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Baby Red Fronted Macaw Coming. Would Love Insights from Others with a RFM!

mikester

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5/27/21
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Real Name
Mike
Greetings, new here though not new to parrots. Have had in past Jenday conure and 2 cockatiels. Currently, have a 37yo CAG I've had since she was a baby. Sadly, she has early kidney disease so not sure how much longer she will be with me.

Have always wanted a larger macaw and had recently narrowed to BTM or RFM. BTM are becoming super hard to find, though at least I'm in a state (TX) that does see babies every so often. So was more looking at RFMs, though they are not that common either. Been on a notify list when I got the message that breeder had eggs finally. Was 2 eggs but only one turned out fertile. So committed to that one. Should hatch next week and after weaning, would be coming to me around October. Won't know male or female until DNA sexing takes place in a couple months, so will have to brainstorm both great male and female names (whew!) as breeder said once sexing is confirmed, with name, she can start calling it by its name so it can start adjusting already before coming to me. If I had my wish, I'd probably prefer female as Ive heard hormonal period is not quite as bad as with males but not sure that is true. My CAGs hormonal issues have been confined to her seeing me as her mate and one time years ago, laying some eggs for me. Thank goodness never happened again. I've also been blessed that in her 37yrs she only once bit me and that was only because I went to retrieve her from cage with long sleeve shirt and jacket on. And I should have know better because it was already evident she has to see arm/hand skin or she gets worked up. Other than that, she only tries to bite any females, which she despises.

Anyways, have done a ton of research on RFMs, which led to me narrowing down to them. I would have gone with one of the bigger large macaws but was worried about "external" noise. Have large house but was still worried about decibel of noise carrying into other houses. with RFM from what I've seen/heard, I'm expecting conure quantity of noise in the house and a bit louder so by time it gets into neighbor homes, it will still be heard but not at extreme levels. My CAG when she gets into a high pitched shrieking frenzy can be heard by neighbors but since its more treble than bass, doesn't seem to carry much into other homes.

My baby will come flighted and my house has 30ft ceiling from foyer to living room so will be nice to watch her/him practice flying. Sadly, by time I moved here, my CAG had decided she doesn't care to fly much anymore; she much prefers to chase the dogs across the floor instead.

And in case anyone is thinking CAG <--> RFM, yes I'm aware and discussed with my avian vet. the RFM will be housed upstairs while the CAG lives in dedicated pet room with door closed when she is not out with me.

So looking for insights from other RFM owners: what if anything surprised you about them? Did you have any particular challenge(s) with them and how did you manage? Is there anything you know now, that you wish you knew when you first got an RFM and would have done differently?
 

flyzipper

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Steve
No RFM experience here, but wanted to say welcome Mike, and congratulations on your future addition.

I think @BrianB is the guy.
 
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Sparkles!

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Fingers crossed for you! Hope the pipping goes well and the baby in perfect form!
 

Big Blues

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We have an RFM, a sweet adorable macaw. Nothing surprises us about our sweet girl as she has an adorable temperament and is typical of macaw species.
 

BrianB

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Hi Mike. Welcome aboard.

I love red fronts. The small size is made up for with a big personality. They are also known to be cuddle bugs and are very affectionate. I haven't had any challenges per se, but each one is different. The first clutch this year was a boy and a girl. The boy weaned just before 90 days old. The girl held on for another two or three weeks. They went to very different homes, but are thriving and their family adores them. I have a little girl that I'm hand feeding now. She is more demanding than her older brother was, and can be loud when she's hungry.

They are beautiful in flight and they are just the right size where they can hover in place and land very gently. A coworker has one and she sent her towards me, but when she got to me she decided she wanted her momma instead. She turned in place and flew back to her. We also hold her on her back in the crook of our arms like you would a baby. She is a funny girl. Her mother will change her hairstyle frequently and the bird doesn't like the change. She will call out to her mom, and when she holds her arm out for her to fly to her the bird yells NO at her. When mom walks away she calls out "Come here!". She eventually gets used to the change and then follows her mom around the house. When she misbehaves her mom tells her to stop it and she yells BAD in return. She's a riot.

I have noticed that some of them can have pretty strong separation anxiety, but introducing the bird to a lot of people at a young age helps with that. Be sure to provide lot of toys and use them as a way to forage for treats. A busy bird is a happy bird.

Best of luck with the little one and share pictures.
 

mikester

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
5/27/21
Messages
2
Real Name
Mike
Thanks @BrianB . The breeder indicated the 1 fertile egg is expected to hatch around 5/31 and will be happy to post pics once they start rolling in. Crossing fingers everything goes ok with the baby. I was informed the bird can be DNA sexed around 8wks old so planning boy and girl names now so breeder can start calling it by its name as soon as sexing comes back. I'm not too worried about which sex, although with some macaws I've heard females can be better hormonally speaking to deal with.

My big hope is that s/he doesn't have issues with guys. My CAG from day 1 hated females. Anyways, crossing my fingers. The breeder raises in family home environment with plenty of exposure to both sexes and once bird arrives here, I'm single household, so it's not going to find anyone else to bond with. :) Though I need to get s/he out and about for exposure to people between family and friends visiting.

I had not read about separation anxiety with RFMs, but good to know. The few times a year when I need to travel I will likely board at avian vet. My CAG we tried that with though and it stressed her out. She's at point in life where she rather just stay in cage at home when I travel. She places with a few toys but at 37 she's slowly became mellower with age; though my dogs would not know that when she's on the floor chasing them :) . I would not want to have the RFM alone (except for pet sitter stopping by for dogs). In any event, I'm hoping not to travel in the first 6 months I have the baby so it has plenty of time to settle in.
 
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