Bred bird myself,
Rescue / shelter organization
Beaumont, Texas, United States
Posted Jul 06, 2011
I have featured Blue & Gold, Scarlet, Green Wing and Military Macaws as animal ambassadors in our educational programs for many years. They are beautiful and very intelligent creatures. I can see why they are popular pets. Most of my Macaws were rescues released to our organization by owners who got in over their heads and did not prepare or do the proper research. Some were bred and raised by myself. People do not realize how loud, destructive, expensive, temperamental, messy and even aggressive these birds can be! This is a life companion that needs to be with you FOREVER! They do not do well being re-homed! They will never be the same with anyone else as they are with the person who raised them. Properly caring for a Macaw consists of regular veterinary visits for beak and nail filings, annual check-ups, wing clipping among any other issues that may arise. Doing this yourself can damage your relationship with the bird and is best done by a professional. These are some of the most expensive animals to maintain so be prepared. Their food is not cheap they require fresh fruits and veggies, vitamin supplements, bathing/molting products, special perches to help maintain beak and feet care, a HUGE cage and perch, enrichment items/toys that are rotated regularly so they do not become bored. Average cost of one toy is $15-$30! They go through these items very quickly and require several enrichment items! The food will need to be customized to each individual Macaws nutritional needs and likes or dislikes. Assistance from an experienced Vet is recommended to ensure your Macaw is getting what he/she needs. Your birds quality of life and life expectancy depends on your care. Sometimes finding an experienced Vet can be difficult. Most people say this is not a bird for first time owners... Macaws need a very experienced owner with many YEARS of research and hands on experience. An accident from an inexperienced owner can leave you missing ears, fingers or needing multiple surgeries to fix the massive damage they can cause. Macaws have a reputation for being unpredictable and nothing compares to the strength of a Macaws beak! So having this animal around children is NOT a good idea, regardless of the bond you may have this is still a undomesticated animal. Macaws require a very dedicated owner who is home ALLOT and can dedicate themselves to their socialization, environmental enhancement and training. These birds MUST be properly trained if expected to make good pets. If you are afraid of being bit don't even bother getting a Macaw sooner or later its going to happen. Interaction with your Macaw and other friends and family should be done with care, supervision and patience. Don't be surprised if your Macaw decides to dislike one of your friends or family members this is common and can be dangerous for that individual. Macaws are not always good with other pets. ONLY if they are raised together even then caution should be used. Purchasing a rescued Macaw is for VERY experienced handlers only! If this is your first Macaw get a hand fed baby you can raise yourself. Scarlet’s are the most temperamental of all Macaws so start with a Blue & Gold. Remember you get what you pay for so buy from a reputable breeder don't buy cause the price is right. You may not be getting a quality animal. Bird breeders are not held to USDA or state regulatory standards of care and inspection like exotic mammal breeders are. This makes finding a reputable breeder even more difficult. So be careful there are many scams out there! Always get a Health Certificate AND Guarantee! Be sure all the members of your household are in agreement to the addition of a Macaw this is a life changing decision. Do not buy a Macaw if you plan to go off to college, have children, travel or work allot. You will not be happy with your Macaw if you do not put in 100% of your effort into them. Some breeders will tell you whatever they think you want to hear to get your money so do your research thoroughly it will pay off in the long run! You will have to strive to continually educate yourself to ensure you are giving this intelligent animal everything it needs to live a long healthy enriched life! If you are ready a Macaw is a wonderful life long companion. I hope my review is helpful to someone. God Bless!
By: USDA Licensed Exhibitor, Veterinary Technician, Wildlife Rehabilitator