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RAISING BABY MACAW - 8 WEEKS

If you hand-fed your baby when did you introduce food?

  • 12-14 weeks

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Shorty's Grl

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I'm curious about the signs to look for when he is ready to wean... I don't think he's ready AT All but by the end of the month if he keeps making developments like he is i think so.

I really just want to be prepared as i can to make the transition as stress free as possible.

He climbs and perches and started jumping off of things yesterday which almost made me have a heart attack thinking he's going to break his leg. He kept climbing in his basket and on perches and jumping off. I had ended up putting towels and pillows around so he was safe.

I attached some videos of his new behaviors...
he is too much fun!!

When did you introduce foods?


 

greys4u

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Precious!
 

nu2birds

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I'm not qualified to answer that question.........but your baby is adorable! You are doing an amazing job with her. She seems very comfortable and happy!
 

iamwhoiam

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He is very very cute. Don't have experience raising macaws so hopefully someone who does will come along. @Macawnutz @Hankmacaw
Are the dogs OK with him? Be careful with that.
 

Hankmacaw

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Macaws should be abundance weaned - I'm sure you know that. As far as solid food goes, it can be introduced very early, say from 8 weeks on. Of course, solid food doesn't mean, solid food, it means chunks of veggies, fruits and smashed up warm bananas. sweet potatoes, etc. For the most part they will just play with the food at first, but will be getting used to it and will eventually eat some of it. It's important to keep their hand feeding of formula up just as long as they will take it. My Jasper did not wean until she was 7-8 months old. Some macaws will need hand feeding until they are a year old, or even older.

They don't just all of a sudden wean. They will start by occasionally refusing a feeding (assuming that he is on three feedings a day), then completely refuse a feeding. Two feedings a day, morning and evening, will most likely continue for quite some time until they fully wean.

Your baby is sure cute and is an active little devil.

Please be very, very careful with your dog's access to that baby. Too many of our members have lost a bird to a cat or dog.

@Macawnutz @macawpower58
 

Shorty's Grl

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@Hankmacaw Thank you for that!!! I've been reading about abundance weaning and thats definitely what I'm going to do. He just went to 3 feedings a day. His cage just arrived today so I think I'm going start getting that set up and introducing it to him next week and putting some mash down in there during afternoon playtime. Thanks for all the positive feedback you guys :hug8:
 

Macawnutz

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Awwwww

Food is fun so throw lots of interesting foods at him. Crunchy food, smushy food, warm food, wet food.. food that rolls. Lol

My scarlet weaned at 16 weeks, my blue and gold weaned at 2 years. You never know what they are going to do. CUTE BABY!!!
 

Shorty's Grl

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And about the dogs...My boxer saint likes to watch him like he is his big brother...he opens his eyes big when he stumbles and tries to give kisses like he gives me...but i always supervise them. I just want everyone to get used to each other and understand this is our new baby. The yorkie stays away pretty much but i trust him way less so he goes outside often for playtime
 

macawpower58

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I had my Greenwing from 5 weeks. He fully weaned himself at 8 months.

He went from 4 feedings a day, to finally just a night feeding.

He began refusing that feeding eventually. I kept offering it for a time. He'd take it now and then, until he flat refused.

Start by allowing him to play with food pieces. He'll nibble, chew and play with them.

I'd feed, then offer a dish of food. If he was hungry the real food held little to no interest, he wanted fed.

Once fed, the food became a great play toy, one that was teaching him to accept different food types.

To this day he's not a picky eater. Try lots of different items. Some he'll love, others not so much. ;)

It's a long slow process. You're baby will let you know when he's ready to give up certain feedings, and when to quit for good.
 

XstatyK

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Congrats on the new baby, beautiful!
 

melissasparrots

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One major concept you need to get with baby bird is that they wean themselves. If you do it right, you do not wean them. This means you offer them formula and adult food at the same time. Eventually they get to the point that they are eating enough adult food that they don't want as much formula. There are phases of 2 steps forward, 3 steps backward. For example, very soon your baby will go into a weight loss phase in preparation for first flight. He won't want as much formula, but that doesn't mean he's anywhere close to weaning. Once he starts flying, he may go through a phase of wanting more formula again because he'll likely be on the skinny side. I don't breed macaws, but for most of my birds it seems like sometime after first flight is when they really start eating adult food in quantity enough to experiment with reducing the number of feedings on some days. Mostly I go by behavior of the baby. If the baby cries and its been a few hours since the last meal, then I hand-feed it. If its due for a meal, but its not crying and I can get it interested in adult food instead, then I skip that feeding or give it an hour or so later so the baby has a chance to eat what it wants of adult food. This doesn't usually start until after the first flight.

I'd start out giving the baby some macaw sized pellets to play with and sometimes put a spoon full of cooked soft and warm veggies in a bowl near him. You can even offer cooked sweet potato with mashed banana by spoon every once in a while. But its best if they learn to eat adult food on their own. You will waste A LOT of food. I usually scatter a hand-full of pellets around the bottom of their container for them to pick at and crumble as they please. This does not mean they are eating or ready to be weaned. They are just experimenting with food. Remember, the baby weans itself by refusing your offered hand-feedings for several days in a row until you stop giving that feeding. While being open the possibility that the baby may start needing that feeding back again on some days. You offer food, the baby plays with it or refuses. This is how weaning works. You don't wean the baby by removing feedings until the baby has refused permanently. You aren't getting anywhere close to weaning until the baby is at least 4 months old. Many macaws will go longer. The process starts with the baby playing with food, crushing it while not eating it and generally making a mess of things. This goes on for several weeks. A week or a few weeks after first flight, it will start actually eating the offered adult food but may still at that point be so skinny that it also needs supplemental hand-feedings. You'll be in that in between phase where the baby is eating on its own but still taking 1 or 4 hand-feedings a day as well for a month or even several months until the baby gives up that last hand-feeding.

Also, watch out for him jumping on those hard floors. They can crack a breast bone or bruise themselves badly doing that. As others have said, you might have nice dogs, but don't trust them enough to walk out of the room and leave the macaw loose. I have a nice dog too and keep birds caged or the dogs with me when I'm not in the room. Also, some people like to clip babies when they start flying. Don't do this. It will set you back in the weaning process in a big way. Let the baby fly. You'll have to macaw proof your house. Look out for hot lamps, open toilets, open doors and windows the baby could land on or go through. And for God's sake, don't take the baby outside or leave a door open. Lots of weaning macaw babies are lost outdoors to starve to death because someone took them out when they thought the baby couldn't fly yet.

I apologize if I was preachy. Your question just indicated you might not be very experienced with hand-feeding baby birds. I thought I'd save you the grief of some common mistakes.
 

Begone

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Also, watch out for him jumping on those hard floors. They can crack a breast bone or bruise themselves badly doing that. As others have said, you might have nice dogs, but don't trust them enough to walk out of the room and leave the macaw loose. I have a nice dog too and keep birds caged or the dogs with me when I'm not in the room. Also, some people like to clip babies when they start flying. Don't do this. It will set you back in the weaning process in a big way. Let the baby fly. You'll have to macaw proof your house. Look out for hot lamps, open toilets, open doors and windows the baby could land on or go through. And for God's sake, don't take the baby outside or leave a door open. Lots of weaning macaw babies are lost outdoors to starve to death because someone took them out when they thought the baby couldn't fly yet.
I agree with all of this. This is very good advice. :)
 
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