Just got a blue and gold macaw and need some advice!

Livburp

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Jun 4, 2015
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Gilligan-Blue and Gold Macaw
Hi guys! I'm new to the forum and to the bird world. A week ago, I got a 17 year old blue and gold named Gilligan (Gilli for short). His owner gave him to me with his cage and everything for free, so I thought I was lucky. But she did tell me the reason she was rehoming him was because she never had time to take him out, so he would sit in his cage all week and on her one day off she sometimes took him out. She told me he didn't have much socialization since she got him when he was 6 months old and that he's not always very friendly. With that said, this is the first exotic bird I have ever had (I have had cockatiels and I have one right now as well), and I feel like I may have taken on a tad more than I know how to handle. So hopefully this forum will be a lot of help to me! He didn't have any toys in his cage, so I got him some nice toys that the man at the store suggested. I put them in his cage and he has seemed uninterested at this point. I feed him through his cage and he will take food from my hand. When I am alone with him he says hi to me 4 or 5 times in a row. I just sit with him and talk to him so far. I was letting him warm up to me a bit before taking him out of his cage, and yesterday I took him out for the first time. He did fine, he just sat on his door and stared at me. I have him out now and he's doing the same thing. Any suggestions for a first time owner? Not sure what else to do to make him trust me. I want to be able to interact with him every single day!
 
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Livburp

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Jun 4, 2015
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Gilligan-Blue and Gold Macaw
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Also, one thing I noticed him doing is even though I put toys in his cage, he keeps biting and chewing on the metal of his cage. Even when he's out of the cage. Not sure why.
 

Christinenc2000

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Oct 8, 2014
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North Carolina
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Big Bird _ Blue & Gold Macaw
I also rescued a Macaw. My first bird . I was totally lost as what to do. Mark -Birdman passed along some threads to me that I still look back on to this date. Hope it helps



Here are some other interesting threads that you might find useful:

START WITH THIS ONE! Because this is probably what you've just gotten yourself into:

Feathered buzz saws...

And some more light reading:

Amazed at Gracie the Rescue

Rita made huge progress

This is the way we like to have our tail preened

What a lap bird.

What's your bite pressure training technique?

How do you all play with your Macaws?

Roscoe is crazy

gaining my macaws trust

very aggressive macaw

And if that isn't information overload enough, here's a good one on parrot diets:

Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips

This is a great Forum just ask away people are more than willing to help
 

Birdman666

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2013
9,904
258
San Antonio, TX
Parrots
Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
Your bird has done almost 17 years in solitary. And for a happy go lucky, super interactive macaw that tends to be hard on them psychologically...

Birds that do not get handled, do not stay tame. Which means work under the assumption that this bird is not tame at the moment, and then start over from square one, with basic step up, and no biting training.

SOCIALIZATION AND BOUNDARY SETTING ARE THE KEYS TO A WELL BEHAVED MACAW.

He may not even know how to step up after all this time.

The good news is they bounce right back when their attention needs are met, and they really do tend to bond once they have been given that which has been lacking from their lives all this time...

Also check out this thread. There are some tips for working with birds that hadn't been handled, including one who didn't know how to step up:

http://www.parrotforums.com/macaws/53118-excitement.html
 

JerseyWendy

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Jul 20, 2012
20,995
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Welcome to the forums. :) And THANK YOU for giving this big mac a chance at happiness!!

You've come to a great place to ask for advice. Our Mark (Birdman) truly knows his big macs, and he's helped more folks than you could ever imagine. :)

We'd love to see some pics of your Gilli, if you'd like to share some.
 

Birdman666

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2013
9,904
258
San Antonio, TX
Parrots
Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
Also, one thing I noticed him doing is even though I put toys in his cage, he keeps biting and chewing on the metal of his cage. Even when he's out of the cage. Not sure why.

It's normal. They all pretty much do that.

My Greenwing, the bird in my Avatar photo, was also a rescue and hadn't been handled in eight years when I got her. Now, granted, I've done parrot rehab for many years, so I knew what to do, and how to do it, BUT, she went from not being handled at all, to being my best buddy/go everywhere bird IN FOUR DAYS. My point being that they respond to behavior modification, love, and care.

Training a macaw will involve work, but I promise you, their huge personalities are worth it. After awhile you'll wonder how you ever got along without one...
 
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Livburp

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Jun 4, 2015
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Gilligan-Blue and Gold Macaw
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Wow guys thank you!!! I think I attached another picture to this post. Hopefully it did it right! Thanks so much guys:blue:
 

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Birdman666

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2013
9,904
258
San Antonio, TX
Parrots
Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
Wow. His feather condition is really good. All he needs is some attention and socialization...
 

Kalel

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Jan 2, 2015
473
8
Canada
Parrots
Sun conure named Lemon (nickname Moonie) hatched August 28, 2014, BFA Professor Green hatched August 22, 2014, Macaw Flash hatched Sept 15, 2007
Wow! He sure is beautiful! I love the majestic look of a beautiful macaw in good feather! I'm sure he is happy to have you come into his life:) Good luck with him! You seem to be off to a great start:)
 
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Livburp

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Jun 4, 2015
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Parrots
Gilligan-Blue and Gold Macaw
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Gah thank you guys!! Yeah he has all his feathers, the old owner just said that they've never been very pretty. They're bright but the always seem not very smooth and kind of ruffled.
 

GreatBlue320

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May 5, 2015
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Baxter - Illiger's Macaw (hatch date 5.1.15);

Taylor - Black capped Conure (RIP 3.14.15 - miss you every day little "Girlie")
Handsome boy!
 

Birdman666

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2013
9,904
258
San Antonio, TX
Parrots
Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
Gah thank you guys!! Yeah he has all his feathers, the old owner just said that they've never been very pretty. They're bright but the always seem not very smooth and kind of ruffled.

Yeah, well consider the source...

How often did she bathe him? And how was she feeding him? Daily misting, weekly soaking, good diet, and those feathers will GLOW... Also GETTING THEM OUTSIDE IN THE SUN helps... Even if it's just rolling the cage out into the back yard for an afternoon. (Not to hot! If it's 90 degrees out, you don't want them in direct sunlight. They will overheat.)
 

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