Bought a Blue and Gold Macaw

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Hensley, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. Gary Hensley

    Gary Hensley Stunt Coordinator

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    After wanting one for many, mnay years I finally got myself a pet of my dreams.
    The girlfriend and I went to a Bird show in the Ft. Wayne area to buy a cage for a Macaw. We were in the process of contacting breeders for pricing and references. Didn't think we would get a bird for a few months so we just wanted to get the cage bought and out of the way.
    Out of the blue I bought the local Sunday news paper and lo and behold someone was selling a 4 month old Blue and Gold and they were only about 55 minutes away. We went and say the owner last night and after a few hours of talking we purchased the bird at a great price.
    Was a long day of driving (2+ hours each way to the bird show and then an hour each way to the owners) but it was well worth it.
    So far he is quiet and looks to be adjusting to his new cage, people and surroundings. I look forward to him getting comforable around us very soon! [​IMG]
     
  2. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Congrats Gary!
    I dont own any macaws but we have two blue fronts, one african grey and a moluccan cockatoo. They are all wonderfull pets. They've taken over my living room.[​IMG] [​IMG]
    Word of warning. If you havent owned a bird before, they can get very attached!!! My cockatoo will scream his beak off if I'm not in the same room.
    Be patient, read alot, ask questions and tou all will have a beatiful life long (50+ yrs) friend.
    Again congrats and enjoy.
    PS I've got some pics of mine at:
    http://www.renaissancecables.com/privateimages/
    Bill
     
  3. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

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  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  5. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    Macaws are such awesome birds! A bit more than I care to handle, though. My CAG and Senegal keep my hands full enough.
     
  6. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Macaws are awesome. If I were get one, I'd own a scarlet, greenwinged, or hyacinth. Too bad hyacinths are at least 10 grand. Blue and golds are beautiful birds too. I also love African greys, molluccan cockatoos, sulpher crested cockatoos(all sizes), umbrella cockatoos, yellow naped Amazons, bluefront Amazons, Pacific parrolets, peach faced lovebirds, budgies, and electus.

    Right now I have a bluefront Amazon and 5 budgies(the common parakeet to non-bird people). My Amazon(who I've written about here before) just threw a perch at one of my cats and scared the bejeezus out of it. He ain't afraid of anything. He'll chase my mom around the house. He's attacked all my dogs and cats. I have 2 boxers, 2 pugs, and a bassett hound, and 3 cats. So you can imagine their amazement when a 1 pound bird flies after them attacking the living shit out of them. Needless to say, he can walk around the house without them harming him. I'm the only one who can hold him, because he bites everyone else and they are afraid of him. Now he takes advantage of that, so no one but me can go near him. I showed him who's boss and that I wasn't afraid of him or his biting, and now he respects me.

    Just remember to find a good vet that specializes in avian medicine. Birds are very great at hiding illness, because it's an adaptation in the wild. They hide it in the wild so predators can't tell they're sick, and can't pick them out of the flock. By the time birds show illness alot, it can be too late. My Amazon was real sick, and my family and I never knew it till we took him to a vet a couple years ago. He had a severe bacterial infection, and a liver problem caused by too many peanuts and sunflowers. Luckily we healed him, due to giving him medicine and changinghis diet. We've had him 15 or 16 years, but don't know his true age, due to buying him from some woman who didn't want him anymore. Had him longer than any animal in the house, and longer than my sister.

    He's very amusing. He barks, growls, whistles, laughs, goes tsk tsk tsk, and says a bunch of stuff. It's weird that he never picked up meowing from the cats, because he growls and barks so well, we often think he's one of the dogs.

    For your macaw's diet I suggest you not feed it too many saunflowers and peanuts. Stuff that's good for your bird: chicken(yes this is good, gives them protein, and cook it so there isn't much fat), bread, pasta, fruits(no avacado or fruit seeds, these are poisonous), vegetables(no rhubarb, this is also poisonous), nuts( not many peanuts), pellets, parrot mix(make sure it doesn't contain too many sunflowers or peanuts), and similar stuff. You can give them chips, pizza(without the cheese, birds can't really digest dairy products), crackers, cookies, french fries, and some other human foods, but do so VERY sparingly. I stress very sparingly. You don't have to give them vitamin/mineral suppliments if you give them a varied and complete diet as possible. The main diet, IE 99% of it should/could include fruits, vegetables, breads, pasta, nuts, rice, parrot mix, parrot treats, chicken, and pellets. Trail mix is good too, epecially the type with dried fruit and rasins. I found my Amazon likes Cheez-It Party Mix, but I don't give him it often, due to the salt and spices. Mix and match, to see what your bird likes. And when you find out what it likes, give it that, so you don't waste money and food. You have to be vigilant with introducing new foods. The younger the bird, the easier it is to get it to try new foods.

    Always show the bird you aren't afraid, and that you are boss. It will end up knowing this. It can be good at first to give treats to the bird to get it it to trust you. Give it boundries. When it goes beyond them, scold it, but don't scare it because it'll set you back alot with training the bird. When it's good, give it lots of rewarding attention and treat them to a piece of food it loves. Socialize it with everyone who is gonna be a huge part of it's life. Otherwise it'll end up like my Amazon, only worse because it's bigger than my bird. I'd hate to be bitten by an angry macaw, those huge beaks could break a finger off. Just think about it, the beaks are meant to crack open huge nuts. We have a hard time opening walnuts, they can do it easily with the beak. my bird's bad enough in the biting department, I can't imagine how much a macaw bite hurts. If you want it to talk, be persistant, and keep repeating the words and phrases you want it to say. And remember, don't be discouraged if it never speaks, because not all parrots do. You may find your bird saying stuff that you find inapropriate, like fuck and bitch. They usually do this after they learned to mimic speach. They are also good at mimicing other sounds like birds outside, dogs, cats, telephones, stuff on TV, music, and such. Always be kind, but firm with the bird. Don't move fast around it, especially at first. Don't try to train it right now, give it at least a week or 2 to adjust to your home. Always talk softly when training, never yell. Don't show your frustration or anger, the bird might get scared and bite or fly away. It might also think that it angers you and it might stay away. Let it bite you, while it's doing so say "Don't Bite". it will eventually learn to stop 99% of the time. You gotta expect it to bite sometimes, but if you've trained it, it will knwo it did wrong and will say "Don't bite" and will stop because it knows it did wrong. Don't yell at it when it screams and screeches, this will make it worse. They think you are going along with it. Let it do it's thing and it will eventually stop. Sometimes if you give it it's favorite food, it'll stop screaming.

    Give it ample time out of the cage too. They need exercise like us. They are prone to obesity if just left in the cage. They also can become anti-social and bored. If they are bored, they tend to feather pluck. If you don't stop this early, it's pretty much impssible to stop, and they tend to do it for life, resulting in an off looking bird. Give plenty of toys to play with, but not too much as to restrict movement in the cage. Get at least 2 things of food and water dishes, so if one is being cleaned, you have an extra set.

    Sorry if you heard this all before, but I figured I'd give you advice from my experiences. take what you want, and discard whatever. Other people have different experiences with birds, and can offer different advice, mix whatever fits your life. Good luck with your bird. And remember macaws are generally the loudest pet parrots.

    If you have any other questions, ask me. Again, I'm sory if you've heard all this before.
     
  7. JamesMH

    JamesMH Stunt Coordinator

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    50 years in a small cage? I hope not, give it room to fly around. I thought they lived for almost 90 years, longer than owners.
     
  8. Gary Hensley

    Gary Hensley Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the info. You can never have to much of it and love to hear other peoples input.
    Pikko is doing great and has been absolutely perfect so far. He doesn't scream at all. A few nights ago he got loud for about 30 seconds when the phone and microwave both went off at the same time but other than that I have no complaints. Well, maybe one, HE POOPS WAY TO MUCH! [​IMG]
    My g/f is taking him to the vet today to get a full checkup and get tests. When I bought him I made the purchase contigent on a clean bill of health. I am not really worried, he seems happy and fine and looks to be in excellent shape.
    I am amazed on how quickly he has taken to me. The first night and next day he was very skittish about me touching him and him perching on my arm. He now does it quite willingly and will come close to me if I stand near him. My g/f just had her ACL reconstructed 4 weeks ago so she is staying home and he has taken to her really well too. No biting whatsover I think I really got a good one that will be very well tempered.
    As far as diet we have been feeding him lots of fruit and vegetables. We also have food pellets to round out his diet. Pikko loves grapes the best so far. I only plan on giving him nuts as treats and not part of his normal diet. He eats pretty much anything we give him. Supposedly they like broccoli but he doesn't. Really, that is the only thing I can think of that he won't eat.
    The girlfriend and I are going out of town overnight this weekend so her mother is going to stop by and check on him while we are gone. I want to get a few other people around him to see how he acts. Her parents have a golden retriever and two cats so we plan on taking the bird over there from time to time to play by the pool and get use to having other animals and people around.
    I completely agree about the getting them out of their cage. As intelligent as they are I feel it is very cruel not to let them have lots of free time. Since we have got him he has been out of his cage nearly all the time except at nights and while both of us are gone. I ordered a play gym from http://www.waynesparrotstuff.com/index.htm and should be receivng that in a few weeks. I looked around and although a bit more expensive then I wanted to spend I felt it was well worth the price knowing that it will keep him happy and entertained. The cage will be only used for sleep if things go right. The owner Wayne was a really nice guy, I talked to him for about 30 minutes and have heard very good things about his company from other people online.
    I ordered a new 4 mega-pixel camera a few days ago so I will post pictures ASAP.
     
  9. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Keeping a bird in a cage cruel????
    No. Most birds, including parrots, are prey rather than predator. They need to feel safe. Its also for there protection. There are thousands of harmful things in a normal household. Birds are curious, fast, and SMART. If they want something they are going to get it (usually without you seeing it until it is too late). Also there is the owner/pet relationship. You must remain in control.
     
  10. Gary Hensley

    Gary Hensley Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't mean that they should never be in their cage. I feel that keeping one locked up 23+ hours a day and only getting them out when you feel like it is wrong. I belive this is what causes them to get nasty, pluck their feathers and genearlly squak and make tons of noise.
    I agree they can get into a lot of mischief. I am making sure he never gets near my home theater stuff. I could imagine what his beak would do to my Pronto! [​IMG]
     
  11. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Most parrots could do damage to home theater stuff, especially larger parrots. They could break DVDs and laserdics in half, break VHS casings and rip up the tape, chew wire and get electricuted, etc. You can train them not to go near the stuff. Parrots are notorious chewers.
     
  12. Gary Hensley

    Gary Hensley Stunt Coordinator

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    Finally got my new Kodak DX4900 Digital Camera and snapped a few pictures of my handsome devil [​IMG]
    Pic #1
    Pic #2
    Pic #3
     
  13. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Gorgeous!!!!

    Hope he's doing well.

    Bill
     
  14. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I wonder if he would perch on the handlebar of the R1 and go for a spin with you [​IMG]
     
  15. JamesMH

    JamesMH Stunt Coordinator

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    I've seen pix of a guy who had a pet Macaw, he used to cycles miles, the bird used to go with him, fly along side.
    Macaws are very smart, you can train them if you take the time.
    Bill, seems like you don't like animals. [​IMG]
     
  16. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    Gary,

    What a great looking bird! I don't think I've ever seen a better kept macaw.

    I pretty much agree with everything Bill_W wrote, it's precisely in keeping with the advice of expert parrot keepers/fanciers. A little extra out of cage time is nice for large birds, but only with good supervision-it sounds like that's taken care of. Johnnie, my CAG, sometimes prefers to stay in, even when I open the cage door.

    The idea of a large flighted bird may seem great, but it is not consistent with indoor living. Ceiling fans, the stove, the toilet and sinks, power cords, windows-these are just a few mortal dangers of flighted pet birds. It is also wise to assume that a flighted bird will escape at some point, and then prospects for survival are just slightly better than nil.
     
  17. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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  18. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  19. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Phillip,
    PITA - Pain In The Ass
    You got that huh?[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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