Free flight training older birds?

Lilytahlia

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Apr 6, 2019
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B&G macaw (Santiago)
Budgie (blue)
Has anyone free flight trained older birds? Specifically macaws. Iโ€™ve had my 25 year old macaw for four months and I would love to free flight train him Iโ€™ve done lots of research I have watched and read everything I could get my hands on. He would go outside with his old owner but couldnโ€™t fly due to his flight feathers being damaged, improper diet, and no room to exercise his wings but now that thatโ€™s fixed heโ€™s definitely gotten stronger. He does go outside with me to work on the farm with my family but I only take him out if itโ€™s sunny and the wind is going below 10mph. Since heโ€™s gotten stronger I think Iโ€™ll keep him indoors until heโ€™s trained (if I can train him to safely fly). Iโ€™m definitely not a professional but when Iโ€™m older I hope to train parrots for a living. And my family has an indoor arena which I think would be super helpful whilst training him to fly outdoors. I tried to harness train him for a few months but he never got super comfortable with it so I stopped but I plan on starting up again. Any storyโ€™s? Tips? opinions? Nothing makes me happier than being outside with him but if you donโ€™t think itโ€™s possible to train him or for him to safely be outside with me Iโ€™ll keep him indoors.
 
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chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Hello and welcome!

1) age doesnโ€™t matter, so long as there are no age-related physical ailments (arthritis, etc). If you want to pursue this, and havenโ€™t done so yet, get a full physic from a certified avian vet to make sure no such ailments exist.

2)to make this very clear, online chat rooms arenโ€™t really a place to learn free flight. You need a mentor to train you in person. There are free flight trainers out there should you opt to pursue this. Iโ€™ve heard $6000 as a โ€œhigh endโ€ of prices trainers charge for s full free flight course.
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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DYH Amazon
Fully agree with the above!!!

Your Avian Professional needs to do a complete evaluation of your Parrots Heart and Air Sacks (Lungs) and chest muscles. That requires a complete Blood Screen.

Check-out the first highlighted Thread in the Amazon Forum, titled I Love Amazons - ... Within that huge Thread is a ton of information that will be helpful in many areas of caring for your Mac. Including teaching them to fly.
See: Re-Fledging an Adult Parrot
FYI: Once indoor flight is achieved, no outside flight until your have 'Recall Training down cold.'
 
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wrench13

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Free flight for any parrot isa wonderful thingIF all the precautions are taken. All points above are valid. If you have a horse arena available that is great for thee it would be best. After you reacall train first phases. If you live on a farm with lots of open acrage that would be best. The only time Ive seen free flight parroots where I would feel comfortable is on an open prarie with nothing for mile and miles.
Also, what is the hawk or eage population by you? They can take evena macaw right off your shoulder, much less in flight.
 

ParrotGenie

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Jan 10, 2019
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2 umbrella Cockatoos One male named Cooper and female named Baby 1 Little Corella male named Frankie and have 5 Cockatiels three named Male named Pepper, Fiesco for the female and female named Wylie.
Fully agree with the above!!!

Your Avian Professional needs to do a complete evaluation of your Parrots Heart and Air Sacks (Lungs) and chest muscles. That requires a complete Blood Screen.

Check-out the first highlighted Thread in the Amazon Forum, titled I Love Amazons - ... Within that huge Thread is a ton of information that will be helpful in many areas of caring for your Mac. Including teaching them to fly.
See: Re-Fledging an Adult Parrot
FYI: Once indoor flight is achieved, no outside flight until your have 'Recall Training down cold.'

What was stated above as very important as flight is a very strenuous activity and requires vet visits and exercise to get to that point, as last thing you want is your bird to have a heart attack, blood work and maybe a few follow up is necessary. As you bird will have to exercise and better diet and depend on your bird heart condition, may not be able to free flight at all? You have to recall train your bird indoors first and get them to fly back on command and be able to let them jump and fly down as well indoors in a control matter. It take time. Plus they have to be harness train and get use to outdoor noises and objects as some bird can get scared easy and fly off and get lost. Also have to consider what predators are in your area, traffic and etc? You need to invest in a Marshall GPS System and a few tail clips. Don't be surprised if your bird stay on a tree, or roof for a couple of hours the first time. They have to learn how to fly down and land, so it is a learning curve for them, even when trained indoors. My umbrella Baby did for the first time and I just sat and waited till she was ready to come down and after a couple of time she was able to come back on command instantly. What ever you do don't try to take a ladder and go try to grab you bird down, let them stay up and learn how to fly down, plus bringing a ladder can scared them and they will likely fly off and get lost. She been flying for over a year now and even knows shortcuts to places we go now. Trick is take it slow and don't rush. Important to always use a GPS when bird not on a harness.

Yes a professional trainer will be about 4 to 6 grand range. As a lot involve. Before you attempt to flight train your bird it is important you harness train your bird first.
 
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LaManuka

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Aug 29, 2018
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And as always folks, I hope yโ€™all had a happy Easter ;)
 
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