Acquired: Pet store
Posted Dec 01, 2014
Ten years ago my husband begged me to let us get a macaw. I knew little of birds except they were messy. He had never had a bird either. We bought a blue and gold macaw from a pet store. The owner told us that she had raised her from a baby and she was still quite young. Her name was Blue. She immediately took to my husband and enjoyed riding everywhere on his shoulder. Everyone else she tried to bite and squawked at. We got her a large cage with an upper play, perch area. We put this in the main family room so she would always have company around and things to watch.
Our other animals, dogs and cats, soon learned to stir clear of her mighty beak. She screamed at everything and everyone often. Although we put plastic down around the bottom of the cage, she often flew or walked over to the sofas to play with whoever she could, or to tear up the upholstery. The carpet was soon beyond hope.
Blue is LOUD. You should not keep a macaw in an apartment, because your neighbors will complain. She did learn a few words, such as our names, and cuss words that my teenage son and his friends unintentionally taught her while they played video games. She also learned to bark like the dogs and meow like the cats.
Blue is a one person bird, and only seems to like my husband. He stopped allowing her on his shoulder because he read that this makes them feel dominant. Blue hates vacuuming and any other loud noise that scares her or that she is not accustom to. She does like special treats like various fruits and nuts. It is also important to buy a hard wood perch that they cannot destroy. When macaws are bored they will attempt to take apart anything they can get to. For this reason, they should always have new toys in their cage.
Blue is now about 10 years old. We have moved to a new house, and she now lives in the basement by some large windows. She does not get the human interaction that she used to, but she also seems calmer and is less prone to scream. Her cage is never closed, and she roams free from inside her cage to the top play area, and over to her near-by round travel perch. Although she has free range of a large walkout basement, she no longer flies or walks around on the floor (unless startled).
I would not recommend a macaw to anyone who is not willing to spend a great deal of time training and interacting with them. They live to be quite old and need a serious long term commitment.