Bringing home adult macaws

kylahbecker

New member
Oct 11, 2021
4
4
Parrots
Scarlet Macaws
Hi all!
I'm going to be bringing home a bonded pair of adult macaws on Friday. I have no idea how old they are yet, and I have never met them. I'm sure this will cause stress to the birds, but their current handler needs them gone quickly. She made it very clear to me that they are not pets, she simply bought them to breed them and no longer plans to. I can imagine they've spent WAY too much time in their cages because of this. I've handled stubborn or mean parrots before (conures and amazons) but I've never met a neglected Macaw. I'm quite nervous if I'm honest! I'm creating a very large space for them this week (their own bedroom) as well as safe spaces for them throughout our home, and an outdoor area once the weather cooperates. I plan to give them some space to adjust, take them to the vet, and hopefully begin bonding. I'm wondering what the best order/process would be to achieve these things? I really want to make this transition as easy as possible for these beautiful creatures, but I fear they may not handle the rapid changes well.
 

foxgloveparrot

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2021
1,038
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3
1,098
Indiana
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Jasper (yellow-naped amazon) Lilla (senegal parrot) Ziggy and Kai (budgies) Cricket (parrotlet)
Congrats! You're going to be a macaw parent! Spoil them rotten :)
Every aspect of bird care is very important, so all those things you want to do don't NEED to come in an order. However, I think a vet visit is a necessity and should happen ASAP. If you feel they need space to adjust, do that before bonding. And take it slow! They might not handle these changes all at once. So do what is right for your macaws.
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,006
1,663
Western, Michigan
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DYH Amazon
STOP: Set an Appointment with your Avian Medial Professional as part of you first picking-up the Macs and on your way home, stop at the Vets Clinic for a complete NEW PARROT examination with Blood Tests, etc...

This as you may likely not be able to load them back into their travel cage at anytime in the near future!!

No money exchanges hands until the VET Visit!!
 

Bekki

Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2021
40
31
Parrots
Loki - Sun Conure
Mango - Sun Conure
Ruby - Camelot Macaw
Hi all!
I'm going to be bringing home a bonded pair of adult macaws on Friday. I have no idea how old they are yet, and I have never met them. I'm sure this will cause stress to the birds, but their current handler needs them gone quickly. She made it very clear to me that they are not pets, she simply bought them to breed them and no longer plans to. I can imagine they've spent WAY too much time in their cages because of this. I've handled stubborn or mean parrots before (conures and amazons) but I've never met a neglected Macaw. I'm quite nervous if I'm honest! I'm creating a very large space for them this week (their own bedroom) as well as safe spaces for them throughout our home, and an outdoor area once the weather cooperates. I plan to give them some space to adjust, take them to the vet, and hopefully begin bonding. I'm wondering what the best order/process would be to achieve these things? I really want to make this transition as easy as possible for these beautiful creatures, but I fear they may not handle the rapid changes well.
I'm a little late responding, but I wanted to chime in! Welcome - this is a great place to get a variety of advice. First, how did it go? Were you able to get them into a vet? What have you noticed in the first days of having them? Also, have you ever owned birds before? Do you have any pictures?
 
OP
K

kylahbecker

New member
Oct 11, 2021
4
4
Parrots
Scarlet Macaws
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
I'm a little late responding, but I wanted to chime in! Welcome - this is a great place to get a variety of advice. First, how did it go? Were you able to get them into a vet? What have you noticed in the first days of having them? Also, have you ever owned birds before? Do you have any pictures?

Thanks for your response! Unfortunately I live in an area where there are very few avian specialists throughout my state, I'll have to travel 2 hours to take them (this Thursday).



It's going much better than expected! The female (Greta, age 20) didn't wanna come out of her carrier. Didn't want much to do with food. LOVES pistachios though, so I pushed my luck a bit with her and coaxed her into her cage. The male (Nigel, age 23) was giving me flirty faces and being absolutely adorable, had no problem coming out and standing on his perch until bedtime, very little trouble going back into his cage other than not wanting to be touched.



The next day, complete opposite response from them. Greta was a little nervous still, but she was dancing, talking, and extremely curious about everything. Because she was acting so interested, I decided to try and work with her rather than give her space. I only got as far showing her that my hand isn't for hurting. But she will not touch my hand if it isn't covered with fabric. Nigel, on the other hand, is terrified of EVERYTHING except the dogs. Perches, blankets, clothing, water bottles, you name it. Poor guy. He kept showing me his foot opening and closing, I thought he was telling me he wanted to step up? But everytime I tried he spooked.



On the 3rd day, they started off the day immediately asking for my attention. Because I'm trying to give them a routine, I refilled their bowls and walked away. When I came back a few hours later, Greta was practically begging to come out. I did the same thing with her that I had the day before, only this time when she stepped up, I was able to move around. She climbed my arm (she really doesn't like hands) and sat on my shoulder for a while. Nigel still won't come out.



Yesterday, Greta was acting even more interested in my world. She was copying me word for word, asking for "yummy", and dancing everytime I asked if she wanted a kiss (because apparently they both give kisses now lol). I think Nigel is learning that Greta is safe with me, so he is too. He's acting much less skittish when I move around his cage. I can walk up to him and pet him without freaking him out.



I've cared for quite a few birds, including parakeets, finches, cockatiels, a conure, a Macaw, and an American Crow. But the parakeets and the American Crow were the only birds that were actually mine. And the macaw I cared for (my aunts) is already trained. So honestly I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to training. Hopefully I'm doing okay.



I'm about to get up for the day, so we'll see how today goes! Also... They think my name is Lara. It's not my name, nor their previous owners, and she doesn't have kids either. I have absolutely no idea why they call me Lara. But all day I hear "Goodmorning Lara", "Hi Lara", "Lara, come back". And occasionally Nigel will yell at my dogs to let him out 🤣

I'm a little late responding, but I wanted to chime in! Welcome - this is a great place to get a variety of advice. First, how did it go? Were you able to get them into a vet? What have you noticed in the first days of having them? Also, have you ever owned birds before? Do you have any pictures?

It's going much better than expected! The female (Greta, age 20) didn't wanna come out of her carrier. Didn't want much to do with food. LOVES pistachios though, so I pushed my luck a bit with her and coaxed her into her cage. The male (Nigel, age 23) was giving me flirty faces and being absolutely adorable, had no problem coming out and standing on his perch until bedtime, very little trouble going back into his cage other than not wanting to be touched.

The next day, complete opposite response from them. Greta was a little nervous still, but she was dancing, talking, and extremely curious about everything. Because she was acting so interested, I decided to try and work with her rather than give her space. I only got as far showing her that my hand isn't for hurting. But she will not touch my hand if it isn't covered with fabric. Nigel, on the other hand, is terrified of EVERYTHING except the dogs. Perches, blankets, clothing, water bottles, you name it. Poor guy. He kept showing me his foot opening and closing, I thought he was telling me he wanted to step up? But everytime I tried he spooked.

On the 3rd day, they started off the day immediately asking for my attention. Because I'm trying to give them a routine, I refilled their bowls and walked away. When I came back a few hours later, Greta was practically begging to come out. I did the same thing with her that I had the day before, only this time when she stepped up, I was able to move around. She climbed my arm (she really doesn't like hands) and sat on my shoulder for a while. Nigel still won't come out.

Yesterday, Greta was acting even more interested in my world. She was copying me word for word, asking for "yummy", and dancing everytime I asked if she wanted a kiss (because apparently they both give kisses now lol). I think Nigel is learning that Greta is safe with me, so he is too. He's acting much less skittish when I move around his cage. I can walk up to him and pet him without freaking him out.

I've cared for quite a few birds, including parakeets, finches, cockatiels, a conure, a Macaw, and an American Crow. But the parakeets and the American Crow were the only birds that were actually mine. And the macaw I cared for (my aunts) is already trained. So honestly I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to training. Hopefully I'm doing okay.

I'm about to get up for the day, so we'll see how today goes! Also... They think my name is Lara. It's not my name, nor their previous owners, and she doesn't have kids either. I have absolutely no idea why they call me Lara. But all day I hear "Goodmorning Lara", "Hi Lara", "Lara, come back". And occasionally Nigel will yell at my dogs to let him out 🤣

Pics attached, Greta on left and Nigel on right. *these are the cages they came with, I am buying them more appropriately sized cages this week. They also have their own play room*
 

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Bekki

Supporting Member
Mar 31, 2021
40
31
Parrots
Loki - Sun Conure
Mango - Sun Conure
Ruby - Camelot Macaw
It's going much better than expected! The female (Greta, age 20) didn't wanna come out of her carrier. Didn't want much to do with food. LOVES pistachios though, so I pushed my luck a bit with her and coaxed her into her cage. The male (Nigel, age 23) was giving me flirty faces and being absolutely adorable, had no problem coming out and standing on his perch until bedtime, very little trouble going back into his cage other than not wanting to be touched.

The next day, complete opposite response from them. Greta was a little nervous still, but she was dancing, talking, and extremely curious about everything. Because she was acting so interested, I decided to try and work with her rather than give her space. I only got as far showing her that my hand isn't for hurting. But she will not touch my hand if it isn't covered with fabric. Nigel, on the other hand, is terrified of EVERYTHING except the dogs. Perches, blankets, clothing, water bottles, you name it. Poor guy. He kept showing me his foot opening and closing, I thought he was telling me he wanted to step up? But everytime I tried he spooked.

On the 3rd day, they started off the day immediately asking for my attention. Because I'm trying to give them a routine, I refilled their bowls and walked away. When I came back a few hours later, Greta was practically begging to come out. I did the same thing with her that I had the day before, only this time when she stepped up, I was able to move around. She climbed my arm (she really doesn't like hands) and sat on my shoulder for a while. Nigel still won't come out.

Yesterday, Greta was acting even more interested in my world. She was copying me word for word, asking for "yummy", and dancing everytime I asked if she wanted a kiss (because apparently they both give kisses now lol). I think Nigel is learning that Greta is safe with me, so he is too. He's acting much less skittish when I move around his cage. I can walk up to him and pet him without freaking him out.

I've cared for quite a few birds, including parakeets, finches, cockatiels, a conure, a Macaw, and an American Crow. But the parakeets and the American Crow were the only birds that were actually mine. And the macaw I cared for (my aunts) is already trained. So honestly I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to training. Hopefully I'm doing okay.

I'm about to get up for the day, so we'll see how today goes! Also... They think my name is Lara. It's not my name, nor their previous owners, and she doesn't have kids either. I have absolutely no idea why they call me Lara. But all day I hear "Goodmorning Lara", "Hi Lara", "Lara, come back". And occasionally Nigel will yell at my dogs to let him out 🤣

Pics attached, Greta on left and Nigel on right. *these are the cages they came with, I am buying them more appropriately sized cages this week. They also have their own play room*
They are beautiful, and you seem to have everything well in hand!! I recently took in a very young macaw (named Ruby), and yours are already showing much better behavior and interaction than her! The fear of hands isn't uncommon. Also, Ruby is a great big chicken about everything, but she's starting to come out of that as her trust grows. It's taken me 5 and 1/2 months to be able to pet Ruby, and your Firechickens are already letting you pet them! It gives me hope for Ruby's social interactions as she gets older.

I say continue with your current plan, and reach out to the group with any questions or even just to provide updates and moments of pride. I know I enjoy reading them and especially enjoy photos or videos.
 

InheritedBOZZEE

New member
Sep 2, 2021
2
5
Belligham
Parrots
Blue and Gold Macaw (20-25 years old)
This thread gave me so much hope, I've been so nervous about Bozz moving in and being her only option with in the family. I cant wait until she moves in and I can share with the group in such a way as this. <3
 
OP
K

kylahbecker

New member
Oct 11, 2021
4
4
Parrots
Scarlet Macaws
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
This thread gave me so much hope, I've been so nervous about Bozz moving in and being her only option with in the family. I cant wait until she moves in and I can share with the group in such a way as this. <3
I'm excited for you! I was very nervous too, as I was told "they're not pets. They're not friendly. Don't expect them to be nice"! I think the hardest part now is trying not to take it personally when Greta chooses my husband over me LOL.
 
OP
K

kylahbecker

New member
Oct 11, 2021
4
4
Parrots
Scarlet Macaws
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
They are beautiful, and you seem to have everything well in hand!! I recently took in a very young macaw (named Ruby), and yours are already showing much better behavior and interaction than her! The fear of hands isn't uncommon. Also, Ruby is a great big chicken about everything, but she's starting to come out of that as her trust grows. It's taken me 5 and 1/2 months to be able to pet Ruby, and your Firechickens are already letting you pet them! It gives me hope for Ruby's social interactions as she gets older.

I say continue with your current plan, and reach out to the group with any questions or even just to provide updates and moments of pride. I know I enjoy reading them and especially enjoy photos or videos.
Thank you! Building trust with Nigel will probably take a long time. He was clearly abused (we watched the previous owner manhandle him and threaten him with her cane). I can't get anywhere near him with a jacket on, and I also can't scoop him with a perch because they resemble canes. It's tough, because I need to get him out of his tiny cage, and he desperately wants out, but reaching in terrifies him. That's why I'm using a chopstick to touch train with him. It's like a tiny stick, so hopefully he learns that it's about me and not the object. It's a fine line between torturing him with something he's afraid of and showing him he doesn't need to be afraid 😔 Does seem to be working though. I was able to set a driftwood perch in the bottom of his cage without freaking him out, and he went and tested it!
 

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