Just adopted a B&G Macaw

KITKAT1971

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Nov 12, 2022
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Hello all - newbie here - just adopted/rescued a 10 year old Macaw. Her owner, who raised her from a baby, sadly passed due to cancer. Her owners parents tried to keep her as a link to their daughter but they were terrified of her. She has been caged for well over a year... :-(

She has been with me now for a week and seems to be adapting. She lunges at me, bites lightly, but let's me scratch her head and takes treats from my fingers. She steps up on my arm and wants to climb to my shoulder but nails need trimming and she doesnt want to come off my shoulder once up there so I am not letting her until after her vet appt in two weeks.

She eats pellets, nuts and treats but wont eat fruits or veg? Is this normal? She loves whole walnuts.

She "calls" when I'm in the other room so I bring her to the kitchen on a T perch (for an hour or so) to be with her flock. She seems pretty content, flapping and preening while hanging out. Will this create bad behavior?

I'm told her wings have always been clipped but are just about grown back. When she flaps I dont need a fan lol. Any recommendations?

Any and all suggestions are appreciated. I'm a bird lover but this is my first bird.

Kat
 

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Cottonoid

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Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your family addition :) She looks so happy to be with you!

My only experience with Macaws is one at a sanctuary where I volunteer. He is more than happy to stay on his hanging jungle gym and playing most of the day. I've also heard of this being taught - station training - and it sounds like she's having fun near you while on the t-perch so to me at least that seems like it's a positive thing. You could add a toy or two there too if you want her to spend more time there while you're working in the kitchen etc.
 

wrench13

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Kats and parrots rarely mix well. Badda -boom! Now that that is out of the way, welcome to the forums and be welcomed. Seems like a nice, well cared for Blue and Gold. Re: diet, keep trying to introduce the veggies. Vary size and presentation. A lot of folks (including me) have "Chop" recipe and prepare lot quantities to freeze and thaw as needed. i for instance make 5 days worth in one baggie, and I make 20 or so at once. BUT I know what Salty likes. You are in exploratory mode so don't make a lot quantity just yet.
 
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KITKAT1971

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Thank you for the warm welcome :) I have a 2nd "play" perch that's on the screen porch. I think it was meant for a smaller parrot (to many branches) so I'm going to modify it for her.

Freezing the fruits and vegetables is a great idea.... thank you! So far I've tried baby carrots, romaine, strawberries, blueberries and mango. I'll keep trying different stuff. She has to like something eventually right?
 

HeatherG

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I mostly offer some raw veggies or healthy cooked veggies each day. Some of what I’m eating so peer pressure will tempt my birds to try new things. I also bag up chopped bird vegetables so I can thaw a cube/ fruit/ chunk from the freezer to my birds treat dish. I would suggest you keep aside portions of your food with little or no salt/ butter and share them while you are eating dinner. Then she will see that all the COOL BIRDS eat vegetables.

Thank you for making a home for this bird. The macaws I’ve met have had some BIG personalities; I’m impressed and hope that your cohabitation goes smoothly. I have also had success with putting my birds at a play station and working or studying nearby. I don’t think that leads to bad behaviors; you are near each other but not in contact which seems comfortable for you both.

My sis had a B&G and she was a tyrant! I sang her favorite Barry manilow song to her, but she still hated me and screamed if she saw me. Good luck! And maybe you can send photos and brief updates to her previous owners so they don’t feel like they’ve totally lost this connection with their daughter.
 

Babyphila

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KK - The wife and I are very new also. We will be following your progress. We are in a similar boat. We just adopted a 19 year old blue and gold whose male owner passed and the brother brought him right to the pet store. We already had a near 2 year old umbrella who is a sweetheart. I was not looking for a second bird, but my wife had been working me for the umbrella to have another in the room when we leave the house. When we went to the bird store for food he picked my wife. No other way to put it, and his story even softened me up. He eats fairly well, is pretty entertaining, already learning new words. It seems he didn't have toys, but he's making up for it now. He also tells our umbrella to stop when she goes off on her rants. It's been about 2 weeks and he has not given me a break yet, even a couple hard bites, but my wife is enjoying him immensely and is treated much better than I am. You know happy wife..... So we will be monitoring your new adventure and comparing notes.
 

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KITKAT1971

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Update.... seems Hailee likes raspberries and bananas-- yeah! :) She seems to be adapting well and loves the swing I bought her. She has warmed to me which is great but my poor BF wants her to sit on his shoulder so bad he is upset she hasn't bonded with him. Not sure how to help that?

She "calls" when I leave the room so I just "call" back. Seems to help. Her cage is in the living room which is also my office so she has plenty of time with me. She spends lots of time preening. I bring her into the kitchen to hang out while we cook.

My two lazy cats pay her no mind - soon as they realized she wasn't prey they lost all interest.

We go to vet nov. 29th for a check up, wing and nail clip.... stay tuned for more updates.

Kat
 

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HeatherG

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This is good! She’s treating you like one of the birds, and she’s taking care of you.

I find that calling back quietly when my birds do a contact call works well. They don’t have to continue yelling because I didn’t answer, and I answer in a volume that I want them to mimic. I have gotten birds to “whisper” back and forth with me. Always good because a macaw can be LOUD.
 
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KITKAT1971

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Thank you everyone - I am grateful for all the advise.

Update: she is getting quite loud in her calls when I leave the room.. I'll trying calling back in a softer voice

She is a silly bird. She hangs by her beak and swings her feet side to side and then taps her foot on the cage to get my attention.... she says "come here" "step up" "want a treat" and "good girl"

Still working on "fly eagles fly"... one day :)

Question: when I scratch her head or talk to her sometimes she bobs her head like she is trying to regurgitate? Is this normal? I hope she doesnt think i'm her mate lol

Kat
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Thank you everyone - I am grateful for all the advise.

Update: she is getting quite loud in her calls when I leave the room.. I'll trying calling back in a softer voice

She is a silly bird. She hangs by her beak and swings her feet side to side and then taps her foot on the cage to get my attention.... she says "come here" "step up" "want a treat" and "good girl"

Still working on "fly eagles fly"... one day :)

Question: when I scratch her head or talk to her sometimes she bobs her head like she is trying to regurgitate? Is this normal? I hope she doesnt think i'm her mate lol

Kat
That’s normal. She likes you and wants to share food with you as a flock member (maybe mate interest too).
 
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KITKAT1971

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That’s normal. She likes you and wants to share food with you as a flock member (maybe mate interest too).
Awesome! I am surprised she took to me so quickly but no complaints.. I was prepared for a long road to gain trust. I just gave her pineapple and she LOVES it. So banana, raspberry and pineapple so far. She still gets pellets and nuts. I think she is spoiled lol
 

wrench13

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Fruits contain a lot of sugars, as do certain veggies like corn, so best to not overdo them. Main diet should be safe veggies with some nuts/seed and fruits. Think 70/15/15 %'s ratio to the above. Sugars amp up energy just like little kids, that most domestically kept parrots have no way of expending.
 

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