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New - Hand raising BG Macaw - 8 weeks

Shorty's Grl

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Hi! I thought i would take a moment and introduce myself, I'm Montana & i have a new baby Blue & Gold Macaw. This is my first macaw but not my first time hand feeding. I used to raise ducklings and fostered a 5 year old african grey for about 6 months.

I'm super excited about my baby!! His name is Shorty by the way lol. I got him at 4 1/2 weeks the day after mother's day and he's been doing great. The people i got him from had me feeding him only twice a day andtold me to keep him in the dark. After my first two days following their instructions it didn't seem right with some slow crop problems. We went to the vet and got his feeding schedule right with the right consistency and he's doing great!

Shorty is about two months now and I'm excited about all the developments he has been making day by day.

I'm wondering what are some of the best ways to bond and spend time with him at this stage. We hand out a lot practicing getting on perches and balancing on his basket and stepping onto my hand. He likes to follow me around ad stand on my foot while i prepare his formula. I've tried watching animated moves like Rio, the Little Mermaid and Aladdin. He seemed to look at rio a bit but I'm not sure he is interested in tv or music.

Any tips about bonding and raising a macaw this young would be greatly appreciated!! I'm so in love with him already
 

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Macawnutz

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What a cutie!

Just make sure he can play independently too. I can't stress that enough!

Filing his nails
Wrapping in a towel
Wearing a harness
Opening his wings
Meeting new people
 

Tiel Feathers

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Your little guy is a cutie!
 

Lwalker

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Welcome! Shorty is adorable!
 

rocky'smom

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what a little cutie pie. Welcome to the Ave
 

iamwhoiam

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Welcome to AA. Congrats on getting Shorty.
 

Nick_bobby

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Oh, what a lovely bird. Make sure it gets lots of attention activities. Talking, singing with them. Put on some calming music not too loud of course. Take it outside for walks in the sun make sure the environment is clean with minimal pollution no smokers should be around your birds and cars as well. Make sure it has a good balanced diet. My B&G is a bit older than yours but I had it around 2 months and it started eating on its own. Now it's on a really good diet of various fruits, seeds and nuts. Btw it's my first time having a macaw I've had orange winged Amazons but never a macaw. They are lovely birds. Hope your bird has a long healthy life! Yup, That's April in the attached photo. I've had him since a kid. Fun fact we thought it was a girl but after testing we found out it was a boy. Still love him regardless. I'm waiting for my b&g to get fully feathered or in time to get the gender tested. I have a hard time thinking about plucking the chest feathers it's so inhumane.
 

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Shorty's Grl

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He looks great @Nick_bobby !!! I was hoping Shorty was a boy and calling him "he"...i got him sexed at the vet with DNA blood sample. I was wondering when i would start to seem him trying to wean, he seems happy on formula right now but i feel like next month or even sooner I will see changes. He has gotten way stronger & been playing a lot.

What kinds of foods did you start your BG with? I've heard people talk about mixing babyhood & formula but i feel like fresh fruit n stuff would be better.
 

rocky'smom

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do not use human baby food please, it's high in iron and can do damage to your little one. try mashed sweet potatoes, carrots, peas anything that you can mash up, for first foods.
 

Nick_bobby

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Yes, you can try mashing up melons and bananas to, as for when he'll start hand feeding you can try sunflowers it's high in fat . Almonds are good protein as well. Also some people boil eggs and crush them with the shells(I've personally never done it). I'd say shell the sunflowers for him eventually he'll crack it himself but he's a baby and his beak will be soft. Almonds you can mash up or cut in half. ^_^
 

rocky'smom

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most likely he is going to play with his foods before he taste them.
 

Mizzely

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Very few baby foods actually have added iron anymore. Every brand I've seen recently only adds ascorbic acid as a preservative. The rest is just veggies and fruits.
 

expressmailtome

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Welcome, and enjoy the site!
 

Bokkapooh

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He looks great @Nick_bobby !!! I was hoping Shorty was a boy and calling him "he"...i got him sexed at the vet with DNA blood sample. I was wondering when i would start to seem him trying to wean, he seems happy on formula right now but i feel like next month or even sooner I will see changes. He has gotten way stronger & been playing a lot.

What kinds of foods did you start your BG with? I've heard people talk about mixing babyhood & formula but i feel like fresh fruit n stuff would be better.

DONT begin to wean him. He needs to decide when to be weaned. This is called abundanced weaning.

If you force wean (begin reducing feedings) before he is ready, you'll create a monster. Literally. A mess of baby bird, who cries a lot, refuses to eat or try new foods, and constantly looks like he wants to head bob with a floofy head. Plus you then add on the screaming and potential bites as he lunges at everything that may look like something that will feed him.

At 10 weeks old, when I was handraising my scarlet macaw, I began to offer foods down on a plate. Cooked AND fresh veggies on a standard ceramic (human) plate, on the bottom of her baby cage. I kept her at 9weeks and on, in a 24"x24" parrot cage. Towel at the bottom of the cage, newpapers underneath so it was all leveled out. And then twice a day I would offer her a plate of food with fresh and cooked veggies. With fresh fruits and ahandful of some uncooked oatmeal. I also offered pellets mixed in with the fresh foods that I offered her twice a day.

I did not offer seeds or nuts until she was about a year old. I believe parrots need to be established on fresh produce, cooked produce and pellets well before any seeds or nuts are offered.

Mera my scarlet macaw did not begin to wean until 11weeks old. But that is because she began to fly (fledging) at 11 weeks old, sharp. And she was eating about 30ccs three times a day around this age. She didnt want any more then this. Her choice.

And soon it went down to 15ccs twice a day. Her choice. This last about three or four weeks, while she was learning to fly and trying new foods. Then by the time she was 4 months old, she wanted 30ccs again, twice a day. Then only in the mornings. Then only in the evenings. Then a day would go by where she didnt beg. Then a day went by and she begged.

By the time she was 5.5 months old, she was completely weaned (her choice).

I offered time to time food to her. And she would snub nose me. My cockatoos, however, greatly enjoyed the Harrisons Formula. They'd eat it for every meal if I allowed it. :D
 
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Bokkapooh

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I would also offer plastic (much larger) toys and wood toys. Such as chopsticks and slate wood. Just so she had something to beak that was not food. Something that she also couldn't swallow.
 
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