Considering RFM or BTM and Searching for Great Breeders

mikester

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Jan 23, 2021
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Current: Congo African Grey. Past: Jenday Conure, Cockatiels
Greetings. I have long wanted a larger macaw. My dream was always a B&G or GWM but worried about excessive noise with those breeds that would generate complaints from neighbors, and with B&G worried they maybe a bit too beaky/nippy (not adverse to loud noises within house or yard area for myself personally). So unless someone can convince me otherwise on those breeds, I've focused in on a RFM or BTM.

In general, want a larger macaw (RFM would be as small as I would consider), want a playful, outgoing breed that is a bit towards the cuddly side. Don't care about noise in the house but sensitive to noise carrying into someone else's house to degree that generates complaints: live in 4,200sf house and closest houses are similar size about 50ft between houses (an HOA community). So my thought is B&G or GWM would cause major issues. From what I;ve read (and seen/heard in person), RFM and BTM noises, while loud, are likely manageable in this situation.

Currently have a 37yr CAG girl that I've had since she was 1yr. She has an occasional sharp scream but mostly chatters and talks to herself and others all day; though in recent years she has slowly become quieter and quieter. She loves cuddling with me and ok with other males but hates females. Hasn't been with other birds for many years; when I did have the Jenday she was fine when he was quiet but would attack him when he went on endlessly screeching. Drove her nuts. LOL. Otherwise, other pets include 3 medium sized dogs.

I would probably locate the macaw upstairs in center of house near some huge double paned windows and then if needed add some more sound proofing to further absorb/soften some noise travelling out of house

For BTM, I realize I need to buy in TX (although FL is a possibility as my sister lives there and could acquire on my behalf). Saw JC Aviary has bred BTM in past and was going to reach out to them. Any other good breeder suggestions?

For RFM, I've seen a few mentions of Avalon Aviary. Are they reputable? Any other suggestions? I do want to go with a hand reared baby as I did with my CAG and enjoy the watching them grow and develop and bond.

Leaning towards a female as I've had good fortune with my CAG girl and I've heard female macaws are less hormonally tempered to bite than males? Although with BTM, given how hard they are to find, guess I'd go with whatever baby happened along.

Really appreciate any advice & recommendations! Thank you!
 

chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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You can’t really go wrong with either, though RFM would be less of a headache to obtain. And your sister in FL is problematic. The transfer from her to you would be legally questionable.

I’d also say you can’t really parse out one macaw species focalization tendencies over another. They’ce all evolved a scream intended to carry over miles. Loud is part of the territory. A macaw screaming excessively is a macaw that has a problem that needs to be addressed. Keep them well and none of the species should present too much of a problem.
 
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Littleredbeak

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May 27, 2020
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You can’t really go wrong with either, though RFM would be less of a headache to obtain. And your sister in FL is problematic. The transfer from her to you would be legally questionable.

I’d also say you can’t really parse out one macaw species focalization tendencies over another. They’ce all evolved a scream intended to carry over miles. Loud is part of the territory. A macaw screaming excessively is a macaw that has a problem that needs to be addressed. Keep them well and none of the species should present too much of a problem.


just curious how the transfer would be legally questionable ?
 

chris-md

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Parker - male Eclectus

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I say questionable because I don’t pretend to be fully informed of the intricacies, but the transfer of possession across state lines is the crux of the interstate sale regulations. I can’t imagine a proxy purchase aimed at circumventing interstate transport regulations would be completely square with the law.

If the sister buys the bird, the bird belongs to the sister, period. To then immediately turn around and gift the bird across state lines...I dunno, doesn’t seem like the law would allow that. And the more I’m typing, the more in a diluted sense it begins to sound like a sketchy mob money laundering operation.
 
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mikester

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Current: Congo African Grey. Past: Jenday Conure, Cockatiels
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Thank you for the feedback! Really appreciated. I watched some amazing videos of RFM on youtube; and have been following Bird Tricks on Youtube, watching her BTM, Jinx. Both seem adorable. RFM, from what I've seen remind a bit of my past conure, in that they seem to vocalize more frequently throughout day while BTM appears louder decibel noise but more limited periods of time.

Regarding the BTM, I apologize as I did not intend to start a debate on merits. Knowing there were restrictions, I actually already inquired last year to FWS (enforces ESA), and the response was that the birds cannot be sold (for cash or value) across state lines unless the seller and buyer both have very specific licenses. However, the birds can be moved by their owner across state lines or given to anyone across state lines if nothing of value is exchanged. Common reasons they sited are donating bird to a refuge and transfers in wills to someone in another state, upon death. If there is suspicion of a violation, they can investigate (bank records, etc) but if it is truly a gift, then there is no concern. A "free" transfer between strangers would generally raise eyebrows and may lead to investigation to confirm no value was exchanged. As this is my sister and she would be giving it as birthday gift with nothing exchanged, then the situation is fine. As I have this from FWS official that works in this area, I'm comfortable if I end up needing to explore that approach. In fact, it was same FWS person that helped me understand rules to take my african grey (who is not banded) overseas to live for a few years. As there are breeders in Texas, it's just as likely I'd find a breeder here or end up pursuing a RFM (or other breed), in which it would be a moot point.

Appreciate any other advice on either bird type. With either, it appears it will take awhile for a baby to pop up, which is fine; just want to narrow down good, legit breeders (so many sketchy ones online) and get on waiting list. In the meantime, I keep running into baby B&G and GWMs which is soooo tempting but I try to resist. :)
 

chris-md

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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Well hey that’s fantastic news then! Very happy to be wrong in this case.

That being the case, I’d say get whatever comes available first. Can’t go wrong with either species, and being macaws there’s far more that unites them than separates them.
 

SailBoat

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Just a few points:
- You're looking at very long life Parrot, out past 70+ years. This group needs to be included in a Will and while you are at it, building a trust fund to assure that funds are available for Vet health care and well being.

- Noise is a real problem! Yes, a well socialized Macaw will be less of an issue. But, the underlying reality is that either have the ability of sound levels equal to an unrestricted Boeing 707 jet engine.

- Remember to have your final choice Microchipped to provide a legal link for ownership and transfer between your sister and you! Since you will be crossing State lines, assure you have your complete document set with you. Creating a separate legal document of transfer between your sister and you may seem to be overkill, but having that document will save you time if your get pulled-over.

- Once home, provide your document set to your Avian Medical Professional to make a copy and include in your Parrot's Medical File.

Enjoy!
 
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mikester

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Just a few points:
- You're looking at very long life Parrot, out past 70+ years. This group needs to be included in a Will and while you are at it, building a trust fund to assure that funds are available for Vet health care and well being.

- Noise is a real problem! Yes, a well socialized Macaw will be less of an issue. But, the underlying reality is that either have the ability of sound levels equal to an unrestricted Boeing 707 jet engine.

- Remember to have your final choice Microchipped to provide a legal link for ownership and transfer between your sister and you! Since you will be crossing State lines, assure you have your complete document set with you. Creating a separate legal document of transfer between your sister and you may seem to be overkill, but having that document will save you time if your get pulled-over.

- Once home, provide your document set to your Avian Medical Professional to make a copy and include in your Parrot's Medical File.

Enjoy!

Thank you for the advice! My current CAG is in my will to family and provided for from estate to cover. I'd do same with a future macaw.

On micro-chipping, I'd definitely do that. My CAG 37yrs ago came from wild capture of nest and was a baby still being weaned. Back then, this stuff happened all the time. Unfortunately, do how she was sourced, she was never banded and that combination really came back to bite when I went to take her overseas. Ended up with a lawyer specialized in exotic animals (works with zoos) to help with a ton of paperwork and getting her micro-chipped to make it possible to move her out of US and then back into US a few years later; also helped with export/import of a Bengal cat at the time, which also interestingly requires a lot of paperwork as they are also covered by CITIES regulations. Who knew! That was a real mess! If I end up asking my sister to obtain a BTM in FL, I'd engage them again to help ensure everything is properly managed in transferring. Hopefully, though I'll either find a good RFM breeder or a TX based BTM breeder and not end up getting into all of that.

I'm hoping the interior of house upstairs will provide some buffer to help soften noise level that would reach interior of neighbor homes; have house on left and right. Luckily, back side of house is horse pastures, so no houses there to worry about. Wouldn't put macaw in same room as CAG, given all the dust she throws off. One reason, I'd steer clear of another CAG. Love her to death but really don't want to deal with that degree of dust all over again.

Anyone have recommendations on RFM or BTM (TX, FL) breeders they would recommend? Is Avalon Aviary about the best for RFM? Anyone familiar with JC Aviary in TX? They appear relatively higher priced but breed quite a variety of macaw breeds, including BTM (but not RFM according to their website).
 

chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Jc aviary has a good reputation. I haven’t looked around in 5 years but I feel like they are priced on the high end for any species, unless prices spiked in the time since I was looking for birds. But they do harness train the birds for you, so that’s a plus.
 

SailBoat

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Assure that you're Texas Breeder provides a Hatch Certificate as with the exception of the B&G, the others require the CITIES documentation.
 
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mikester

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Assure that you're Texas Breeder provides a Hatch Certificate as with the exception of the B&G, the others require the CITIES documentation.

Thanks for the reminder. I went thru a lot of issues with my CAG being wild caught in past and not having any documentation. Took a specialized lawyer to work thru all the issues over many months. Thank goodness my company covered everything! I'm VERY CITIES conscious now days!
 
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mikester

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Just a quick update. I will have a baby RFM arriving around October after hatching and subsequent weaning is complete. Will post a new thread to see if anyone here has an RFM and any recommendations to prepare for his/her arrival.
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Truth be told, you shouldn't mix tiels, toos OR greys with macaws (powder down vs non-powder down...old world vs new world)-- very dangerous in terms of respiratory systems. If you already have a baby coming and cannot cancel, I'd drop around $1000 on a true hepa filer with very small micron filtration (non-ionizing, non-ozone producing, non-sanitizing). These species shouldn't be housed together. Here is a link that you should read-- many of your species can live over 80 years and this concerns me a lot, because it is vital information for macaw owners...https://birdtricksstore.com/blogs/b...-should-keep-certain-parrot-species-separated


Risks from respiratory issues due to hypersensitivity syndrome aside, you must make sure to quarantine the new bird for a bar minimum of 45 days as far from the other birds (totally separate room, but separate air space= safer). Completely healthy birds can carry illness without symptoms and babies in new, stressful transitions are more likely to spread anything they carry, but also to contract disease from asymptomatic adults (over 40% of captive parrots can spread deadly illness without symptoms and the incubation period can range 2 weeks to 10 + years..in the event that symptoms show).


Even a great breeder doesn't test for abv/pdd/pbfd because it is just too tricky and expensive when it comes to carriers.


make sure that your air is as immaculate as possible (not only for the macaw, who will be very sensitive to the powder-down of your tiels and grays) but also because viruses in microscopic dander particles can infect your flock easily or your flock could infect this new bird. even with a purifier, your macaw is at risk and even with a purifier all of your birds could potentially contract illness from a carrier or sick bird, but this is one more layer of safety to consider for their health.
 
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mikester

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Jan 23, 2021
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Dallas Fort Worth Area, TX
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Current: Congo African Grey. Past: Jenday Conure, Cockatiels
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Truth be told, you shouldn't mix tiels, toos OR greys with macaws (powder down vs non-powder down...old world vs new world)-- very dangerous in terms of respiratory systems. If you already have a baby coming and cannot cancel, I'd drop around $1000 on a true hepa filer with very small micron filtration (non-ionizing, non-ozone producing, non-sanitizing). These species shouldn't be housed together. Here is a link that you should read-- many of your species can live over 80 years and this concerns me a lot, because it is vital information for macaw owners...https://birdtricksstore.com/blogs/b...-should-keep-certain-parrot-species-separated


Risks from respiratory issues due to hypersensitivity syndrome aside, you must make sure to quarantine the new bird for a bar minimum of 45 days as far from the other birds (totally separate room, but separate air space= safer). Completely healthy birds can carry illness without symptoms and babies in new, stressful transitions are more likely to spread anything they carry, but also to contract disease from asymptomatic adults (over 40% of captive parrots can spread deadly illness without symptoms and the incubation period can range 2 weeks to 10 + years..in the event that symptoms show).


Even a great breeder doesn't test for abv/pdd/pbfd because it is just too tricky and expensive when it comes to carriers.


make sure that your air is as immaculate as possible (not only for the macaw, who will be very sensitive to the powder-down of your tiels and grays) but also because viruses in microscopic dander particles can infect your flock easily or your flock could infect this new bird. even with a purifier, your macaw is at risk and even with a purifier all of your birds could potentially contract illness from a carrier or sick bird, but this is one more layer of safety to consider for their health.

Yes, I'm aware of the powder down of African greys. One reason, as much as I love mine, I'd never get another one; I could dust the pet room twice a day with her! I had her with a Jenday conure for 27yrs and successfully kept the Jenday in another part of house. The RFM will live upstairs on other side of a large 4,500s house. The African grey stays in pet room with door closed most of day, HEPA filter by her crate, a HEPA filter on the intake vent out of room, and a the finest micron 3M HEPA filter at the central air unit; did all of that just to keep dusting down in rest of house and for the health of my 3 dogs.

Once s/he arrives, I will take to vet for comprehensive evaluation and testing and regardless of being clear, won't be introducing the two until the RFM has time to fully acclimate.
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
It specifically macaws that have this issue-- the fact that the jenday is fine is not an indicator that a macaw would be..The powder isn't great for other birds. but the hypersensitivity in macaws is unique, and standard precautions that worked for you and your other birds will not necessarily be sufficient for a macaw over time.
 

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