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Unstable and dangerous 5 years old severe macaw

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Maestro

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Hi
I've lost chunk of my chin
Have split lip
And hole in my ear
Bled bowl full of blod.

No, I did not hurt my bird, but certainly I'm mad and angry. I wouldn't hurt him for several reasons even given the above stated facts because he's young, fully feathered and with strong health (he's on very good and healthy diet full of fresh whole foods) and that's motivating me to keep him same way in case I want to sell him and perhaps I will due to my merchant nature which I do for living. So here's the story how best friend is about to become used toy for sale.

Had been reading lots of forums, but situations with birds are never general and always particular and individual. No books can tell the solution in my case:

Initially super-friendly bird and fully bonded. Preens and bites his feet, bobs his head, hugs me with his wings while sitting on my chest and during that preens his belly; but all of a sudden, out of nowhere, will brutally charge for no reason and always most vulnerable head areas like to the worst enemy.
He's now fully caged and locks tightly secured. I also keep him covered with dark bed sheet often if he's not calm. I give him once in a while out time(thinking more than twice before doing that) so he stops screaming, but keeping him now at a distance using objects that he's affraid off to make sure he would not approach. One of the objects is spray bottle. The spray bottle is also being used for showering and misting him instead of bringing him to shower with me which he also HATES, but I guess that is the worst of his punishment to get wet once in a while so he keeps his beauty in tact. So that's another luxury that had been revoked -- showering together.
To bring him back to his cage now, I excersize all possible security measures: I lock his feet with my fingers and keep in the other hand spray bottle just in case he tries to force his way out of feet lock(he does like to approach shoulder since the day I took him out of aviary).

What are my best options?

Please suggest the best of following choices or add yours:

1. Break bond (eventually i guess) and keep bird at distance at all times while out of cage
2. Keep him in the cage at all times and provide him new toys once in a while, but he's not really found of any toys at all...
3. Bring him to shelter, vet or zoo or if lucky, sell him (there might be legal issue, but i can sell "cage with bird" and that will make it legal because the bird is for free)

THANKS!
 

Maestro

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No you will not be banned Peppo and your comment and advise is primitive, but reasonable and appreciated. I will keep reading more replies to make my final decision. I will answer any questions further down if they appear. Prior having this macaw I had 2 companion birds in my life and they were all fine, fully feathered and with good health.
 

DQTimnehs

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I'm sorry for your injuries! What happened just before he started attacking you? I'm thinking if he was overly bonded he might be sexually frustrated that you can't really be his mate. How old is he and how long have you had him? From what age?

You shouldn't be punishing him with a spray bottle. He will never get used to being showered if it is used as punishment!

You also should not be punishing him by covering his cage in the day time.

I don't like clipping wings but in this case it might be necessary to avoid flying attacks.

If you keep him covered and/or in his cage most of the time then rehoming might be better for both of you. He needs to be given some second chances and you need to earn his trust. You may need to start over like he is a new bird you don't know and slowly work on building a relationship. Talk to him through the cage, bring treats. You may have to teach him to play with toys.

Keeping him in his cage, covered or ignored with no toys that interest him sounds like a life sentence.
 

DQTimnehs

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Oh I see you said he was 5.
 

Hankmacaw

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He is 5, but how long have you had him? If you haven't had him since a baby, do you know what his background was before you got him? That may have a lot to do with his aggressiveness now. There is generally a "honeymoon period" after a new bird comes to live in a new house.

One thing I noticed is that you said he bites his feet. That is generally a signal of frustration and anger in a parrot. When he does that you should not handle him. It can also be a symptom of displaced pain and a bird in pain is not a friendly bird.

You should never, ever let him on your shoulder. He is harder to control and has full access to your face and ears. He has not earned that privilege.

You can start over with him treat him as a brand new bird in your house. Interact with him only when he is in his cage where he can't bite you. Bites are self-perpetuating and one successful bite leads to another. Give him a treat every time you walk by his cage and talk sweetly/softly to him.

Handle him only with T-stick and he can't bite you. @JLcribber can explain how to make a T-stick. Target train him while he is in his cage. Let him out, but only on a perch stand placed close to his door.

Yes clip his wings so he cannot make flying attacks. They will grow back and maybe the troubles will be over by then.

Has he been checked by a vet?

 

Maestro

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Hi DQ,
Apreciate your comment and will try to answer questions:
Spray bottle is mainly used as shield and defence from approach not for punishments. Spraying and misting him at least once per week instead of going to the shower together is unpleasant but perhaps necessary to maintain his body moisture.
I built tons of toys for him of various nature, but I was always his best 'toy'. By gradually loosing current bond as I've mentioned prior, I would probably be able as you suggested build a new one from scratch.
He never gets ignored, because I'm often in the kitchen or living room attached to the kitchen and still talk to him often... Yes, sometimes trash, but more often he hears me practicing piano, writing songs or giving piano lessons. I'm performing artists who also records and sells music media and my apearance is now at jeopardy as well unfortunately...
 

alshgs

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Has he been seen by a vet....and how long have you had him?
 

Maestro

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Hi Hankmacaw, I picked him up from aviary so I have him since he's 5 months old. From he day one he would be affraid of any foreign objects in my or anyone else's hand so teaching him to perch stick is out of question. In his cage he's fine with his various perches: wood ones and concrete. He will simply refuse and fly away. He's not biting his feet hard rather keeping one in the mouth and playfully wriggling his beak around it with tong pleasing himself. Neither of the birds I've had been 'checked' by vet as I have grown self-confidence to keep birds in solid health without anyone else's help including CAV. I do not support dishonest veterinary industry that masks evil behind humanity (for that I may be banned here i'm sure) so no needle and test business -- it's all money and all behind money is EVIL. I do not support health industry either, live relative short distance from farms I get my meals from and I'm free of any prescription you can think of and haven't seen doctor for decades.
 

alshgs

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I understand your frustration with the vet issue, but like it or not, birds are very fragile creatures and severe macaws are prone to certain diseases and health issues. Like @Hankmacaw said, a bird in pain is not going to be a friendly bird. You could be touching somewhere that hurts him even if you do not realize it. How many hours of out of cage time does he get? You shouldn't cover birds in the daytime unless it's cold. What kind of food does he eat specifically? Have you tried target training? Tricks? Are you watching for signs before he bites?
 

DQTimnehs

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I'm not sure where you live but a good Avian vet is indispensable. Birds can go through many illnesses, infections bacterial and fungal and without the vets' help we don't know what we are dealing with to treat it. You can't rule out a medical problem affecting your bird's behaviour if you don't take him to a vet.

It is not ALL about money. Vets spend a ton on their education and equipment and most care deeply about their patients. There was an article recently about so many vets committing suicide as they can't handle the heart wrenching work they do.
 

JLcribber

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that's motivating me to keep him same way in case I want to sell him and perhaps I will due to my merchant nature which I do for living.

That is rather disturbing. It shows that this bird is just something you have and don't really have any empathy for. This is the kind of bird that needs someone with real experience and knowledge. You don't have that so this is going to be a very hard uphill battle for you.

Please suggest the best of following choices or add yours:

1. Break bond (eventually i guess) and keep bird at distance at all times while out of cage
2. Keep him in the cage at all times and provide him new toys once in a while, but he's not really found of any toys at all...
3. Bring him to shelter, vet or zoo or if lucky, sell him (there might be legal issue, but i can sell "cage with bird" and that will make it legal because the bird is for free)

My vote is that you "give" him to a shelter, vet, zoo. If you "sell" him to the first person that comes along then we know what this bird means to you.
 
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alshgs

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Do you ever pet him anywhere but on the head? Touching any other place can cause sexual frustration in a bird when he/she realizes that you're not going to be his mate. How many toys and perches do you have in his cage. How big is his cage?
 

Hankmacaw

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Our beliefs about the veterinary industry certainly differ. There are good vets like there are bad vets, just like there are bad pianists like there are good pianists. I happen to have one of the very best vets and he has saved both of my bird's lives many times over. They both had deadly illnesses when I took them in as adults. BTW the vets have to buy food for their kids and pay the mortgage just like you and I do.

Something has changed with your bird. It is unlikely that he just turned mean, if he was a good companion for years. There is something that you aren't seeing or taking into account.

Don't you think it is somewhat hypocritical of you to say you are "mercenary" and then blast other vocations for making a living? 1993 was the last time I was at the Dr. and I've been healthy because I have good genes, not because I eat food from a farm.

 

alshgs

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The title kind of bothers me as well....unstable and dangerous? Lots of us here have birds that can be unpredictable but the trick is to avoid getting bitten. You are missing something...but to call your bird those two names is not nice. I recently lost my conure to possibly cancer...he was in pain...he was unpredictable at times and would bite if you didn't watch out. The feathers on the back of his head would stand up when he was ready to try and bite. At this point I got up and walked away. Is he molting? Maybe try giving him treats when he isn't biting to show that not biting is a good thing? Punishing him with a water bottle is not nice. You don't know your bird very well if you can't read the signs...but after having him since he was a baby, you would think you would know your bird.
 

Maestro

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Of course I pet him and pleased him head, neck spinal cord, belly. He's still on to it when I reach out to him and HE'S NOT IN PAIN or he's ever been in pain. Macaws are the STRONGEST parrots of a kind no matter which ones Severe, Blue/Gold or Hank... They can withold and fight ANY disease or ever get any. They can survive only on water at least couple of weeks! If you know any other foreign language besides English, you can find a lot more usefull AND truthfull information that maintaining health of Severe Macaw or any Macaw is simpler than you can ever think and vet or CAV easily cancels out from numerator and denomitator like in simple arithmetic fraction. English language meant to spell one way and pronounce different if you know what I mean. That is to say I figured out that most of the diseases of parrots seen at vet are caused by vet and money which is certainly EVIL so there's no possible way I can be convinced differently -- no wasting time necessary.
His cage is 5 feet from floor to ceiling and elevated by another foot so total of nearly 6 feet and has form of trapezoid where roof is slightly smaller in area than floor. That gives him ability to drop while on top of his cage to the cage floor. I pressure wash his cage every other week and change his lining, water food etc. He talks a LOT phrases and words. I'd say the cage size is sufficient enough for Severe Macaw, but deffinitely small for large bird such as blue/gold.
 

Maestro

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wow i'm not mercenary and never had been. i'm MERCHANT and musician. His feathers are shiny and bright and he takes full meals every day. Nothing changed on this department -- so no pain and no health issues. There's a GOOD vet 95 miles away and she's not CAV and she's the only vet I can trust. He's gained trust to be on shoulder often leaning with his body towards my hair and preening my hair with love, but all of a sudden it was one instance and than few more one after another destroying my appearance.
 

alshgs

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You have NO idea if he's in pain or not and are not qualified to call that. You don't deserve this bird. Simple as that.
 

Macaw Lover

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My gut is saying this is a troll people.

Maestro, if you are not a troll, this bird needs to be out of your care, or rather, abuse. Zoos don't go taking birds in from people who just want to get rid of them so don't even think that is an option.
 
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