The time has come....

Lakermatt

New member
May 15, 2015
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Fresno, CA
Parrots
Baby Blue and Gold Macaw
Good Morning Guys, I am in a bit of tight spot as of right now. I just got a call from the breeder I am getting my blue and Gold macaw from. He has been called back to work all of a sudden, and is going to be out of town working. He needs me to come get my bird!! he says that no one at his house is able to care for the birds, and that he is very sorry about the situation. I am very nervous, as I feel it is too early just yet. But I can not change that as of now, and need to step up and do some MAJOR shot gun training. I AM GOING TO NEED ALL OF YOUR ADVICE AT THIS TIME!! anyone that has experience in Blue and Golds please help me if possible. the bird is on day 84 and he says is doing very well at this time. If you follow my post on the introduction area, you will see the photos and thread. I am new to this, but I am up for the challenge. I will be picking up the bird either today or tomorrow, as he is leaving by Wednesday. I guess this guy is a contracted welder for the gas pipeline and gets called out of nowhere. I am mad at what has happened, but I cant get upset now... just need to make deal of what has happened. Thanks in advance! :eek:
 

JerseyWendy

New member
Jul 20, 2012
20,995
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Is there anyone around you who can teach you how to PROPERLY feed your baby?? He will need to be handfed until he's at least 4 months old.

If you have ZERO experience in handfeeding these guys (or any baby parrots), please know that a LOT of things can go wrong.

You will need:
Digital Scale
Handfeeding formula (preferably one specified for macaws)
Syringes (or bent spoons)
Digital Thermometer
Cage/Container to keep baby in until he's able to perch properly without taking the risk of him falling too deeply, especially on a full crop.

Check out this thread, it contains 2 links, please check both of them, especially the second one (it's on handfeeding)
http://www.parrotforums.com/breeding-raising-parrots/54951-time-learn-time-ask.html
 

Kiwibird

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2012
9,539
111
Parrots
1 BFA- Kiwi. Hatch circa 98', forever home with us Dec. 08'
How old is your macaw? How many feedings is he on a day? I he eating solid foods yet? Is there any experienced hand feeders in your area who could finish weaning him? Do you have an avian vet already (you can set up an appointment for professional advice)?

What a terrible spot to be in. I hope all works out fine for you and your new baby. I guess you'll (most likely) be getting a crash course in bird rearing. While not the best option per se, plenty of inexperienced people have successfully done it, and I'm sure you can too!
 
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JerseyWendy

New member
Jul 20, 2012
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This is a fairly good video on how to do it: ALWAYS use a thermometer to check the temperature, and do NOT use the microwave to heat up water/formula.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTcuK-RIsgA"]Hand Fed Baby Blue & Gold Macaws for Sale - YouTube[/ame]
 

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.)
Check the temperature in multiple places. Sometimes you get hot spots in the formula, and those cause crop burns.

Is there anyone with hand feeding experience nearby that can supervise and show you the ropes?

Trying to learn this over the internet could have disasterous results!
 

SoCalWendy

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Jun 29, 2013
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Kihei, Hawaii
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None at the moment
I don't know if this is going out on a limb or not you need to protect yourself. Since he is forcing you in to a situation that you have no experience in, he should sign something that states that he is knowingingly releasing an unweaned baby bird (state species and band number, etc.) to an inexperienced person (state your name) and that he takes full responsibility, and will either replace the bird or give you a full refund should anything go wrong. Just my two cents.
 
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Lakermatt

New member
May 15, 2015
111
0
Fresno, CA
Parrots
Baby Blue and Gold Macaw
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I am going to call a vet I found in the yellow pages. it is in my area. I don't know ANYONE that has a macaw or has experience for that matter. I think its a "pull up your big boy pants" moment for me at this point. I am going to go get a scale, thermometer today. He is going to give me the syringe and the formula that he has been feeding. I am going to ask him to give me every bit of training this man has... I have a XL dog crate from my great dane puppy that I have for the time being. Going to wash it with bleach to kill any germs, as this is big enough for it to sleep and eat. My wife is on vacation as she is a teacher, so she has another couple months off to help through the day. should I get the bird toys right now? or is that too much right now?
 

JerseyWendy

New member
Jul 20, 2012
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No, a few toys will probably be greatly appreciated. What is the breeder doing with your baby's sibling?

Since they will be separated, perhaps a simple, plush toy (with no buttons and such that can be removed) would be appreciated by baby.

Here's a photo of one that my Niko had (and yes, his brother was in the enclosure with him, they had more than one plush animal to snuggle up against when/if they wanted to)

jerseywendy-albums-nikolai-picture5719-my-baby-nikolai-006.jpg


You may want to invest in another syringe (or half a dozen or so), because they will wear out (the rubber part will). They need to be thoroughly cleaned/disinfected after each use.
 

Solo

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Feb 24, 2015
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Wichita,KS
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Shamrock Macaw
Omg! I am so sorry to hear about all the issues you've experienced with this breeder. Hope all goes well..keep us posted. You are certainly jumping into the deep end here, and you baby's health and life depend on you being able to swim.
 

Pinkbirdy

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Feb 26, 2013
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Clifton Springs Newyork
Parrots
macaw,LS2,congo grey,2Blk Hd caiques,Hawkhead,yellowstrk lory,Blue frnt amazon,sun conure ,Yellow sided greencheek ,Goffin ,Rosebreasted Cockatoo,Greenwing Macaw,Blue and Gold Macaw,Nanday conure,Ecle
Once the temperature is correct . Place a paper towel around the neck of the bird . With your left hand , you will be holding the back of the papertowel at the back of his neck together. This will steady him while feeding [like a bib]. With your right hand with the syringe with formula in it.Slowly dribble the formula in the left SIDE of his beak. Feed till refuses , That's the feeding part . As said you need to know how many feedings hes on . The average amount and keep track of his weight. Macaws can take a long time to wean [just to be aware]. As he starts to eat his regular food he must be able to maintain his weight without formula.Thats when he would be weaned. Make sure you don't use those syringes with the plastic hose attachment [very dangerous] can come off.
 

labell

New member
Feb 17, 2014
1,988
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East
There are a few things I have to point out as wrong in that vid. One I never use water hot from the tap, there are days in most cities where the chlorine is so strong if you have a good sense of smell you can smell it. I always used to heat the water on the stove that way some of those chemicals from the tap were released, now I use filtered water but still heat it either on the stove or I have a stainless water heating pot that has temp settings on it. I love that thing, the only thing you put in it is water so no danger of other stuff being left in it. The fact that he didn't have a digital thermometer checking the actual temp of that food is beyond careless! NEVER feed formula that you do not know the exact temp of, don't think for a moment that you can check it on your arm or wrist...you can't.

Two, it is not a good idea to make the formula that thin, it should be at the very least like slightly thicker pancake batter. It is much easier to aspirate a baby if the formula is too thin.

Three...clipping a baby that young is criminal in my opinion as well as he said he was working on weaning that baby. GW or any bird for that matter should never be force weaned, they all will wean at their own pace. The longest I ever fed was a GW who was almost 10 months before he weaned but he was an absolute monster sized bird and not only needed extra fat but a longer hand feeding/weaning time to reach his full weight and size.

I am sorry you are faced with this. I would not have wanted to learn on a macaw I can tell you that and I have hand fed for over 25 years. It really would be best if you had someone to mentor you that has experience.

I am sorry but someone who can be called away at a moments notice should either have someone else to take over hand feeding or should not be breeding. This is beyond irresponsible on his part.

I am glad to hear you're up for the challenge but honestly over the years I have seen some very well meaning people end up doing horrible things. Such as feeding too cool and giving the bird crop stasis which can lead to infection and death. Feeding too hot and burning the babies crop. Or aspirating the baby causing immediate death or even worse just enough formula introduced into the lungs that the baby dies a slow death. I do mean to scare you...you need to understand the risks and just how careful you will need to be.
 
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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.)
I second every word of what SHE said...

Bottled water is best. And it's not expensive.

You don't clip the bird until after he's fledged properly, and can fly and land in a coordinated fashion. It's very detrimental to clip them too soon!

Macaws are difficult birds to handfeed properly. And YES, I have done it... but it scares the crap out of me every time I take on that responsibility... there's a lot that could go wrong.

You are most likely going to end up in over your head. I'd find an experienced hand feeder to help.

Even if you have to take him to an avian vet to have the vet show you how it's done, or another experienced breeder...

THE POSITION THIS GUY IS PUTTING YOU AND THIS BABY IN IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG!!!
 
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labell

New member
Feb 17, 2014
1,988
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East
The fact is no matter how long a person has been doing it hand feeding should scare the crap outta you every time!
I have been doing it a long time, so long there is no way I could even count how many babies I have hand fed over the years but I still am paranoid.

I watch every move, every poop, every noise the slightest deviation from normal behavior has me at DEFCON 1 to act fast (meaning avian vet). Once a baby starts going down hill it is FAST and there is no time to waste.

I have never had an illness or problem with hand feeding a baby (knock on wood) but that doesn't make me arrogant or careless because of it. Because while I have never caused it I have been brought babies to finish hand feeding after the owners had some difficulty and I was recommended by their avian vet as someone to take over hand feeding. So I have seen these issues and they aren't to be taken lightly.
 

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.)
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labell

New member
Feb 17, 2014
1,988
5
East
Once the temperature is correct . Place a paper towel around the neck of the bird . With your left hand , you will be holding the back of the papertowel at the back of his neck together. This will steady him while feeding [like a bib]. With your right hand with the syringe with formula in it.Slowly dribble the formula in the left SIDE of his beak. Feed till refuses , That's the feeding part . As said you need to know how many feedings hes on . The average amount and keep track of his weight. Macaws can take a long time to wean [just to be aware]. As he starts to eat his regular food he must be able to maintain his weight without formula.Thats when he would be weaned. Make sure you don't use those syringes with the plastic hose attachment [very dangerous] can come off.

I have to disagree with the "feed till refuses" part. Macaws will many times over eat if allowed, they have incredibly strong feeding responses and do not always know when they have had enough. There is an art to lightly feeling a crop and looking at it and knowing that you have fed enough but haven't over-filled. Over filling a crop can cause it to stretch (like a person who over eats can stretch their stomach) except with a baby bird over filling will not only stretch it out but also causes digestion to slow down. I have seen babies where the owner over filled them end up in crop bras, a contraption that basically holds the now saggy crop closer to the baby to aid in faster digestion. I have also never held the neck of a bird while feeding and wouldn't recommend that to someone. Neck vertebra is fragile in developing growing babies.
 
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Lakermatt

New member
May 15, 2015
111
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Fresno, CA
Parrots
Baby Blue and Gold Macaw
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OH SWEET JESUS... now I am on freak out mode... I need to call around today.
 

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.)
I am going to call a vet I found in the yellow pages. it is in my area. I don't know ANYONE that has a macaw or has experience for that matter.

VERY GOOD IDEA... they can supervise until you know what you are doing.
 

Doublete

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Mar 15, 2015
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Maryland
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"Loki" turquoise GCC 1/4/15 hatch date-- "Chiqui" amazon 9/2010 hatch date---- "Banner" green parrotlet hatchdate 11/22/16

RIP "pineapple" lovebird
What is the breeder doing with the other baby? Maybe that one is going to someone capable? (Or maybe I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here)
 

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.)
OH SWEET JESUS... now I am on freak out mode... I need to call around today.

YEAH... THERE IS A LOT TO IT, AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW UNTIL YOU JUST KILLED OR MAIMED YOUR BABY...

Don't do this on your own. Don't try and learn it over the internet. Find someone who can teach you hands on, and show you how to do it correctly.

The list of what could go wrong, includes: Crop burns, refusal to eat/spitting up because it's too cold, aspiration pneumonia, crop perforations, slow crops, sour crops, crop infections, overfilled crops leading to death, Filling the crop while baby is pausing to breathe, leading to death, not feeding enough causing malnutrition/stunted growth...

And that's just off the top of my head!
 
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SoCalWendy

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Jun 29, 2013
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Kihei, Hawaii
Parrots
None at the moment
I still think you should make the breeder sign something stating he will take full responsibility in case something happens to the baby.
 

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