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Greenwing breeding

maounm

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Hi i have a 6 years old male GW macaw. I have been keeping birds for 2 years now as pets but now i want to give breeding a try. I have previously hand raised GWs so i am okay with handling everything but i am new to breeding.
i am getting a 6 years old female GW she is tamed. How long will it take for them to form a bond? Whats the best way to make that happen?
how spacious should the aviary be?
once they bond will i loose them as pets?
Can they be a breeding pair and still be pets?
anything else you would like to add would be really appreciated.
 

Matto

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I'd really recommend getting these books: http://www.psittaculture.eu/product...ure-book-and-one-macaws-book-in-one-shipment/
The aviary will need to be very large if you are not letting them out to fly. If you let them out daily then you can get away with a normal double macaw cage. Introduce them slowly on neutral territory. Then you can move them to opposite sides of the double cage with a divider in the middle. Once they are preening each other through the divider you can remove it. You will likely lose the bond you have with them, but you may still be able to handle them if needed. Are you prepared to incubate the eggs if they do not? Are you prepared to handfeed day 1 chicks if they do not? Hand raising birds that are 2-3 weeks old is a much different experience.
Personally, I'd recommend starting with an easier bird like a lovebird or cockatiel.
 

April

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@BrianB maybe able to give you some insight.
 

Sparkles!

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@Matto gave good advice.

A few things I’ll add: 1m and 1f doesn’t always equal a mated pair. A bonded, successful breeding pair is normally the result of allowing birds to choose each other out of numerous options. You may not end up with a breeding pair with these two- heck you may end up with birds out to kill each other. Be aware and prepared for this possible outcome.

If they do pair, that is no guarantee they’ll produce. Production is tied to many things. Genetics, behavior, hormones, diet, environment, and stress are all issues that have to harmonize for successful production.

And, if that doesn’t beat all, you could have all of these things 100% “correct” and still no eggs or babies.
Macaw are not like cats/dogs/rabbits or even little birds like cockatiels. It’s an entirely different ball game.

I’m not saying that 2 years isn’t enough time to learn, but 2 years just owning a bird is very different than breeding for the past 2 years. Do you have any breeders in your country that can mentor you?
 

BrianB

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Everyone has given good advice so far. In my own experience introducing two macaws is like introducing two children. They may be best friends from the moment they meet, they may take a while to become friends, or they may be mortal enemies at first sight. Macaws can take months to get to know each other. They have complex emotional needs that are constantly changing, and hard to understand. I did a very slow introduction between a buffons and a green-wing. They were in cages in the same room and allowed out on their own cages. Over time I moved the cages so they were close to each other, but not touching. This lets them see and vocalize with each other, but not physically interact. I would let one out at a time so they could crawl around on the cages and have more interaction. I kept an eye out for biting or aggression between the bars. Eventually, they were both allowed out at the same time and they had supervised physical interaction with each other. I kept a cheap throw pillow handy just for that reason. Breaking up a pair of fighting macaws is not something I want to do, so I figured tossing a small pillow at them would be enough of a distraction that I could break them up if they really got into it. Luckily I never had to do that and they got along really well. They had complementary personalities and it didn't take long for them to bond. The male buffons was very reserved and quiet. I believe he had been badly abused by his former owner. The green-wing was loud, crazy, and high-energy. She was the life of the party and he was the guy standing in the corner. When she got out of hand, he would reach out a foot and grab hers. She would calm down. Over time, she taught him to unwind and start to be more active. They have been good for each other, but they are no longer pets for me. Neither of them wants any physical interaction with me and I respect that. Now they live in a large flight cage with a nest box. He started sleeping in the box, she slept outside. Over time they have both started sleeping in it. Are they ever going to breed? Who knows. If they do, great, and if they don't, they don't. At this point in their lives, they are happy birds and that's the most important thing to me.

I have a breeding pair of green-wings, but sometimes I question their bond. During breeding season the male is very dominant. During the offseason, the female is very dominant. Sometimes they fight and she acts terrified of him. They are productive, but I don't often see signs of affection between them. However, the one time I tried to remove him from the cage to get his nails done, she screamed like she was being murdered. I was afraid the neighbors were going to call the police because she sounded like a woman being attacked. Are they bonded, or do they just tolerate each other?

Many macaws won't breed unless they are comfortable with each other, and with their surrounding. Just because they are bonded doesn't mean they will breed, and putting two pet macaws together may cause you to lose them both as pets. I do know of someone who has a pair of blue and gold macaws. They are both living pets with him and they are bonded with each other. Every other year he gives them a nest box and they give him two chicks. They want another to do with him while they are breeding. When the babies are removed, he takes away the nest box, and in a few weeks, his loving pets are back. This kind of behavior is certainly the exception and not the rule. I was lucky that the buffons and green-wing were able to get along, but it took months to go from being side by side, to sharing a cage. He had never been around other macaws, so it was a relief that they were able to get along. The real question is, are they bonded, or are they just companions who live together peacefully? I have no way of knowing that.

So I guess the answers to your questions are there are no solid answers. Each bird is different. Each pair is different. Can you have pets that breed and still be pets? Sometimes, but it's not common. Breeding is rewarding and heartbreaking. Expect the best, but prepare for the worse.
 

maounm

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Than
I'd really recommend getting these books: http://www.psittaculture.eu/product...ure-book-and-one-macaws-book-in-one-shipment/
The aviary will need to be very large if you are not letting them out to fly. If you let them out daily then you can get away with a normal double macaw cage. Introduce them slowly on neutral territory. Then you can move them to opposite sides of the double cage with a divider in the middle. Once they are preening each other through the divider you can remove it. You will likely lose the bond you have with them, but you may still be able to handle them if needed. Are you prepared to incubate the eggs if they do not? Are you prepared to handfeed day 1 chicks if they do not? Hand raising birds that are 2-3 weeks old is a much different experience.
Personally, I'd recommend starting with an easier bird like a lovebird or cockatiel.
Thankyou for your reply.
yes i have raised macaws before i recently raised a greenwing i got him when he was 2 weeks old. I am comfortable with hand feeding.
my main concern is loosing bond with my bird. Do you totally loose the bond? Do they still allow you to pet them and sit on your arms after they bond?
i have expert help available regarding feeding day old chicks but i was wondering if i can let parents raise chicks for 2 weeks and then i can start hand feeding. Is that possible?
 

Sparkles!

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Than

Thankyou for your reply.
yes i have raised macaws before i recently raised a greenwing i got him when he was 2 weeks old. I am comfortable with hand feeding.
my main concern is loosing bond with my bird. Do you totally loose the bond? Do they still allow you to pet them and sit on your arms after they bond?
i have expert help available regarding feeding day old chicks but i was wondering if i can let parents raise chicks for 2 weeks and then i can start hand feeding. Is that possible?
I have never had a “good breeder” be a “good pet” or vice versa. It’s usually one or the other with large macaws. Breeder birds most often want their chosen bird mate to be to them what ever place a human had in their life. As Brian said, he knew of 1 exception to this, but I don’t know of *any*. I know of a breeding pair of Scarlets who will deliberately kill their babies if anyone but their 1 favorite person goes inside their aviary. I know of a B+G pair that were the absolute sweetest pets! But they’re breeders now and will leave you bloody if you even think to enter their breeding space. On the same token, I know two BT pairs who just can’t seem to get things right. Broken eggs constantly, and if they do manage a baby they bite toes or feet off. The BT pairs owner now must pull every egg, every time, to incubate and feed from day 0. A very experienced hybrid breeder calls me every season to come assist with her flock, because they become *that* unruly- and she’s a 40 yr veteran breeder. When hormones rage, no one is safe sometimes, not even the babies or mate on occasion.

Breeding macaw isn’t just about “Can you hand feed?”. Are you comfortable with breaking up a potential bird fight? Can you incubate and feed from day 0 if the parents kick the neonates out? Can you handle your sweet pet deciding that you’re crap compared to another bird of the same species that speaks its language and then your bird deciding it wants nothing more to do with you?
All these are good possibilities. If you aren’t okay with that, don’t go down that path.

As far as feeding at 2 weeks, it depends on the parents. If you pull babies that are being taken care of wonderfully and that action upsets the parents greatly, there’s a high probability that you’re not getting allowed anywhere near them and the nest ever again during the season- because they’re smart enough to see you as a baby thief. And boy, do they remember. You might be able to sneak babies away once, but after that- they’ll know. You can get a pair that aren’t super maternal/paternal that doesn’t mind the babies taken but those pairs aren’t the best producers in my experience and the babies have the best chance if they’re pulled as early as possible.

I would keep your pet a pet and buy specifically an established breeding pair, honestly.
 
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maounm

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Aoun mahmood
Thankyou beautifully explained. Actually i have always wanted to keep a pair of greenwings dosent matter if they breed or not. But if they do that will be a bonus.
I have a friend who has 2 years old greenwing pair and they have a strong bond with him. Is there a 100 percent chance that i will loose him as a pet if they breed?
i am okay with feeding from day zero i already have brooders in place.
 
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