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Old 09-20-2013, 09:07 PM
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My new GW Pepper

Well so far so good. I picked up Pepper this past weekend. He's a really sweet Mac and very silly personality. I'm glad I got him. However, I believe he has been mostly on a seed diet and is too thin. I don't have him near Duke my BG. This history the people gave me is, they bought him from a mega pet store in May 2013, he was being sold because his owner was serving overseas in the military and his mother was scared of him and only putting food and water in the cage so he told her to find a good home for him. He's 5 years old. They have taken him to an Avian Vet shortly after getting him, he was sexed male, and had blood work done that says he's was healthy. Since the family bought him in May, they have had a change of some type and didn't have time or couldn't take care of him. They seemed afraid of him, which I don't understand as he steps up, even to my hand inside his cage?? He waves, talks a little, loves his head rubbed and under his wings scratched. Already took him in the shower with me, he was fine. What is there to be afraid of....am I missing something?

I am a bit worried about his weight. I went ahead and bought Harrison food, treats and bread mix. I'm not sure if he's interested in it? I went ahead and mixed it in with the Zupreem i have for my AG. It looks to me like he is missing some of his feathers on his belly and legs, but in many pictures I see it looks like maybe some GW look that way, is that possible? I don't see him preening excessively. I'm very new to owning Macaws, like weeks and now have 2. Things have been going really well with both, to the point it's making me worry I must be doing something wrong. If they don't like the Harrison food any suggestions to what else I should try next? Also, what can I do to encourage Pepper to keep talking to me?Attachment 8741

Last edited by Lis; 10-20-2013 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:59 AM
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Re: My new GW Pepper

Lis, I don't have any helpful advice, having never owned a Macaw before. I just wanted to tell you congrats on Pepper. He is exquisitely gorgeous!
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:15 AM
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Re: My new GW Pepper

Need a little more clear picture to see the feather situation!

Whenever you bring home a new bird, it is best to let them eat their existing food until they're well adjusted before changing their diet right away. That can stress them out over the edge. I highly doubt he would be under weight if he was on an all seeds diet. I just wonder if they didn't fed him enough. Unless you've already got him eating the pellets then stick to it, if not change it back for the time being and make sure he gets plenty of food.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:32 AM
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Re: My new GW Pepper

Thx MikeyTN I will try to post a pic of the front of Pepper. I have been mixing the Harrison food in with the mixed seeds he had and some Brazilian and cashew nuts I added. Maybe he just wasn't getting enough. You can easily feel the bone on his belly. So how do you feel about all seed diets then? Just curious? He seems like he's a sweet bird. Thx
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:45 PM
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Re: My new GW Pepper

The problem with all seeds diet is our indoor birds don't get enough exercise to burn them off so it gets stored as excess fat and hence the reason for fatty liver disease and such. Pellets are formulated diets that's more balanced that you don't have the issue you would be having. If you give your bird daily freedom to fly an all seeds diet along with the fresh stuffs would be fine. I have tested this in the past long ago when my birds got sick and couldn't gain their weight back on pellets. So I'm hand feeding them at the same time with high protein foods. Then I switched to seeds they all gain their weight back pretty soon after that.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:12 PM
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Re: My new GW Pepper

Lis, MANY congrats on bringing home Pepper!!

You said you think he's too thin. Is his keel bone protruding? Have you taken him to get checked by an avian vet? What's his weight (even though GWs weights can vary quite a bit)?
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:31 PM
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Re: My new GW Pepper

MikelyTN, thanks for the info. I always thought besides the fat it wouldn't meet all their vitamin requirements either. Well I've gone back to adding more of what Pepper came with and just making sure he always has plenty to eat.

JerseyWendy, yes his keel bone is protruding a little. He just feels thin to me. I haven't taken him yet. The people I got him from had him to an avian vet in their area, but I'm going to try and get him in here this week. He's a really sweet boy, I had him out front today playing. He seemed to love it. Kept saying Hi, Peekaboo, is that good? This isn't a great picture, but you can kind of see how patchy his feathers are in spots on his belly. He loves lifting his winds to have me rub under them too, which gave me a chance to see in the daylight how patchy he seems and skinny too.

I'm just worried, as I've been reading this board everyone talks about all the difficulty and experience you need to have before getting a Mac. I just don't want to do something wrong that ends up turning them into neurotic Mac's is all. lol I'm grateful they don't' have any cage aggression, and seem fine with me having them step up from inside their cages. Only a couple of times has Duke turned to act like he wasn't interested in coming with me when I came to get him. I just shut the cage and left the room, with in 5 min my husband was saying why is he making that noise...I said I think he changed his mind about stepping up. Went back and he was ready to go happily so we went for a walk. Please any help or advice would be appreciated.
Thanks so much Melissa

Last edited by Lis; 10-14-2013 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:43 PM
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Re: My new GW Pepper

I got my GW mac at 12 years old.

At the time, she hadn't been handled in 8 years, and spent those 8 years "doing life" in solitary. They were afraid of her...

It took me a grand total of 4 days to totally retrain her. She has never bitten anyone. I love her to death, and she has become my most bonded bird...

Sound familiar? Glad this bird found a new owner who understands big macs! Enjoy!!!

P.S. Most macs are not neurotic... this bird's feathers are fine. If he was neurotic, he'd pluck.

Macs are hardy. Getting handled again, and good food again will be all it takes. And GW's are one of the best macs out there...

Last edited by Birdman666; 09-21-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:10 PM
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"Larry Bird" Quaker, 12 years "Mogul" CAG 17 years "Duke" B&G Macaw 22 years "Pepper" GW Macaw 6 years
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Re: My new GW Pepper

Quote: Originally Posted by Birdman666 View Post
I got my GW mac at 12 years old.

At the time, she hadn't been handled in 8 years, and spent those 8 years "doing life" in solitary. They were afraid of her...

It took me a grand total of 4 days to totally retrain her. She has never bitten anyone. I love her to death, and she has become my most bonded bird...

Sound familiar? Glad this bird found a new owner who understands big macs! Enjoy!!!

P.S. Most macs are not neurotic... this bird's feathers are fine. If he was neurotic, he'd pluck.

Macs are hardy. Getting handled again, and good food again will be all it takes. And GW's are one of the best macs out there...
Lol I didn't mean to sound like macs are neurotic...I don't want to be one of those peoples that turns a great Mac neurotic. I have had Duke 2 weeks and Pepper 1 week, they are so wonderful.

I don't know that I will try to flight train Pepper, but I have bought a harness for going out. I haven't tried to go near him with it except I carry it in my hand while we walk around the yard so he gets use to seeing it when we go out. Any suggestion about using it and if so how long till he gets comfortable with it?

Thank you
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Old 09-21-2013, 09:45 PM
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Re: My new GW Pepper

There are mixed reviews with harness training. I have had great success with josie. I had never had a big bird before her and I had her in the harness within a month of having her. Before I even bought the harness. I taught her 'stick em up' so should already knew how to lift her wings. I also made sure to pet her back, under her wings when she put them up for stick em up and under her beak. Her original harness was blue and she never gave me a problem putting it over her head. She outgrew that one and they accidentally sent me a purple one and instead of sending it back, I used it. Apparently, purple is not her favorite color and she threw a fit. So, in order to get this one over her head, I lay it out on the floor and put her on her back and just slip it over her head. It works like a charm. The only problem she gives me now is when I start to loosen it to take it off. She knows that is not what she wants so she gets mouthy. So, as silly as it sounds, be sure to buy the harness in a color your bird likes so it doesn't bring out some aggression. Good luck!
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