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maounm

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Hello everyone i have a 6 years old tamed male GW and i just got a female GW few days ago about the same age.
i am slowly introducing them but the male seems bit aggressive he even bit me (for the 1st time since i have had him) after seeing female.
I intend to breed them so i need breeding aviary ideas. What should the size be? What other things should i keep in mind while building the aviary?
i have raised macaws since past 2 years and bow i am intending to breed mine as a hobby not for business. Both birds are super tamed and friendly with me.
2nd question
I know bonding takes time but what are the ways i can make the process easier for them? I dont leave them alone and keep them in each other’s sight all the time so they can get comfortable with each other. Once aviary is built i will leave them in there where they will have the option to fly away from each other if needed.
i am planning to build an aviary with 12 feet width, 7 feet height and 6 feet depth.

3rd question
i want to keep them super tamed no matter if they breed or not. How can i do that? Should i bond with the female first and then let them bond to-gather? My male is already super bonded with me.
 

aooratrix

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A lot of your flight/aviary questions are Googleable. Try that.
There are some breeding birds that remain friendly outside of breeding season, but it's not common. Continue to interact with your birds as if they weren't "breeders". They will let you know what they're comfortable with.
You sound like you want to rush the bonding process. You can't speed that up. They'll bond or not at their own pace. You should be able to tell if they like each other or not. Macaw pairs will have loud, dynamic squabbles, but they're usually short and more drama than actual fighting.
 

Destiny

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You mentioned that you had just got the female a few days ago. Has she been through quarantine? Ideally, introductions should wait until the quarantine period is over, so you don't risk exposing your current bird to diseases, if it turns out she is ill. After quarantine, the birds can be slowly introduced, preferably on neutral territory. Keep in mind, just because they are male/female doesn't mean they will like each other or form a strong bond. Only time and patience will determine if their personalities are compatible. Incompatibility is a fairly common issue when breeding large parrots, since they will not necessarily accept the first bird to come along and may not breed if their selected mate is not to their liking.

Next, before considering them for breeding, I would recommend getting both birds checked by an avian vet to make sure they are in good health and rule out any issues that might complicate breeding. At six years old, your birds are still young, but old enough to breed. However, egg-laying and raising young puts a lot of stress on the parents, so you want to make sure they are in peak health and getting the best possible nutrition during the entire process.

Assuming they both pass the vet-check with a clean bill of health, next step would be to double-check that their diet and exercise levels are good. Calcium and vitamin D are especially important for the female bird. What do you feed your birds? Pellets, fresh food, nuts? Have you looked into how their diet should change while they are preparing to breed or feeding young? Do you have the necessary supplies and experience to hand-feed if necessary? Macaws are not easy to breed. Do as much research as you can BEFORE something goes wrong and gather all the necessary supplies so you are prepared for the worst.

Regarding the aviary, for macaws, especially breeding birds, bigger is better. The dimensions you listed honestly sound pretty small to me. Twelve feet in length would allow flight, but it isn't really enough space for them to escape each other, especially if you keep the airspace clear for flight exercise. In fact with a six foot depth, it is going to be pretty tight in there, after accounting for perches, feeding stations, and macaw-sized toys. Being the second largest parrot species, green-winged macaws can have a 3 to 4 foot wingspan at adulthood. A six foot depth dosn't give much room to maneuver while in flight or any space to hang anything from the ceiling without it getting in the way. And if the aviary is only 7ft high, the macaws will be flying through the same space occupied by any visitor when they stand inside the aviary, which could create additional problems. If possible, I would recommend a space that is longer, wider, and taller, like 10ft by 20ft with a 10ft ceiling.

Will you be building your own aviary or buying a pre-built aviary? How much room do you have to work with? What is your climate like? There are many considerations when constructing an aviary - be sure to research appropriate materials for parrots. Large parrots can easily destroy wood and standard wire mesh. You will need to get materials that are safe for the birds and safe FROM the birds, as well as designing the space to be comfortable and safe to inhabit. Provide shelter against cold/hot weather, predator-proofing, and safe access (double-entry) to the aviary, among other things. For breeding, you would also need to offer deep nesting boxes of a suitable size and depth. Planning an aviary is a complex project. I've only really touched the surface. Good luck on your project!

Regarding keeping your parrots tame while breeding in an aviary, I would caution that it is very likely that your birds are not going to WANT close handling or outside interference during the breeding season. Territorial aggression, nest-guarding, and "unpredictabality" is common with hormonal birds. It is not realistic to expect that your birds will be "super tame" while you are attempting to breed them, because their instincts will be telling them that you are a potential threat.

This does not mean you can't continue to interact with them and maintain a good relationship ... but you will need to be very responsive to their body language, especially when you are near the nest or directly interacting with either bird. If you are not careful, you will be bitten. If you are careful, you probably will still be bitten. Be very very careful and remain hands-off, when necessary. When breeding season is over, things should calm down. However, you may find that your bonded macaw pair prefers each others company to yours. The flock dynamic is different with two birds and one human. They will still be tame, but they may not be as interested in you and may not tolerate the same level of interaction. Take it slow and adjust your behavior accordingly.
 

BrianB

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There is so much that can go right and so much that can go wrong. You will need to quarantine the new macaw for at least 30 days and get a health check by a qualified vet. This is to make sure you don't introduce anything into your home that you aren't aware of. Each bird has their own bacterial flora and while they may be healthy with what they naturally carry, your other bird may not do so well or take time to adjust to what is new. Likewise, your birds may carry a bacteria that their bodies can handle just fine, but it may have an adverse effect on the new one. It's better to be cautious.

Macaws are very social animals, but that doesn't mean they will like any new bird you bring into the environment. You may experience jealousy which can manifest as aggression or biting, screaming, throwing food, or other out-of-the-ordinary behaviors. Continue to spoil your boy as you normally do, and reassure him that the new bird isn't a threat. When you let them interact with each other, never leave them alone unsupervised. When I introduced my buffons and a green wing for the first time, I had a wet towel handy. If they start to fight the towel can be tossed at them. It's heavy enough to weigh them down, but not heavy enough to hurt them. It's an easy way to break them up if there is an issue. I also had a small pillow handy. A cheap throw pillow tossed in their direction is enough of a distraction that you can grab one and move away before any bloodshed happens. I would much rather sacrifice a cheap pillow than lose blood to a pair of fighting macaws. My two did fine when they were introduced, and they were a good balance for each other, however, when I brought a baby green wing into the house it changed everything. The baby came from another breeding pair I have, and the female green wing became immensely jealous of the baby. Within days of the baby coming out of the nest box, her attitude towards me changed. Freya was no threat to her. She was only 2 weeks old at the time, but the baby took my attention away from her. She started biting me, and within a few days, she bit me so many times and so hard that I lost my trust in her. She became impossible to handle and wanted nothing to do with me. She went from being a silly girl who would sit on my lap and chatter away at me to absolutely hating me. A year and a half later, Freya is gone, but she still hates me, and even changing her food and water is a chore because she has it out for me. These things happen. You may very well be able to keep one or both of the adults somewhat tame and handleable if they start breeding, but be prepared for their behavior towards you to change. You could lose one or both of them as pets. It's not unheard of for pet macaws to breed and go through a few-month period where they are impossible to deal with and then when the babies are gone they return to being sweet pets. It is the exception and not the rule.

When it comes to cage/aviary size, the biggest you can afford, and then even bigger if you can swing it. My pair is in a 3 x 4 ft flight, but that's what they have been in all of their lives and when I acquired them I kept them in it. They don't do well with change of any kind and it would have made the transition more difficult for them. Another pair was in a smaller cage and they have done well being moved into a larger one.

If they breed just be cautious when you're around them. You will have to deal with territorial behavior and aggression. Getting a baby out of the nest box is difficult and dangerous. If you don't block off the entrance you take the chance of getting a nasty bite, or the parents attacking and killing the baby. Prepare for the absolute worst, and hope for the best.
 

tka

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BrianB

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Assume you mean metres rather than feet?
i wish. It is 3 ft wide, 4 ft high and 5 ft long. I tried something bigger and they were not happy. When I talked to the breeder I acquired them from she said they had been in that size their whole life and it was what they knew best.
 

Shezbug

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i wish. It is 3 ft wide, 4 ft high and 5 ft long. I tried something bigger and they were not happy. When I talked to the breeder I acquired them from she said they had been in that size their whole life and it was what they knew best.
Boy that is kind of sad to think that a breeding pair is used to being housed in such a small enclosure as I am guessing they do not get out of there very often being a breeding pair- sounds similar to my birds indoor cage measurements. How do they get enough exercise to keep fit?
12 ft long flight area (not including the covered in area for eating, shelter and sleeping boxes which would probably be another 4 ft) by 8 ft wide and maybe 9-10ft high is what Burt's breeder kept all his breeding macaws in- he said he would not ever breed the larger birds in anything smaller. Gosh, even his amazons were in huge aviaries- bigger than I have seen used for many birds. He has very healthy happy birds.
 

BrianB

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Boy that is kind of sad to think that a breeding pair is used to being housed in such a small enclosure as I am guessing they do not get out of there very often being a breeding pair- sounds similar to my birds indoor cage measurements. How do they get enough exercise to keep fit?
12 ft long flight area (not including the covered in area for eating, shelter and sleeping boxes which would probably be another 4 ft) by 8 ft wide and maybe 9-10ft high is what Burt's breeder kept all his breeding macaws in- he said he would not ever breed the larger birds in anything smaller. Gosh, even his amazons were in huge aviaries- bigger than I have seen used for many birds. He has very healthy happy birds.
I wish I had the space to give them a huge flight, but it would make them so uncomfortable that I doubt they would breed again. Macaws can be so temperamental and fickle sometimes. I'm just trying to keep their environment as consistent as possible so they are comfortable. They get weirded out by little things like a change of a perch or a replacement when they chew through it. I try to keep things interesting for them with toys and other things to stimulate them, but unlike another pair I have, these guys don't care for change. We're planning a move for a few years from now. We're looking for a smaller house, but larger property. This will give us the ability to move them into a bigger space. I'm thinking of keeping their cage the same, but connecting it to something larger they can explore as they feel comfortable with. A friend was breeding cockatoos and he had a large barn constructed with the cages half inside and half outside. The connection could be sealed off if there was a storm, but the birds could explore as they desired. He said some went outside and some never went any farther than sticking their head out and looking, but never venturing outside. I try to do what I can to make each individual pair happy.
 
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