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Old 11-27-2012, 07:49 AM
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Question Scarlet: do's and don'ts

I introduced scarlet in another thread...

What are the do's & don'ts for a young macaw?

She steps up and already says hello

What is the best beak training method?
(I've read a stern no, grabbing the beak and saying no, placing the bird back in cage or on the floor.)

I believe the breeder may have allowed her on shoulders. She tries very hard to get on my shoulder. I tell her no and move her away from my chest I try to explain to her that we don't know each other well enough for that. We need more trust in each other. Plus I value my ears. She was so persistent yesterday I just put her on the floor for a couple minutes.

What are the "best" practices for a happy life with a macaw?
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:23 PM
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Re: Scarlet: do's and don'ts

Wow 43 people do not have a view of raising a young well adjusted macaw
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:57 PM
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Re: Scarlet: do's and don'ts

hi, i don't own a macaw, but i may be able to help. my bird used to try to get to my shoulder too. he even crawled down my shirt and out my sleeve while trying to get to my shoulder lol. i just had him step up, and when he tried to get to my shoulder, i had him step up again a few times. give him something to occupy him so he's less inclined to try to get to your shoulder. give him treats or a toy and keep him busy. you could also teach him a trick and cue it when he goes for your shoulder as a way of distracting him. another thing you could do is clicker train him. that way if he gets to your shoulder, you could lead him down without getting bitten. as for biting, don't grab his beak. young parrots see that as a way of playing, so by doing that you would be rewarding the behavior. also, some parrots love the floor or can be more aggressive on the floor, it depends on the bird. i used to think putting them on the floor was the way to go, but my parrot loves it so it doesn't work for him. when my parrot bites, i have him step up 3 times. this teaches him that whenever he bites, he has to do tedious work, it also teaches control but in a gentle way. it is very important not to react to a bite by quickly pulling away and screaming. this becomes a sort of game for the parrot and they will bite more often. as hard as it is, just clench your jaw, stay calm, and gently pull away. gently blowing in the birds face can get them to let go also. to reprimand the biting, look them right in the eye and give them a really mean look and very sternly say "no". then i kinda give them the cold shoulder for a few minutes before playing and being friendly with them again. if the bird is over excited (feathers fluffed, tail fanned, eyes pinning) then just put them on a play stand for a little while so he can cool down. do not yell or hit your bird. hitting destroys trust, and some birds love noise and will yell with you. socialize him while he's young. introduce him to new people, let others play with him while supervised, expose him to a variety of people, objects, foods, and places. give him fresh fruits, veggies and pellets. macaws need more fat than other birds so give him nuts in the shell a few times a week. palm, Brazil, almond, and macadamia nuts are good choices. let him out for a few hours every day and make sure he gets at least 10 hours of undisturbed sleep every night. it is also important to teach them to play independantly so they dont become too needy. mist him with plain, clean, warm water every other day, and let him dry in a warm place. i wouldn't let him on top of his cage, some macaws get sassy up there and wont listen. set boundaries and rules (shoulder or no shoulder, step up when asked, go back to cage when asked, no biting, how much beak pressure during play ect.) and stick to them. macaws are are always testing our limits, especially during adolescence. also if you have a scarlet macaw, they are known for gently pinching you in a mischievous way. this shouldn't be interpreted as aggression, but take care and decide how much pressure is too much so it doesn't become a biting behavior. if you stick to your guns, and lead with a firm but gentle hand, your macaw will grow up to be a wonderful friend! good luck!
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Last edited by ann; 11-27-2012 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:49 PM
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Re: Scarlet: do's and don'ts

Ann, thank you very much.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:08 PM
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Re: Scarlet: do's and don'ts

It's funny, my B&G and my Catalina want to be on nothing but my right arm. You cannot make either of them go to or step off onto your shoulder. My Scarlet wants to be only on my left shoulder and will not stay on your forearm
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