, MOM! BUG!! If a bug was on the floor, he'd go the other way. Strange bird, Riker was!
Make sure you give this considerable thought and plan in advance should anything happen to you. If you and your significant other have chosen not to have children because you don't have time, you don't have the time to spend with a macaw either. They are very noisy. They are destructive!

Learn more about the macaw Introduction to the macaw The Macaw



Baby Hyacinth Macaws courtesy of Cedar Hills Birds Lodi, California


Diana Geiger Exotic Pets Editoron


The Parrot Problem Solver [Hardcover] and Kindle!


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Content copyright © 2014 by Diana Geiger. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diana Geiger. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Jan Wagner for details.

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