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Questions on Macaw breeding and homing

Beakz

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Hi! So recently my parents got 4 breeder macaws from a breeder who wanted to get rid of all his (hundreds) of macaws because he was getting too old to care for them. Obviously not a very ethical breeder (he would sell the birds at 2 weeks old according to him) anyways, the man gave it to them for a good price and my parents got them to give them better care then previous breeder gave them. So far I’ve put them on a breeder pallet diet (previously all seed diet) the brand I’m feeding them is matzuri, and feed them fresh fruit and vegetables, one pair of the macaws has some plucking, they’re very aggressive and are hard to get but I’m planning to get them checked out soon. their cages aren’t too big either, and my parents have built them a large aviary ( over 10feet tall and 10 feet wide)
would it be safe to put all 4 birds in there together?( They’re currently in separate cages) If so how should I place the nesting boxes?
also they’ve already had a clutch of eggs but it was infertile, according to the breeder it’s very common, is it really? Is there a reason this happens?
I have many questions because I don’t know much about how to care for breeder birds I’ve only ever had pet birds, but I want to make sure they’re happy and healthy and getting what they need
 
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Shezbug

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I do not believe it is ever appropriate for them to be housed together in that kind of space due to them being bonded and breeding pairs. My understanding is that each pair needs their own aviary.

Did your family buy these two pairs of birds to actually breed or will they be retiring them from breeding and making them aviary companion birds?
 

Zara

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I would not house them together at all. I would also not breed the pair that has the bird who is plucking.

Did your family buy these two pairs of birds to actually breed or will they be retiring them from breeding and making them aviary companion birds?
I was wondering the same. Just because they were ¨breeder birds¨, that is only a label given by someone else, it doesn´t define them.

There´s something quite noble about bring home a ¨breeder bird¨ and allowing them to retire and just enjoy life.

What species of macaw are they?

I want to make sure they’re happy and healthy and getting what they need
I´ll tag some people who may know more about their needs :)
@Macawnutz @aooratrix @Hankmacaw @Karen @macawpower58
 

BirdLady13

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I wouldn't attempt to put breeding pairs in a cage together because they'll likely tear each other apart.
As far as the clutch of infertile eggs goes, there are 2 big possibilities: the embryos weren't viable / the eggs were in fact fertile but were unable to hatch. If they've never had a successful clutch it could be due to factors such as: nutritional inadequacy, inbreeding, the age of the pair, etc. If they have been successful in the past, the inability to produce viable eggs could be due to: overall health, environmental differences between where they were and where they are now, etc.
 

Zara

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Just want to add...

As you said the ¨breeder¨ was selling chicks at 2 weeks old, I would not trust a single word he tells you about these birds and their breeding or health history.
 

fashionfobie

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Bonded macaws will not tolerate sharing that space. You need to two aviaries of that size, one for each pair at the minimum.

Poor birds. It sounds like the older "breeder" kept them for all the wrong reasons. I am glad they have found a new space, hopefully one with more toys, better food, and NO expectation that they are breeding machines.
 

Beakz

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I do not believe it is ever appropriate for them to be housed together in that kind of space due to them being bonded and breeding pairs. My understanding is that each pair needs their own aviary.

Did your family buy these two pairs of birds to actually breed or will they be retiring them from breeding and making them aviary companion birds?
They don’t mind either way, although they were really excited when they had eggs the first time because they would love to raise baby macaws. But they didn’t get them for the sole purpose of breeding
 

Beakz

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I would not house them together at all. I would also not breed the pair that has the bird who is plucking.


I was wondering the same. Just because they were ¨breeder birds¨, that is only a label given by someone else, it doesn´t define them.

There´s something quite noble about bring home a ¨breeder bird¨ and allowing them to retire and just enjoy life.

What species of macaw are they?


I´ll tag some people who may know more about their needs :)
@Macawnutz @aooratrix @Hankmacaw @Karen @macawpower58
One of the is a Catalina and a greenwing and the other pair is a blue and gold! The Catalina and greenwing are a bit plucked the one who is female more than the other (it actually seems like she plucks the other pair) because the plucking is on his head
 

Beakz

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I wouldn't attempt to put breeding pairs in a cage together because they'll likely tear each other apart.
As far as the clutch of infertile eggs goes, there are 2 big possibilities: the embryos weren't viable / the eggs were in fact fertile but were unable to hatch. If they've never had a successful clutch it could be due to factors such as: nutritional inadequacy, inbreeding, the age of the pair, etc. If they have been successful in the past, the inability to produce viable eggs could be due to: overall health, environmental differences between where they were and where they are now, etc.
Yeah I figured that might me it, according to the breeder although I don’t trust him at all, he said they have had one successful clutch. But I don’t know, their diet was terrible the first time I went to go look at the they had only sunflower seeds in their food bowl. And their cages only have perches, I’m trying to put in some toys but the only opening is the nest opening and the food opening so I might have to cut a small opening apart
 

Beakz

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Bonded macaws will not tolerate sharing that space. You need to two aviaries of that size, one for each pair at the minimum.

Poor birds. It sounds like the older "breeder" kept them for all the wrong reasons. I am glad they have found a new space, hopefully one with more toys, better food, and NO expectation that they are breeding machines.
Yeah definitely
 

Karen

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One of the is a Catalina and a greenwing and the other pair is a blue and gold! The Catalina and greenwing are a bit plucked the one who is female more than the other (it actually seems like she plucks the other pair) because the plucking is on his head
How were their vet checks and blood panels?

I agree with what has been said. Separate housing and more than likely separate space if you're considering facilitating their breeding tendencies.
 

Beakz

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Should I just put
How were their vet checks and blood panels?

I agree with what has been said. Separate housing and more than likely separate space if you're considering facilitating their breeding tendencies.
I haven’t been able to take them yet! I don’t think they’ve ever been vet checked, there’s no large opening in the cage to get them so I’m planning to cut one open so I can get them to get them checked out
 

tka

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I agree with the others - don't breed them. Raising babies is hugely demanding for both the birds and their human caretaker. If your parents are genuinely interested in breeding, they need proper mentorship from an experienced, ethical breeder, a detailed breeding plan outlining their aims, and carefully selected breeding stock. They also need a serious conversation about money and resources, including things like emergency vet care for a sick or injured chick or an egg-bound female. You only need to glance at the Bird Emergency forum here to see the kinds of problems that novice breeders run into.

Breeding from retired breeding pairs just because you have them is the wrong way to start this. Bear in mind that you have no accurate history on these birds (hatch dates? health records? whether they've successfully raised young before?) and these poor birds have been kept in poor housing and on a bad diet.

Personally I would just let them recover. Give them space and toys to keep their minds and bodies active, get them on a good diet, get them vet care. They might not ever be "tame" but your parents can enjoy having such beautiful birds around.
 

Beakz

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This is definitely a hybrid, but it isn't a Catalina (B&G x scarlet).
My guess would be a Harlequin (B&G x greenwing).
Really? She looked more like Catalina to me but I could be wrong, she has gorgeous colors
 

Beakz

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She’s also the sweetest out of all of them, shes actually started to say hello to me in the morning, and she fluffs up and scratches her head, almost like she wants me to pet her (obviously I can’t) she’s still aggressive but only when she’s scared, I think she might have actually been a pet at some point in her life. It makes me sad to think this is how they’ve lived for the longest time
 
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