Rescue cage bound Macaw! Help please!

Dinochicken

New member
Nov 5, 2021
11
21
Parrots
Macaw Indian ringneck and cockatiel
I rescued a 3 year old B&G macaw who was very neglected and abused. Background on her… She would get her beak flicked, her cage hit when she screamed, fed tortillas, nuts, etc. she only had one perch in her cage and that’s it. She was my friends Grandmas bird and the only people Rio (that’s her name) liked was her grandpa who was the only one who was kind to her. She would let him let her, cradle her, etc. so I’ve had her almost 2 months and I’ve cleaned her diet up to natural pellets, lots and lots of veggies, nuts for treats and fruit here and there. I’ve also been doing permission base training which has been working so far. The things I notice with her though are, she only lets me live on her and pet her through the bars of the cage, she always comes up to the bars when she sees me and of course I give her loves. I put a perch on her door and taught her to go on that specific perch when she wants to “train” or interact which she does everytime she sees me as well. When I open the door she will come up to me but as soon as she sees my hand even getting close to her she bites or lunges..not out of aggression but fear. I don’t react to her when she does because it will only scare her more. She will also lift her foot up and when my other macaw does this it’s because she wants me to pick her up, but when Rio does it it’s a hit or miss sometimes she will step up or sometimes she will bite. My question is why does she only let me pet her and handle her through the bars and why does she do the foot thing? And what can I do to help her feathers? They’re in really bad condition she is also currently molting. I have Rios full background so if you want to ask questions shoot! My other rescue macaw was a mystery so it was a little bit more of a challenge with her.

UPDATE: This is Rio the 1st picture is the day my husband drove across the country to get her as you can see she was not in good shape at all…2nd picture was the first time we got her to come away from her cage and she was very scared the 3rd and 4th picture you can see a better close up of the condition of her feathers. Also she didn’t have much in her cage in the 4th picture because it was super last minute with us getting her so we put what extra perches and toys we did have in there. Since then she has a new cage lots of perches and lots of wood toys because they are her favorite. We recently bought tools to cut wood and make our own bird toys because between her and our other macaw (Athena) they go through A LOT of toys. We also just bought a house and picked it out specifically to accommodate the birds we have (silly I know). It has 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, is 2000sqft, out in the middle of nowhere basically and has 2 acres so we can put a large aviary attached to their room with a camera put in so we can monitor them when we can’t actively be in there aviary or room with them! Our future plans for her are to register her in free flight courses…I know it’ll probably be years for her to get there, but thank goodness they live a long time. ❤️ Thank you all for your advice! I will be trying any advice that was given with her, it’s hard to find support when it comes to these beauties as not many people know much about them, I’m so glad I found this community as now I know where to turn to for help!!
 

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Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Hi, welcome
Thank you for taking this parrot and providing for her. Thank you for your time and building trust.

Its terrible and sad . Are you saying that she will not leave the cage at all? So heartbreaking if that's the case.

In parrots that all free choice has been taken away , and left caged for so long, it is difficult to free their mind. It takes time, sometimes a lot if time. Pamela Clark a parrot behavior specialist has some articles, and I think I've saved some links on cage bound parrots.

I've only worked a little with ones that were reluctant and fearful, but not fully cage bound. It's probably things you have tried. Attaching all kinds of perches to tge outside sides and top. Starting with a treat only small dish , right at the opening of cage. Target and praise to get the treat from the dish, and slowly over data moving it an inch or two farther away. Until finally its in top of the cage, and they have to climb up there to get it. And hopefully start hanging out up there. Then bridge with perches to a stand a half foot away. And start getting them to move to that for a treat . Then keep expanding their territory, moving or linking to more perches. I use ceiling hooks and fishing line to hang big rope spiral to just at head height. I've always let step up kind evolve naturally ( we all do stuff a little differently, and each parrot is different) then I'd have them step to me and back to cage. Cuz they always want to go right back at first. Then I try and take a step away and back to one of their perches. Then a walk around the room and back. Then I move one of the perch stand across the room and start taking them to that. To step to and back to me and back to cage. Trying to get them hanging out longer and claiming more space.

I know you can get there, and I know your new friend can recover. It can take months. Getting ideas from lots of people , can offer lots of different insights that I hope help you. I always try and celebrate every inch of success! And hold to my vision of success in my mind, every time I work with them. Maybe that sounds to corny, but I think it helps me help them.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Oh. Before I go. There is something powerfully healing in getting them outside, to feel the wind, the fresh air sbd light. I secure every inch of their cage, bottom trey, food doors , extra lock on all doors. And roll it outside not in full sun. And i just sit with them. Maybe they freak out at first, but I show them by sitting quietly, nothing to fear. I wait until they are calm and we just hang out. Some love it the second they get to be outside. For birds that haven't been outside in years, its powerfully healing.

My rescue Penny i found in very dark shelf with dim light so far back in a huge store no sunlight reached, in cage so small she couldn't stand up. Her whole body matted in poop. When we outside for the first time .....it makes me cry. .after we were just sitting quietly, I was asking nothing of her. I don't know how long it was, but she let out a huge sigh, her whole body relaxed. I felt so much of her anger fall away. She was changed . We did a half hour every day for a few weeks. The light and spark came back to her eyes.

Maybe yours will benefit from thst as much as Penny did
 
OP
D

Dinochicken

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Nov 5, 2021
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Macaw Indian ringneck and cockatiel
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Oh. Before I go. There is something powerfully healing in getting them outside, to feel the wind, the fresh air sbd light. I secure every inch of their cage, bottom trey, food doors , extra lock on all doors, And roll it outside not in full sun. And i just sit with them. Maybe they freak out at first, but I show them by sitting quietly, nothing to fear. I wait until they are calm and we just hang out. Some love it the second they get to be outside. For birds that haven't been outside in years, its powerfully healing.

My rescue Penny i found in very dark shelf with dim light so far back in a huge store no sunlight reached, in cage so small she couldn't stand up. Her whole body matted in poop. When we outside for the first time .....it makes me cry. .after we were just sitting quietly, I was asking nothing of her. I don't know how long it was, but she let out a huge sigh, her whole body relaxed. I felt so much of her anger fall away. She was changed . We did a half hour every day for a few weeks. The light and spark came back to her eyes.

Maybe yours will benefit from thst as much as Penny did
Rio has come out of her cage fully twice but was super fearful and she goes on the top and on the sides of her cage, but not that often, she always rushes back inside…I would say she is very cage bound. :( I’m always open to hearing everyone’s opinions and experiences because I want to learn as much as I can to further my knowledge to take proper care of them! With that I have to say, I’m not too sure how cold is too cold for them? It’s starting to get chilly here in Texas and I would hate to see her stay inside all winter long.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Dino
We are both up late.
You really should be proud of all the success you have had so far with Rio! You got her on a better diet, you are able to have love even through cage bars. For her to attempt to come out of the cage. That's a lot to be proud of !

You are going to keep making progress, sometimes its slow. You have done great for a few months.

I myself don't take mine out if its less than 70. If you want you could roll the cage to the door and open it and just let her look out .

Other members will come along and share ideas and support. Keep sharing your story with us.

Edit: this is an article by Pamela Clark where she talks about shaping and helping 2 fearful parrots. Hopefully you might it helpful.

Another good article

It can really help to break things down to small steps. Its shaping the brain to move forward. Like teaching them to target the treat only dish as you move it farther away from the cage door.

You might also find it helpful to create a platform level with cage door, and shoved up right next to cage, as a nice big surface area to come out to for training and enteraction. A side table or something like that cover it with something non slip and that won't catch nails. I get a few yards of outdoor fabric or canvas from hobby store and duct tape it under the table yiu fint want it slipping and feeling unstable. Its often easier to work with them out of the cage, this gives you space while still letting feel its part of tge cage or cage security is right there. You could enteract on this by teaching simple foraging. Show a treat and then put a piece if paper only half over it. Have fun. When she. An easily get the treat several times, then you completely cover it. or put it in full view in small box. All of this increases confidence and enteraction with environment, sbd new stuff. Stimulate brain, a way for you 2 to have positive tome together.
 
Last edited:

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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DYH Amazon
Rescue of large highly intelligent Parrots that have been abused requires a very long time to develop a strong trust bond, years is not out of the question.

It is very likely that at one time, this Parrot had been loved and trained and it clearly shows in her actions. Step-up looks like one of those long ago trained moments.

Take the concept of time lines and trash it. You will be working for years to have tiny steps and when they happen, assure you reward as if it was a super major step. As they begin to gather, enjoy them.

If hands are a big issue, especially for Step-up, use a hand held perch.

It is truly worth the effort as when they begin trusting again, it is heart lifting and filled with joy!

Remember that your World is now based on: Little tiny steps are truly huge steps.

Cheers.
 
OP
D

Dinochicken

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Nov 5, 2021
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Macaw Indian ringneck and cockatiel
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Rescue of large highly intelligent Parrots that have been abused requires a very long time to develop a strong trust bond, years is not out of the question.

It is very likely that at one time, this Parrot had been loved and trained and it clearly shows in her actions. Step-up looks like one of those long ago trained moments.

Take the concept of time lines and trash it. You will be working for years to have tiny steps and when they happen, assure you reward as if it was a super major step. As they begin to gather, enjoy them.

If hands are a big issue, especially for Step-up, use a hand held perch.

It is truly worth the effort as when they begin trusting again, it is heart lifting and filled with joy!

Remember that your World is now based on: Little tiny steps are truly huge steps.

Cheers.
Yes! When they got her as a hatchling she would free roam be loved on, etc. as she got bigger though they started neglecting her and stopped buying her toys because she “destroyed” them and would just be all around mean to her. She has never had a bath either until I got her and gave her a mist bath, I’m going to give the handheld perch a go, do I eventually move to her stepping up on my hand?
 
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OP
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Dinochicken

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Nov 5, 2021
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Macaw Indian ringneck and cockatiel
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Dino
We are both up late.
You really should be proud of all the success you have had so far with Rio! You got her on a better diet, you are able to have love even through cage bars. For her to attempt to come out of the cage. That's a lot to be proud of !

You are going to keep making progress, sometimes its slow. You have done great for a few months.

I myself don't take mine out if its less than 70. If you want you could roll the cage to the door and open it and just let her look out .

Other members will come along and share ideas and support. Keep sharing your story with us.

Edit: this is an article by Pamela Clark where she talks about shaping and helping 2 fearful parrots. Hopefully you might it helpful.

Another good article

It can really help to break things down to small steps. Its shaping the brain to move forward. Like teaching them to target the treat only dish as you move it farther away from the cage door.

You might also find it helpful to create a platform level with cage door, and shoved up right next to cage, as a nice big surface area to come out to for training and enteraction. A side table or something like that cover it with something non slip and that won't catch nails. I get a few yards of outdoor fabric or canvas from hobby store and duct tape it under the table yiu fint want it slipping and feeling unstable. Its often easier to work with them out of the cage, this gives you space while still letting feel its part of tge cage or cage security is right there. You could enteract on this by teaching simple foraging. Show a treat and then put a piece if paper only half over it. Have fun. When she. An easily get the treat several times, then you completely cover it. or put it in full view in small box. All of this increases confidence and enteraction with environment, sbd new stuff. Stimulate brain, a way for you 2 to have positive tome together.
I’m going to definitely try this with her! What if she goes on top of her cage? Should I let her or try to avoid the whole cage top thing? She comes down eventually it just takes some time. It looks like she really wants to interact outside of her cage, but is scared to at the same time.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Yes let her be as bold and explore as she wants. Yes it can take time to return to the cage. But they get better and better at it.

With a little time, you can teach a hands off burd to return to the cage. I was able to with my untamed budgies, and with my new quaker who was hands phobic for a long time. Use the same phrase, I say time to go back. Show them their most favorite treat, put it in the cage, step back and repeat your phrase. Lots of praise for every step towards cage, and big celebration and bragging on them when they get it right. Patience, time set aside to fool around with getting them back. Mine were able to pick it up pretty quickly. You've got to trust each other eventually. The goal is having her life expanded and enriched . Plus I think most of the magic takes place outside of the cage.

Like Sailboat said every tiny thing you do to in her life is really a huge accomplishment. Its not a race , no deadlines. Everything you have already done is amazing!
 

Emeral

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Sep 16, 2021
142
282
Parrots
Hanhs Macaw
I admire your help for Rio, she is lucky to Have you. Looking forward to her new understanding such as hands are safe can be trust and will bring love. Imagine her eyes when she can learn to be confident and happy when praised. For tomorrow will be the result of what we do today.

The previous household had been unkind, to say the least. I think all she knows is what she was previously tought......... That certain things lead to punishment and neglect. And that there is little, if any, happy moments to play or to be praised.
Intentionally or not., they had tought her that the social norm is to stay in her cage.
Well, since this previous household did not provide her with the best socialization skill, her respond in self protection such as bites and mistrust is only normal.

It is sad to ponder why she is so afraid or why she would not know that she can trust you and come out. But she is definitely very intelligent and will relearn all social norms and definitions. This is a whole new world of love and happiness for her now.

Bless you both
 

Kentuckienne

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Oct 9, 2016
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Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
Birdman666 wrote a lot of excellent posts here about macaws. One thing he said was that with a severely cage-bound, “bronco bird” macaw, he had to reach in the cage with a towel to take the bird out. He said there wasn’t any other choice, and the wildest bronco bird he ever had became his most bonded bird ever. I’ll look for the posts. Every bird is different, and it sounds like yours isn’t that bad - especially if Rio is coming out even for short moments.

The foot-lift bite, our macaw does that to me. I know others that do it, they lift the foot to get your hand close and then bite. It must be entertaining. I deal with it by making Gus turn around and step onto my arm backwards, and once he is on my arm he doesn’t ever bite. The presence of my arm in front of his beak must be some kind of trigger.
 

Kentuckienne

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Oct 9, 2016
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519
Middle of nowhere (kentuckianna)
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Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
 

Kentuckienne

Supporting Vendor
Oct 9, 2016
2,521
519
Middle of nowhere (kentuckianna)
Parrots
Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
 

Jaycee1964

New member
Dec 10, 2016
2
4
I too have a challenged and prior neglected/abused sever macaw. He was heavily cage bound. What I did is put a chair near the cage with the door opened while in livingroom watching TV and such. Over several months the curiosity overcame the issue. Many years later I can do anything with my buddy. Reach in and take out of cage, handle him anyway at all. He and I are true buds. Yea, he can B a pita at times but our bond is solid as a rock. Be patient and don't force it. He will come around when he is ready..
 

ssteckov

New member
Feb 26, 2021
4
5
I rescued a 3 year old B&G macaw who was very neglected and abused. Background on her… She would get her beak flicked, her cage hit when she screamed, fed tortillas, nuts, etc. she only had one perch in her cage and that’s it. She was my friends Grandmas bird and the only people Rio (that’s her name) liked was her grandpa who was the only one who was kind to her. She would let him let her, cradle her, etc. so I’ve had her almost 2 months and I’ve cleaned her diet up to natural pellets, lots and lots of veggies, nuts for treats and fruit here and there. I’ve also been doing permission base training which has been working so far. The things I notice with her though are, she only lets me live on her and pet her through the bars of the cage, she always comes up to the bars when she sees me and of course I give her loves. I put a perch on her door and taught her to go on that specific perch when she wants to “train” or interact which she does everytime she sees me as well. When I open the door she will come up to me but as soon as she sees my hand even getting close to her she bites or lunges..not out of aggression but fear. I don’t react to her when she does because it will only scare her more. She will also lift her foot up and when my other macaw does this it’s because she wants me to pick her up, but when Rio does it it’s a hit or miss sometimes she will step up or sometimes she will bite. My question is why does she only let me pet her and handle her through the bars and why does she do the foot thing? And what can I do to help her feathers? They’re in really bad condition she is also currently molting. I have Rios full background so if you want to ask questions shoot! My other rescue macaw was a mystery so it was a little bit more of a challenge with her.

UPDATE: This is Rio the 1st picture is the day my husband drove across the country to get her as you can see she was not in good shape at all…2nd picture was the first time we got her to come away from her cage and she was very scared the 3rd and 4th picture you can see a better close up of the condition of her feathers. Also she didn’t have much in her cage in the 4th picture because it was super last minute with us getting her so we put what extra perches and toys we did have in there. Since then she has a new cage lots of perches and lots of wood toys because they are her favorite. We recently bought tools to cut wood and make our own bird toys because between her and our other macaw (Athena) they go through A LOT of toys. We also just bought a house and picked it out specifically to accommodate the birds we have (silly I know). It has 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, is 2000sqft, out in the middle of nowhere basically and has 2 acres so we can put a large aviary attached to their room with a camera put in so we can monitor them when we can’t actively be in there aviary or room with them! Our future plans for her are to register her in free flight courses…I know it’ll probably be years for her to get there, but thank goodness they live a long time. ❤️ Thank you all for your advice! I will be trying any advice that was given with her, it’s hard to find support when it comes to these beauties as not many people know much about them, I’m so glad I found this community as now I know where to turn to for help!!
She's going to need more time. You've made great progress, but you cannot erase the memory of her abuse, and you mustn't see her distrust as directed at you personally. I worked with an Amazon which came to me after some horrible neglect and abuse, and over time, she became a very loving pet, but it was YEARS, not weeks or months. Stay patient and compassionate. You didn't, and won't, cause her injury, and time will prove your good intentions to her;💞 She's got a loving home, and that's an excellent start!🎉
 

cloudninegirl

New member
Sep 21, 2020
8
1
Hi! I'm so happy you've rescued this sweet bird and are giving her such great care! My reply is a little off topic, but since you mentioned making toys yourself because of the expense, I wanted to pass on what has worked really well for my Green Wing Macaw and saved me a LOT of money. I bought a plastic bin (14" long, 9" wide, 5" deep) and keep it on the bottom of the cage in a back corner. (It's positioned away from any perches, so my bird can't poop on it.) About once a month, I go to the dollar store and load up on anything and everything my bird can "play with" and destroy, and keep the bin filled with those toys. Of course, the "toys" are all stuff that isn't dangerous to him like plastic toys for small children (toy soldiers, plastic blocks, solid teething rings, etc.) and other stuff from around the store (wood spoons and clothes pins, spools, shower curtain rings, etc.). During the day, he'll climb down to his toy box and find something to play with, and at the end of the day, I'll collect the large pieces, wash them off, and put them back in his toy box for more play the next day. You can also find the inexpensive, plastic toys in bags at WalMart, Target, etc.

I rescued a 3 year old B&G macaw who was very neglected and abused. Background on her… She would get her beak flicked, her cage hit when she screamed, fed tortillas, nuts, etc. she only had one perch in her cage and that’s it. She was my friends Grandmas bird and the only people Rio (that’s her name) liked was her grandpa who was the only one who was kind to her. She would let him let her, cradle her, etc. so I’ve had her almost 2 months and I’ve cleaned her diet up to natural pellets, lots and lots of veggies, nuts for treats and fruit here and there. I’ve also been doing permission base training which has been working so far. The things I notice with her though are, she only lets me live on her and pet her through the bars of the cage, she always comes up to the bars when she sees me and of course I give her loves. I put a perch on her door and taught her to go on that specific perch when she wants to “train” or interact which she does everytime she sees me as well. When I open the door she will come up to me but as soon as she sees my hand even getting close to her she bites or lunges..not out of aggression but fear. I don’t react to her when she does because it will only scare her more. She will also lift her foot up and when my other macaw does this it’s because she wants me to pick her up, but when Rio does it it’s a hit or miss sometimes she will step up or sometimes she will bite. My question is why does she only let me pet her and handle her through the bars and why does she do the foot thing? And what can I do to help her feathers? They’re in really bad condition she is also currently molting. I have Rios full background so if you want to ask questions shoot! My other rescue macaw was a mystery so it was a little bit more of a challenge with her.

UPDATE: This is Rio the 1st picture is the day my husband drove across the country to get her as you can see she was not in good shape at all…2nd picture was the first time we got her to come away from her cage and she was very scared the 3rd and 4th picture you can see a better close up of the condition of her feathers. Also she didn’t have much in her cage in the 4th picture because it was super last minute with us getting her so we put what extra perches and toys we did have in there. Since then she has a new cage lots of perches and lots of wood toys because they are her favorite. We recently bought tools to cut wood and make our own bird toys because between her and our other macaw (Athena) they go through A LOT of toys. We also just bought a house and picked it out specifically to accommodate the birds we have (silly I know). It has 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, is 2000sqft, out in the middle of nowhere basically and has 2 acres so we can put a large aviary attached to their room with a camera put in so we can monitor them when we can’t actively be in there aviary or room with them! Our future plans for her are to register her in free flight courses…I know it’ll probably be years for her to get there, but thank goodness they live a long time. ❤️ Thank you all for your advice! I will be trying any advice that was given with her, it’s hard to find support when it comes to these beauties as not many people know much about them, I’m so glad I found this community as now I know where to turn to for help!!
 

Ryled1

New member
Sep 4, 2015
5
6
Parrots
Bare eyed cockatoo
I rescued a 3 year old B&G macaw who was very neglected and abused. Background on her… She would get her beak flicked, her cage hit when she screamed, fed tortillas, nuts, etc. she only had one perch in her cage and that’s it. She was my friends Grandmas bird and the only people Rio (that’s her name) liked was her grandpa who was the only one who was kind to her. She would let him let her, cradle her, etc. so I’ve had her almost 2 months and I’ve cleaned her diet up to natural pellets, lots and lots of veggies, nuts for treats and fruit here and there. I’ve also been doing permission base training which has been working so far. The things I notice with her though are, she only lets me live on her and pet her through the bars of the cage, she always comes up to the bars when she sees me and of course I give her loves. I put a perch on her door and taught her to go on that specific perch when she wants to “train” or interact which she does everytime she sees me as well. When I open the door she will come up to me but as soon as she sees my hand even getting close to her she bites or lunges..not out of aggression but fear. I don’t react to her when she does because it will only scare her more. She will also lift her foot up and when my other macaw does this it’s because she wants me to pick her up, but when Rio does it it’s a hit or miss sometimes she will step up or sometimes she will bite. My question is why does she only let me pet her and handle her through the bars and why does she do the foot thing? And what can I do to help her feathers? They’re in really bad condition she is also currently molting. I have Rios full background so if you want to ask questions shoot! My other rescue macaw was a mystery so it was a little bit more of a challenge with her.

UPDATE: This is Rio the 1st picture is the day my husband drove across the country to get her as you can see she was not in good shape at all…2nd picture was the first time we got her to come away from her cage and she was very scared the 3rd and 4th picture you can see a better close up of the condition of her feathers. Also she didn’t have much in her cage in the 4th picture because it was super last minute with us getting her so we put what extra perches and toys we did have in there. Since then she has a new cage lots of perches and lots of wood toys because they are her favorite. We recently bought tools to cut wood and make our own bird toys because between her and our other macaw (Athena) they go through A LOT of toys. We also just bought a house and picked it out specifically to accommodate the birds we have (silly I know). It has 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, is 2000sqft, out in the middle of nowhere basically and has 2 acres so we can put a large aviary attached to their room with a camera put in so we can monitor them when we can’t actively be in there aviary or room with them! Our future plans for her are to register her in free flight courses…I know it’ll probably be years for her to get there, but thank goodness they live a long time. ❤️ Thank you all for your advice! I will be trying any advice that was given with her, it’s hard to find support when it comes to these beauties as not many people know much about them, I’m so glad I found this community as now I know where to turn to for help!!
Hi I got a rescue African Grey. He was cage bound. He was used as payment for room rent and left with owners of a house who didn't want him/were scared of him.
He was cage bound. I let him settle in my house for a few weeks. Prob 3. At first I would just let him out so he could sit on his cage. No pressure. I would walk up to talk nicely too him, no touch. And make a big show of petting my dogs and other bird. He was desperate for human contact. He knew they were getting attn. Soon he felt comfortable enuff to climb down off his cage. I didn't want that, bc he could destroy the furniture. So onto next step.
So I got a pillow, for you I'd get a big stick/perch for him to step up, and a parrot play stand. Let him get used to being on that. Train him he must stay on it. He can learn to be out of his cage with you, and enjoy being there without pressure. Take it slow. My bird took over a year for me to be able to pet him. I could pet his head bit took a long time for his body. His kryptonite was under his chin. He loved that. I would put him on the pillow to the perch, and cook dinner with him on it in kitchen. Give him some veg to eat. No pressure. Talk to him while u make dinner. Don't even try to pet at first.
Then we would watch TV in eve with him close to couch on his perch.
I'd also click train him. Lots of info on that. Learn to really watch his body language. Get to know If he's about to bite. Learn eye pinning. Not ture if mcalls do that. I had to learn when my parrot was about to bite. For longest time I could only pet the top of his head or I would get bitten. If he tried to bite, back in his cage immediately. Then ignore.
You could have bird play with plastic bottles on floor a but watch he doesn't bite thru it. Mybird would chase them all over, with things inside to rattle, but not bite thru it. He just chased it around. Yor bird might be diff. So that might not work. Don't want a cut tongue.
It took sev months to pet him. Then slowly he would step up on my hand. Your bird is still afraid/new. Take it slow.
In the end I could pet my bird, and he would stay on his perch all night in the kitchen. He was in lov with my stove light. So I'd let him admire it on his perch.
I'd start with step up and then he goes on perch just to hang out.
As for feathers you need a spray bottle of water and mist him. I'd give him a bit of coconut oil. That helps their feathers too. They lov it. Like half a teaspoon but work up to that. Give on the spoon.
My bird likes to be sprayed with water sometimes. Sometimes he hates it. When he he doesn't want it, I stop spraying, when he wants it he puts his wings out and gets excited. Then I know he wants to be really sprayed. When he hates it, I stop, big diff in body language. I'd put him on perch and blow dry him on low. Never scared him, and no worries about a bird catching a chill bc he's wet for the next few hrs. The under feathers take longest to dry. He should be dried right after. You can spray him 2x a week. Sometimes mist, sometimes drench. She'll tell you what she wants.
Your bird will come around but she's still getting used to you. Good luck.
My bare eyed has started biting the crap out of me. I've owned him for 17yrs. I realized he wanted to eat dinner with me, and I got away from that, bc I would end up wearing food and I hated that. He was overly hungry and in a bad mood bc he was hungry. So now I make sure he's fed before coming out to be with me. No biting now. I feed him while he is perched on my kitchen faucet and clean him up with a paper towel. Food goes in sink. Then we sit and watch TV and he is calmer. Good luck. It will take some time.
 
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Rattlerjake

New member
Oct 24, 2020
4
4
Rio has come out of her cage fully twice but was super fearful and she goes on the top and on the sides of her cage, but not that often, she always rushes back inside…I would say she is very cage bound. :( I’m always open to hearing everyone’s opinions and experiences because I want to learn as much as I can to further my knowledge to take proper care of them! With that I have to say, I’m not too sure how cold is too cold for them? It’s starting to get chilly here in Texas and I would hate to see her stay inside all winter long.
Macaws tolerate chilly weather just fine. I'm in Fayetteville, NC and all of my birds stay out until the temps hit the high 30's. Then they come in at night and out during the day (if it is sunny and warm). If the night temps are high 40s they don't come in until the next temps in the 30s. They need FULL sun, with a small area of shade, and a way to get out of any wind/breezes. Most health problems with parrots is because they don't get enough natural sunlight. Her feather condition will improve with this molt, but it can take two or three molts before her improved nutrition affects her feathering.
 

TBaildon

New member
Sep 27, 2016
2
4
I rescued a 3 year old B&G macaw who was very neglected and abused. Background on her…
Good on you for your rescue, and your patience. I have worked with a few B&G rescues myself. I have a couple of thoughts.

First- you have one great advantage that many people don’t. You already have another Macaw that has good habits. Rio can learn much from watching you and your other Macaw interact. In the rescue I work with, we sometimes put birds who have no idea how to be a bird right next to a cage with one who is very good at the behaviors we want it to learn, like playing with toys. This works especially well when they are the same species.

So one thing to do is do lots of training sessions with your other Macaw in the same room with Rio where she can observe the interactions, the pleasure of the other bird, the treats, and how safe it is. That will help show her what you want, that it is ok to do, and that the other Macaw gets praised and treats, not punished. This can go a long way towards helping her to learn the new norms faster.

Second, you probably already know this, but only use Rio’s very favorite treats when training or as rewards for doing things you want her to do, like coaxing her out of the cage. She will be more eager to do things if this is the only time she gets her very favorite things.

And third, no, you are not crazy, or even the first person I know, to buy a house with specific bird needs in mind.

Oh, also, about the foot lifting - one of my rescues did the same thing. Rio may be internally conflicted. She may really want to step up, but also be afraid, especially if she got both love and then mistreatment from her original family. She may also be testing you. "OK, you are being nice now, but will you keep being nice?"

The other thing we have to remember is that birds are not really domesticated animals like dogs and cats. They are still wild, and have instincts and behaviors that we are still learning to understand.

Good luck, and I wish you the best on your journey together!
 
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