Hello all, I have seen for the past several months an ad on Craigslist for a B&G Macaw that is being kept in a dark nasty basement (I can tell from the pics), she is plucked some and it says she is semi-tame. I have not mentioned this bird to my husband yet, but I am feeling strongly about rescuing this poor bird. They are rehoming her due to changes in their work schedule. I do not have big bird experience and I currently own 2 parrotlets that can draw blood if they decide to bite hard enough, they are semi-tame too. I have previously owned a cockatiel and budgie, and have been bitten by a cockatoo hard enough to think that it was going to break my finger…off. I know this isn’t big bird owner experience, but it’s enough experience to know what the huge beak can do. I have been watching lots of training videos and implementing them with my parrotlets, particularly clicker training, and I think that clicker training may work with this B&G too and with time, patience and lots of love, she has the potential to be a wonderful bird, provided she doesn’t have other issues from being kept in that basements for who knows how long. Any advice on possibly adopting this bird would be greatly appreciated.
Well, if you ask me, I think everybody should rescue at least one parrot but when you talk about a semi-tame BIG bird and your only experience is with tiny ones, you might be biting more than you can chew and that would only mean the bird would have to be rehomed again. But, basically, it depends on your situation and your disposition… My first rescue was a super mean amazon that screamed like a maniac, plucked her chest (very rare in amazons) and would hang from the door of her cage by one foot so she could stretch herself out enough to bite you as you were walking by -LOL- She was a mean, mean thing, PrettyBird was and my only experience was with canaries and raising quaker hatchlings to release them back to the wild (I was born and raise in one of the South American countries were they come from and my grandmother taught/helped me do this).You will need a double macaw cage (very expensive) and a couple of big stands plus an entire budget for your food bill as you will have to buy lots of organic fruits all the time. She will also have to be taken to an avian vet for a complete check-up. It’s perfectly doable if you have the money, infrastructure (cannot live in an apartment, townhouse, condo, etc), time, patience and love. You should also have no kids (can’t risk their getting bit by an aggressive macaw). It would also mean no vacations, weekend trips or overnights for the next year or so because you can’t leave an aggressive bird of that size with just anybody…Personally, I have no life and it’s all because of the parrots (I rescue and have a number of aggressive birds). My husband and I went to Cancun for a week together about a 1.5 years ago and it took A LOT of planning and money but we had not had a vacation together in about 8 or 9 years because of the parrots.Me? I would do it but I have a very understanding husband, a birdroom all set up, my children are all grown and have families of their own and I have lots of experience dealing with aggressive large birds - but my husband is afraid of them and you need to consider that maybe your husband would be too -getting bit by a large bird and fending their attacks on a daily basis is no picnic.
I don’t think anyone should ever take on another bird until they are completely satisfied and content with their relationship/success with their prior. If yours aren’t fully tame and bite you, then imagine the same level of success with a huge one? Disaster waiting to happen. When adopting Santina, I was told I have no big bird experience. Yet treating her the same way I treat my little ones (whom I have success with) made everything work straight off the bat.
I totally understand where you guys are coming from. My home situation and the means to take care of her properly are of no concern. What I am more concerned about and what you are right about is that I would be biting off more than I can chew in trying to work with her and train her. I am not afraid of the commitment it would take, but after reading your comments, I realize that don’t think I want to now because I know that the time I have put into the parrotlets I currently have is exhaustingly a lot. They are 3 years old and I have had them for a year now coming from a home where they were totally and completely ignored except for given food & water. So, starting from basically wild birds to where they are today is a huge accomplishment in itself, and actually they really don’t bite anymore, they give warning nips first, my biting remark was meant more like if they really wanted to bite they are capable of drawing blood. Thank goodness they now eat from my hand instead of eating my hand. The past few weeks I found bird training & clicker training videos that I didn’t know existed, and well that is coming along very slowly with them as they don’t want to give up control, they don’t like the clicker and target telling them what to do LOL. They are so stubborn.I don’t mean to sound selfish, but another valid point you had made and the more I think of it, that the B&G would not fit into our lifestyle, maybe in the future she would, maybe never. Her life is stressful enough right now, our life would just make her more stressful by trying to make her fit with us. I know it doesn’t work that way, but the parrotlets transitioned smoothly into our lives and love to travel with us. I don’t think that macaw ever would. I feel so sorry that that bird is in the situation she is in, and I thank you for keeping me realistic. I hope someone can give her a wonderful home… soon.
So many birds in crappy situations were well-intentionally rescued from crappy situations only to turn into a new crappy situation. Too many people bite off more than they can chew. Not because their heart isn’t in the right place but because they don’t know what they are doing or getting themselves into. It is better to have too small a bird and do an amazing job than too big and do a poor job. Focus on doing an excellent job with your parrotlets. It’s better to have more owners doing an outstanding job with their existing birds than out rescuing others. Then there would be far less birds in need of rescuing!
Like Mike said, get good with the parrotlets, or I guess what could be mentioned is move up slowly, like getting something just a little bit bigger.I personally think for a small parrot a Green Cheek Conure is amazing, BeBe does a lot of tricks and I’m still working teaching more, just amazing what these little things are capable of and you don’t have to worry about lossing any fingers, LOL…
I don’t think it’s necessary to move up to bigger birds a bird at a time so to say. I have found that all parrots are 90%+ alike and the differences in species, sex, and personality are much more subtle. So if you can have a golden relationship with your existing birds and really want to take on a macaw (and have the space and resources to do so), it’s reasonable. However, if a parrotlet bite is painful… a macaw bite can cause permanent damage. You gotta know what you’re doing. Intermediate birds by size help build experience and confidence but not necessarily a must.
I think one is liable to take good care of the bird or the animal they are liable to take along with them. I think anyone should never ever take on another bird until they are completely satisfied and content with their relationship/success with their prior. That’s all I know about this.